IIC Newsletter 15: June 2001
From Conflict to Trust

Report of the IIC / WCF conference from 16-18 March 2001 at Harris Manchester College, Oxford.

From Conflict to Trust: Interfaith Experiences and Possibilities began movingly with two young people, Ghada Issa, a Palestinian Muslim from Hope Flowers School in Bethlehem, and Dotan Arad, an Israeli Jew and Yeshiva student from Jerusalem, standing together to offer prayers for peace.

The next morning Ghada and Dotan, joined with Vladimir Mandic, a student from Serbia, and Ines Babic, a young teacher from Croatia, to share their experiences of trying to move from conflict to trust. Peter Brinkman from the Peace Council questioned them and found that “they left us with a new and arresting understanding that peace is a process – not a search for a quick or easy solution. Conflict erodes and destroys trust at every level. To restore it requires a painstaking and patient commitment that will endure all the by-products of conflict – fear, anger, resentment, and unresolved pain and suffering.”

Vladimir told us he had been studying in Kosovo when the NATO bombing started and had to return to his town in Serbia on the border with Kosovo which was then also bombed by NATO. He reminded us how grateful we should feel to live in a safe area without the frightening sound of explosions around us and without the economic distress caused by the resulting destruction. He told us how Serbs and Croats share a common language but need visas to cross each other’s borders. Vladimir felt that the roots of conflict were not connected to religion – Serbia had been communist – and that religious communities should show their commitment to peace-making as all religions teach not to kill.

Ines took this one step further by stating that it was time for those who were witnesses to the conflict rather than participants to come forward and do something. With others she had formed groups for all ages to begin to reflect together on ways forward and the rebuilding of relationships. This takes time and it’s too early to expect peace and inter-religious dialogue to be part of this healing. You cannot expect children born in the traumatised and impoverished refugee camps to look positively at the ‘other’ until these conditions have been addressed. If they want to go home they have to be able to co-exist and then the process towards seeing the ‘other’ as human again can begin. This requires both intrafaith and interfaith development. “The former takes me back to my tradition and uncovers the important components and content of my own faith as a basis to work from. The latter tackles some issues within the wider community, highlights the diversity but also reminds of the common ground – a great start on the long way from conflict to trust.” Interfaith alone does not help where religious identity and nationality are inter-linked. It is first essential to see one’s own religion and religious practice in a new way.

Dotan also pointed out that although he and Ghada live 20kms apart they cannot cross the border to meet. They had to meet in Oxford. Dotan had met a Sufi in the Ghaza Strip who had made a deep impression, allowing him to see the ‘face of God’ in the ‘enemy’. When this happens you have to adapt your view of the ‘other’ and, unlike many Israelis, Dotan had chosen interfaith as an option for peace, a way to learn to live together. A religious person is often perceived as fanatical – this stigma has to dissolve. Religious power should be used to build peace and to establish religious rather than secular authority in the disputed holy places. A religious person is patient, working with God for long-term solutions rather than short-term fixes, and all the conflict partners in the Middle East believe in God. Dotan acknowledged the Israeli side as stronger with concomitant responsibilities but argued that weakness is not always the same as truth and that Palestinians also need to understand that Jews have suffered, in the past when stateless, and now in Israel. People from his home area had been killed and his mother worries if his father will come home at night. For Jews, Israel was their country long ago and is the only ‘safe’ place in the world. Like Palestinians, they need a secure place. Being blown up at bus stops leads Israelis to see all Palestinians as terrorists. There is a need to find ways for Palestinian and Israeli children to meet together, for sport for instance, to help humanise the ‘other’. Dotan thinks that “inter-religious dialogue could build bridges between people where there is disagreement at political level. Both sides are religious or give respect to religion so it could be a key to dialogue. I pray that wisdom will win the emotions and we, the two nations, will learn to live together, peacefully, in our little holy land.”

Ghada felt that two peoples or two religious communities sharing the land is not the problem if equal respect is shown for each other’s rights. Forcing people into refugee camps by taking or destroying their homes is not evidence of respect. Ghada works with Muslim and Christian Palestinian children teaching peace and democracy programmes but it is hard to convince children to love the ‘other’ when they have spent the night in air-raid shelters, live under occupation in severe conditions, have poor employment and economic prospects, live in a state separated from its various parts by checkpoints and concrete roadblocks, and who have had fathers and brothers killed. Equal rights have to become a reality in order to move forward from conflict to trust. Hope Flowers School tries to offer new views to replace old aggressions, using sport, agriculture, science and handicrafts to bring Palestinian children into joint programmes with Israeli children. The school also brings together rabbis and imams and priests for interfaith dialogue and to teach that to the children.

