The Ditchley Foundation Conference – Multiculturalism and Religion in Foreign Policy, 19-21 April 2012, Ditchley Park, Oxfordshire
Brief Attendance Report – Gautam Banerji, Honorary Secretary to the Governing Board. HCUK
As a part of community engagement on policy issues, an invitation was extended to the Hindu Council UK by Sir John Holmes, Director, The Ditchley Foundation, for participation at its international conference on Multiculturalism and Foreign Policy, held at Ditchley Park, Oxfordshire (www.ditchley.co.uk), between 19-21 April 2012. It was a fully residential conference and it attracted participation from the Middle East. Pakistan, the United States, Canada, Germany, besides the United Kingdom. A full list of participants along with their brief biographies is attached.
Since the conference was conducted strictly under the Chatham House Rule, all contributions are un-attributable and interventions were made in strict confidence. Moreover it was set out that all attending were doing so in their personal capacities and not as spokespersons for any community, country or institution. To that extent there are limitations set to what can be reported publicly although one is free to draw upon only the substance of what has been said. The final version of the conference will in time be put up on the www.ditchley.co.uk website when prepared.
The conference opened with a plenary on 19 April before the participants were put into three separate groups for more in-depth discussions. The draft reports which emerged out of the group sessions were presented at the final plenary on 21 April. Copies of the draft reports and recommendations are attached.
It was a unique opportunity for Hindu Council UK as well as the Hindu community to be invited and to be consulted at this important international forum. The conference organisers also photo-copied and displayed three relevant publications of mine, which are also attached for wider circulation on HCUK website.
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Gautam Banerji FRSA
Hindu Council UK