Karen Armstrong & Ethiopian Red Cross Society appointed Goodwill Ambassador of the Golden Rule

9 April 2010

Karen Armstrong & Ethiopian Red Cross Society appointed Goodwill Ambassador of the Golden Rule Interfaith Peace-building Initiative (United Religions Initiative member in Ethiopia) in partnership with The Golden Rule Cooperation Circle  and United Religions Initiative of Africa Region appointed the noted religion scholar Karen Armstrong & Ethiopian Red Cross Society (ERCS) as Goodwill Ambassador of the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule Peace Medal, Trophy, The Golden Rule Poster and Certificate of the appointment of Goodwill Ambassador of Golden Rule were presented to ERCS by Board Members of IPI on the occasion of the celeberation of the Golden Rule Day. On the occasion of the handing over ceremony of the award Ambassador Mussie Hailu, Board Chairman of IPI & Representative of United Religions Initiative to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa said "Ethiopian Red Cross is appointed as Goodwill Ambassador of the Golden Rule in recognition of outstanding contribution in giving humanitarian service and working tireless to prevent and alleviate human suffering and contribute to the well being of mankind and prevalence of peace in Ethiopia since its establishment in 1935 based on its fundamental principle which resonate with the teaching of the Golden Rule which says "Treat others the way you want to be treated". After receiving the award Mr. Dawit Tagenu, President of ERCS said "Ethiopian Red Cross Society is so happy to receive this distinguished Award and honored to be appointed as Goodwill Ambassador of the Golden Rule. On behalf of all staff, volunteers and members of the Society I want to thank Interfaith Peace-building Initiative for the great honor bestowed upon our Society and I take this opportunity to acknowledge the effort of IPI for peace to prevail and the Golden Rule to be the principle of our world. The society is going to work closely with IPI to promote a culture of peace and the teaching of the Golden Rule" The other person who is appointed as Goodwill Ambassador of the Golden Rule is Karen Armstrong, one of the most provocative, original thinkers on the role of religion in the modern world and promoter of Compassion and the Golden Rule throughout the world. Ambassador Mussie said” Karen Armstrong is appointed as Goodwill Ambassador of the Golden Rule in acknowledgment of her meritorious work and tireless effort in writing numerous book on comparative religion and emphasizing on the important of Golden Rule and for setting the example to the world by being instrument for the establishment of a Charter for Compassion which would identify shared moral priorities in order to foster global understanding in the spirit of the Golden Rule. She is truly Ambassador of the Golden Rule and Compassion” In accepting the appointment as Goodwill Ambassador of the Golden Rule Karen Armstrong said “This is a great honour and I accept humbly with enormous gratitude. We need to interpret the Golden Rule globally, creating a climate of opinion where it becomes absolutely unacceptable to treat other peoples, other races, other nations, other faiths as we would not wish to be treated ourselves. If we do not achieve this, we are unlikely to have a viable world to hand on to the next generation. We need urgently to make the compassionate voice of religion and of all morality sing out loud and clear in our dangerously polarized world in order to challenge the voices of hatred, exclusion, chauvinism and extremism. The creation of Golden Rule Day is a major contribution to this imperative and I thank IPI and URI for this great work “ Karen Armstrong is a British author of numerous works on comparative religion, who first rose to prominence in 1993 with her highly successful A History of God. A former Catholic nun, she asserts that, "All the great traditions are saying the same thing in much the same way, despite their surface differences." They each have in common, she says, an emphasis on the transcendent importance of compassion, as epitomized in the so-called Golden Rule: Do not do to others what you would not have done to you. On being awarded the TED Prize in February 2008, Armstrong called for a council of Christian, Muslim, and Jewish leaders to draw up a Charter for Compassion which would identify shared moral priorities in order to foster global understanding in the spirit of the Golden Rule. The Charter was unveiled in Washington, D.C., in November 2009. Its signatories include Prince Hassan of Jordan, the Dalai Lama, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, and Sir Richard Branson Addressing as why Golden Rule matter to bring peace and harmony in the world Ambassador Mussie said, “The Golden Rule is found in numerous cultures, religions, ethical systems, secular philosophies, and indigenous traditions. And because the Golden Rule crosses so many traditions and philosophies, it possesses tremendous moral authority and reveals a profound unity underlying the diversity of human experience. It is a common denominator of all life on Earth. The Golden Rule also emphasizes values of mutuality, interdependence and reciprocity. Given its omnipresence across history, the Golden Rule could be described as a universal ethical principle. Therefore if we truly want to open a new chapter in human history and see a new world based on a culture of peace and social justice, I believe it is high time to promote the Golden Rule throughout the world as it is a fundamental principle that addresses critical issues such as democracy, human rights, respect for each other, gender equity, social development, interfaith harmony, constructive dialogue among nations, conflict prevention and right human relationship.   By acting wisely, effectively and collectively under the Golden Rule we can create a more peaceful, ethical and better world for all." He further said “With this core values in mind, in 2007 the Interfaith Peace-building Initiative of Ethiopia declared April 5 as a "Golden Rule Day" and called upon all citizens of the world, religious leaders of the world, mayors, heads of state of the world, the United Nations, the African Union, the European Union, the League of Arab States, interfaith organizations, schools, higher learning institutions, the business community and civil society to join IPI in proclaiming this day as Golden Rule Day and to live accordingly to make this world a better place for all and the coming generation. In addition to this IPI also started a Golden Rule Goodwill Ambassador programme to highlight more the need of Golden Rule to promote a culture of peace, interfaith harmony and Global Ethic." The Interfaith Peace-building Initiative is a member of the United Religions Initiative (international Peace organization with Consultative Status at the United Nations) whose purpose is to promote enduring, daily interfaith cooperation, to end religiously motivated violence, and to create cultures of peace, justice and healing for the Earth and all living beings.  May Peace Prevail on Earth