The 2020 Aurora Dialogues Online event, “The Power of Humanity: How to Prevent War and Genocide”, was held on September 22, 2020. This event brought together two outstanding panelists, Mirza Dinnayi, 2019 Aurora Prize Laureate, and Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Huber, former Council President of the Evangelical Church in Germany. The discussion was moderated by Georg Garlichs, CEO of ESMT Berlin. The event was hosted by the Global Perspectives Initiative in partnership with the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative, ESMT Berlin and Stiftung Garnisonkirche Potsdam within the Aurora Dialogues Online.
Ingrid Hamm, Co-founder and CEO of the Global Perspectives Initiative, welcomed the participants and partners highlighting the important role of the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative in preventing genocides and spreading humanity across the globe. The Aurora Dialogues is one of its platforms addressing the most pressing humanitarian issues to find solutions aligned with the spirit of humanity. “The Aurora Dialogues focus on humanity, on global asylum, on genocides, and it’s also about reconciliation,” said Ingrid Hamm.
More than 70 million people worldwide are currently fleeing persecutions and conflicts, and the number is increasing daily. In addition, the coronavirus pandemic is making the lives of displaced people even more difficult. Yazidi activist Mirza Dinnayi, the 2019 Aurora Prize Laureate and Co-founder of Air Bridge Iraq, recently returned from Iraq where 70 percent of Yezidi people are still in refugee camps in Kurdistan. For the last six years the situation has not been changed at all, and this is a dangerous path that can bring to the elimination of the Yazidi culture in the country.
“We do know that there are terrible crises, wars with tremendous numbers of victims and millions of refugees, displaced people, discriminated women, children and orphans worldwide. And we always say that we cannot just stand aside and observe silently. We have to act. And networks like the Aurora remind us of our responsibilities,” emphasized Mirza Dinnayi.
Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Huber served as a bishop of the Evangelical Church of Berlin-Brandenburg-Silesian Upper Lusatia until November 2009. For many years, he has been investigating why religion is repeatedly misused to legitimize persecutions and genocides. Recalling the genocides of the 20th century, he lamented the fact that instead of connecting and reconciliating people sometimes religions breed hatred between communities.
“Unfortunately, this sad experience still exists in the 21st century. People become victims of genocides on the base of their religious identity and beliefs. We have to face this. We are obliged to take public measures to resist this kind of discrimination. […] A couple of years ago many of us even were not aware of the destiny of Yazidi people. It is very important for us to know what happened to this people to overcome humanitarian crises.”
Summing up the discussion, moderator Georg Garlichs, CEO of ESMT Berlin, thanked the panelists for the meaningful and insightful conversation on how war and genocide can be prevented. Reflecting on the present crises, he pointed out the invaluable role of humanity, especially during this difficult time, underlining that it has never been more important than in a pandemic.
You can watch the full video of the discussion below (in English).