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06 JUNE 2011
PHL HOLDS INTERFAITH DIALOGUE STAKEHOLDERS MEET AT THE UNITED NATIONS
06 June 2011 United Nations, New York Speakers during the Informal Discussion on Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue Initiatives and Ideas co-sponsored by the Philippine Mission to the UN, the UNESCO New York Office and the Committee on Religious NGOs, join hands in a symbolic show of unity and commitment in advancing interfaith dialogue. The speakers are, from left to right: Ambassador Philippe Kridelka, UNESCO NY Office Director, Marghoob Butt, Pakistani Mission Counselor, Ambassador Bernadette Cavanagh, Deputy Permanent Representative of the New Zealand Mission, Monica Willard, President of the Committee of Religious NGOs, Mr. John Sammis, Deputy Permanent Representative of the United States to the ECOSOC Council, Ambassador Carlos D. Sorreta, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Philippine Mission and Ambassador Yusra Khan, DPR of the Indonesian Mission. END
06 June 2011, United Nations, New York – Interfaith dialogue stakeholders at the United Nations met here to seek ways of enhancing their individual initiatives by taking stock of present and future activities and programs and exploring possible partnerships.
At the Informal Discussion on Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue Initiatives and Ideas co-sponsored by the Philippine Mission to the UN, the UNESCO New York Office and the Committee on Religious NGOs at the UN, about 90 participants from Missions, UN agencies and offices listened to the latest initiatives undertaken by UNESCO, the governments of the Philippines, New Zealand, Indonesia, the United States and Pakistan and other religious NGOs.
Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Libran N. Cabactulan described the event as an “important venue” for discussion and for moving forward interfaith dialogue initiatives on an individual or collective basis.”
“The Philippines is pleased to partner with UNESCO and the Committee on Religious NGOs on this event. The turnout has been very encouraging and the level of representation shows how the significance of interfaith dialogue to the community of nations,” said Ambassador Cabactulan.
In his presentation at the event, Philippine Deputy Permanent Representative (DPR) to the United Nations Ambassador Carlos D. Sorreta underscored the need to further broaden stakeholder participation and buy-in for interfaith dialogue initiatives at the national, regional, inter-regional and international levels. Among the initiatives discussed by Ambassador Sorreta were the Philippines’ resolutions at the UN General Assembly on interreligious and intercultural dialogue under the agenda: Culture of Peace. Ambassador Sorreta likewise cited the establishment of the Tripartite Forum on Interfaith Cooperation for Peace at the UN which brought together governments, UN agencies and religious NGO’s together to discuss interfaith dialogue.
Providing a socio-historical context of the Philippine interfaith dialogue initiative, Ambassador Sorreta said, “The Philippines’ own experience taught us the important lesson that dialogue must take place between diverse peoples so that peace can be achieved through greater respect, mutual respect and tolerance.”
Ambassador Bernadette Cavanagh, DPR of the New Zealand Mission, focused on domestic and regional ID initiatives, including its co-sponsorship of the Asia-Pacific Regional Interfaith Dialogue and its recent partnership with Indonesia on media literacy.
Ambassador Yusra Khan, DPR of Indonesian Mission Indonesia, likewise gave a socio-cultural context to its ID initiatives and expressed willingness to explore other ways of strengthening its ID programme such as its partnership with the United States.
Mr. John Sammis, DPR of the United States to the ECOSOC Council, reaffirmed religious freedom as a human right and stressed the importance of interfaith dialogue to the United States. Sammis also cited on-going partnership with Indonesia in interfaith dialogue and encouraged religious NGOs to communicate with the United States Mission on the issue.
Mr. Marghoob Saleem Butt, Counsellor of the Pakistani Mission, highlighted its ongoing partnership with the Philippines on the General Assembly resolution on interreligious and intercultural dialogue. He likewise underlined the importance of grassroots efforts and informed that in Pakistan, over 100 Committees on interfaith dialogue had been established to foster greater dialogue.
Ambassador Philippe Kridelka, Director of the UNESCO Office in New York, meanwhile gave a broader perspective on dialogue between cultures and outlined a list of its programs in connection with the International Year of the Youth.
The Philippines is recognized as a global thought and action leader on interfaith dialogue, sustaining interfaith dialogues at the United Nations and at inter-regional and regional fora. Broad civil society based interfaith dialogue initiatives supported by the Government of the Philippines are part of an over-all framework to achieve just and lasting peace in Mindanao. END
Reference:Robert E.A. Borje
Philippine Mission to the United Nations
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