Meeting of the I.A.O. International Secretariat and Committee Chairpersons and Rapporteurs
Conference with subject: “Diversity in Unity and Fundamental Freedoms for Christians and Muslims in the Middle East: A Conference for Parliamentary Dialogue”
Opening of the Exhibition of Mount Athos engravings: “Virgin Mariam. Icons from Her Holy Garden. Mount Athos”
The I.A.O. in collaboration with the Lebanese Parliament held international conference at the premises of the Lebanese Parliament with subject: “Diversity in Unity and Fundamental Freedoms for Christians and Muslims in the Middle East: A Conference for Parliamentary Dialogue”
The European Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and crisis management Mr. Christos Stylianides participated with a speech, while the European Commissioner on Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Mr. Dimitris Avramopoulos sent a videotaped greeting message.
Moreover, greeting addresses were presented by the President of the Parliamentary Assembly for the Mediterranean Mr. Pedro Roque, as well as the Alternate Secretary General of the Parliamentary Union of the Islamic Cooperation (P.U.I.C.), Ambassador Mr. Ali Asghar Mohammadi Sijani
Parliamentarians from 16 I.A.O. member-states, religious leaders or their representatives and representatives of international organisations: Pan-African Parliament, Interparliamentary Union, World Council of Churches, Parliamentary Assembly of the Black Sea Economic Cooperation and Movement for Politics & Policy for Unity participated to the conference.
Additionally, greeting messages were read on behalf of the Chairman of the Russian State Duma, the President of the Hellenic Parliament, the Speaker of the House of Representatives of Cyprus and the President of the Parliament of Sudan.
Participants presented interventions on the draft declaration text and following discussions approved relevant declaration.
The official opening of the Exhibition of Mount Athos engravings: “Virgin Mariam. Icons from Her Holy Garden. Mount Athos” was held at the Beit Beirut by the Governor of Beirut Mr. Ziad Chebib. The opening ceremony was complemented by music bands singing Muslim and Christian hymns in favor of Virgin Mary.
During the meeting of the I.A.O. International Secretariat and Committee Chairpersons and Rapporteurs various proposals for the 25th I.A.O. anniversary events were discussed and the main subject of the 25th anniversary I.A.O. General Assembly in Athens, 25 – 30 June was decided to be: “Parliamentary democracy and Christian values: 25 years of the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy (I.A.O.)”.