Constitution Of Interfaith International
Religion in general, and for that matter, all montheistic religions, represent one of the most important and fundamental constituents advocating respect for human rights, freedom of expression and promising a system which brings peace, tolerance and co-existence for all the people of the world.
Considering this, a large number of individuals with a futuristic vision argue in favour of the establishment of an organisation which enhances and strengthens cordial relations between different religions. Other ambitions of the organisation, besides such co-operation, are to work for world peace, eradicate apartheid and encourage religious tolerance among all the peoples of the world. Within this perspective the organisation would include in its membership, and officers, representatives of all the world religions.
The proposed organisation would emphasise that religion is meant to promote respect for individuals, their beliefs and faiths, which will lead to peace and mutual regard for all religious practices and their freedom of expression. This necessitates projecting religions as instruments of the promotion of human rights.
Article 1. Name
The organisation shall be called Interfaith International
Article 2. General Objectives
- the organisation will support religious principles which advocate peace, tolerance and co-existence among members of different religions
- the organisation will support and sustain communications between members of different faiths, beliefs and religions for the sake of humanity in general
- the organisation will contest all extremist groups which use religion as a means of terrorism, intimidation or exploitation. The organisation will demand that extremist religious groups not obstruct the recognition of, or harmony between, religions and faiths
- the organisation will condemn all injustices of falsely incriminating religious groups by baseless charges. The organisation will condemn insults to persons' religious beliefs.
- the organisation will contend against all kinds of apartheid and segregation either by race, colour, nationality or religion. The organisaion will contest any sytematic violation of human rights in the realm of religious belief
- the organisation will encourage that religious practices be carried on within the laws of the land, not contradict health and moral order, and not harm or undermine other religions.
Article 3. Practical Objectives
- the organisation will favour the preservation of holy places and holy worship against any kind of attack either physical or psychological
- the organisation will work in favour of the preservation of religious heritages, educational institutions and libraries related to religion
- the organisation will promote and encourage associations for the protection of the rights of different faiths, beliefs and religions
- the organisation will promote publications of literature which improve understanding between the religions
- the organisation will arrange for, and hold, conferences and meetings for religious groups, in order to discuss ways of preserving religious freedom, combating violations of human and religious rights, and encouraging inter-religious co-operation on behalf of peace and justice
- the organisation will co-operate with the United Nations bodies and other NGOs on behalf of human rights and inter-religious understanding
- when called for, the organisation will liaison with governments on behalf of protecting religious and other rights.
Article 4. Structure of the Organisation
- Officers : The organisation shall consist of the following oficers : a president, one or several vice-presidents (number to be determined by the Assembly), an executive committee (members to be elected by the Assembly), finance officer(s), and a secretary-general.
- The Assembly : The Assembly, in which members take part, shall be held at least once a year. The Assembly shall elect, or re-confirm already-elected, officers; supervise finances and vote the budget; and plan programmes.
- Members : Members shall be admitted upon their own request and their agreement with the organisation's objectives, and shall pay yearly dues. Members shall determine the programmes of the organisation, and provide their own expertise. Members are expected to conform to the objectives of the organisation.
- Secretary-General. The secretary-general shall oversee the day-to-day operation of the organisation, execute programmes, and co-operate with the other officers and the finance committee. The secretary-general shall be entitled to remuniration if so decided by the officers and members present in Assembly.
- Adisors/Consultants : the officers may appoint advisers/consultants from among the members or outside the membership. These shall be responsible to the officers.
Article 5. Finances
Finances of the organisation shall be under control of a Finance Committee appointed by the Assembly. The secretary-general shall be member of the Committee. The Finance Committee shall report to the officers, and to the Assembly. The organisation, and especially the Finance Committee, shall seek funds for the organisation's operations including office administration, salaries, travel expenses of members and others, conferences and publications.
- Sources of Finance : the sources of finance shall be membership dues ; gifts from individuals ; grants from legally-constituted foundations ; grants from other organisations ; and grants from governments. The latter will be accepted only upon consultation with the officers, and only if the acceptance of such funds is seen to be in accordance with the objectives of the organisation outlined above.
- Financial Reports : reports of the Finance Committee shall be made yearly at the Assembly meeting and certified yearly by a professional auditor upon presentation to him of all the relevant documents. The Assembly shall have the power to accept, or refuse to accept, the financial reports.
Article 6. Seat of the Organisation
The seat of the organisation shall be in Switzerland. The organisation shall function under Articles 60-79 of the Swiss Civil Code (articles applicable to non-governmental, not profit organisations).
Article 7. Amendments to the Constitution
Amendments to the Constitution shall be made by majority vote in the Assembly.
Article 8. Dissolution of the Organisation
Dissolution of the organisation may occur upon a vote of a majority of its members present at an Assembly. In the case of dissolution, the possessions and funds of the organisation shall be, upon consultation with the members and officers and their agreement, and after all obligations are settled, given to another organisation with similar objectives.