NAM’s Efforts to Promote Interfaith Dialogue

Interfaith dialogue is about people of different faiths coming to a mutual understanding and respect that allows them to live and cooperate with each other in spite of their differences. The term refers to cooperative and positive interaction between people of different religious traditions, (i.e. “faiths”) at both the individual and institutional level. Each party remains true to their own beliefs while respecting the right of the other to practice their faith freely.
Non-Aligned Movement has always stressed upon the need to continue working towards the promotion of interfaith dialogue and understanding among all civilizations, cultures and religions. In successive NAM summits, Member states have 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, respect for and protection of the freedom of religion and belief, including the right to preserve one’s cultural identity. At the Algiers Ministerial conference of 2014, NAM member states expressed their commitment to enhancing dialogue among civilizations and religions, through supporting efforts made at the international level towards reducing confrontation, promoting respect for diversity based on justice, fraternity and equality, and oppose all attempts of uniculturalism or the imposition of particular models of political, economic, social, legal or cultural systems, and promote dialogue among civilizations, culture of peace and inter-faith dialogue, which will contribute towards peace, security, stability and development. NAM has expressed support for the sustained efforts of NAM Members to highlight the importance of promoting interreligious and intercultural dialogue at the United Nations as articulated in annual resolutions on the subject, including A/Res/68/126, entitled Promotion of interreligious and intercultural dialogue. The resolution recognizes that interreligious and intercultural dialogue has made significant 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 from different cultural and religious backgrounds and among nations. The resolution also recognizes the efforts by relevant stakeholders to foster peaceful and harmonious coexistence within societies by promoting respect for religious and cultural diversity, including by engendering sustained and robust interaction among various segments of society. The resolution also acknowledges the efforts of Non- Aligned Movement in this regards and in particular applauds the outcome of the Special Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace and Development (SNAMMM) held in Manila, Philippines in 2010.
On 16-18 March 2010 the Philippines hosted the Special Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation (SNAMMM) with the participation of over 120 foreign delegations. The SNAMMM addressed the existing, new and emerging challenges to the promotion of a culture of peace and development. It also reaffirmed that the common fundamental values contained in the United Nations Millennium Declaration of freedom, equality, solidarity, tolerance, respect for nature, and shared responsibility are essential to international relations. SNAMMM’s Declaration, acknowledged “the important and significant role civil society, faith-based non-governmental organizations and media could play in promoting interfaith and intercultural dialogue and understanding towards fostering social justice, and, in particular, the attainment of the internationally agreed development goals, including the Millennium Development Goals”. Furthermore, in its Progamme of Action, SNAMMM encouraged faith-based non-governmental organizations and civil society to support the efforts of governments as well as to develop partnerships among each other, in order to cooperate for social and economic justice, for all within the society. At the Algiers Ministerial summit, NAM ministers expressed their appreciation to the efforts to use information and communications technology, including the internet to promote interreligious and intercultural dialogue and acknowledged with appreciation the establishment by the Philippines of the Interfaith Dialogue e-Portal pursuant to commitments made during SNAMMM. For more than 50 years, NAM has one of the most respected platforms for dialogues among the developing countries and the organization prides itself as the major intergovernmental group committed to promote and protect the principles of religious and cultural diversity, tolerance, understanding, and dialogue. NAM recognizes that intercultural and interfaith dialogues policy frameworks are an enduring basis for promoting global cultural harmony and globally establishing a shared environment of peace, security, and development based on mutual understanding. For the Non- Aligned Movement, interfaith dialogue is not just a theoretical construct, but a reality among its diverse people and belief.

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