MALAYA: UN backs RP initiative to promote interfaith dialogue

By ANTHONY IAN CRUZ
Malaya
Dec. 22, 2007

FOR the fourth time since 2004, the United Nations backed a Philippine initiative to promote interfaith dialogue in the international community, especially in attempts to solve conflict situations.

Ambassador Hilario Davide Jr. said the UN adopted by consensus the resolution titled “Promotion of Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue, Understanding and Cooperation for Peace” which was spearheaded by the Philippines.

Davide, who heads the Permanent Philippine Mission to the UN, said 58 countries signed up as co-sponsors of the resolution taken up by the global body’s 62nd general assembly. Twenty states co-sponsored a similar UN resolution in 2004.

Davide said the increase in the number of co-sponsors reflects growing interest by the international community on interfaith dialogue as “an instrument to promote peace, development and human dignity.”

He boasted that Monday’s resolution was the fourth [such] resolution adopted without a vote by the General Assembly since the Philippines first introduced the interfaith resolution in 2004.

Davide said the Philippine interfaith initiative stands out because it is the only one that calls for the involvement of the most influential sector of society – the religious and faith leaders.

He said “religious and faith leaders extend immense contributions to addressing such secular concerns as the promotion of peace and security, the eradication of poverty and the achievement of the millennium development goals, as well as the promotion and protection of human rights”.

Davide said that for almost 60 years, the UN had avoided the consideration of the role of religions in the attainment of the goals of the UN, until the general assembly adopted in 2004 the resolution introduced by the Philippines on interfaith dialogue as another option in realizing a durable peace.

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