The United Nations General Assembly has adopted by consensus a resolution presented by Pakistan and the Philippines on the “Promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace”.
Initiated in 2004, the Pakistan-Philippines sponsored resolution seeks to foster interreligious and intercultural dialogue in promoting, understanding and cultivating a culture of peace. It stresses that the exercise of the right to freedom of expression carries with it, special responsibilities. The resolution also underlines the significance and respect for “religious symbols”; reaffirms that violence is never a justifiable or acceptable response to acts of intolerance; and that “violence should not be associated with any religion, nationality, civilization or ethnic group”.
The unanimous adoption of the resolution by the General Assembly is particularly significant in view of the alarming rise in religious intolerance and racism, particularly Islamophobia, across the globe. It also sends a message of international solidarity and cooperation.
Pakistan will continue to lead efforts to promote interreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation for peace and the values of peaceful co-existence and inter-faith and cultural harmony.