His Holiness the Dalai Lama will address the conference to open the symposium's morning session on September 7th in Montreal of Canada. Other renowned speakers include Nobel Peace Laureate Shirin Ebadi, world-famous author Deepak Chopra, Professor Tariq Ramadan, and Professor Robert Thurman. Professor Gregory Baum, recipient of the Order of Canada and Swami Dayananda Saraswati will also participate in the conference.
Under the theme of "Peace Through Religion", the one-day event will include the unveiling of the latest version of a proposed Universal Declaration of Human Rights by the World's Religions, which has been on the anvil since 1996 and which is designed as a complement to the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948.
Most people remember what they were doing, and where they were, when they first heard about the terrorist attacks on the twin towers in New York, September 11, 2001. These attacks delivered an unfathomable religious jolt.
"The ground may not have shifted under our feet at the moment but the very concept of religion underwent a paradigm shift for many of us. Instead of standing for virtue and piety, and peace and harmony, the word religion was launched on a semantic trajectory which would make it a byword for evil, aggression and terror," emphasized the convenor of the event, Arvind Sharma, Birks Professor of Comparative Religion at the Faculty of Religious Studies of McGill University.
"The aim of the conference is to bring together the various religions of the world in an ecumenical spirit to address the many issues facing the world today, in the hope that this will help all of us become better human beings", states Arvind Sharma.
Anyone who was stirred by the events of September 11, 2001 and wishes to engage in finding means to Peace through an open discussion of the role religions play in the world, is welcome to attend the conference.
His Holiness,the 14th Dalai Lama, was honoured with the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989 for his promotion of non-violent forms of resistance in defence of the Tibetan people. Since that time, His Holiness has worked as a voice for the rights of the Tibetan people and as a proponent of the Buddhist spiritual practice Dzogchen.