IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Davos, 2016, World Economic Forum — Brian Grim, President of the Religious Freedom & Business Foundation and Chair of the Global Agenda Council on the Role of Faith, briefed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Religious Freedom at the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos, Switzerland.
Building on the work the Global Agenda Council on the Role of Faith did in Abu Dhabi in 2015, Grim discussed with Prime Minister Trudeau the 2-page briefing document drafted by Archbishop Antje on the “Role of Faith in Addressing Key Global Challenges” (available here). This work directly connects with agenda items he has, including education on pluralism/diversity and promoting gender equality.
Grim also discussed the future of Canada’s international religious freedom office, currently headed by Ambassador Andrew Bennett. Prime Minister Trudeau expressed great respect for Ambassador Bennett, and said he’s looking forward to exploring how to move the work of the office forward. Grim also discussed how freedom of religion and belief (FoRB) is a mechanism by which pluralism and diversity are peaceful and productive.
The meeting with Trudeau was a small group setting with 16 participants. Also present in the briefing were leaders of major global NGOs. This also helped put faith on the radar screens of other key global leaders. Those present were: Secretary-General Amnesty International; Secretary-General International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC); Executive Director Oxfam International; Chief Executive Officer United Way Worldwide; ChiefRabbi and President Conference of European Rabbis, Russian Federation; Chief Executive Officer Mercy Corps; President International Rescue Committee; Director, Secretariat Control Arms; Director Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law; Executive Director Human Rights Watch; Secretary-General Civicus: World Alliance for Citizen Participation; Managing Director Transparency International; and Chief Executive Officer International Bridges to Justice.
Other meetings Grim had at Davos included those with Al Gore, Cardinal Turkson (Pontifical Council on Justice & Peace), the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, and Francis Collins (Director National Institutes of Health).