NAM advocates promotion of Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue

Non-Aligned Movement has taken cognizance of the diversity of the various cultural and religious systems. The Movement emphasises that respect for the diversity of and approaches is a core value upon which relations and cooperation among States in an increasingly globalizing world should be based on, with the aim of contributing to establishing a peaceful and prosperous world, a just and equitable world order, and an environment conducive to exchanging human experiences.

NAM has reiterated the need to continue working towards the promotion of dialogue and understanding among all civilizations, cultures and religions and reaffirmed their commitment to work together to prevent cultural homogenization and domination or incitement to hatred and discrimination, combat defamation of religions and develop better ways for promoting tolerance and respect for other cultures and faiths. Pertaining to this, NAM has made stern calls for the promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue.

NAM attaches great significance to United Nations General Assembly Resolution 71/249. In accordance with the Resolution, NAM believes that interreligious and intercultural dialogues have made valuable contributions to mutual understanding, tolerance and respect, as well as to the promotion of a culture of peace and an improvement of overall relations among people from different cultural and religious backgrounds and among nations.

NAM firmly believes that the promotion of cultural pluralism and tolerance towards and dialogue among various cultures and civilizations would contribute to the efforts of all peoples and nations to enrich their cultures and traditions by engaging in a mutually beneficial exchange of knowledge and intellectual, moral and material achievements.

NAM also attaches utmost importance to UNGA Resolution 72/136 adopted on 11 December 2017. The Resolution recognises that cultural diversity and the pursuit of cultural development by all peoples and nations are sources of mutual enrichment for the cultural life of humankind. In accordance with the Resolution, NAM also recognises the importance of interreligious and intercultural dialogue towards promoting social cohesion, peace and development, and calls upon Member States to consider, as appropriate and where applicable, interreligious and intercultural dialogue as an important tool in efforts aimed at achieving peace and social stability and the full realization of internationally agreed development goals.

The Resolution also underlines the importance of education, including education on culture, peace, tolerance, mutual understanding and human rights, in promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue, respect for diversity, and the elimination of discrimination based on religion or belief.

The Resolution further recognises the contributions of the media and of new information and communications technology to promoting peoples’ understanding of different cultures and religions and the promotion of dialogue. The Resolution also reaffirms the importance of sustaining the process of engaging all stakeholders, including young men and women as relevant actors, in interreligious and intercultural dialogue within the appropriate initiatives at various levels, which aims to challenge prejudices, improve mutual understanding and foster cooperation.

NAM believes that Resolution 72/136 reaffirms Member States’ mutual understanding that interreligious and intercultural dialogue constitutes an important dimension of dialogue among civilizations and of a culture of peace.

NAM has encouraged Member States to consider, and carry out, activities in support of the Action Plan for the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022), which provides a framework for enhancing interreligious and intercultural dialogue and promoting tolerance and mutual understanding, as endorsed by UN. NAM Member States have underlined the importance of promoting interfaith harmony at the national, regional and international levels. An example of such cooperation was manifested recently when the First India Indonesia Interfaith Dialogue (IIID) was held in Yogyakarta, Indonesia on 3-5 October 2018. First IIID was held to provide a platform for Indian and Indonesian religious scholars, youth and civil society leaders to join hands in promoting dialogue across religions and cultures, combat prejudice, tackle radicalism and promote an environment of peace. The IIID in Yogyakarta comprised of a Forum Discussion, visits to places of worship, and dialogues between Hindu, Islamic, Christian, and Buddhist religious scholars of both countries.

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