Vice President of URI Europe at the World Peace Congress

The second World Peace Congress was held in Barcelona, Spain, on October 15-17, 2001. Despite worldwide travel and gathering restrictions due to COVID, the event could take place in a hybrid format that included both physical attendance and online participation, with a total attendance of over 2,500 people from 126 different countries. The organizer was the International Peace Bureau (IPB) and their local partner, the Institut CatalĂ  Internacional per la Pau (ICIP), with the sponsorship of a number of both public bodies and private organizations and NGOs, including the Barcelona City Hall and the autonomous government of Catalonia. The Vice President of URI Europe, Mr. Jaume de Marcos, attended the event representing URI.

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The aim of the WPC congress was to "foster synergies between organizations and individuals, and between interconnected social movements fighting for global justice: peace and disarmament advocates, feminist and LGBTQIA+ campaigners, ecologists and climate activists, antiracists and indigenous people, human rights defenders and trade unionists." The 2-day programme was full of activities, including panels, workshops, open discussion forums, a musical event, and a plenary session with renowned international leaders and activists.

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Although religious diversity and interfaith collaboration were not the focus of the event, the role of religious organizations and individuals in building a better world through peace, justice, and solidarity was present in many activities. For example, the question of religious sanctuary to protect individuals from injustice and political repression was particularly considered in a workshop organized by the Fellowship of Reconciliation USA.
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The event ended with a public appeal to the world's politicians everywhere to give up old patterns of thinking and dependencies, and act now, with urgency and more comprehensively than before, for peace, disarmament, justice, and the climate.