As Peter reflected, these young people “left no doubt as to their courage, insight and commitment to peace. Interfaith experiences and possibilities, all agreed, provide a core of hope. The caveat, however, also came across loudly and clearly: work in the trenches of conflict is intensely personal and relational and requires an interfaith commitment to work shoulder to shoulder on the ground.”

Religious Relationships Other interfaith models to build trust were also explored during the conference. Hal French chaired a session which gave all present the opportunity to talk about the work they are doing to help build bridges from conflict to trust, and representatives from 14 international interfaith organisations gave presentations on their activities.

Prof Huston Smith, renowned author on world religions, told of how his personal faith journey had developed through ‘listening’ rather than dialogue. The latter can confuse or diminish the values of others who seemingly hold undialogical perspectives. He quoted that “liberals do not understand the wholeness that having an absolute and a certainty that is cherished within can introduce into human life.” By listening and learning, Huston had been powerfully affected by aspects of the different traditions he encountered. He felt that religious differences were rarely the cause for conflicts which were more often rooted in ethnic difference, land dispute, and the history of the struggles between them. We have “to stop driving into the future looking into the rear mirror of memories of desperate acts perpetrated by one group against another.” As Mandela said, there is “no future without forgiveness.” Huston felt that just coming together, getting to know one another as human beings, rather than exchanging beliefs, is an alternative to interfaith dialogue.

Mary Race and Ebrahim Patel, two young US scholars in Oxford, also addressed the theme of the current state of religious relationships. Mary, from the Bible Belt, became interested in interfaith because she was frightened by the aggressive ‘Crusade for Christ’ religious style that dominated her campus and home town cultures. She was particularly concerned by the connection between these religious crusaders and right wing politics and the subsequent identification of politics with a particular Christian God. Interfaith has a role in promoting and protecting religiously neutral governments that can be staunch supporters of religious diversity, equality and freedom. This, in turn, will create safe spaces for religious dialogue to occur. Ebrahim, director of Interfaith Youth Core, had found that in religiously diverse India, even though people openly followed their religious practice, they were not willing to talk about it. When dialogue is not possible, new and creative ways are needed to lead to social and personal transformation. Service is one key and Eboo gave several examples where working together had maintained social stability and prevented violence in tense situations. “Love comes from Allah and returns to Allah in service to humans.”

Mission: threat or promise? The situation in India, with regard to the challenges of mission for interfaith dialogue, were explored by Dr Bhupendra Modi, Hindu, and Dr Israel Selvananyagam, Christian. Israel emphasised that mission was integral to Christianity but that it also contained the possibility of working with other faiths for justice and peace. In India this might mean “interfaith mission to bring communal harmony, to abolish untouchability and alleviate poverty.” This does not mean the diminishing of fundamental differences or the loss of any fundamental right to primary mission. The absolutes of each tradition must be acknowledged for there to be effective engagement with each other. Bhupendra argued that conversion should never be the hidden agenda of aid and education programmes. The charitable work of one religion inside a country like India should be done “in collaboration with other religious bodies…which would remove the doubt that charity is used for propogating a particular religion. In this millennium we should look for collaboration between religions to create a one world family.” For this understanding, we need to be able to see what is happening inside one tradition from its own perspective rather than just from the outside. The choice of religion is a right. Using religion as a tool only for conversion abuses that right. Religious people should work together, to promote the values of religions and uplift the poor and needy not to convert them.

Inner and Outer Dialogue Prof Harold Kasimow from the USA, and Ven Uttara, from Burma (now living in the UK), discussed many different topics in the newly emerging Jewish-Buddhist dialogue. Harold told how this dialogue had been stimulated by the Dalai Lama’s interest in learning from Jewish experiences of exile. Harold also told a story which emphasises the importance of this new, indeed all, interfaith dialogue. A rabbi dreamed of treasure far from home. When he travelled to the treasure site, he met someone who had had a similar dream of treasure to be found in the rabbi’s home. Returning home, he discovered the treasure there in his own house. Before he knew where to look for it though, he had to travel to another place and then return again. Such an interfaith journey builds trust. Turning to conflicts, Ven Uttara, (who also led a Loving Kindness meditation during the conference), explained that the Buddhist key to ending the suffering caused by all conflicts was not to try to understand them but to practice right thinking, which leads to right action, effort and concentration, and then, from the resulting purified state and clear mind, serve all living creatures.

