First Step Forum

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First Step Forum

"In January 2002, a group of ambassadors, religious liberty experts, members of parliament and members of the media met in Berlin, Germany. The multinational gathering founded the First Step Forum to begin work on April 1 is a new initiative to monitor religious and human rights abuses worldwide with the goal of addressing potential problems before they become major events...

"This unique partnership is in response to a vision that grew out of the work of the WEA Religious Liberty Commission. The partnership brings together parliamentarians from Finland, Sweden, Germany, Holland and Switzerland, legal representation by Samuel E. Ericsson, Esq., President of Advocates International, and the media expertise of David Aikman, former Bureau Chief for Time Magazine in Beijing and Jerusalem, Tim Dean, former Senior Editor of BBC World, and Mr. Stig Kankkonen, a chief editor in Finland." [1]

"During its annual meeting in Rabat, , on January 14, 2006, the First Step Forum elected US Ambassador Bob Seiple and Mrs. Eija-Riitta Korhola, Member of the European Parliament to co-chair the Forum during 2006. Ambassador Seiple was the first ever US Ambassador-at-large for religious freedom and Mrs. Eija-Riitta Korhola, Finland, is a member of the European Parliament and its Committee on Human Rights and the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

"First Step Forum is a global network of Ambassadors, Members of Parliament, journalists, advocates and business investment experts who have a concern to see religious liberty flourish on our world, freedom enshrined in Article 18 of the United Nations Declaration on Human Rights. First Step Forum is directed by Rev. Johan Candelin, who is also the Goodwill Ambassador of the World Evangelical Alliance." [2]


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