Religious leaders gathered at the United Nations (UN) to launch the plan of action to prevent incitement to violence that could lead to atrocity crimes in the ECOSOC chambers. The event was organized by the United Nations Office on Genocide Prevention and Responsibility to Protect in association with the KAICIID.

The event was inaugurated by Secretary General of the United Nations António Guterres, Under Secretary General, Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide Adama Dieng and Secretary General of the KAICIID Dialogue Centre Faisal Bin Muammer. Sadhvi Bhagawati Saraswatiiji, Secretary-General Global Interfaith WASH Alliance, was an honorable speaker on the valedictory panel on the implementation of the plan of action and the way forward. Sadhvi Bhagawatiji greeted the Honorable Secretary General Guterres and honoured him with a sacred elachi (cardamom) mala, saying that his leadership and vision was truly bringing the fragrance of oneness to the United Nations and the world, and cited his great, green leadership. He was also invited by Sadhviji to Parmarth Niketan (Rishikesh) next time he visited India.

Sadhviji shared briefly about the work that the Global Interfaith WASH Alliance (GIWA) is engaged by bringing the world’s leaders together to improve water, sanitation and hygiene. She also spoke about the many other inspired initiatives for environmental preservation, education, healthcare, women empowerment plus the work towards many of the sustainable development goals.

In her inspiring address, Sadhvi Bhagawatiji shared, “84% of the world subscribes to a religion. So as faith leaders we must harness and channel this great power of faith to prevent more violence. Hate speech, violence and atrocity crimes are rooted in the illusion of separation, us versus them and dehumanization of the other. The foundation of spirituality is oneness and an appreciation of the sacred humanity of all. It is said that faith can move mountains. We need to use our power as faith leaders to move the minds, hearts, words and actions of our communities. We have found that one of the best ways to address sectarianism and violence between communities is to bring faith leaders and faith communities of different religions together to work against a common enemy, i.e. poverty, lack of WASH, etc, and this is exactly what GIWA is doing.”

The Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Dr. Amina Mohammad, addressed the conference and personally thanked the religious leaders for their dedication and the commitment to this vital task. Sadhviji met with her and deeply appreciated her leadership, and also warmly invited her to come home to Rishikesh.