Myra Laramie, a Cree Elder from Canada, sharing the wisdom of her people, also emphasised the connection between inner and outer being in the movement from conflict to trust. She told of her own pilgrimage through India and Canada with women from other traditions and the deep impact this journeying together had made on them all. She also asked all of us present what legacy from our spiritual journies would we like to pass on to our grandchildren.

Transformation or transition? An academic grounding in ‘deep dialogue’ was shared by Professors Leonard Swidler and Ashok Gangadean from the Global Dialogue Institute. They moved through the seven stages of deep dialogue that they have identified: the self as self seeing the other; the self transformed through empathy; the self transformed into the other; the self returning home with new knowledge; the self inwardly transformed; a maturity of the self in relation to self, others and the world; and the self living and acting in a new global dialogical consciousness: a movement involving radical paradigm shifts “ingrained in the culture of evolution itself.”

Dr Tinu Ruparell of Liverpool Hope University College, responding to the same theme, The Rationale and Necessity of Dialogue, offered his view of inter-stitial theology as a more accurate reflection of religious identity today where many people are grounded in more than one religious tradition or identity. He wondered if it was possible through deep dialogue to become the other while authentically remaining oneself. Inter-stitial theology “illustrates the hermeneutic spiral undergone when moving between religious traditions but not becoming the other.” Ashok felt that dialogue was not a means to an end but becoming fully inter-relational dialogical beings was a sacred act which fulfils the scriptures and is the heart of spirituality.

The summing up, led by Ashok and Len, was a process calling on the collective wisdom and responses of all gathered, over 100 people from 15 countries and as many religious and spiritual traditions. It was felt that there was a need to develop a common language, an ‘ecumenical esperanto’ free from the blockages of particular religious languages, which also becomes a ‘common embodied language’ through our service to others. Inter-religious dialogue is “deep and old, intrinsic to the evolution of our faiths”, and the “profound logos, infinite word” or whatever it is called in each of our traditions, is where we meet, our common ground. Here is where we can deal with our hurts and conflicts and move forward, singly and collectively, to trust. This is both our interfaith experience and our possibility.

IIC thanks all those who contributed in various ways to this conference, particularly volunteers, World Congress of Faiths, Spalding and Inlight Trusts, United Church of Canada, and the Liverpool Hope University College.

Written by: Sandy Bharat

Introduction to Interfaith

A course of 8 meetings at Mansfield College, Oxford from 18th January to 8th March 2001

I moved to Oxford in August 2000 knowing nothing at all about interfaith or indeed any kind of multi-faith activity. My own spiritual path had been erratic and confused, to put it mildly. I began life as one of two Protestants in a Catholic convent (the other one was my sister!). I was confirmed into the Church of England at the advanced age of 35, followed a Japanese school of Buddhism from the age of 41 to 44, and only recently found the perfect route, for me, in a Christian/Hindu tradition based on the teachings of an Indian Yogi. But out of this meandering journey came a realization that the diversity of religion is a clear and moving expression of the diversity of humanity (i.e. us), and that there is something poignant and extraordinary about the many different ways in which our seeking spirit expresses itself.

I was, therefore, amazed and delighted to discover the International Interfaith Centre in Oxford and to enroll on their Introductory Course in January. It was a wonderful introduction to a vast subject, and the speakers were all, in their different ways, completely compelling. I can honestly say that I didn’t feel like dropping off once, and that was despite the unexpected warmth and cosiness of the Tower Room at Mansfield College.

The Course kicked off with a lucid description by Marcus Braybrooke of the history of interfaith activity, and a broad outline of the issues that need to be addressed in order to bring people of different faiths together:

-Removing ignorance and false information

-Dispelling prejudice

-Re-thinking theology

-Identifying shared moral values

-Celebrating diversity

-Taking common action for peace and the environment

-Discussing global theology

His co-speaker, Deepak Naik, had a different but equally inspiring perspective. ‘Be prepared to change’, he said, ‘when you become involved in interfaith work’. Expanding on Jaques Delors’ statement that ‘Europe needs a soul’, he explained how his organisation, Minorities of Europe, can give a vital voice to young people in the creation of a cohesive and harmonious Europe. ‘If you have a vision,’ he said, ‘Go for it!’ Suddenly we weren’t just attending a course, but being asked to consider our own position: Why were we there? Did we want to participate? What could we contribute?

