H.E. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser
The High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
at the Press Briefing for the High Level Thematic Debate
22 April, 2015
Good afternoon everyone,
I am very pleased to be standing here today among this distinguished gathering of religious leaders. We, at the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations work with faith leaders and faith-based organizations and we count on their role in leading their own communities towards embracing noble values such as tolerance, reconciliation, respect for diversity and the true meaning of respecting the other regardless of their different race, faith or language. Isn’t that what major faiths teach us?
You heard those distinguished religious leaders speak this morning. Their words were enlightening, particularly when we think about the rising wave of xenophobia, extremism and violence that has taken its toll on all of us disguising behind religion. Their words are reminders to all of us that all faiths teach us quite the contrary.
Yesterday when I spoke at the panel which focused on counter terrorism, I stressed that violent extremism breeds on a host of complex factors, including social exclusion, marginalization of certain categories in the society, and inequitable economies.
Our approach to countering violent extremism should be a multi-faceted approach. One that addresses the root causes, while at the same time focuses on building effective institutions, good governance, respect of human rights, inclusiveness and the promotion of universal values.
We aim at the end of this High Level Thematic Debate to come out with more than mere words, but rather a genuine commitment to building societies that are peaceful and truly inclusive. The Alliance of Civilizations is already doing so through focusing on yoth challenges, educational shortcomings, the constructive use of media and the realistic consideration of migration . Most importantly to make the best use of religious mediation to complement diplomatic mediation.
Finally, I would like to thank the Secretary General and the President of the General Assembly for their support in convening this meeting.
I am ready to answer any questions.