Halki Summit I – A Word of Welcome


From His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew
(Originally published May 2012)

Dear Friends,

It is with great delight that we welcome you to the website for the Halki Summit on Global Responsibility and Environmental Sustainability to be held this summer (June 18-20) on the quaint island of Halki, a place of great historical importance for the Orthodox Church and  just a short ferry ride from Istanbul in Turkey. The gathering is organized under the auspices of the Ecumenical Patriarchate and is co-sponsored by the Ecumenical Patriarchate and Southern New Hampshire University.

The summit takes place in anticipation of the Rio +20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development scheduled in Rio de Janeiro on June 20-22, 2012. Moreover, it follows a series of eight international, interfaith and interdisciplinary environmental symposia held from 1995-2009 in the Mediterranean and Black Seas, on the Danube and the Amazon Rivers, in the Adriatic and the Baltic Seas, as well as in the Arctic and along the Mississippi.

For its part, Southern New Hampshire University has become a leader among universities working to educate our next generation of young people who must live in an increasingly endangered planet. SNHU was the first carbon neutral campus in its home state of New Hampshire and has worked on a variety of sustainability initiatives, including geothermal and solar energy production, green building practices, community gardens, and a bicycle sign-out program. We are grateful for its support and partnership in making this summit a reality.

The Halki Summit is envisaged as a conversation on environment, ethics, and innovation among distinguished experts from around the world on the subjects of biodiversity and conservation, energy and climate change, and economics and innovation. Our effort over the last two decades at the Ecumenical Patriarchate has been to promote worldwide dialogue and cooperation among representatives of various disciplines and faiths, contributing to global awareness of — but also discerning changes in — values and habits related to the ethical and scientific issues raised by the human abuse of the natural creation. In this respect, the Halki Summit is a vital step in this critical dialogue.

We believe that any real chance of reversing climate change and the depletion of the earth’s resources requires a change in values and belief systems. Therefore, this gathering seeks to bring that dimension of culture change more firmly into the larger international dialogue on sustainability.

Our hope is that, through this website, mass media and social networking, we may also share highlights of the meeting with all of you more globally.

Prayerfully yours,

Archbishop of Constantinople-New Rome
and Ecumenical Patriarch

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