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1 OCTOBER 2009
RP ANNOUNCES HOLDING OF LEADERS’ SUMMIT
ON INTERFAITH COOPERATION IN 2010
NEW YORK—Exactly five years after the Philippines first brought interfaith cooperation in the agenda of the United Nations, leaders of countries who have thrown their support behind Manila’s initiative will again gather for a high-level meeting here next year to discuss the way forward.
The Philippine Mission to the United Nations said Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto G. Romulo announced the holding of the Leaders’ Summit in 2010 at the conclusion of the 4th Ministerial Meeting on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace and Development at the United Nations Headquarters last Friday.
The summit will be held on the sides of the 65th Session of the General Assembly and will be the first such meeting since President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo brought together leaders of 14 other countries who issued a declaration asserting the importance of interfaith cooperation in attaining peace and development.
“The idea of interfaith dialogue and cooperation is spreading worldwide, and with a common goal: the attainment of just and durable peace,” Secretary Romulo said in his opening statement at the ministerial meeting that saw the participation for the first time of Australia, represented by Foreign Minister Stephen Smith, as a member and regional partner.
“Our intergovernmental mission of promoting interfaith dialogue and cooperation presents a unique, complementary approach to preventing conflict by sowing the seeds of mutual understanding, mutual respect, tolerance, reconciliation and cooperation,” Secretary Romulo said.
During the ministerial meeting, members commended the Philippines for its sustained leadership on the interfaith initiative in the United Nations. In addition to the ministerial meeting, the Philippines is also behind the Tripartite Forum for Interfaith Cooperation that brings together governments, UN agencies and faith-based organizations and will host the Special Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace in Manila in December.
The Philippines, along with Pakistan and several other members of the ministerial meeting, were also behind the adoption of a General Assembly resolution that resulted in the designation of the Department of Social Affairs as focal point on interfaith and intercultural matters of the United Nations Secretariat.
In addition to the Philippines and Australia, the other members of the ministerial meeting are Bangladesh, Belarus, Egypt, Gambia, Indonesia, Iran, Kazakhstan, Libya, Malaysia, Morocco, Pakistan, Senegal, Serbia, Slovenia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Trinidad and Tobago.
Bulgaria, Greece, Holy See, Iceland, Japan, Montenegro, Nepal, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, the United States, the United Kingdom and Vietnam have observer status while the Organization of the Islamic Conference, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization are guests.
ELMER G. CATO First Secretary & Press Officer Philippine Mission to the United Nations 556 Fifth Avenue, Fifth Floor New York, New York 10036 Tel. No. 212.764.1300 Extension 38
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