Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara, has lauded the sterling qualities of Sierra Leone’s religious tolerance which she described as “one of a kind and worthy of emulation”.
Madam Kamara made these factual remarks while delivering a speech at the just concluded 2022 International Ministerial Conference on Freedom of Religion or Belief (FoRB) which was held in the Queen Elizabeth II Conference centre in London.
The two-day long Human Rights conference which ended on Wednesday 06/07/2022, attracted close to 700 delegates from over 100 countries representing a distinguished assemblage of government officials, civil rights and religious organisations.
The event was opened with the melody of a deeply touching tune sang by an international choir whose membership was drawn from 30 different countries around the world.
At the start of her well-received speech, the Deputy Minister expressed delight for the opportunity provided by the conference to make a statement on the very topical issue of promoting and protecting the Freedom of Religion or Belief.
Madam Kamara highlighted the religious diversity of Sierra Leone’s demography with members of different belief systems “associating peacefully and practising their faiths freely”.
She then informed her audience that the constitution of Sierra Leone and key national policy documents provide for the “protection and promotion of freedom of belief, conscience, association, worship, and religion”.
She reiterated that Sierra Leone enjoys enviable fame for its religious tolerance, pointing out that the country is blessed with “committed people who continue to demonstrate, uphold and nurture this cultural phenomenon”.
She made mention of the role of the Inter-Religious Council in strengthening national cohesion and peace building as part of the “commendable and indispensable” institutional support system that is in place to uphold the process.
Madam Kamara called upon conference participants and other stake holders to use the occasion to explore and “to reflect on the attendant best practices, opportunities and challenges”. She also expressed confidence that the conference “would help forge alliances of hope for societal cohesion and harmony”.
In her closing remarks the minister underlined that Sierra Leone firmly stands opposed to “stereotypes and stigma” and supports “religious diversity and equity” and seeks to promote a world “where religious differences are accepted, celebrated and valued.”
Finally, Madam Mamadi Gobeh Kamara called for collective commitment and concerted efforts to ensure the attainment of global peace and development.