UNITED NATIONS, Sep 17 (IPS) – Final 12 months, we paid tribute to the 20th Anniversary of the 1999 Declaration of the Program of Motion on a Tradition of Peace. In the present day, we have to ask ourselves if we had genuinely carried out our ethical tasks to transition from a tradition of hatred and violence to a tradition of tolerance and peace.
Did we dwell as much as the dedication we made in 1999 that each one of us must consciously make peace and nonviolence part of our each day existence? I feel not.
Given immediately’s international context, the COVID 19 pandemic has laid naked the world’s vulnerabilities, divisions, falsehoods and brutal inequalities. The ugly reality is that there isn’t a such factor as “we’re in the identical boat”.
Theoretically, or nearly, possibly we’re. However in actual life it is a fantasy or because the UN Secretary Basic put it few months in the past “whereas we’re all floating on the identical sea, it is clear that a few of us are in superyachts whereas others are clinging to the floating particles.”
Since this international human disaster took its toll on all of us – the forces of division and hate too have been exacerbating the lives of susceptible communities together with spiritual and ethnic minorities, migrants, ladies, youngsters and youth.
Even previous folks and people with disabilities weren’t spared. It’s particularly appalling to witness a surge in hate speech, xenophobia, racism and despicable types of discrimination. These evil forces sow fissures and holes within the material of our societies triggering a viscous circle of violence.
Nonetheless, there’s at all times a purpose to be optimistic. Final December, the Basic Meeting adopted three resolutions on the Tradition of Peace . Res A/74/476 emphasised the significance of fostering interreligious and inter-cultural dialogue.
This highly effective software, which has been usually neglected, is on the core of the work of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations which is especially dedicated to selling inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue as a mushy energy software for combating intolerance, damaging stereotyping, and incitement to violence in opposition to individuals based mostly on faith or perception.
On this context, immediately supplies a chance not solely to resume our dedication to the Declaration and this system of motion on a tradition of peace, but additionally to decide to taking results-oriented motion in direction of uprooting all types of discrimination and eliminating inequalities via selling range and broadening the area for intercultural and interreligious dialogue.
On this context, I wish to give a fast overview of the work of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations :
As per the mandate obtained by the Secretary-Basic within the aftermath of the assaults in opposition to mosques that befell in March 2019 in Christchurch, New Zealand, UNAOC elaborated the United Nations Plan of Motion to Safeguard Spiritual Websites: In Unity and Solidarity for Secure and Peaceable Worship, which was launched by the Secretary-Basic on 12 September 2019. The Plan is anchored in related United Nations Basic Meeting, Safety Council and Human Rights Council resolutions, in addition to key spiritual sources. It supplies a framework for motion with particular suggestions addressed to all related stakeholders to higher stop, put together and reply to attainable assaults in opposition to spiritual websites. Extra importantly, the Plan emphasizes the necessity to foster intercultural and interreligious dialogue to construct inclusive and resilient societies.
A International Communications Marketing campaign, aimed toward underscoring the position of people, notably youth and the worldwide religion neighborhood, within the safety of spiritual websites, will probably be launched quickly.
- Over the previous 12 months and because the pandemic began, we broadened our outreach to the spiritual leaders and faith-based organizations heeding the decision of the UN Secretary Basic on spiritual leaders to help the UN actions in addressing the challenges posed by the pandemic via selling solidarity unity and compassion. The Excessive-Consultant for UNAOC and the Particular Advisor for the Prevention of Genocide issued a joint name for “Solidarity, Unity and Compassion”re-affirming the necessity to strengthen interfaith and intercultural dialogue in addition to standing up in opposition to stigma and polarization.
- In our capability as rotating co-Chair of the United Nations Interagency Activity Power on Faith and Growth, an announcement was issued on 18 April by the IATF with the endorsement of the forty members comprising the IATF Multi-Religion Advisory Council calling on spiritual leaders and FBO to increase their help and – inside their respective spheres of affect and authority – promote and advocate with Member States and different stakeholders for the International Humanitarian Response Plan for COVID-19 and to assist implement the Plan in order that important humanitarian aid operations can attain populations in probably the most fragile and susceptible contexts.
- In help of the doc on Human Fraternity co-signed by His Holiness Pope Francis and His Eminence the Grand Imam of Al Azhar Sheikh Ahmed el Tayeb in Feb 2019, we co-organized and supported the initiative “Prayer for Humanity” on 14 Might 2020 spearheaded by HH Pope Francis and HE the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and the UN Secretary Basic. Many eminent spiritual figures throughout the religion spectrum in addition to distinguished politicians joined the initiative.
- Adhering to a whole-of-society strategy that features help to grassroots and youth-led organizations via our a number of packages such because the Intercultural Innovation Award (IIA), a flagship undertaking with BMW Group which helps the event of revolutionary and impactful initiatives by grassroots organizations that encourage intercultural dialogue and contribute to peace, prosperity and constructing extra inclusive societies. These initiatives ranged from Srilanka and Myanmar to Canada, Latin America and the MENA area.
- Below our Younger Peacebuilders programme, a coaching and advocacy program, we now have efficiently skilled younger ladies and men from MENA and Europe and enhanced their competencies on battle transformation and battle decision, mediation, promotion of non-violent activism, overcoming damaging stereotypes, prejudices and polarization as drivers of violent extremism conducive to terrorism. The tailored blended curriculum allowed programme individuals to work on particular points associated to peacebuilding and prevention of battle and radicalization of their respective communities.
Furthermore, we’re more than happy to be becoming a member of forces with different main UN entities corresponding to UNESCO , the UN Workplace on Counter Terrorism and UNCCT in a lot of initiatives .
With UNESCO and UNCCT we’re gearing as much as launching the undertaking Intercultural dialogue and socio-emotional competencies for peacebuilding” (a Videogames Venture) that helps younger folks in designing concrete game-based methodologies that develop related competencies for intercultural dialogue and social and emotional studying to forestall violent extremism in chosen international locations in South Asia.
Below the aegis of #YouthWagingPeace, UNESCO MGIEP, UNAOC and the Sri Lanka Fee for the UNESCO introduced collectively and constructed the social and emotional, crucial media and undertaking administration expertise of 35 younger leaders from South Asia (India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Myanmar), who’re engaged on the bottom to forestall violent extremism via schooling. The younger civil society leaders designed 30 community-wide actions to be applied in 6 international locations instantly impacting over1,000 neighborhood degree stakeholders.
Below the Youth Solidarity Fund, UNAOC chosen and supplied seed funding to 5 youth-led organizations, whose initiatives give attention to: Selling spiritual pluralism, cultural range and peaceable coexistence in Africa
UNAOC continued to encourage exchanges and collaboration between younger civil society leaders from completely different cultures and faiths below its Fellowship Programme.
Concluding, it’s by no means too late to reverse course. Fulfilling aim 16 of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Growth “constructing peaceable, simply and inclusive societies,” is extra crucial now than ever earlier than. Enable me to re-iterate that phrases like dialogue, tolerance, range and respect imply little if not supported by concrete broad vary of actions below a global umbrella of honest cooperation from state and non-state actors.
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