#InternationalReligiousFreedomDay; #Religion; #Freedom, #US
United States, Oct 27 (Canadian-Media): During the observation of International Religious Freedom Day, Michael R. Pompeo, Secretary of State made the following statement.
Twenty-two years ago today, the United States enacted the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act, reaffirming our commitment to promote and defend the fundamental right to religious freedom for all people everywhere. Born of the vision of America’s founders, our government understood that an individual, irrespective of their religion or beliefs, should be free to organize their lives in accordance with their consciences. Religious freedom and other themes of human dignity are – and will always remain – a core U.S. foreign policy priority. And the world has taken notice.
Office of International Freedom Day. Image credit: Twitter handle
Yet today, three of the world’s most egregious religious freedom abusers – the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Iran, and North Korea – have tightened their coercive measures to silence their own people. Worse, the PRC has sought to eradicate all forms of faith and belief that don’t align with Chinese Communist Party doctrine.
Conversely, since the International Religious Freedom or Belief Alliance (IRFBA) launched in February 2020, 31 nations have pledged their commitment to this like-minded network dedicated to addressing challenges around the world. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, several countries have released individuals, wrongfully imprisoned on account of their beliefs, allowing them to reunite with their families, and we urge others to follow suit.
A global movement on religious freedom is now a reality – one rich in regional, cultural, and political diversity – testifying to a universal, unequivocal truth: every person, everywhere, has the right to believe or not believe, change one’s beliefs, speak one’s beliefs, gather and teach. On this International Religious Freedom Day, the United States is proud to promote and protect religious freedom.
#Wahington, #LoC; #2020NationalBookFestival; #AmericanIngenuity
Washington, Oct 26 (Canadian-Media): The 2020 Library of Congress National Book Festival, which celebrates its 20th birthday this year, provides up-to-the-minute festival news, highlights, and other important information to the subscribers of this blog, Library Of Congress (LoC) reports said.
Image credit: LoC Website
One of the benefits of this virtual festival is that you get a peek into the living and writing spaces of more than 120 authors, poets and illustrators who joined 2020 National Book Festival, and they shared their unique perspectives on this first virtual festival with its 20th festival’s theme, American Ingenuity.
A poet, essayist, novelist and Chicana activist, Sandra Cisneros, one of the most celebrated Latino authors of her generation, best known for her first novel, “The House on Mango Street,” speaks about the importance of empathy.
Cisneros says empathy is a need of writer to have an open heart and this in many ways have spurred her work and imagination during these difficult times of surging COVID-19 pandemic and political uncertainty.
Cisneros’s compassion for others is evident when she says, “When we’re working with our hearts, and with our complete hearts and con puro amor—with pure love—on behalf of those we love, and with no ego involved: siempre sale bonito—it’s always going to turn out well,” as Cisneros speaks to from her book-filled living room in San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, LoC reports said.
National Book Festival site facilitates access to all author presentations with additional video content, such as Q&A sessions with select authors, on the Virtual Festival Platform to explore the many festival stages in genres such as History & Biography, Poetry & Prose, Fiction, Children and Teens.
LoC, the world’s largest library and the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office, offers access to the creative record of the United States, and from around the world, both on-site and online.
#UN; #WHO; #Covid19; #Solidarity;#PovertyEradication
UN, Oct 13 (Canadian-Media): The UN Secretary-General has called for solidarity with all people living in poverty, during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.
COVID-19 and its fallout has pushed millions around the world deeper into poverty. According to UNICEF, many families are experiencing levels of deprivation they have never seen before. Image credit: © UNICEF/Fazel
António Guterres issued the appeal in a video message to mark the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, observed annually on 17 October.
He highlighted how the pandemic represents “a double crisis” for the world’s poorest people.
“First, they have the highest risk of exposure to the virus, and least access to quality healthcare”, said Mr. Guterres.
“Second, recent estimates show the pandemic could push up to 115 million people into poverty this year – the first increase in decades. Women are at greatest risk because they are more likely to lose their jobs, and less likely to have social protection.”
The UN chief underscored the need for extraordinary efforts to fight poverty at this time.
As the pandemic demands strong collective action, he called for Governments to accelerate economic transformation by investing in sustainable recovery.
Additionally, countries need “a new generation of social protection programmes”, that also cover people who work in the informal economy.
“Joining together in common cause is the only way we will emerge safely from this pandemic”, said the Secretary-General.
“On the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, let’s stand in solidarity with people living in poverty, throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.”
The International Day was established by a UN General Assembly resolution adopted in December 1992.
The theme this year is ‘Acting together to achieve social and environmental justice for all’.
For the UN, this focus recognizes “the multi-dimensionality of poverty”, meaning that social justice cannot be fully realized without also working to address environmental injustices, including those due to climate change.