Week Two introduced us to Brian Pearce of the Interfaith Network UK that was set up in 1987 to promote good relations between the faith communities of this country. One point, in particular, in the Interfaith Networks’s code of conduct struck me deeply:

‘Recognizing that all of us at times fall short of the ideals of our own traditions and never comparing our own ideals with other people’s practices.’

Oops! How often, I reflected ruefully, had I done just that. His co-speaker, Penny Faust of the Council of Christians and Jews, described how her experience of growing up as a Jew in a Church of England boarding school opened her eyes to the gulf of understanding between Christians and Jews. Christians, she said, can perceive Judaism as a static religion that has not moved on since the Bible was written; Jews see Christianity as something that knocks Judaism. In Christian/Jewish dialogue, as in all interfaith dialogue, she said ‘You don’t always hear what people are saying; you hear what you think they are saying, or what you are predisposed to hear…’ She added movingly, ‘You have to be very humble about what you think you know.’

Weeks three, four and five covered Interfaith and Global Issues from a variety of different points of view. Wendy Tyndale, of the World Faiths Development Dialogue, gave a fascinating overview of the effects of a global economy based on free market systems. The statistics spoke, horrifyingly, for themselves: 1.3 billion people (1 in 5) survive on less than $1 a day; 850 million people will go to bed hungry tonight; developing countries lose 700 million dollars a year due to trade restrictions. There were many more indications that the current system is, at best, struggling and, at worst, failing.

We are faced with two choices, she said: to continue along this road, trying to make improvements; or to change to a system that ‘puts people before profits’. She made two stunning, unambiguous statements that bowled me over: ‘Competition and compassion are incompatible’ and ‘Development means peace’.

As if that wasn’t enough, we then heard Shahin Bekhradnia, of the World Congress of Faiths, talk about Zoroastrianism and ecology. This 3,500 year old religion contains every aspect of ecological thinking that we now need so urgently to save our threatened planet. ‘We are stewards of this earth’, the teachings say, ‘we must behave responsibly. We must keep the earth clean and uncontaminated.’ ‘This’, she said, ‘is a green and prescient religion.’

A week later, Peggy Morgan of the Religious Experience Research Centre, introduced us to the Global Ethic. In the Declaration Toward a Global Ethic launched in 1993 by Hans Kung, we read: ‘We affirm that a common set of core values is found in the teachings of the religions and that these form the basis of a global ethic.’

Jehangir Sarosh, of the World Conference on Religion and Peace, explained the background to the WCRP. In 1970, religious leaders got together and confessed that religions have been an instrument used by divisive forces to promote violence. Just as they have been a part of world division, they now want to be instrumental in moving towards world peace. Each individual religion has not brought about peace, but perhaps religious co-operation can.

This section of the course on Global Issues finished with a talk by Asad Rehman of Amnesty UK who explained that the Human Rights community has always found religion the most difficult subject to discuss, and yet there is no country in the world which has no issue about religious freedom. He also made a statement that went right to my heart. Partly quoting Karl Marx, he said, ‘religion is the opium of the masses’ and, he added, ‘the sigh of the oppressed.’

His co-speaker was Saunaka Rishi das, an Irish Hindu priest of the Hare Krishna movement, who talked about his work in Northern Ireland. ‘As soon as we have fixed on one way as the only way, our consciousness has stopped developing’, he said in another breath-taking outburst of wisdom.

The following week, we heard about Interfaith youth movements from Ebrahim Patel and Ramola Sundram. Ebrahim described the work of the Interfaith Youth Core that brings young people of different faiths together in community projects. We are, he said, ‘nurturing a new generation of compassionate global leaders.’ Ramola, of the International Association for Religious Freedom, described how young people of different faiths coming together to talk about religion, not politics, often experience an instant change of mind and heart.

Week seven brought us David Cheetham of the University of Birmingham who explained the different currents of academic thought that are influencing interfaith religious study, and Rabbi Norman Solomon who described what Judaism really teaches, and how it can contribute to interfaith understanding.

