On behalf of Humanists and other secular people across Europe and the rest of the world, the International Humanist and Ethical Union (IHEU) and the European Humanist Federation (EHF) express their profound sorrow at the mass murders in Norway.
We extend our sympathy to all people affected by this horrific act.
We affirm our solidarity with our colleagues at the Norwegian Humanist Association and all Norwegians dealing with this tragedy.
And we state our support for the Norwegian people’s peaceful, humane and reasoned response to an act of terror that appears intended to provoke a violent, fearful and thoughtless reaction.
In less than a month the world Humanist community will meet in Oslo for the triennial IHEU congress. Humanists and atheists from around 50 countries will meet to explore the congress theme of “Humanism and Peace.” This theme and location was chosen years ago, but the secular people of the world now have renewed reason to meet in Oslo to work on ways to promote peace.
We chose the theme of peace in part because of Oslo’s historic role in building peace at home and abroad. We looked forward to the congress events in Oslo City Hall where the Nobel Peace Prize is awarded. But now that we learn that there is bomb damage to the building that is housing our congress, we reiterate our commitment to meeting there to address the problems of violence that have touched the home of our congress itself.
–Statement by the executive committee of the International Humanist and Ethical Union and the board of the European Humanist Federation, July 25, 2011.