Resolution on Cultural and Interfaith Dialogue among Civilizations

APPF14-RES-20

14th Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum
15-20 January 2006

Resolution on Cultural and Interfaith Dialogue among Civilizations

APPF14/RES/20

(Sponsored by Indonesia and Mexico)

The 14th Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum,

Realizing that religion and culture are the core components of civilization, and reaffirming the spirit of the United Nations Charter, the International Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against Women;

Highlighting the efforts of UNESCO in support of cultural diversity, including the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, approved by the UNESCO General Conference on October 20 of 2005;

Affirming that common understanding and mutual respect of religious and cultural differences are imperative to ensure social cohesion, peace, and sustainability in the world;

Reaffirming that, dialogue among civilizations, including interfaith dialogue, is an important element to build a global common understanding among various societies;

Knowing that respect for cultural diversity and non-discrimination is found at the center of contemporary debates on national identities, social cohesion, development of a New Economy based on the knowledge and promotion of peace and global stability;

Renouncing those who advocate doctrines of intolerance and violence as well as extremism, which pose a very serious threat to all parts of society;

Acknowledging the important role of dialogue among civilizations, including interfaith dialogue, in empowering the moderates and underpinning the key role of faith and community leaders in bridging differences in the Asia-Pacific region;

Convinced that dialogue between different cultures and civilizations could contribute to the acceptance of universal values for social and cultural cohabitation and the universality of human rights;

Conscious of the fact that each culture, regardless of it religious beliefs, is unique and irreplaceable, and that the existence and contribution of each of them is a common legacy for all mankind;

Desiring that members of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum can play an important role as facilitator of dialogue among civilizations and interfaith dialogues in the Asia – Pacific region;

Reiterating that dialogue among civilizations and interfaith dialogue can be carried out in the environment which is free from suspicion and extreme-fanaticism of exclusivity and respective to the existing plurality;

Considering that the globalization process, accelerated by the rapid evolution of information technology and communication, though a challenge for cultural diversity, has also created new conditions for a renewed dialogue between cultures and civilizations;

Recognizing that the places, objects and living traditions of different ethnic and racial groups that make up our countries constitute a permanent legacy that needs to be recognized and preserved from illicit traffic and the destruction of cultural wealth;

RESOLVES TO:

1. Cultivate and nurture peace, justice, compassion, and tolerance needed to help create an environment conducive to building harmony within the international community and people;

2. Exhort that APPF parliaments promote the actions needed to respect and tolerate cultural diversity and prevent all forms of discrimination, to promote and protect the shared value of fundamental human rights and freedom, such as the right of an individual to choose religion or faith that contribute to upholding respect for the diversity of faiths and religions which is essential in combating ideologies based on extremism, intolerance, hatred, and the use of violence;

3. Exhort parliamentarians of the region to develop initiatives for cultural promotion, which recognize the importance of art and culture of all groups and communities, as well as social, ethnic and religious minorities that exist in the heart of our societies;

4. Call APPF parliaments to maintain an adequate socio-cultural environment that stimulates and promotes freedom of expression, creative imagination and full access of all society to cultural activities;

5. Exhort APPF parliaments to implement concrete actions based on greater bilateral and multilateral cooperation that facilitates knowledge and mutual understanding among all countries in the region;

6. Encourage the governments to incorporate interfaith and inter-civilization studies as part of the educational system as well as organize seminars/workshops to strengthen and promote interfaith dialogue;

7. Exhort APPF parliaments to promote actions oriented to the rescue, safekeeping and diffusion of culture, expressed in oral literature, popular festivals, gastronomy and traditional arts as support of cultural diversity and factor in the richness and identity of our people;

8. Condemn the looting, illicit trafficking, destruction and illicit possession of cultural wealth, as well as damage to archeological and historical sites, which result in irreversible losses of cultural patrimony and the identity of our nations.

 



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Resolution on Cultural and Interfaith Dialogue among Civilizations

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