The 2019 Humanists International General Assembly

Posted by Dwengster | Posted on June 9, 2019

 

June 4, 2019
Reykjavik, Iceland

A gathering of humanist organizations all over the world and headed by the Humanists International with world conference host Siðmennt, or the Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association, the event was held at the Askja, University of Iceland. The world congress was a three-day spectacle which started Friday, May 31 with a conference held with the Young Humanists International (YHI) simultaneously with the European Humanist Foundation (Fédération Humaniste Européenne, EHF-FHE) then a lecture series the next day hosted by Siðmennt, and then followed by a gala dinner June 01. On the third day, June 02, the General Assembly of the Humanists International was held which was then followed by a series of seminars/humanist training sessions which tackled on humanist ceremonies and counseling and another one on humanist campaigns and communications.

The Askja, University of Iceland

As posted on the Humanists International website,

“The General Assembly brings together representatives of Humanists International Member Organizations from all over the world to form the democratic governing body of the humanist movement. We hold our General Assembly each year in conjunction with a conference hosted by one of our Member Organizations. In 2019, we’re in Reykjavik, hosted by the Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association, who are holding an international conference on Saturday 1 June.”

 

The participants of the Young Humanists International (YHI) Conference, Day One.

Conference 2019
Siðmennt – the Icelandic Ethical Humanist Association
What are the Ethical Questions of the 21st Century?
Askja, University of Iceland
Reykjavík, June 1. 2019

Day 02 of the humanist gathering in Iceland was a conference sponsored by Siðmennt. To open the said event, a welcome address was made by the president of Iceland himself, Mr. Guðni Th. Jóhannesson. Most Icelanders support the separation of the church and the state so it is not surprising that the majority of Icelanders do not consider themselves religious. In his welcome speech, the president outlines the history and diversity of belief in Iceland and concludes: “The religion of one, or many, cannot be the basis of laws of the land.”

This conference was divided into four (4) sessions tackling the Environment, Refugees, Economic Injustice, and finally Democracy.

Session 1 – ENVIRONMENT and CLIMATE CRISIS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Session 2 – REFUGEES

Session 3 – ECONOMIC INJUSTICE

Session 4 – DEMOCRACY

 

With Andrew Copson (president of Humanists International), Eva Quiñones (president of Humanistas Seculares de Puerto Rico) and Gerardo Miguel Rivera Chaparro of Secular Humanist Association La Universidad de Puerto Rico – Recinto Universitario de Mayagüez

With American Humanist Association President Rebecca Hale

With Roslyn Mould of the Humanist Association of Ghana, now also a Board Member of HI

With Kato Mukasa of the Uganda Humanist Association

With Dan Barker of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF)

With Annie Laurie Gaylor of the Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF)

An Icelandic yeasty bread served during one of the coffee breaks

Lobster Bisque (lobster soup) served during the Gala Dinner at Restaurant Reykjavik

Roasted lamb with veggies served during the Gala Dinner at Restaurant Reykjavik

With Madhvi Potluri of the South Asian Humanist Association (SAHA​)

With Tom Hedalen, head honcho of Human-Etisk Forbund (The Norwegian Humanist Association) and a humanist celebrant.

With David Lopez, head of the French Humanist Society and a board member at the European Humanist Federation (EHF-FHE) and Daniel of Slovakia

With Christina Magallanes-Jones of Atheists United

Day 03 was the General Assembly conducted by the Humanists International headed by HI President Andrew Copson. In attendance also were HI Vice-President Anne-France Ketalaer and HI Chief Executive Gary McLelland as with the rest of the 2019 board members of HI.  Among the highlights of this assembly was the discussion and approval of  a new Reykjavik Declaration on the Climate Change Crisis, and approved changes to the Humanists International membership structure designed to increase democratic participation from newer humanist organizations. The new name, visual identity and corresponding website for Humanists International was demonstrated and welcomed by Board and delegates. For the Asian humanist societies who are tagged as associate members, this would mean voting privileges next conference henceforth.

With Roslyn, Christina, and Uttam Niraula – another HI Board Member

Many thanks to our gracious host Siðmennt for a successful conference. 🙂

You can download the Annual Report of Humanists International (PDF).

For editing soon: the Humanists International Bylaws (PDF)).

 

Photo opportunity with the President of Iceland

Restaurant Reykjavik at Vesturgata, venue of the Gala Dinner

 

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About The Author

Dee Bulaclac

An NGO practitioner for almost two decades, Dee Bulaclac is a humanist and equal rights advocate who wants to promote critical thinking skills through education, civilized discussions and having a resolute voice in the darkness.

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