2015 (EN)

The high profil event about religious tolerance and reconciliation took place in the UN Building in NYC. The meeting was sponsored by the President of General Assembly Sam Kutesa and the General Secretary, Ban Ki-moon, Nassir Abdelaziz Al-Nasser, High Exponent of Alliance of Civilization (UNAoC).

Joined to the event, which lasted two days, high profile exponents from Islam, Christian, Protestant and Orthodox churches and Judaism, Sikh, Hinduism and Buddhism. Joined to the event also exponents from Panama, Jordan, Turkey, Iraq and Mali.
In total, 55 members, included Italy, joined to the debate. The opening day, dedicated to the debate between member States, faced the problem of strategy focused on the contrast to violence. In the opening of the meeting, held in the Hall of General Assembly, the PGA Sam Kutesa, talked about the last international events, characterized by crimes due to religious reasons. For Kutesa, during the year dedicated to the Agenda for Sustainable Development, the international community must focuses on the socio- economical causes of the phenomenon in order to prevent a further growth.

Ban Ki Moon affirmed that Boko Haram, Daesh, Al-Shaabab are exponents of a new generation of terrorists who uses in a media way the errors made by the Governs in the realisation of non inclusive politics.

In particular, ONU General Secretary called upon the inactivity in providing solutions to regional or global problems as extreme poverty, the lack of law ruled state and the scarce political participation. These factors make the population distrust towards rules and this allows to the terrorist to enlarge their acceptance by the population. Also the Special Delegate of African Union for Contrast to Terrorism, Francisco Caetano Jose Madeira.
The High Exponent of UNAoC Nasser invokated the intervention of religious exponents in the elaboration of social strategies to the contrast to extremism. According to Nasser Al – Nasser (diplomatic of the Qatar), the international community has the need to find a common way to contrast zealotry, giving possibility to speak to religious exponents.

Also Italy took floor in the debate through his exponent at ONU Permanent Mission. He called upon the basic values of a liberal society, among which are religious freedom and the respect of identity and cultural issues, which play an essential role. The Italian approach to the problem of violence, coherent with these premises, and linked to a multidimensional point of view, on the impact to the Mediterranean stability and the consequent migration phenomenon. Italy highlighted the safeguard of cultural heritage and the respect of religious and ethnic and the support of mediation initiative sponsored by civil society. In this case Sant’Egidio community plays an important role. Italy is ready to support the Action Plan sponsored by ONU General Secretary for the safeguard of minority groups in Middle East and support the Iraqi-German initiative for a resolution about cultural heritage which will be started in the next few months.

Among the participants who took floor is worth to be mentioned Nasser Judeh, vicepremier and foreign affairs ministry of Jordan.

From the Jordan point of view, the stake about the Israel-Palestinian is a potential source of people who is able to enter in the lines of terrorists who abuse of religious message, especially among who are less educated.

Also for Jordan, the struggle to extremism and zealotry should pass through religious tolerance and moderation, to be exercised through communication and school system. The topic of media information has been highlighted also by Ali Babacan, Turkish Foreign Affairs Ministry, who is not that sure of the main thought about terroristic crimes.

The attention toward religious, national, ethnic origin of the victims is a big mistake because is close to the logic used by terroristic groups.

For the exponent of Turkey, the terroristic violence will stop just if we avoid to use ethnic or religious references, focusing only about the violation of human dignity which is sufficient to justify a strong reaction. An idea that was approved also by the exponent of France.
Joined to the debate also the Iraqi Ministry of Foreign Affairs Ibrahim Al-Jaafari, according to whom there was a common urge to annichilate ISIS/Daesh, which is not anymore an Iraqi problem but a global urge.

Al-Jaafari talked about the multicultural and multi confessional nature of Iraq which his government intend to safeguard through high investments in public education, which is seen as the only long lasting solution able to express the identity and historical memory of Iraq.

A similar approach was invokated by the delegate of Nigeria, according to whom is necessary to invest in programs for the right instruction of religious guides in order to avoid Koranic pushes inspired by integralists.

The speech of the exponent of Mali Zahabi Ould Sidi Mohamed, ministry of National reconciliation, who spoke in safeguard of the multi confessional nature of Malian Islam, which is alien by fundamentalist and fanatical as those who stressed the multi confessional nature of Mali Islam, free from fundamentalist and fanatical pressures which afflicted the North part of the country in the last years, before the stabilisation lead by France.

The later succession of events had for main characters exponents of religious groups. Among them there was the exponent of the “Focolare” movement Maria Voce, the only woman with a leading role in the Vatican Council talked about the aid activities sponsored by the needy in Middle East and inspired by a multiconfessional approach.

In the opening of the second day, the General Secretary Ban Ki Moon, announced the new two initiatives in order to value the potential contribute of religion in the struggle to extremism.

His aim is to establish a consultative panel composed by religious exponents who has the duty to elaborate strategies to hate speech and ideas for the integration of ONU strategies in aim to mediation and peace-building.

The religious exponents who joined to the debate emerged a deep dissatisfaction about the lack of involvement in the peace process of United Nations.

Muslim and Jewish exponents agreed about the idea that another form of dialogue inspired to positive religious messages is already existent.

But, according to them the fault is of the government which underestimate the increase of strength of religious groups in the peace building process.

For what concerns the African perspective, according to the archbishop of Abuja John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, according to whom the inter religious dialogue will be in the international political agenda with an acception more cultural than effective.

This is one of the causes of the spreading of fundamentalists in every region and in the media and political debate even though it is a little minority compared to the “silent” majority of Muslims. There was also occasion to talk about concrete examples of peace process in problematic societies.

Among them, Giava was cited, where the chief of local sikh community intended to establish multiconfessional primary and elementary schools, and establish offices and museum in order to safeguard the right to religious pluralism.

In short, the high profile event sponsored by UNAoC and by the President of Great Assembly seems to have reached just a few of his goals.

The members of Onu, until now, showed not a warm participation, and thus didn’t allow to value in a proper way a worth and interesting initiative (UNGA) especially for the debate about different religions.

The attentions is about the concrete realization of Action Plan and the establishment of Consultative Panel of religious men, wanted by General Secretary Ban Ki Moon.