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PIA Press Release

SNAMMM draft Manila Declaration deliberated for adoption by PrepSOM

Manila, March 16 (PNA) -- The Draft Manila Declaration was among so-called "consensual documents" prepared by the New York-based Coordinating Bureau (CoB) of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) turned over on Tuesday by CoB Chair, H. E. Ambassador Maged Abdelaziz of Egypt, to Philippine Foreign Undersecretary for Policy Erlinda F. Basilio, marking the opening of the plenary sessions of the three-day Special Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting (SNAMMM) here.

Basilio has assumed the chairmanship of the Preparatory Senior Officials Meeting (PrepSOM) of the SNAMMM on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace and Development, and praised CoB for "having done a lot of preparation that makes (PrepSOM)'s job much easier to accomplish."

The Declaration reiterates the United Nations and NAM principles on respect of cultural and religious diversity, promoting tolerance and interfaith dialogues and related confidence-building measures.

The Draft would undergo scrutiny and general debates, if any, but as Abdelaziz commented in presenting his Report, the months-long joint Philippine-Egypt work in New York was done with much "constructive spirit, flexibility and solidarity" that diplomats conceded it would be adopted by NAM's ministerial segment without much difficulty.

Earlier, even Philippine Foreign Affairs Alberto G. Romulo said there is "nothing inflammatory" about the Draft that would cause it to be questioned much. "After all, who would question a call for a culture of peace and cultural diversity?" he remarked.

The Declaration is one of two major Outcome Documents (OD) at the end of the Manila session on Thursday, "a seminal product" that reflects both the experience and the unflagging spirit of multi-ethnic, multi-faith Filipinos in uniting for peace and development.

A tandem OD is the Programme of Action on the Active Promotion of Dialogue, in Particular Interfaith Dialogue, to Strengthen a Culture of Peace and Development.

According to Abdelaziz, part of the Programme contains "the overarching guidelines" for its implementation such as continuing to strengthen intercultural dialogue among peoples and promoting respect for religious diversity.

The action programme contains what the Egyptian chair describes as an "exhaustive list of practical, action-oriented measures" that NAM members will undertake, such as promoting "human rights and fundamental freedoms."

The PrepSOM ends this afternoon. (PIA) [top]

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