30 AUGUST 2014
Your Excellency Mr. Marty Natalagawa, Foreign Minister of Indonesia
Your Excellency Mr. Juan Manuel Garcia-Margallo, the Foreign Minister of Spain,
Your Excellency Mr. Ali Naci Koru Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am grateful for your thoughtful and helpful interventions during our ministerial segment of the 6th Global Forum. I am also grateful for your stamina and your tolerance. Yesterday was indeed a long day and I value your input.
Aside from our Ministerial segment yesterday provided us with some terrific insights and real opportunities to learn. And, of course, we all enjoyed and were energized by the events of Thursday afternoon and evening. It has been a busy and exciting couple of days!
Let me recap some of the highlights.
Our Focal Points met on Thursday afternoon. There they agreed unanimously to the Bali Forum declaration. You, the Ministerial representatives met yesterday and we took note of the thoughtful comments made by many of you. We also were gratified to hear that new pledges of support to our Trust Fund from Qatar and Indonesia. We also received our first offer to host the 7th Global Forum in 2016 from Azerbaijan.
On Thursday we watched as the 75 youth selected from Indonesia and around the world tackled difficult issues related to building more peaceful, more tolerant societies. We were all impressed by the high quality of the questions they asked of the Secretary-General, Foreign Minister Nakalagawa and my self. Indeed, some of the questions were really challenging!
Then we had the great honor to watch the announcement of the new class of awardees of the BMW-Intercultural Innovation Award. All finalists will be awarded support to help their projects.
I know we were all touched by the emotional power of the presentations of the projects that received recognition. It was a magical evening.
Yesterday we moved into the core of our forum program, the plenary sessions, the breakout sessions and the side events. The conversations were rich and diverse in their substance. I was pleased to get the chance to visit many of them myself.
In Plenary 1 we learned about the wide application of the term Unity in Diversity. Five noteworthy speakers raised the varied ways in which the term can be applied ranging from the need to consider migration as a fundamental human right, to the diversity of food and cultures as reflective of broader diversity of human civilizations and the key role that food security plays in building peace. We learned about the need to examine our differences and our differing cultures if we are to build a proper foundation for conflict resolution. And we learned about global citizenship, both at the level of the individual and at the level of multinational corporations. Inter-connectivity demands global concepts of citizenship.
Our breakout sessions gave us the chance to explore more specific issues and explore them in greater detail.
On Promoting harmony through inter-religious and cross-cultural education:
The panelists coincided in pointing out that to respect and learn about other religions is a way to improve and purify one’s own religion. But mutual respect, one of the panelist insisted, must be transformative and engaging as well, not limited to a simple acceptance of tolerance, but developing into positive action. To move in this direction, the panel recommended including inter-religious education in primary and secondary school curricula as a way to encourage better understanding among individuals from different cultural backgrounds.
We have learned about Preserving lessons of coexistence from Different Cultures through History in a session sponsored by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture. Learning about the Other” was a critical tool to ameliorate identity-based tensions all over the world. Going back to history and everyone’s own tradition is a precious and rich fountainhead enlightening our present and the way the entire human family can coexist together
The Universal Peace Federation has sponsored a side event, to teach us how to build Trust through Interreligious Dialogue. Respectful religious leaders together taught us how to dialogue and exchange views and insights on how to build trust and cooperate with each other’s and among religions.
A side event sponsored by the Indonesia Global Compact Network provided insight on Promoting Harmony through Business. It emphasized, the importance of Business for Peace (B4P) as a leadership platform aims to expand and deepen private sector actions in support of inter-cultural and inter-religious peace and harmony in the workplace, marketplace and communities.”
Media conversations across lines
A debate about the media’s increasing power through social media and constant access to information, panelists stressed that people need to understand and appreciate the enormous power that the media possesses, and the damage that it can cause, realizing that published material, whatever form it may be in, may result in collateral damage. The media, facing a variety of internal and external threats, must improve its ability to operate in an unbiased and transparent way.
Social Inclusion: Developments for the Post-2015 Agenda
The discussion explored the current situation surrounding migrants, challenges and potential for positive change in the future. It was asserted that as migration is inevitable, it is necessary that we have the skills available to responsibly manage social diversity. This should translate into the right to access all public services and live within an environment cultural and religious tolerance that would leave them free to exercise their freedom in exploring their integration while celebrating their diverse identity. One method is to encourage community-based programs that enhance social inclusion in host societies, as well as instill in host governments that it is in their national interest to manage migrant integration well, within their country.
Youth Participation in Peace-Building
Talking about peacebuilding, experts from four different countries shared their thoughts. The session started with showing the “Guiding Principles on Young People’s Participation in Peace Building” which will be used to advance the role of youth in peacebuilding.
Participants spoke to issues such as the importance of economic issues for young people. By having activities to help their communities, young people can avoid being influenced by intolerance, extremism and xenophobia. Participants described the damage that can be done through bad stereotypes about young people, migrants, health status, and sexuality. Participants identified potential solutions such as the development of theatre and art show to encourage the youth to take part in peace building. Social media was also identified as an effective way to attract youth. Another alternative was the use of contemporary methods of communications to encourage youth to participate in peacebuilding.