The course concluded with some personal accounts by Sister Maureen of the Brahma Kumaris, Barney Leith, a Bahai, Paul Trafford, a Buddhist, and Ranvir Singh, a Sikh, of their particular reasons for becoming involved in interfaith, and an opportunity for us, the audience, to consider our own motivations.

So, at the end of it all, what were we left with? Speaking for myself, I was struck by the quality and spirituality of the people who addressed us. They spoke from the heart and this made them different. As speakers, they were impressive; as people, they were inspiring.

Thank you IIC, for organizing such a splendid course. And yes, Deepak, I think we were, in the audience, changed a bit by participating in it!

Written by: Joanna Jeczalik

Interfaith Marriage

Where statistics are available they confirm it: mixed faith marriages are happening in ever-greater numbers in most western countries. The fact is a challenge to religious establishments and faith communities. Often it is treated by them and by the media as something akin to secularization, leading either to one or both of the couple’s departure from the religious community altogether or to a home-made syncretism that it is feared dilutes the distinct identity and truth of each faith, a kind of ultimate privatization of religion. There may be an unholy tussle for souls between the faiths involved. Is it expected to seek the conversion of a partner? Who gets the children? These are uncomfortable topics in terms of maintaining the delicate balance between faiths and are hardly conducive to the well-being of the marriage itself. Meanwhile the couples are finding out for themselves, often in loneliness and isolation from faith communities and sometimes from extended families as well.

Two recent initiatives in the UK aim to support people in inter-faith marriages by focusing on the issue from the perspective of couples and families themselves and helping to alleviate their isolation. One will provide information, resources and emotional and spiritual support for couples in all kinds of faith combinations. The other is a group for muslim-christian couples specifically which organizes meetings and befriending support. Both are self-help initiatives set up by people who are in mixed faith marriages and both lay stress on the value of contact with sympathetic others who have similar experiences. Like the interfaith movement, marriage support of this kind has a culture of listening and acceptance. Like interfaith dialogue, it is based on the language of respect, sensitivity and tolerance, for whilst interfaith marriages have much in common, each is also unique with a particular combination of issues, sensitivities and accommodations to be made.

The fact that a wider interfaith movement exists is crucial for the work of groups like these and for interfaith marriages in general because it provides a context of faiths cooperating and making a sincere attempt to communicate with each other. What happens on the wider world and community stage inevitably affects the personal, and the knowledge that there are people of goodwill out there, struggling with the same issues and to some extent straddling the same divide, is immensely supportive.

Nevertheless, on a personal level it is almost inevitable that there should be conflict as part of an interfaith marriage at some stage because what we are engaged in is not merely dialogue bound by rules of politeness and tolerance but our own lives. The discipline of accepting our partner’s difference to the extent of being changed ourselves is a real one. This may be on a spiritual level or it may be practical and humdrum, as simple as what we eat or how we speak, let alone how we raise our children. Love makes us start and continue, it does not make change and compromise easy. Of great help is the kind of external support that values our private attempts to reach accommodation between two world-views in the very practical form of a marriage that works; and which treats them not as aberration or error but even perhaps as part of a universal and worthwhile effort to reach a fuller grasp of the truth, to belong to more of the world than we started with.

For further information on these and other initiatives in the area of interfaith marriage, contact me (see below), www.mcmarriage.org.uk (muslim-christian marriages) and rabirtwistle@waitrose.com (interfaith marriages)

Written by Heather Al-Yousuf heather@al-yousuf.freeserve.co.uk

Life After Death

On the 24th May, the International Interfaith Centre collaborated with the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education to present a one-day seminar examining the issue of life after death.

The day opened with talks by Marianne Rankin (Alister Hardy Society) and Peggy Morgan (Religious Experience Research Centre). Marianne Rankin explained how the desire to engage in ‘scientific theology’ had led Alister Hardy, a respected marine biologist, to set up a Religious Experience Research Unit at Manchester College, Oxford, in 1969. This Unit systematically collected the reports of people who felt that they had undergone a spiritual experience of one kind or another, amassing and classifying them in a large archive that is now housed at Lampeter. The two speakers commented that the religious experiences contained within this archive appeared to occur indiscriminately amongst people of all religious traditions and people of none. They also noted the ordinariness of the contexts in which they occurred, arguing that they needed to be re-evaluated as experiences undergone by ‘ordinary people’ as well as by mystics and saints.

