23-25 January 2009: Rabbi Soetendorp speaks at the “Visions, Values and Action” Youth Forum in Preparation of UNESCO’s World Conference
Rabbi Soetendorp addressed a three-day conference in Bad Honnef near Bonn, Germany which brought together 145 young adults from over 30 countries. The forum was hosted by Germany’s Earth Charter Affiliate, the Ecumenical One World Initiative, in cooperation with the World Future Council and Germany’s Federal Agency for Civic Education. In the lead-up to the UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development, the participants developed their own positions on how environmental protection, peace and social justice should be promoted by education.Read more...
Human Rights Defenders Tulip presented to Justine Masika Bihama, 10 December 2008
On 10 December 2008, the first Human Rights Defenders Tulip award was presented to women's rights activist Justine Masika Bihamba by Minister Verhagen of Foreign Affairs in an impressive ceremony in The Hague. Rabbi Awraham Soeendorp served in the jury that presented the award.Read more...
Find out more about the award and the ceremony at www.humanrightstulip.org
Rabbi Soetendorp signed the Statement "Faith in Human Rights", 10 December, 2008
On this year's International Human Right's Day - 10 December 2008 - the International Interreligious Conference "Faith in Human Rights" was held in the Peace Palace in The Hague. Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp was among the ten invited supreme authorities of the different world religions to sign a statement on human rights from a faith perspective. Among the other signatories were His Holiness the XIVth Dalai Lama, Rev. Dr. Samuel Kobia, Secretary General of the World Council of Churches, and His All Holiness Bartholomew, Ecumenical Pariarch of the Orthodox Churches. The Conference was part of an initiative of the Municipality of the Hague and supported by the Netherlands Minitry of Foreign Affairs. Her Majesty Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands attended the festive ceremony that surrounded the signing of the statement. (Picture credits: FaithInHumanRights.Org)
International Leadership and Spirituality Symposium, 14 November 2008
Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp speaks at the International Leadership and Spirituality Symposium 2008 organized by the International Association of Human Values under the leadership of His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, EU Parliament, Brussels,
Rabbi Soetendorp helps crafting the Charter for Compassion
Rabbi Soetendorp joined the world famous scholar and TED-price winner Karen Armstrong in an international effort of crafting the Charter for Compassion. Drafts of the Charter are currently being reviewed by a council of religious leaders and thinkers from diverse traditions. The final version is to be launched in a series of simultaneous events to be held on the 12th of November, 2009. Rabbi Soetendorp's suggestion of calling this council of leaders the Council of Conscience was adopted by Karen Armstrong and her team. For many years, Rabbi Soetendorp had the dream of bringing together spiritual and moral leaders that would give moral guidance on the global challenges and emergencies of our time: A Council of Conscience endowed with moral authority that would work along-side the United Nations Security Council endowed with political authority. Through the Charter of Compassion, this dream moves closer to fruition. Please find more information about the Charter and ways to get involved at http://charterforcompassion.com
Rabbi Soetendorp speaks at the Premiere of "the Age of Stupid"
On September 22nd, the Dutch premiere of “The Age of Stupid” took place in the Amsterdam Tuschinsky theatre. The film was simultaneously launched in more than 60 cities around the world. This enormously ambitious drama-documentary-animation hybrid stars Oscar-nominated Pete Postlethwaite as an old man living in the devastated world of 2055, watching “archive” footage from 2008 and asking: why didn't we stop climate change while we had the chance?Read more...
Directly after the screening representatives of diverse organizations that co-hosted the premiere were interviewed on stage, including Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp.
Declaration: "Religions for Dafur" spearheaded by Rabbi Awraham Soetendorp, 21 September 2006
In Darfur, the threat of genocide being committed under our own eyes seems imminent. The images of despair and dilapidation from the world's largest refugee camp will keep haunting us. We cannot close our hearts anymore for the call of desperate children. Ajeka: "Man, where on earth art thou?"
Fortunately, after three tauntingly slow years in which the murder of hundreds of thousands of people continued, a world-wide movement of compassion and indignation has arisen. We, religious communities in the Netherlands, join in with this movement. We may not and cannot stand idly aside while others are causing death to our fellow-men. When the lessons of mass murders in recent history leave us unperturbed, the light will surely go out.
After the Second World War, the UN has been established with the aim to prevent genocide. In 2005 they have concluded that states have the primary duty to protect their citizens and that the international community has the responsibility to act when the government refuses to offer this protection. Now is the hour of truth: are we prepared to live by our promises of co-responsibility and humanity or will we, again, allow ourselves to be forced into passivity by the obstinacy of the Sudanese government and a series of sham arguments? Every day counts.
To the Sudanese government we say: "Do not harden your heart. Allow UN forces to do their protective job. Nothing more, nothing less, so that human lives are spared."
To the Security Council we say: "Smooth the way for the men and women from the community of nations who may act as saviours in the coming days and weeks."To ourselves, we say: "Let our protest against inhumanity be deafening. Let us place a stronghold of safety around God's creatures in Darfur."