The Most Venerable Yukei
Honorary President, G8 Religious Leaders Summit 2008
President, Japanese Buddhist Federation Patriarch, Koyasan Shingon-shu
Religious leaders from around the world will gather
in Japan for the G8 Religious Leaders Summit. The relationship
between humanity and the earth will be discussed, as will measures
for implementing solutions for the benefit of people in the 21st
As we harm our environment, as distrust and hate develops into
war, caused often merely by ethnic or religious differences, people
look to their religious leaders for effective solutions to the
issues they face in their everyday lives.
From ancient times the Japanese people have believed in the existence
of life in the mountains and rivers, trees and flowers, and have
revered that life in their traditional culture, as a divine presence.
Buddhism, which holds that the life of all creatures is of equal
value and advocates coexistence with all life-forms, took root
and spread throughout Japan many, many centuries ago.
I feel that in turning our minds to our religious traditions once
again, we should be able to develop plans which surmount ethnic
and religious differences and create an harmonious coexistence
with all religious persuasions on earth. It is my fervent wish
that the fruits of our discussions, that the decisions taken at
our conference, are submitted to the G8 Summit and communicated
The Most Venerable Juntoku Deguchi
President, G8 Religious Leaders Summit 2008
110th Chief Abbot, Washu Sohonzan Shitennoji Temple
@I would first like to express my heartfelt gratitude
to all of the leaders from throughout the world as well as Japan
who have come to participate in this, the G8 Religious Leaders
Summit 2008, as representatives of their respective faiths.
@The issues faced by humanity in the 21st
century ? not only global warming, but also ethnic strife, the
suppression of human
seemingly never-ending terror exchanges, poverty that robs people
even of the minimum opportunities for making a living, rampant
disease, the depletion of natural resources, widening economic
disparities ? are all so serious that failure to take appropriate
measures to resolve them will put our survival, and also that all
other forms of life in peril.
@Our erstwhile political and economic institutions
are no longer capable on their own of resolving these global
issues. We are at
a stage that calls for the pooling of all of the wisdom that humanity
can muster. As such, it is the turn of religious faith, held dear
in its many different guises throughout the world since ancient
times, to come to the fore as the essence of wisdom.
@The political leaders of the world will
gather in early July for the G8 Summit to be held at Toyako,
Hokkaido. I sincerely hope
that the fruits of the discussions conducted at this G8 Religious
Leaders Summit conference, with its theme gLiving with the Earth:
A Message from Religious Leadersh, will help those leaders to agree
on a course of action that will benefit all humanity and Planet
Samdech Norodom Sirivudh,
Supreme Privy Counselor to HM King of Cambodia
Former Deputy Prime Minister of Cambodia
Leaders of the G8 Summit,
First of all, I wish to cordially congratulate the Government and People
of Japan for hosting this yearfs G8 Summit in Japan at the time when
the world is confronting with a wide range of global challenges: global
warming, climate change, environmental degradation, natural disasters,
poverty, pandemic diseases, and food and energy security, among others.
However, what is crucially important is the fact that the G8 Summit Leaders
should kindly listen to the spiritual voices and consider the messages
and recommendations of the G8 Religious Summit Leaders, as they meet
this month in Japan. Given their moral strengths and spiritual influences
in their respective countries and regions as well as in the international
society, the spiritual and moral views of the G8 Religious Summit Leaders
are an important part of the global public opinion, which needs to be
reflected upon in the context of addressing the increasingly complex
and interdependent global issues and challenges. I believe that the G8
Religious Summit Leaders have a vital role to play and contribute to
the betterment of the world. We are today living in a shared and inseparable
world of humanity.
Therefore, I hope that the G8 Summit Leaders will pay close attention
to some of the following issues that the G8 Religious Summit Leaders
will deliberate on and recommend to the G8 Summit Leaders:
||How to effectively
tackle global warming, climate change and environmental
||What can the G8 countries
and the world do to cope with the rising prices of food
and energy that affecting negatively many hundred of millions
of peoples from around the world?
||How to continue addressing
the issue of poverty and realize the Millennium Development
Goals (MDGs), including the pandemic diseases, within the
||What measures that we can
undertake to make the world a better planet for all?greater
peace, security, development and more tolerance and greater
respect for diversity and inter-faiths dialogue?
||What can we do?both collectively
and individually?to address the deadly natural disasters?
In this regard, the whole world,
especially the G8 Religious Summit has called upon the G8 Summit
Leaders to use their knowledge, technology and resources to
help address those serious and daunting challenges that have
global and national repercussions.
The convening of the G8 Summit in Japan early next month provides an
excellent opportunity for the Leaders of those industrialized countries
to play a leadership role in the world during this time of turbulences
by seeking to address those challenging issues at present and in the
Former Archbishop of Canterbury
|My dear friends and
@I am so sorry that I am unable
to be with you but your hugely important gathering clashes
with a fixed date in my diary that I was unable to cancel.
However, I send you my warmest greetings through my very good
friend, Mr. Handa.
@As I've traveled throughout the world as Archbishop of Canterbury and
beyond, I've been struck by the commonness of our humanity and by all
that brings us together as people. In a world of too many divisions,
boundaries, and borders, we are united by love of our families and communities
and earnest desire to leave our world better for our children.
@As the world's leaders gather in Japan for their annual summit, I hope
and pray they will divine better ways of promoting peace, justice, and
equity in a world torn by war, and challenged by plagues of violence,
virulence, disease, and poverty. The world's religious leaders gathering
before and during the G8 meeting stand in support of governments even
as they work together to learn better ways of promoting inter-faith dialogue
and of working together towards common goals of a world free of poverty
In a world where environmental and security threats are omnipresent,
let us take these moments to commit to working together to overcome fear
and to work together to make the world a better and more just place for
With my warmest greetings and sincere good wishes
Eminence Dr. Ali Gomaa
The Grand Mufti of Egypt
| @The environmental
crisis is a global problem that demands our attention. Leaders
of faith-based communities have a special responsibility to educate
their followers about the moral imperative to protect the environment
of which we have been made stewards.
@The Almighty has bestowed upon us trust. The Islamic tradition teaches
that God presented this responsibility to the earth and the skies, to the
mountains and the seas, and it was only humanity that agreed to take it
upon itself. It is our duty now to live up to this responsibility, a responsibility
which is also an honor and a manifestation of the dignity of humankind.
Only by working to make the world a safer, cleaner, and more prosperous
habitat will be succeed in fulfilling this Divine mandate, From the Islamic
perspective, one of the five goals of religion is to protect life in every
form. The road ahead of us is long and hard and we must do everything in
our capacity to carry out this work. Let us hope that this gathering and
others like it will be a step towards achieving this goal.
@It is time that the leaders of the world religious traditions come together,
not just to a dialogue to develop an international constitution of coexistence
through which we can learn to live together peacefully in the world as
practitioners and believers of different faiths. Not only by doing this
can we curb extremist talk and actions. We must take a collective and unequivocal
stance against terrorism and killing innocent civilians. We must speak
out loud and clear against racism, anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or any other
form of discrimination.
@By starting here we will send a clear message to those who harbor evil
tendencies that they must fight the demons inside themselves and use the
moral strength of religion to help come out from the darkness and into
the light, It will be a call for the world to come to peace, and a first
step towards rights being returned to their proper owners, and for all
human beings to respect each other as fellow human beings.
President, Realizing Rights
President of the Republic of Ireland
| @Human Rights Belongs
at the Very Heart of your Deliberations.
@World religious leaders and G8 nation leaders meet in Japan at a momentous
moment, marking the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights. These gatherings thus offer a unique chance to realize
these rights and, by that means, our shared goals of peace and social justice.
@Our ideals for human rights, so often affirmed by world leaders, are noble.
Sadly, however, they are far from reality for billions of the worldfs citizens.
These face the insecurity and indignity of war, violence, and poverty,
and even, in this prosperous 21st century, hunger, death from preventable
disease, and threats to the natural world that nourishes us and affords
us beauty and inspiration.
@Of all issues before you, I hope you will keep women constantly at the
forefront, looking to each proposed measure through a lens that asks how
it will improve the lives of the poorest women, far distant from the centers
of power. You can act to make rights for young girls everywhere as natural
as the rising and setting of the sun and truly improve their lives.
@And as you deliberate on the challenges of looming climate change, the
rights of the poor to fairness, equity, and a chance at a life with dignity
belong at the very center.
@ I believe deeply that the best times for human kind lie before us. You
can advance this shared dream by realizing rights.