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Agenda item 15: Culture of Peace, SPONSORSHIP STATEMENT Of draft resolution A/74/L.25 “Promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace”

Thursday, 12 December 2019
H.E. AMBASSADOR MS. KIRA CHRISTIANNE D. AZUCENA Chargé d’Affaires, a.i. and Deputy Permanent Representative Philippine Permanent Mission to the United Nations
General Assembly Hall


Madam President,

On behalf of Pakistan and my own country the Philippines, I have the honor to introduce the draft resolution “Promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace.” The draft resolution is co-sponsored by friends and partners from across the Asia-Pacific, Africa, the Americas and Europe. We thank them all for their engagement. The Philippines and Pakistan have endeavored to accommodate all the views and concerns put forward.  In doing so we further the objectives of this resolution that we have tabled for fifteen straight years.

Madam President,

Two things cannot be taken back: an arrow shot from a bow or a bullet fired from a gun, and an ill word spoken.  Not even apology can close the wound. And so, even in talking we must be circumspect; more so in bearing arms.

The world today faces seemingly intractable conflicts and complex challenges that cause immense human suffering and economic loss, and hinder greater socio-economic cooperation to repair the damage.

We witness a growing trend of xenophobia and religious intolerance, underpinned by the politics of identity, as well as the emergence of extremist ideologies. Suspicion and ignorance among various religions and civilizations are being exploited, nay propagated by extremist groups to pursue their agenda of establishing a terrorized society. There was a time when terror was the weapon of the weak against the strong in fights for freedom and justice.  Today terror is pursued for itself; it is not a means but the very end that terrorism seeks: a society built on fear where every person is afraid of another.

Mr. President,

Against this backdrop, this annual resolution becomes more relevant than ever.  It has two objectives:

One, to promote interreligious and intercultural dialogue to achieve peace and stability.

Two, to strengthen mechanisms that promise constructive dialogue across the most divergent divides.

We strived to further the objectives of this resolution by maintaining an open, inclusive and transparent approach throughout the negotiations process.

An example of this is paragraph 9, which appreciates the landmark initiative to open up the Kartarpur Sahib Corridor and welcomes the agreement between Pakistan and India achieved in record time.

The resolution also underlines the important role of UNESCO and the invaluable contributions of the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) in promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue at all levels.

Negotiations can at times be difficult, only because we as Member States approach one idea with and from our own unique perspectives. But the process has been inspired at all times by our shared ideal of promoting a culture of peace, and this has helped us come to agreement.  We are grateful for the openness and flexibility demonstrated by delegations.  We hope that our efforts will be met with approval by this Assembly. 

Madam President,

There should be no doubt in our solidarity as the United Nations to embrace a culture of peace, partnership, and inclusivity. On behalf of the Permanent Missions of Pakistan and the Philippines, I humbly request all Member States to adopt by consensus draft resolution A/74/L.25, “Promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace.”

Thank you, Madam President.