H.E. Mr. Hasan Kleib
Permanent Representative of
the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations
Agenda Item 14 and 15:
Global Agenda for Dialogue among Civilization
Culture of Peace
New York, 18 October 2010
Let me begin by thanking the Secretary General for his report on “Intercultural, Interreligious and intercivilizational Dialogue”, as contained in documents no. A/65/269
We are also grateful for the report of the Director-General of UNESCO on the activities carried out during the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violencefor the Children of the World, 2001-2010, to promote and implement the Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, as contained in document A/65/299.
Indonesia welcomes and commends the role of the various United Nations entities in supporting intercultural, interreligious and intercivilizationalcooperation worldwide.
Indonesia is also deeply appreciative of the work of the Tripartite Forum on Interfaith Cooperation for Peace and the Alliance of Civilization to promote a culture of peace.
Efforts to promote a culture of peace represent an important part of the interaction among all cultures and civilizations. In this regard, dialogue and cooperation among peoples, cultures, religions, faiths and civilizations are essential for the growth of a global culture of peace.
There is no doubt that much of the future of humankind depends on peaceful coexistence and cooperation among civilizations, cultures and religions.
Unfortunately, religious hatred and intolerance, rather than diminish, are on the increase.
In the face of recent polarization among peoples, as faith-based discriminations and racism were seen to be on the rise, we continue to believe that what unites us is much more than what divides us.
In our view, there is always room to nurture and celebrate our common values.
It is our responsibility to ensure that the world’s rich cultural diversity is appreciated as the divine blessing that it is.
That diversity is the invaluable, collective heritage of humankind that we ought to celebrate and treasure.
In order to turn our diversity to our advantage, we need to scale up efforts to combat racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance, including discrimination against persons based on their religions or beliefs.
In our today’s much more connected world, actions by a small and distant group can inflict significant damage upon all of the international community.
As we saw only recently, religious radicalism by a local religious minority leader is capable of causing considerable damage to global interfaith harmony and world peace.
Indonesia would therefore like to see efforts to promote a culture of peace to focus more on the minority elements at strategically-located social levels, particularly those who lead groups of people.
We are concerned, in this connection, about the absence of a multilaterally-negotiated instrument containing normative standards that can help diffuse religious radicalism.It is an ideal towards which we should work to establish.
Indonesia is firmly committed to promoting a culture of peace.
We keenly support initiatives which deal with the challenges of cultural diversity, as they are very much in line with what we are already doing in Indonesia.
Dialogue and mutual accommodation among faiths and cultures have featured prominently in Indonesia’s history. That is how we have weaved, from the many strands of our ethnic cultures and traditions, the single fabric of our nationhood.
In Indonesia, dialogue is a prominent tool among the various communal groups for ensuring harmony and peaceful living, and at the national level for ensuring stability as well as promoting development.
Moreover, we empower the moderates whose voices 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 have organized them in tandem with other governments, international organizations, civil society and the mass media.
And here at the United Nations, we have consistently supported all resolutions on the agenda item “Culture of peace”.
Indonesia also attaches great significance to the initiatives by Member States to promote respect for diversity, freedom, justice, and tolerance. All these existing initiatives in interfaith, intercultural and intercivilizational dialogue have become part of a global network aimed at promoting peace and harmony.
But it is important to point out that even all of this would not be enough if they just remained only within conference halls.
We must therefore recognize that dialogue is indeed not an end in itself.
All of these dialogues that are going on all over the world today will amount to nothing if they do not lead to cooperative action at the grassroots level.
It is our responsibility to ensure that they do lead to the development of communities that work for the welfare of their fellow human beings while enlightening one another on the need for mutual understanding and mutual appreciation.
Communities that take on a positive role in the life of the nation by encouraging and inspiring the government to adhere to democratic principles and to promote and protect human rights and individual freedoms, regardless of ethnicity or religion.
Communities that appreciate the unique qualities and perspectives of other peoples.
And if all nations are able to nurture such communities, then we are well on our way to developing a global culture of peace.
I thank you, Mr. President.
Permanent Mission of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Nations, New York
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