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PIA Press Release
2010/03/17

UN Secgen Ban Ki-Moon urges NAM member countries to forge greater understanding

Manila, PNA (17 March) -- United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon today urged member states of the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) to do more in forging greater understanding that will lead to lasting peace.

"To all members of the Non-Aligned Movement, I say we need to do more. We need to reject extremism. We need to counter those who polarize and distort all who humiliate and manipulate our electoral aims. We have had enough mutual suspicion and fear. The wonderfully diverse members of your movement can do much to forge greater understanding, and that understanding can be the foundation for a better future and a world of peaceful coexistence," the UN Secretary-General said in a video message.

The Philippines is hosting the Special NAM Ministerial Meeting on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace and Development (SNAMMM) at the Philippine International Convention Center.

It gathers together more than 120 delegations from NAM's 118 member states, observers, observer organizations, and guest countries and guest organizations. The SNAMMM is the second biggest gathering in Manila of high-level government representatives, second only to the Ministerial Meeting of the United Conference on Trade and Development in 1979.

NAM represents the interests and priorities of developing countries in international affairs. It has its origin in the Asia-Africa Conference held in Bandung, Indonesia in 1955. The meeting was convened to discuss common concerns and to develop joint policies in international relations, particularly on resisting the pressures of major powers, maintaining their independence, and opposing colonialism and neo-colonialism.

"Peace, development and human rights all depend on mutual understanding and respect. Many members of the Non-Aligned Movement have ample experience in bridging religious. I urge you to use that experience to promote dialogue wherever it is needed," the UN leader said.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon also expressed his wish for the success of the SNAMMM where the United Nations is being represented by UN General Assembly President Dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki.

Video message of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon

President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Mr. President of the UN General Assembly, Foreign Minister Romulo, distinguished Ministers, Excellencies, Mr. Secretary-general of the World Conference on Religions for Peace, ladies and gentlemen.

I am pleased to send greetings to this Special Non-Aligned Movement Meeting on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation. Peace, Development and Human Rights all depend on mutual understanding and respect. Many members of the Non-Aligned Movement have ample experience in bridging religious differences. I urge you to use that experience to promote dialogue wherever it is needed.

I also hope you will support the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. The alliance's Youth Solidarity Fund brings together young people from different cultural backgrounds. This rapid response media mechanism brings experts to the airwaves to serve as the voice of moderation at times of crisis. The alliance is also a clearing house for information, ideas and best practices on education about religions and beliefs.

To all of you supporting these initiatives, I say thank you. And to all members of the Non-Aligned Movement, I say we need to do more. We need to reject extremism. We need to counter those who polarize and distort all who humiliate and manipulate our electoral aims. We have had enough mutual suspicion and fear. The wonderfully diverse members of your movement can do much to forge greater understanding, and that understanding can be the foundation for a better future and a world of peaceful coexistence

In that spirit, I wish you success at this important meeting. Thank you.

(PNA) [top]

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