AntiSemitism, Islamophobia and racism are not longovercome phenomena from the past, but undeniable present-day realities. The current developments in displacement and migration have in some cases played a role in fostering the fear and resentment with which some people have to contend due to their background, culture or religion. Against this backdrop, the Muslim Jewish Conference sends a clear message and by so doing makes an important contribution to our efforts to confront these developments.
I am delighted that after taking place in Germany in 2015, the Conference will be held here again this year. Once again, it will bring together young people from predominantly Muslim and Jewish backgrounds and encourage them to interact and engage in dialogue, a dialogue which is by no means a daytoday occurrence and which unfortunately is also not something we can take for granted.
Civil society engagement as lived out by the friends and supporters of the Muslim Jewish Conference is essential in a society that regards diversity as an asset and wants to promote peaceful coexistence characterised by mutual respect and interest in others. To ensure that this engagement can be maintained, the Muslim Jewish Conference is rightly calling on those in government for support.
Promoting tolerance and nondiscrimination is one priority of Germany’s OSCE Chairmanship in 2016. I am therefore particularly honoured to assume the patronage of the Muslim Jewish Conference this year.
In future the Federal Government will continue to do everything it can to support the Conference.
Together we want to work to realise its vision of establishing a global movement of young people from a variety of religious and cultural backgrounds, overcoming divisions and fostering mutual respect!
I wish all participants inspiring conversations during this year’s events and an interesting time in Berlin.
Dr Frank-Walter Steinmeier,
Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs,