GOARCH - February 27, 1999

Archbishop Spyridon at the United Nations

NEW YORK - Today, His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, made a special visit to the Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan, on a mission of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation. The Archbishop joined the President of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, Archbishop Barsamian of the Armenian Church, and a representative from the Muslim community in a private meeting with Secretary Annan. The purpose of this meeting was to discuss the upcoming international meeting entitled, Kosovo: Conference on Peace and Tolerance, to be held next month in Vienna, Austria.

This conference, sponsored by the Appeal of Conscience Foundation with the cooperation of the government of Austria, is designed to bring together members of all the faith communities who are represented in the Kosovo regional conflict. The meeting with Secretary Annan was part of preparations for this conference.

Commenting on the meeting, His Eminence Archbishop Spyridon said:

"I am deeply committed to the cause of peace and justice in the nations and territories of the former Yugoslavia. As Orthodox Christians, we have a duty to lend every effort and energy we can, both in prayer and positive actions, to a unified, interfaith effort toward ending the violence in Kosovo. We must support our Orthodox brothers and sisters in that long suffering region in every way we can, and we must encourage them toward finding a peaceful coexistence with their neighbors. Our experience in the diverse cultural context of the United States can be a helpful guide to others learning how to live in multicultural contexts."

His Eminence Archbishop Michael, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Austria, an Eparchy of the Ecumenical Patriarchate like the Holy Archdiocese of America, will be representing His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the conference. Archbishop Spyridon is a Trustee of the Appeal of Conscience Foundation and has been invited by Rabbi Schneier to join the conference in Vienna in his capacity as a Trustee.

   February 27, 1999 ]