HH Pope Francis I
“Pope Francis is happy to learn that the Global Network of Religions for Children together with other faith communities and multilateral institutions are engaged in addressing the challenges facing the children of our time.”
H.E. Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President, Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, Holy See.
H.E. Lorena Castillo de Varela, First Lady of Panama
“I would like to thank the GNRC for organizing and bringing together faith leaders and other key stakeholders to jointly discuss the vital issue of children’s security. Children must be treated equally irrespective of social status, race, religion, or any other differentiation. Love conquers all.”
H.E. Juan Carlos Varela, President, Republic of Panama
President Juan Carlos attributed violence against children to societal negligence and said that to solve it, governments, civil society organizations, religious leaders and communities must all work together. President Varela’s remarks were highlighted by the following inspiring commitment. “My government is committed to participating with all governments and faith-based religious leaders and communities in the fight to end violence against children. Panama will give its best to the world.
H.E. Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania
“Allow me to take this opportunity to commend the GNRC for its initiatives and programs on promoting child poverty eradication, children’s rights, protection of the environment, ethical and peace education, and empowering children and young people. I implore you to continue the good work you are doing. The good thing about it is that it crosses the boundaries of faith. Please keep up the good work.”
Mama Salma Kikwete, Former 1st Lady, Tanzania at the GNRC 4th Forum
“Allow me to take this opportunity to applaud the good work of the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC) addressing challenges facing our children today. Their commitment and dedication are without doubt; it is clearly demonstrated in the theme of the Fourth Forum “Ending Poverty, Enriching Children”. Indeed, poverty is a serious challenge to most developing countries.
“Ladies and Gentlemen, I conclude by declaring my full support for the poverty initiative, which will be launched tomorrow here in Dar es Salaam. I call upon all the other First Ladies from around the world to support this noble initiative and where possible work with GNRC to fulfill this historical duty. On my part, I assure you that we will walk with you on this journey.”
UN Secretary-General Meets with Rev. Miyamoto, Promises Support for GNRC
“Our aim is to serve as an effective bridge between the UN system and the world’s religious leaders and their massive faith communities, when it comes to the one concern most easily shared by all humanity — the survival and well-being of our children.” The Secretary-General welcomed this commitment and requested Under-Secretary-General Kiyotaka Akasaka, who was also present, to make the Department of Public Information the focal point for the UN’s liaison and partnership with the GNRC.
Mr. Gautam of UNICEF and Ms. Gosselin of UNESCO also pledged their ongoing collaboration in the GNRC’s efforts to improve children’s lives and deliver the innovative new ethics education program worldwide.
Remarks by Ms. Marta Santos Pais, Special Representative to the United Nations Secretary-General on Violence against Children
“I am fully committed to pursuing our shared agenda with the GNRC to prevent and address violence against children as a high priority. This is indeed critical, both to consolidate the important achievements made so far and to make sure that a culture of non-violence for children can take root in our societies. Violence affects disproportionately those in poverty and who are socially excluded. It compromises social development and very especially children’s well-being and fundamental rights. Children living in poverty have less access to social services to prevent violence, and to be supported in the healing, recovery and reintegration when they suffer violence either as victims or witnesses.”
Mr. Kul Gautam, then Deputy Executive Director, UNICEF, at the 2nd GNRC Forum
“Four years ago, I had the privilege to participate at the First Forum of GNRC right after the successful conclusion of the United Nations General Assembly’s Special Session on Children in May 2002. I recall vividly the excitement we felt then. Among the many extraordinary things that happened at the Special Session on Children, I was particularly of the very active engagement of the world’s religious and spiritual leaders. I want to pay a special tribute to Rev. Miyamoto for his wise vision with which he helped established the Global Network of Religions for Children (GNRC). I recall fondly Reverend Miyamoto’s memorable speech at the UN General Assembly at which he spoke passionately about the need for global ethics education for children.”