Point of Intervention by
H.E. Ambassador Rezlan Ishar Jenie
Deputy Minister for Multilateral Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
of the Republic of Indonesia
At the Group of Friends Meeting of
The Alliance of Civilizations
New York, 24 September 2010
First, I wish to join colleagues in expressing appreciation to His Excellency, Mr. Jorge Sampaio, High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, for organizing this meeting. We admire his devotion to propagating harmony among peoples.
We in Indonesia are encouraged by the progress of the work of the Alliance. And we welcome the Third Annual Report of the High Representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations, Mr. Jorge Sampaio, to the Secretary-General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon.
We agree with the assessment of the Report that the Alliance now plays a central role in mobilizing forces to the goals of harmony and cooperation among nations and peoples across cultures and religions.
We commend efforts to broaden the support base of the Alliance through the Group of Friends, and to enhance its cooperation and coordination with the United Nations system.
We are also pleased at the involvement of many different actors, such as NGOs, the media, multinational companies, foundations, and philanthropies in the work of the Alliance.
Through its main ongoing projects launched in Madrid in 2008, Istanbul in 2009 and in Rio de Janeiro last May 2010, the Alliance has been building bridges that connect various communities, especially at the grassroots.
We keenly support the initiatives of the Alliance because they deal with the challenges of cultural diversity and they are very much in line with what we are already doing in Indonesia.
Dialogue and mutual accommodation among faiths and cultures are inherent to Indonesia’s history. That is how we managed to weave, from the many strands of our ethnic cultures and traditions, the single fabric of our nationhood.
In Indonesia, we make use of dialogue among the various communal groups not only to ensure national stability and to promote national development. Moreover, we empower the moderates whose voice would otherwise be drowned by the agitations of extremists.
We in Indonesia are also organizing interfaith and intercultural dialogues at regional, interregional and global level.
We commend the decision of the Alliance to scale up efforts to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, including discrimination against persons based on their religion or belief.
However, combating ignorance and prejudice between faiths, cultures and civilizations is the responsibility of each and every state and citizen. Non-governmental organizations, civil society, and the media all share this responsibility.
Unfortunately, religious intolerance is still on the rise.
In this regard, the mass media have a very important role to play.
That is why we in Indonesia are collaborating with the Alliance Rapid Response Media Mechanism to eradicate the practice of stereotyping in mass media, without interfering with their editorial independence.
We do need a multilaterally negotiated instrument containing normative standards that can help diffuse religious radicalism. Let us work toward establishing it.
The initiatives of the AoC have greatly helped reduce polarization between nations and cultures through joint undertakings that build respect and understanding among cultures and amplify the voices of moderation.
We should have more of these initiatives at the grassroots level where they are particularly effective.
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
325 East 38th Street, New York, NY, 10016, USA
Tel: 1.212.972.8333, Fax: 1.212.972.9780 - www.indonesiamission-ny.org