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Permanent Mission of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations

Philippine Statement
H.E. Ambassador Hilario G. Davide, Jr.
Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Philippines to the United Nations
(Introducing Res. No. A/61/L.60: High-Level Dialogue on
Interreligious and Intercultural Understanding and Cooperation for Peace)
UN General Assembly Hall
25 May 2007

Madame President,

On behalf of the two main sponsors, Pakistan and the Philippines, and the other co-sponsors, I have the honor to introduce draft resolution no. A/61/L.60 entitled “High-Level Dialogue on Interreligious and Intercultural Understanding and Cooperation for Peace,” copies of which are now before your Excellencies.

Before proceeding any further, allow me to convey the profound appreciation of the main sponsors to all those who labored for many hours during the series of informal consultations which finally gave birth to the draft resolution. Their constructive spirit pervaded their deliberation.

The draft resolution under consideration provides for the general modalities in implementing operative paragraph 14 of the General Assembly resolution no. A/RES/61/221 entitled “Promotion of Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, Understanding and Cooperation for Peace,” which directs the convening this year of a high-level dialogue on interreligious and intercultural cooperation for the promotion of tolerance , understanding and universal respect on matters of freedom of religion or belief and cultural diversity in coordination with other similar initiatives in this area.

The envisioned intergovernmental high-level dialogue is enriched by the proposed interactive hearings between governments and civil society, including representatives of non-governmental organizations and the private sector to be provided by the President of the General Assembly, within the timeframe of, but distinct from, the high-level dialogue. In this connection, we also look forward to interacting with religious leaders to reinforce the common and continuing quest for durable peace by all stakeholders, be they secular or sectarian.

The interfaith and intercultural initiative of Pakistan and the Philippines hopes to contribute to the attainment of this mission of the United Nations, as solemnly subscribed in its Charter:

“…to practice tolerance and live together in peace with one another as good neighbors, and

 “to unite our strength to maintain international peace and security…”

The practice of tolerance and peaceful co-existence can neither be enforced nor legislated; but it can voluntarily be imbibed and practiced and made part of life by a person primarily from religious precepts and adherence to rich cultural values. Here lies the necessity of expanding the scope of partnership for the promotion of the culture of peace to include faith communities and non-governmental organizations that champion pluralism and revered cultural values.

Consequently, the promotion of the Culture of Peace should encourage mutual inclusiveness of, and mutual reinforcement by, related initiatives such as Pakistan’s Enlightened Moderation, Iran’s Dialogue among Civilizations, the Alliance of Civilizations of Spain and Turkey, and other noteworthy interfaith and inter-ethnic initiatives of several countries including Albania, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, the Russian Federation, Senegal as well as the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) and the Asia-Pacific Interfaith Dialogue Forums for the Promotion of Peace, Development and Human Dignity.

Madame President and Your Excellencies may I, therefore, petition that the General Assembly adopt this draft resolution for adoption by consensus so that logistical and substantive preparations for the high-level dialogue would commence forthwith.

Thank you, Madame President and Your Excellencies.


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