UNITED NATIONS: The United Nations General Assembly has adopted by consensus a resolution, sponsored by Pakistan and the Philippines, on promoting inter-religious and intercultural dialogue to advance a culture of peace and non-violence based on education, tolerance, dialogue and cooperation in the world.
Speaking to APP after the 193-member Assembly’s action, Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Dr Maleeha Lodhi said the resolution, which this year garnered a record 49 co-sponsors, had evolved into a “significant document” to pave the way for genuine and constructive dialogue across the world.
Under it’s terms, the Assembly reaffirmed the solemn commitment of all states to fulfill their obligations to promote universal respect for and protection of all human rights and fundamental freedoms, in accordance with the United Nations Charter and Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
“At a time when multilateralism is under stress and many parts of the world are witnessing the rise of Islamophobia and xenophobia, this resolution helps to reaffirm the need for dialogue and places the emphasis on the bonds that unite us,” Ambassador Lodhi said.
Initially introduced as a response to the theory of the ‘Clash of Civilisation’ that followed the 9/11 attacks, the resolution condemns any advocacy of religious hatred that constitutes incitement to violence or discrimination, and underlines the importance of inter-religious and intercultural dialogue as a valuable tool for promoting social cohesion, peace and development in the world.
“In a fraught and uncertain world,” the Pakistani envoy said, “this resolution has special significance as it promotes inter-religious and intercultural dialogue and encourages those working for peace and better understanding among people.”
Under the resolution, the assembly encouraged member states to consider, as and where appropriate, initiatives that identify areas for practical action in all sectors and levels of society for the promotion of inter-religious and intercultural dialogue, tolerance, understanding and cooperation.
States were invited to promote reconciliation to help ensure durable peace and sustained development, including through re-conciliatory measures and acts of service.
Also, under the text, the Assembly welcomed the declarations adopted by the Global Forums of the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations, and invited relevant stakeholders to continue their efforts to promote mutual understanding among different civilisations, cultures, religions and beliefs.