Notification on UNESCO

Case number 11/2016: UNESCO Association for the Promotion of the Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue in Malaga


 ETHICAL NOTICE TO UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)


Dear UNESCO and Director-General Irina Bokova,

Through this document, on day January 9, 2016, the International Buddhist Ethics Committee notifies you that after having received four votes of the Jury members, the UNESCO Association for the Promotion of Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue in Malaga has been declared Responsible for the charges of COMPLICITY WITH DISCRIMINATION, FALSE INTERCULTURAL DIALOGUE AND FALSE INTERRELIGIOUS DIALOGUE.

This Ethical Judgment is a product that UNESCO Association in Malaga has not only awarded to Mr. Nydahl despite his continuous discriminatory and racist teachings towards Muslims, paradoxically awarding him for his contribution to interreligious Dialogue, but also said Association then has defended this individual when he carried out acts of discrimination and censorship to freedom of expression of our International Buddhist Ethics Committee.

This clearly shows that the UNESCO Association for the Promotion of Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue in Malaga completely violates the ethical purposes of UNESCO, the core values of UN and the ethical precepts of Buddhism. As the accused association has committed serious offenses against Ethics and has not repented of its actions, even refusing to clarify whether it was there any donation or financial transaction involved, this means that if this Malaga Association is allowed to continue to use the logo and name of UNESCO this will constitute an act of Complicity in the violation to Human Rights conducted by this Spanish Association. We remind you that remaining silent before these actions involves Complicity.

Obviously, if Mr. Ole Nydahl is discriminating against Muslims, by conveying a message of intolerance, these actions undermine the basic principles of UNESCO with regard to the struggle against discrimination, such as the Declaration of Principles on Tolerance made in 1995, so it is a shame and immorality that an institution that claims to support or represent UNESCO endorses and rewards this kind of behavior. We remind you that Mr. Nydahl has also attacked the International Buddhist Ethics Committee after hearing of our ethical sentence for Discrimination, in addition this individual has promoted censorship of both the Ethics Committee as well as of Maitreya Buddhist University, which constitutes a violation of Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the rights that figure in the covenants of the United Nations in 1966 to which UNESCO says to protect: the right to education (Article 26); the right to benefit from scientific progress (Article 27); the right to participate freely in cultural life (Article 27); the right to information, including freedom of opinion and expression (Article 19); the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion (Article 18); the right to seek, receive and impart, regardless of frontiers, information and ideas by all means possible (Article 19); the right to protection of moral and material interests derived from any scientific, literary or artistic production (Article 27); the right to freedom of assembly and association (Article 20) for activities related to education, science, culture and information.

Ergo, the UNESCO Association for the Promotion of Intercultural and Interreligious Dialogue in Malaga is completely in violation of both the spirit of Intercultural Dialogue and Interreligious Dialogue, as well as of the sacred values of UNESCO. We formally request UNESCO endorses the annulment of the award that has been granted to Mr. Nydahl, at the same time we urgently request to be removed the name or status of “UNESCO Association” to this institution from Malaga (Spain).

The International Buddhist Ethics Committee is composed of organizations that are expert in Interreligious Dialogue, so we are appalled by this unprecedented violation of Human Rights. We work hard to create a genuine space for Spiritual Dialogue between Buddhism and Islam, while Mr. Nydahl is promoting hatred, discrimination and censorship to freedom of expression, betraying all spiritual and ethical values of UNESCO and Buddhism.

We confirm that in 2015 on several occasions we have communicated with UNESCO to warn about these events and we have requested your collaboration. We have never received any response, which is very strange in an international institution acclaiming to represent and defend Human Rights related to culture and education. In case that this attitude of indifference continues on the part of UNESCO, then we will be ethically forced to initiate an investigation to UNESCO and its Director-General for Violations to Human Rights. Frankly, we do not wish having to get to this instance, in which UNESCO and its President would be judged by the Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights, but if UNESCO’s silence and indifference persist in face of violations of Human Rights, then we shall bring this important international organization with which we have always tried to maintain a fruitful dialogue to Justice, even coming to offer you free university education which you have also ignored.

We solemnly declare that the Purpose (Dharma) of Buddhist Spirituality is solidary and humanitarian, wise and compassionate, but it will never allow Discrimination, Hatred and Deceit towards others. Righteousness is key to creating a better world and a civilization of peace, so we give our lives and honor in defense of this Path of Global Ethics.


Sincerely, with a spirit of reconciliation (maitri),

Buddhist Master Maitreya

President and Spiritual Guide of the International Buddhist Ethics Committee (IBEC) & Buddhist Tribunal on Human Rights (BTHR)


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