Australia hosted the 5th Regional Interfaith Dialogue in Perth from 28 to 30 October. The Australian delegation included 15 Australians drawn from major faiths, community leaders and academics across Australia, who are actively involved in interfaith dialogue.
The Perth Dialogue follows on from a positive history of regional Dialogues: Phnom Penh Dialogue in Cambodia in 2008, the Waitangi Dialogue in New Zealand in 2007, the Cebu Dialogue in the Philippines in 2006, and the Yogyakarta Dialogue in Indonesia in 2004.
The theme for this year’s Dialogue was ‘Future Faith Leaders: Regional Challenges and Cooperation’ and the focus was the next generation of faith leaders. The Fifth Regional Interfaith Dialogue was co-sponsored by Australia, Indonesia, New Zealand and the Philippines. The other countries who also participated in the conference are; Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, East Timor, Laos, Malaysia, Papua New Guinea, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Affinity’s Vice President, Zuleyha Keskin, was asked to be the Head of the Australian Delegation and was also a member of the drafting committee who put together the declaration based on input from the various workshops which were held throughout the conference. Zuleyha also read out the Perth Declaration at the closing reception which was hosted by Federal Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr Stephen Smith MP.
The Foreign Affairs Minister’s speech, which was delivered at the closing ceremony, can be read at the following link: