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The World Jewish Congress and the Muslim World League issued a joint statement today before the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva, pledging an interfaith commitment to promoting and protecting human rights for all.

The unprecedented declaration lays the foundation groundwork for concrete meaningful cooperation on these critical issues and marks the first time such a coordinated statement has been presented by Jewish and Muslim representative groups before a U.N. body.

Leon Saltiel, WJC representative to the U.N. in Geneva, delivered the following joint remarks during the session’s general debate:

“I am honored to make this statement on behalf of the Muslim World League and the World Jewish Congress, organizations that represent a wide majority of people of the Muslim and Jewish faith.

“We come together in the spirit of peace, tolerance and respect for human rights. We believe that all human beings are given the same freedoms and rights by the Creator, are destined to live in liberty, prosperity and equality, free from conflict, oppression or harassment. We share a commitment to promote and protect human rights for all.

“Our two organizations have already commenced a multifaceted cooperation, such as a joint Ramadan celebration we co-organized in April 2021 that featured community and religious leaders from both faiths from all around the world. We intend to continue, strengthen and expand these links with further joint activities, visits and exchanges.

“We also reiterate the importance of safeguarding freedom of religion or belief around the globe as well as the right of every individual to practice one’s religion without restrictions of any kind, as a basic human right.

“Humanity is facing many challenges, from poverty to climate change, from conflict and terrorism to displacement and migration. Enabling dialogue among individuals holding different religions or beliefs can help us move toward an international consensus [on] these important issues, remove barriers and foster understanding. Our common humanity commands us to do no less.”