Highlights of ICCS
Summary of Keynotes
- Sessions on Thursday, 20 June
- Perspectives on Cohesive Societies – Special Presentation
- Plenary 1 – What We Believe (Faith)
- Plenary 2 – Who We Are (Identity)
- Sessions on Friday, 21 June
- Plenary 3 – How We Come Together (Cohesion)
- Breakout Sessions on Faith, Identity and Cohesion
- Closing Remarks and Dialogue with Mr Heng Swee Keat, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance
Perspectives on Cohesive Societies – Special Presentation
Plenary 1 – What We Believe (Faith)
- Ms Karen Armstrong OBE; FRSL
Historian of World Religion
- Bishop Miguel Ángel Ayuso Guixot
President, Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue
- Dr Veena Howard
Associate Professor, Asian Religious Traditions and Coordinator of Peace and Conflict Studies Program, California State University, Fresno
- Dr Nazirudin Mohd Nasir
Deputy Mufti, Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (MUIS)
- Venerable Guo Huei
Abbot-President, Dharma Drum Mountain
- Dr Farish A. Noor
Associate Professor, S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies
This plenary focuses on the role of faith in inter-religious relations. Specifically, within the context of a global society with diverse religious beliefs, it examines how:
- positive inter-religious relations are expressed in religious doctrine, traditions, and practices;
- religious doctrine and practices influence the way faith communities relate to one another in a multi-cultural, multi-religious, multi-ethnic society; and,
- this diversity in turn enriches the interpretation and expression of faith.
Plenary 2 – Who We Are (Identity)
- Lord John Alderdice
House of Lords, UK
- Mr Christian Picciolini
Founder, Free Radicals Project
- Dr Azza Karam
Senior Advisor on Culture, United Nations Population Fund and Coordinator, UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion and Development
- Professor Chaiwat Satha-Anand
Professor of Political Science, Thammasat University and Founder, Thai Peace Information Centre
- Professor Lily Kong
President, Singapore Management University
This plenary looks at how societies can promote shared identity and encourage empathy. It discusses how:
- identities create perceptions of distinct communities and the implications for inter-cultural, inter-religious, inter-ethnic relations in a situation where identity-politics may be highlighted;
- the intersectionality of identity and citizenship influences the duties and responsibilities of those within different communities; and,
- how competing interests from different identities can be reconciled for the common good.
Plenary 3 – How We Come Together (Cohesion)
- Professor Lai Pan Chiu
Interim Dean and Professor of Religious Studies, Faculty of Arts, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
- Dr Ali Al Nuaimi
Chairman, The World Council of Muslim Communities
- Dr Anna Halafoff
Research Associate of the UNESCO Chair in Interreligious and Intercultural Relations – Asia Pacific
- Bishop Emeritus Dr Wee Boon Hup
Member, Presidential Council for Religious Harmony, Singapore
- Dr Dicky Sofjan
Core Doctoral Faculty, Indonesian Consortium for Religious Studies, Universitas Gadjah Mada Graduate School
This plenary explores what diverse communities can do to engage each other and work together side-by-side. The session explores how we can:
- strengthen social cohesion by recognising commonalities that cross social divides;
- promote pro-social values and behaviour; and,
- counter extremist and exclusivist interpretations of religion, ethnicity, and identity.
Official ICCS Video
The International Conference on Cohesive Societies will focus on the theme: Many Communities, One Shared Future.
It offers a platform for conversations on forging stronger interfaith understanding and developing new ideas to foster greater harmony in societies.
- We recognise that increasing tensions and fault-lines in religiously and culturally diverse countries can threaten social stability.
- We see value in different countries sharing their experiences and discussing how we can all find new and better ways to build stronger societies.
- The event will bring together scholars, community leaders and policy makers, as well as religious and interfaith leaders from around the world, to explore and understand key issues, share best practices, generate discussion, and build bridges and networks to further the cause of social harmony.
The Conference programme will commence with an Opening Dinner on 19 June 2019 followed by the Conference proceedings on 20 and 21 June 2019, featuring plenaries and breakout sessions, as well as community learning journeys.
Opening Address by Her Excellency Halimah Yacob, President of the Republic of Singapore, at the opening dinner on 19 June 2019
Keynote Address by His Majesty King Abdullah II ibn Al Hussein of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, at the ICCS on 20 June 2019
Closing Remarks by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat, at the ICCS on 21 June 2019
A Young Leaders’ Programme will run prior to the Conference programme from 18 to 19 June 2019. Additionally, an exhibition open to the public will be showcased alongside the ICCS event.
For more information, please visit www.iccs19.sg or follow our social media channels: