Remarks by the High Representative for UNAOC
Mr. Miguel Angel Moratinos
at the Presentation of
The ‘#Peace4Culture Global Call’ Action Plan
New York – 5 May 2022
Your Excellency Mr. Anar Karimov, Minister of Culture of Azerbaijan,
Your Excellency, Mr. Feridun Hadi Sinirlioğlu, Permanent Representative of Turkey to the United Nations,
Your Excellency, Mr. Agustín Santos Maraver, Permanent Representative of Spain to the United Nations,
Your Excellency, Professor Mike Hardy, Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, Coventry University, UK,
At the outset, I wish to welcome H.E. Mr. Anar Karimov the Minister of Culture of Azerbaijan. We had an excellent meeting this morning in our office in which we discussed what’s in the pipeline in terms of our mutual cooperation.
UNAOC has been one of the main partners of the Baku Process which offers a viable basis to deliver the ‘Peace4Culture Global Call’ Action Plan. I also believe that the initiative should go beyond Azerbaijan and the region to Africa and Latin America and beyond.
I am very pleased to reaffirm my commitment to support the implementation of the Peace4Culture Global Call for Action particularly the action points relevant to our mandate and in line with the priorities included in the UNAOC five-year Plan of Action 2019-2023. These include initiatives that aim at empowering youth through peace-building workshops, using arts, music, and film-making as tools to promote diversity and inclusivity, break taboos, and inspire and connect.
The ‘Peace4Culture Global Call’ Action Plan underpins the interdependence of peaceful relations and the safeguarding of cultural and religious heritage. Culture defines and reflects identity and highlights the difference between people and communities.
The vast majority of people on earth are members of a faith or spiritual community. And although each has their own traditions and convictions, they share together common values such as compassion, humility and respect for others regardless of their religion, race, culture or gender. The “Peace4Culture Global Call” initiative equally highlights the universality of cultural-religious heritage sites as symbols of our shared humanity. In this context, the United Nations Plan of Action to Safeguard Religious Sites, developed by UNAOC in 2019, emphasizes the sanctity and universality of religious sites which are symbols of our identity and shared humanity.
I also wish to recall the United Nations Security Council resolution 2347 of 2017, which stresses that “the unlawful destruction of cultural heritage, looting and smuggling of cultural property in the event of armed conflict, including by terrorist groups, and attempts to deny historical roots and cultural diversity can fuel and exacerbate conflicts and impede post-conflict national reconciliation, thus undermining the security and stability, governance and social, economic and cultural development of affected states”. The “Peace4Culture Global Call” emphasizes that strengthening intercultural and interreligious dialogue serves as a viable tool for advancing sustainable peace and stability.
I hope that the implementation of the Peace4Culture Global Call for Action will contribute to achieving harmony, inclusiveness and sustainable peace for all the people in the region and beyond.
I look forward to continuing to work together for peace.