Closing Remarks By
H.E. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser
The High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
At the Closing of the Summit of Religious Leaders for Peace in the Middle East
Your Excellency, Mr. Alfonso Dastis Quecedo
Minister of Foreign Affairs & Cooperation of Spain,
I thank the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain for this important initiative . I was very pleased to participate in the opening of the meeting yesterday at Alicante and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations is proud to be sponsoring this initiative with you. As I mentioned yesterday , there is no other place that is more apt to host this meeting better than Spain.
I listened to the productive panel discussion on how to foster peaceful and inclusive dialogue and build trust and mutual respect between people of all faiths in the Middle East.
At a time when there is so much division and hatred, religious leaders with great influence like you who are present here can do a lot to promote those universal values of tolerance, respect of the other and reconciliation. These are also the core values embraced by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, a political initiative of the Government of Spain and Turkey. Those values are held by contempt by extremists and terrorists who want to impose their corrupt ideologies. We should not let them do so.
Yesterday , religious leaders of all faiths agreed that dialogue and respect are the essence of the world in which we live. They also noted that religious leaders, who had been long excluded from the peace process, should be included. Religion, they stressed should not be used as a source of the conflict but rather a solution.
Indeed, religious leaders are messengers of peace. It is true that atrocities have been committed. But I also believe that we are capable of courage and compassion, tolerance and reconciliation.
In that context, I ask for your wisdom and leadership. You work in the front lines of the community and you can use your spiritual and moral influence to counter the negative narrative by standing up for moderation and mutual understanding.
The past two days of meetings are just the beginning not an end in itself. I hope we can build on its success.
I thank you.