H. E. Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz AI-Nasser,
Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the United Nations


The Sixtieth Session of the General Assembly
of the United Nations


The One-Day Plenary Meeting to Review Progress Made in the Implementation of the Declaration and Programme of Action of the Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World (2001- 2010) and the Observance of the Decade at its Midpoint

New York, 20 October 2005

Mr. Chairman,

As we meet at the Midpoint of the International Decade for the Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World [2001- 2010], we are heartened by the genesis of a global movement of peace seekers and peace builders. We applaud the multitude of grass roots initiatives blossoming at this Mid Decade. We also express our profound appreciation and gratitude to the exemplary actions on the part of world leaders, particularly the Prime Ministers of Spain and Turkey as well as a considerable number of eminent personalities.

At this Midpoint of the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Nonviolence for the Children of the World, we reaffirm the inextricable nexus between peace, development and security and call for increased and accelerated efforts in the arenas of peace building, peace- keeping, conflict prevention, disarmament, sustainable development, the promotion of human dignity and human rights, democracy, the rule of law and good governance.

We commend the many young people from different parts of the World who collectively contributed to the Mid Decade World Civil Society Report on a Culture of Peace. We also express our gratitude and pay tribute to the Secretary General of the United Nations and the Director General of UNESCO for the launching of significant activities and initiatives that have contributed substantively to building bridges of unity and common ground among civilizations, religions and societies. The State of Qatar has supported over the years their commendable efforts.

Mr. Chairman,

Peace is more than the absence of war. Peace is a process, a way of solving problems. It does not rest in charters, declarations or covenants alone but lies in the hearts and minds of all people. In this complex era of international tensions, converging currents of globalization and of calls for the clash of civilizations, peace is our most precious common possession.

The long labour of peace is an undertaking for every nation, community and society. To this goal, none can be uncommitted. Otherwise the indictn1ent of posterity will rightly point its finger at us all.

From the outset, the State of Qatar has been a fervent supporter of United Nations impulses and actions to foster a Culture of Peace as well as to promote a Dialogue among Civilizations. The State of Qatar has continuously advocated the principle of Dialogue aimed at deepening the scope of understanding and establishing the foundation of mutual respect, friendship and cooperation between countries and societies. This impetus has become more urgent after the despicable tragedy of September 11, 2001.

The Emir of the State of Qatar, His Highness Sheik Hamad Bin Khalifa Al-Thani and Her Highness Sheika Mozah bint Nasser Al-Missned, Consort of His Highness the Emir of the State of Qatar are among those eminent personalities who believe in the common humanity of all and dream of a world where all can live in dignity and security. Their advocacy, compassion, vision, and convictions have led to a myriad of successful initiatives directed at deepening the scope of understanding between countries and societies, particularly between the Muslim and Western World. It is an axiom of the State of Qatar that while it is adamantly against religious bigotry and extremism, it categorically rejects any identification or association of terrorism with Islam or any other religion.

At the global level, the State of Qatar has been a leading advocate of the necessity to promote a Dialogue among Civilizations. Since 2000, the State of Qatar, at the highest political level, supported all United Nations resolutions calling for a Culture of Peace, the implementation of the Global Agenda for Dialogue among Civilizations and the Programme of Action as well as other peace related resolutions emanating from various UN conferences. Also, in other regional and international foras, such as the Organization of Islamic Conference, the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council, we have been keen promoters of mutual tolerance and understanding between and among nations.

At the national level, the State of Qatar has taken concrete steps to implement the Global Agenda and the Programme of Action. Appropriate cultural, educational, and social programmes have been developed to promote the concepts of peace and dialogue. Considerable attention has been given to activities of local civil society organizations and non-governmental organizations in this regard. Relevant information, geared to fostering mutual understanding and recognition among and within nations, have been disseminated widely in national academic circles. Moreover, school curricula and textbooks incorporate a culture of tolerance and respect for culture diversity, while preserving the values and ethos of Qatari society.

The State of Qatar devotes considerable energy to the promotion of a Culture of Peace through the hosting of dialogues, therefore, facilitating the interaction and exchange of values attitude, and modes of behaviour conducive to enhancing world peace. Such dialogues have been concerned with the fundamentals of human existence and addressed crucial issues thus, underlining the common goals, principles and interests of the community of nations.

Mr. President,

A Culture of Peace is essentially the cultivation of the creative potential of men and women to develop a skill, a mindset, values and attitudes for living together in harmony. The effort to improve the human condition is not a task for the few. It is the task of all nations, societies and communities. We owe it to our children to consecrate every iota of energy and effort we possess to bequeath a world devoid of injustice, prejudice, hatred, extremism, exclusion, mistrust, and discrimination of all kind. We must not fail our children who, in most instances, are victims of violence. Let us prepare our children for peace to be peace builders, abhorring violence and the use of physical force to achieve an aim.

In the next half of the Decade, it is incumbent on governments, the UN systems and civil society, including religious institutions, to attain inter-civilization understanding premised on respect for all religions and cultural diversity to bridge the widest of divides, still prevalent amidst the storms of daily conflict and crisis. We must seize the vision of a Culture of Peace to speed progress toward a better world.

Mr. President,

The international community has a moral responsibility to improve life on this earth and promote peace and tranquility for its inhabitants. The work of our own hands to buttress a Culture of Peace-matched to reason and principle-will determine our destiny. We must augment the intellectual and compassionate armory of the international community to contribute and collaborate, in no small measure, to a Culture of Peace.

The nations of the world must continue to promote dialogues in all domains that address critical issues of peace, development and security as well as underlining the commonality of goals, principles and interests shared by all Member States. Above all, we should embrace cultural diversity and not fear or repress it, in order to engender international cooperation in resolving critical issues.

Thank you, Mr. Chairman.