His Excellency Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser
High Representative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
UNITED NATIONS HEADQUARTERS SIDE EVENT
“THE 70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE UNITED NATIONS:
WORKING TOGETHER TOWARDS PEACE, SECURITY AND HUMAN RIGHTS BY BUILDING TRUST AND UNDERSTANDING”
PERMANENT MISSION OF HUNGARY TO THE UNITED NATIONS
22 SEPTEMBER 2015
NEW YORK, CONFERENCE ROOM 6
Your Excellency, Istvan Ijgyarto, Minister of State for Cultural and Science Diplomacy of Hungary,
Your Excellency, Ambassador Katalin Bogyay, Permanent Representative of Hungary to the United Nations
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very pleased to be participating in this discussion.
I would like to take a brief moment to highlight that the two themes selected for today’s seminar, namely, Working Together for peace, security and human rights and Building Trust and Understanding are two key topics on the international agenda and are in line with what we do at the Untied Nations Alliance of Civilizations.
The understanding and implementation of the underlying notions of collaboration and trust have never been as important as this specific moment in the history of the United Nations and of the world humanity.
Allow me to reaffirm that Collaboration and Trust are notions inscribed in the core identity of the United Nations Family. Each and every Member State ratifying the United Nations Charter, has the duty and responsibility to embrace, advocate and implement these values.
At last, the crucial importance of these notions have been instilled in the imminent 2030 Development Agenda, which will seek to elevate the lives of billions through ambitious and transformative targets.
These two notions of trust and collaboration also answer the UN Secretary-General’s call on the margins of the White House’s Summit on Countering Violent Extremism, earlier this year , to address and tackle the root causes of radicalizations, extremism and terrorism.
Thus, working together for peace, security and human rights by building bridges and trust has never been as crucial as the midst of the current international and regional developments.
I would like to recall the relevance of the introductory chapters of the United Nations Charter, which states that we shall seek to “unite our strength to live together and to maintain international peace and security.”
The celebration of 70th anniversary of the United Nations, as well as the transition from the Millennium Development Goals Agenda to the 2030 Development Agenda foster the right moment to reaffirm our commitment to these words and ideals.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our world is alarmingly out of balance. While progress and prosperity have allowed greater freedom for the world population in terms of socio-economic development and mobility, we are still facing great inequalities and polarized perceptions.
Not a day goes by without witnessing manifestations of intolerance and violence. Thousands of men, women and children have been displaced due to security concerns, or simply due to their religious or cultural affiliations. This challenge resulted in one of the worst humanitarian tragedy since World War Two.
Humanitarian crises resulting in displacement are traumatic and disrupt the social order of families, communities and generation, oftentimes creating a fertile soil for violent extremist ideologies to take root.
The waves of migrants throughout Europe, by way of Syria and Iraq, confirm the need to work together to create a common space for harmony and stability. This objective to secure human rights in regions plagued by conflicts will greatly allow tackling the causes lying behind this social breakdown, which are driven by hatred, intolerance and distrust.
These critical observations compel me to admit that while this year is a year of achievements, it is also the year of an unfinished journey.
A journey we started seventy years ago, carried on with the adoption of the Millennium Development Goals and which we seek to continue onwards with the adoption of the 2030 Development Agenda.
It is a journey towards tolerance, inclusiveness and respect for each others’ beliefs, religions and cultures.
The veterans of the United Nations all know the very difficulties standing at the doorstep of this journey.
Looking to establishing peace, security and human rights requires both hard work and unity. I am a firm believer these two vital components will allow us envision and implement the various instruments that will guarantee trust and understanding.
It is therefore our responsibility to ensure that the adequate collaborative means of action are undertaken in terms of knowledge transfer, capacity building and solidarity, particularly among UN Member States.
The organization that I run, the UN Alliance of Civilizations is already contributing to this effort, in particular through the means of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, essential soft power tools to building bridges and inclusive societies.
Allow me to mention that the impact of the UNAOC in promoting trust and dialogue has been reaffirmed on June 25th 2015, when the UN General Assembly adopted by consensus, the resolution “United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.” This resolution confirmed the importance Member States attach to our role and the need of the international community to collaborate on collective efforts towards understanding and respect for religions, cultures and human rights.
My experience as UN High Representative has confirmed my belief that we need the participation of all the appropriate tools and actors involved in promoting trust and understanding through intercultural and interreligious dialogue.
That is why I have early recognized the prime role played by education, youth, the media, sports and religious leaders. These tools highly contribute to reinforcing communities; to building bridges and to foster peace and understanding among people of diverse walks of life. I have made my primary mission to invest in them. Our programs and activities seek to empower youth through education and greater involvement in international issues.
Contemporary challenges are also youth’s challenges. They are the future and we need to empower them.
Likewise, at the UNAOC, we make it a priority to invest in faith-based organizations, which are of great support to our mission. Part of civil society, Religious Leaders help us reach out to the most vulnerable communities. We have seen their impact in conveying trust and understanding.
This power to convey trust and understanding was highlighted last April 2015, when the Alliance in conjunction with the office of the Secretary-General and of the President of the UN General Assembly. We convened a High-Level Thematic Debate on “Promoting Tolerance and Reconciliation: Fostering Peaceful, Inclusive Societies and Countering Violent Extremism.”
This meeting was the opportunity for the United Nations to reaffirm the role of intercultural dialogue in promoting dialogue for trust at all levels of societies, including within local communities and between states.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am convinced that working together towards peace, security and human rights remains one of the top objective to be achieved for the international community. To succeed, we need to map existing successful multilateral partnerships, both at the regional and international levels.
I have in mind working together toward:
– Enhanced coordination mechanisms that will help tackle the breach in peace and security;
– Identifying the best practices that work in promoting human rights;
– Launching a long-lasting and action-oriented multilateral process of collaboration in order to reinforce trust and understanding.
Taking these recommendations into consideration will certainly reinforce the path of our common journey towards the successful future we wish for the world humanity.