Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al Nasser
The High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
(Delivered on his behalf by Ms. Nihal Saad, Chef-de-Cabinet)
at the 11th Plenary Session of The Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean
23-24 Feb, 2017 – Porto, Portugal
Ladies and Gentlemen,
May I first of all thank you very much and thank PAM and the Assembly of the Republic of Portugal for convening this meeting.
I am very pleased to read the remarks of H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.
Intercultural dialogue, Human Rights as well as sustainable development are intertwined and inseparable. This is particularly true as our world today is changing rapidly and in unpredictable ways. The paradox is that as we grow more connected through migration, trade and technology, we are becoming more apart. Our evolvement into multicultural , multilingual diverse societies can become confusing and intimidating to many people. It is, therefore, essential to foster dialogue as an essential tool for achieving peace and security in the broadest sense. Intercultural dialogue can defuse tensions and promote reconciliation. That is the essence of the mission of UNAOC.
It would be stating the obvious to say that respect for diversity and embracing our shared values is conducive to our shared security as global people living together in a global world. This by default, will make peace prevail and with peace comes prosperity and development.
Much of what the UN does, and indeed much of what we are trying to address through the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development will guide all of us through 2030. There is a need to address certain imbalances that impede our progress towards achieving sustainable development and global security. Marginalization, economic austerity, inequity and lack of good governance are only few of the imbalances that tarnish our world In the 21st century.
I hope we agree on a key concept that dialogue among civilizations and cultures has become a necessary element of the contemporary world. Indeed as the unavoidable consequence of globalization and super diversity.
We tend to forget sometimes that as the world becomes economically more interdependent, we face increasing challenges of living harmoniously together in a world of different cultures, languages, beliefs, ethnic loyalties and patterns of behavior. With the increasing movement of peoples across the globe, there is hardly any more society that can claim to be completely homogenous. The challenge is how to forge a united and harmonious society which respects, not just tolerates, differences, especially of the minorities. In our world today, inclusiveness has become a pre-requisite for a peaceful society – all societies. This calls for careful attention to migration laws. We are seeing in the news every day, tragic stories of desperate young people perishing in the Mediterranean sea while attempting to seek a better life in Europe. At the same time we are also hearing of violence and xenophobia against minorities, be they ethnic or religious minorities.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Promoting and strengthening dialogue is an essential tool to prevent and defeat violent and extremist ideologies.
Allow me to recall, the UN General Assembly Resolution 59/23 of 11 November 2004 which affirmed that mutual understanding and interreligious dialogue among civilizations constituted important dimensions of the dialogue among civilizations and of the culture of peace.
I thank you.