On 9 September 2013 His Holiness the Karmapa joined Buddhist leaders from around the world in New Delhi, where he was invited to speak at the opening session of the 1st Founding Members Conclave of the International Buddhist Confederation.
This major international conference brings together Buddhist leaders and representatives of Buddhist sanghas from throughout the world who are uniting under a new global Buddhist platform that will represent Buddhists worldwide, the International Buddhist Confederation.
The conference opened with a video address from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who thanked those gathered for their commitment to building a better world. Video messages followed from Nobel Laureates His Holiness the Dalai Lama and Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, as well from the Vatican. Statements of support were presented from the supreme heads of the Buddhist orders of Vietnam, Sri Lanka, Cambodia, China, and Mongolia, while other dignitaries to speak at the opening included Her Royal Highness Ashi Kesang Wangmo Wangchuk, Princess of Bhutan, as well as the Honorable Chief Minister of Delhi, Smt. Sheila Dixit.
In his opening speech to the 250 delegates gathered from 39 different countries, the Gyalwang Karmapa called for unity and harmony among Buddhists worldwide.
In the afternoon session His Holiness the Karmapa was invited to speak on behalf of the Buddhist community at an inter-faith panel discussion on the theme of ‘Inter-Faith Relations: A Meeting of Hearts and Minds.’ Representing the Buddhist community, he joined Swami Agnivesh, former MLA of Haryana state; Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi, Chief Imam of the All-India Organization of Imams of Mosques; Most Rev. Anil Couto, Archbishop of Delhi; Dr Mufti Mukkarram Ahmed, Shahi Imam of Masjid Fatehpuri; Swami Chidanand Saraswati Maharaj, President of Parmarth Niketan Ashram, and other respected religious leaders.r