One of the most arresting types of experience proved to be the Near Death Experience (NDE). People reported their sense of having left their body and of looking down on it. They then described a journey through a long tunnel from which they eventually emerged into the light. Having been met by a radiant being, as well as by previously deceased friends and family members, they were encouraged to undergo a review of their past life, often painful or uncomfortable, in which they were made to face up to the consequences of all their actions and intentions. From this perspective, the wrench back into life was felt as immensely undesirable, although it subsequently precipitated radically new ways of thinking about life. Both speakers suggested that NDEs could help make sense of life and death, as well as enhancing spiritual belief.

These talks were followed by a probing series of interviews in which Richard Harries, Bishop of Oxford, asked Rabbi Norman Solomon (Oxford Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies), Dr Yahya Michot (Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies) and Shaunaka Rishi das (Oxford Centre for Vaishnava and Hindu Studies) to explain the view of the afterlife held within their respective faith traditions. Norman Solomon emphasized the range of views accommodated within Judaism, from the literalist belief in the resurrection of the body, to more philosophical evaluations, positing a life of the spirit lived with God outside time and space. Yahya Michot conceded that a very similar range of views could be found within Islam, but stressed the dominance of the literalist position. Most Muslims see resurrection as a bodily phenomenon, and hold that believers resurrected into paradise can expect to retain the use of their senses, and to experience bodily pleasures. Shaunaka Rishi das took a very different line. In Hindu tradition, body and soul remain sharply divided, but whereas the body is doomed to death, being nothing other than a machine or vehicle that the soul inhabits for a little time, the soul remains undying, advancing through a number of bodies on its quest for maturation which is finally accomplished in a spiritual realm beyond the reach of the senses.

The afternoon was taken up with points of information and questions from the floor, including reflections on spiritual development after this life, the relationship with the Divine, and the weight given by the traditions to the evidence accumulated by the Alister Hardy Society and the Religious Experience Research Centre.

To conclude, the seminar provided the investigative analysis of tradition and experience that the day required. However, its most memorable aspect was less easy to commit to paper. Something more complex than the sense of satisfaction that accompanied moments of understanding or compatibility between the different faiths, it was rather a sense of spirituality having been preferred to dogma, of transcendence to systematics, of a sense in which panel members and audience alike were prepared to be unusually open about the role of the supra-rational in the collective quest to apprehend the nature of life after death.

Written by Christiania Whitehead

A Meeting in Oxford

The IIC invited representatives from international interfaith organisations to meet in Oxford from 18-20 March to discuss enhanced communications and cooperation. Many also took part in the preceding IIC/WCF conference.

Organisations represented were: Council for a Parliament of the World’s Religions (with the Millennium Institute), Interfaith Youth Core, International Association for Religious Freedom, International Interfaith Centre, Millennium Peace Summit for Religious and Spiritual Leaders, Minorities of Europe, Peace Council, Temple of Understanding, United Religions Initiative, World Conference on Religion and Peace, World Fellowship of Inter-Religious Councils, World Congress of Faiths, World Faiths Development Dialogue, and the United Nations Spiritual Forum for World Peace Initiative. Facilitators were also present from Soul for Europe, the Alliance for a Responsible, Plural and United World, Interfaith Network of the UK, and the World Interfaith Congress.

The Meeting opened on Sunday evening with delegates introducing themselves and their organisations. Three major areas were explored and extensively debated on Monday:

– interfaith activity and the role of our international organisations at local, national and regional level;

– the interest in and contribution to the development of religious and spiritual voices at the United Nations and other inter-governmental bodies;

– the significance of youth initiatives for the interfaith movement.

On Tuesday morning 2 open space workshops were offered: one a presentation of the Global Engagement Network being developed by CPWR with the Millennium Institute, to which all organisations are invited in full partnership; the other focused on the Temple of Understanding’s education project in India in Jan ‘02. The closing session on Tuesday morning identified agreement on the following aspects:

-we have the beginnings of a network which the IIC will co-ordinate;

-we will produce a leaflet featuring all of the participating organisations;

-we will work towards a common calendar.

-the conversation should be continued in Budapest in August 2002, immediately after the IARF Congress there