Check Against Delivery
Secretary General, Excellencies, respected religious leaders, ladies and gentlemen,
Thank you Secretary General Guterres for your support of this important initiative. As you have said, the path to sustainable development and peace lies in holistic and global solutions which address the root causes of conflict. We at the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID), share your conviction that sustainable development and peace can only be achieved through an inclusive approach. We are proud to be partners with the United Nations in pursuit of this aim.
I congratulate my friend Adama Dieng, United Nations Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide on his able leadership of this Action Plan.
Also I commend the commitment and expertise brought by the World Council of Churches, the Network of Religious and Traditional Peacemakers, and the UN Member States involved in this initiative.
The active engagement of leaders from world religions is instrumental in making the Action Plan an inclusive, practical policy.
In Fez, Morocco, in 2015, I had the honor to participate in the first consultation. Since that day, we have worked together with the Special Adviser’s office and the other partners on this Action Plan. We have organized consultations with religious leaders in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle East.
It is therefore a special honor to join you today at the Global Launch of this historic Action Plan.
We know that religious leaders alone cannot respond to incitement to violence: they need the support of the media, governments, the legal system, economic development agencies and others.
We all share responsibility to put an end to incitement to violence.
Through this Action Plan, the international community recognizes that religion is misused to incite fear and hatred of the Other, and to justify violence.
This is a groundbreaking initiative. Groundbreaking because it engages both influential religious leaders and policy institutions. Here we are combining individual leadership with institutional infrastructure to produce sustainable change.
With this Action Plan, policymakers and religious leaders can together encourage more respect for diverse identities. Together, they can push back against hate crimes.
Now it is time to implement.
In our work we are already implementing the recommendations of the Action Plan.
We build platforms that bring together religious communities in dialogue to reconcile conflicts. Our platforms and networks build cooperation among religious educators to promote pluralism. Some of our networks train young advocates to push back against hate speech on social media. Our networks in the Arab region are building common curricula to teach young people respect for others.
In February 2018 we intend to launch a high-level interreligious dialogue platform for the Arab region in cooperation with Muslim and Christian leaders of all denominations. This platform offers a further venue for the implementation of this Action Plan in the region. I count on your support when we launch the platform in Vienna.
Ladies and gentlemen, this Action Plan is unique because it includes religious leaders from each of the five global regions and religions. Through their ownership, this process will be effective. In the next panel, we are privileged to hear from some of these leading voices. I ask you now to welcome them to the stage, and I give the floor to KAICIID Deputy Secretary General Ambassador Alvaro Albacete.