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06 JANUARY 2012
Ambassador Libran N. Cabactulan, Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the United Nations, introduces the Philippine-sponsored resolution on the promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace to the General Assembly of the UN. A total of 50 Member States co-sponsored the resolution, including main co-sponsor Pakistan and, for the first time, all ten (10) Members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The 66th h session of the UN General Assembly adopted the resolution by consensus. END
UNITED NATIONS, NEW YORK 03 January The United Nations General Assembly approved by consensus recently the Philippines-sponsored resolution on the promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace, further strengthening the efforts of the country in securing a more peaceful, progressive and prosperous world through a comprehensive and grassroots-based approach.
The resolution was backed by a total 50 Member States as co-sponsors, including main cosponsor Pakistan. The resolution also marked the first time all ASEAN Member States formally supported the Philippine initiative as co-sponsors of the resolution in what Philippine Permanent Representative to the United Nations Ambassador Libran N. Cabactulan described as a "growing recognition of the importance of the promotion of dialogue between religions and cultures for the attainment of peace in the world and in our region."
In a statement, Ambassador Cabactulan said 'This is a landmark in the history of the
Philippines' efforts to advance interreligious and intercultural dialogue at the UN and with our ASEAN brothers and sisters. That this show of ASEAN solidarity was achieved during the leadership of President Benigno S. Aquino Ill speaks volumes about confidence in the leadership of the Philippines in this initiative in our region and at the international level."
The resolution builds on the developments from resolution of the same title in the 65th session of the UN General Assembly which drew the link between interfaith dialogue, peace, development and the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals and contains, among others, the following key elements:
• Technical updates on Resolution 65/138 on the same subject, particularly the latest developments from the UNESCO, including the adoption during its 36th session of a resolution proclaiming an international decade for the rapprochement of cultures and the adoption of its new programme of action on a culture of peace and non-violence;
• Welcoming the establishment of the King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue in Vienna;
• Recognizing the contributions the media and of new information communications technology to changing peoples' perception of different cultures and religions, including through the promotion of dialogue;
• Elucidating the importance of sustaining the process of engaging all stakeholders, including young men and women as relevant actors, in interreligious and intercultural dialogue within appropriate initiatives at various levels, which aims to challenge preconceived ideas and improve mutual understanding;
• Welcoming efforts to use information and communications technology, including the Internet, to promote interreligious and intercultural dialogue and, in that regard, acknowledging with appreciation the establishment of by the Non-Aligned Movement of the Interfaith Dialogue e-Portal pursuant to the commitments made during the Special Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace and Development held in Manila, the Philippines;
• Recognizing the efforts by relevant stakeholders to foster peaceful and harmonious coexistence within societies by promoting respect for religious and cultural diversity, including by engendering sustained and robust interaction among various segments of society;
• Acknowledging the active engagement of the United Nations system with faith-based organizations in the promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue and in bringing together people of different faiths to discuss common issues and objectives; and,
• Acknowledging the important role of civil society, including the academia, in fostering interreligious and intercultural dialogue and encourages support for practical measures that mobilize civil society, including building capacities, opportunities and frameworks for cooperation.
"The new elements show growing recognition by the international community of the importance of this initiative and its link with peace, development and the protection of rights. This is an area of global leadership that the Philippines has proven itself and with the support of stakeholders in the national, regional and international levels, we will continue to make headway," explained Ambassador Cabactulan. END
Robert E.A. Borje
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