AVSI Foundation participated in the symposium “Advancing and Defending International Religious Freedom Through Diplomacy” organized by the U.S. Embassy to the Holy See in partnership with the Secretariat of State of the Holy See, on Wednesday, September 30, in Vatican City. Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, and Mike Pompeo, U.S. Secretary of State, spoke at the event, which was hosted by Callista Gingrich, U.S. Ambassador to the Holy See.
The symposium was divided into two panels: “Diplomatic Tools for Identifying Areas of Concern where Religious Freedom is Threatened” and “Diplomacy and International Cooperation.” Giampaolo Silvestri, AVSI Foundation Secretary General, participated in the second panel alongside Samuel Brownback, U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, and Monsignor Khaled Akasheh, Bureau Chief for Islam with the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue.
After a short introduction about AVSI’s background, mission, and method, Silvestri reflected on the relationship between development cooperation and religious freedom through experiences in Kenya, Syria, and Iraq.