The United Nations called on the international community Friday for unity in its response to terrorist threats and to those who claim religious principles as a reason for committing acts of violence.
The many acts of terrorism show that achieving harmony and strengthening religious and intercultural dialogue is a huge challenge, U.N. General Assembly President Mogens Lykketoft said.
He made the call at an event promoted by Kazakhstan and Jordan to exchange ideas on ways to boost peaceful coexistence and respect for cultural and religious diversity.
In the opening speech of the debate, Lykketoft recalled that one U.N. mission is to protect world security, but above all to promote tolerance and dialogue among the diverse cultures and religions.
At the meeting, Kazakh Foreign Minister Erlan Idrissov noted the urgency of this task at a time when many are perfectly willing to pervert their religion and abuse their values.
He recalled that his country kicked off an initiative in 2003 to hold periodic conferences of religious leaders as a platform for exchanging ideas among the different faiths.
But Idrissov also insisted on the need to organize worldwide actions to make up a global anti-terrorist coalition, and to create universal mechanisms for punishing offenders.
The Kazakh minister, whose country aspires to a non-permanent seat in the U.N. Security Council for the 2017-2018 period, recalled that keeping the peace doesn’t just mean stopping violent conflicts.
It also means dealing with the international community’s inability to rebuild confidence or to end the dangers that threaten all humanity, he said.
In the name of the other country that promoted Friday’s meeting, the Jordanian minister of Islamic Affairs, Hayel Abdul Hafeez Daoud, denounced groups like the Islamic State, or IS, that seek to export radical ideas supposedly based on religious beliefs.