Members of the Interfaith Council met in Geneva 25 – 26 October 2007 to review the progress of ethics education and give directions for the continuation of the initiative.
The Second Meeting of the Interfaith Council was formally opened by Rev. Keishi Miyamoto. He welcomed the members of the Council and expressed his deep appreciation to each of them for accepting the invitation to serve as a member of the Interfaith Council, despite their many important existing commitments. He continued to state: It is my conviction that, in our chaotic world today, the promotion of ethics education is not only one of the intrinsic missions of people of faith, but is also urgently and practically needed. This fact is testified to by the endorsement and support this initiative has received from many people of various religions, from all of you gathered here in Geneva today, as well as from the international community at large.
The Council secretariat gave a report on activities since the first meeting of the Council held in Tokyo in May 2005. One of the primary tasks has been to develop a toolkit for educators and youth leaders that employs a new interfaith learning process to empower children to develop a strong sense of ethics. This initiative has been driven by the desire to empower children to develop their own innate spirituality, to deepen their understanding and respect for people from different cultural and religious backgrounds, and to build a sense of global community.
The members of the Council were informed about the various workshops in many parts of the world where the toolkit has been tested in various contexts. They were also informed that the toolkit will be launched formally on the occasion of the Third Forum of the GNRC in Hiroshima in May 2008.
Council members were invited to give their frank and insightful comments on the Council’s achievements thus far as they were outlined in a Draft Activity report, which will soon be published and available on the ethics education website. At the end of the meeting, there was an opportunity to discuss future plans and Council members offered valuable ideas and suggestions for the further promotion of ethics education.
Rev. Miyamoto concluded the meeting by stating: Children are the future of the world and the hope for humankind. I believe that fostering the rich, inborn spirituality of children through our Interfaith Ethics Education initiative with your valuable guidance and support will help to build a truly peaceful world.
A full report of the Second Council Meeting will be available shortly.