Alumni of the fellowship program, one of the flagship projects of UNAOC sponsored by the German Government, participated in the different break-out sessions . The 4 Alumni expressed their commitment to working on fostering understanding and dialogue and to continue to dedicate heir personal and professional lives to making an impact on local communities and institutions with a view to fostering gender equality, social inclusion, economic development and dialogue.
The role of culture in the formulation of new sustainable development
Cultural heritage and pride was recognized as a main driver to revive and move forward communities after a disaster. Bottom up instead of top down initiatives have significantly more chances to be successful. It was pointed out that while globalization tends to produce assimilation of communities, the same forces are also a dynamic motor that energizes the development and conservation of local cultures. And we learned about the new concept of “Venture philanthropy” that facilitates the empowerment of communities, providing in the process opportunities for sustainable development. Culture was recognized as a soft power tool to advance the sustainable development agenda.
We have learned about Mobilizing Diverse Communities on Climate Change and Justice in the session sponsored by the International Ecological Safety Collaborative Organization. This side event was of great significance for improving the dialogue on ecological civilization and for realizing the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda and an opportunity to clarify the meaning of Ecological Civilization, which is “regulating human behavior and realizing the harmonious coexistence between mankind and nature”.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has sponsored a side event and showed us what is involved in Promoting Cross-Cultural Understanding through Food Security.
UNAOC welcomes the strengthening of the partnership with FAO, whose adhesion to the UNAOC’s Group of Friends during the forthcoming months is an acknowledgement that food security and peace have a binding and mutual connection.
We have learned learn how to Increase Awareness on Finance and Cultural Diversity in a session sponsored by the Convention of Independent Financial Advisors. We have realized that economic development is essential for peace, and can only be achieved when the conditions for wealth creation exist in a country when economic progress can be shared with the community and WHEN CULTURAL DIVERSITY IS RESPECTED.
We have benefit from the expertise and uplifting stories of people from all over the world. We have heard voices of wisdom from our great faith traditions calling us to a world of peace, justice and environmental sustainability. New alliances have been formed and new insight has been gained.
I am confident that they will continue to be instrumental in advancing the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through innovative partnerships under the post-2015 vision.
The principles of collective responsibility, collective accountability, collective trust, collective hope, collective sharing and collective inspiration toward intercultural and interreligious dialogue to achieve “Unity in Diversity”, have guided us in this forum, As members of the human family, regardless of our race, religion, ethnicity, cultural or nationality we stand on common values. From that place, lets us work together for a world of greater peace.
Harnessing the Positive Power of Social Media
The benefit of social media in enhancing democracy is massive, but controls are needed to prevent abuse that could even lead to aiding terrorists. The use of media “tribes” such as facebook and twitter in several countries is diverse. It gives young people a voice and they don’t have to put their identity, which can make them feel secure. But that security can itself be abused, and must be studied further.
Fostering understanding through the power of sports, art, music and entertainment
Four main lessons were considered the participants – crucial elements to foster understanding through the power of sports, art, music and entertainment:
• Emphasizing the concept of reaching out to challenge ourselves and going into places where you have not been before.
• Being ready to look at images and stories that surprise and challenge the existing beliefs.
• Choosing leaders that touch hearts and spirit.
• Cultivating a sense of human empathy.
Perception of Migration: How to Change the Narratives about Migrants
During this session, panelists discussed how word choice in articles and perspective in photographs, for example, give a specific perception to the readers or viewers. Unfortunately this perception is often negative. In an effort to provide a solution to the often negative perceptions created by common depictions of migrants UNAOC and Panos Institute Europe has launched a Media-Friendly Glossary on Migration. It stresses the importance of using the correct terminology when journalists are reporting on migration.
Yesterday’s side events included “Ecological Civilization: Time Calling for Common Values”
This side event focused on the interconnections between ecological issues and economic growth, politics and sustainable development. I attended that event and reminded the participants that ecological issues, while important on their own, also impacted the programs supported by UNAOC. The connection to youth is essential. Changes in our ecological health impact the future and we know the future belongs to the youth. Handled properly, a well-managed ecology can create economic growth.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We have had a wonderful time here in Bali. All of you, government representatives and civil society representatives alike, have done your part to make our conversations fruitful and ensure that the 6th Global Forum will long be remembered not only for beauty of its setting but the quality of its debates.
Before closing, let me one more time thank our hosts, Republic of Indonesia. None of this would have happened without the dedication of H. E. Minister Marty Natalegawa, Amb. Esti Andayani and the rest of Indonesian team. They have lifted heaven and earth to make this a most wonderful experience.
I would also like to thank the interpreters, the conference officers and the security personnel for their tireless efforts.
I also would like to thank my team , especially the task force for their diligence, resilience and hard work. You all did a great job.
May we all return home to continue the important work of the Alliance.
I thank you.