Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the
High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
On the Summit of Religious Leaders for Peace in the Middle East
Alicante – Madrid | November 17, 2016
The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations sponsored the Summit of Religious Leaders for Peace in the Middle East, organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain in Alicante, Spain on 15-16 November, 2016.
The summit brought together more than twenty religious leaders of the most senior influential religious figures from the Middle East, particularly from the Palestinian territories and Israel, to engage in interreligious dialogue in support of tolerance and mutual respect and to voice their rejection of extremist ideologies. Key players who have been skeptical or opposed to peace in the Middle East were invited to engage in the dialogue for peace.
The summit was inaugurated at Casa Mediterraneo in Alicante by the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser and the Spanish Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs, Mr. Ignacio Ybanez. Religious leaders representing the three monotheistic faiths engaged in a panel discussion on “The responsibility of religious leaders in peacebuilding in the Middle East”.
At the end of their two-day meetings , the religious leaders agreed on the Declaration of Spain Summit for Religious Peace in the Middle East in which they emphasized their responsibility as religious leaders representing the three faiths to promote mutual respect among their people and a life of peaceful co-existence based on justice and safety. They called on the cessation of incitement and misrepresentation and distortion of the image of the other.
In a joint press conference in Madrid , the Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Spain, Mr. Alfonoso Dastis Quecedo commended the religious leaders for their commitment and for their successful meetings. He said the Spanish Government will continue to support this initiative.
On his part, the High Representative for UNAOC noted that the summit was a beginning of a process not an end in itself. He encouraged the religious leaders to continue to use their compassion, wisdom and moral influence to promote peaceful co-existence, tolerance and respect of the other.
For more information on the summit and the declaration, visit our website: www.unaoc.org