25 May 2007
General Assembly

Department of Public Information • News and Media Division • New York

Sixty-first General Assembly


102nd Meeting (AM)




Also Requests Contributions to UN Population Award Trust Fund

The General Assembly this morning adopted, without a vote, a resolution to convene in October a high-level dialogue on Interreligious and Intercultural Understanding and Cooperation for Peace, as well as a resolution on the United Nations Population Award. 

By the terms of the text on the high-level dialogue, contained in document A/61/L.60, the Assembly decided to hold the gathering during three plenary meetings on 4 and 5 October, at the ministerial or highest possible level.  It also decided to hold an informal interactive hearing on 4 October, chaired by the General Assembly President, with representatives of civil society and the private sector.  Further, it requested that the Assembly President determine the informal interactive hearing’s list of invited participants and determine, in consultation with Member States, its format and organization, as well as prepare an informational note on the hearing’s organization of work.  It requested that the President include the highlights of the hearing in his closing remarks and later circulate a summary of the hearing’s discussions.

Introducing the text, Hilario Davide ( Philippines) said the practice of tolerance and peaceful coexistence could not be enforced or legislated.  Rather, it could be imbibed and practiced primarily from religious precepts and adherence to rich cultural values.  To do that, it was necessary to expand partnerships to promote a culture of peace, which involved faith communities and non-governmental organizations championing pluralism and revered cultural values.  Promotion of a culture of peace, he stressed, should encourage mutual inclusiveness of and mutual reinforcement by related initiatives, such as Pakistan’s Enlightened Moderation, Iran’s Dialogue among Civilizations, the Alliance of Civilizations of Spain and Turkey and other noteworthy interfaith and inter-ethnic initiatives of such countries as Albania, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, New Zealand, the Russian Federation, as well as the Asia-Europe Meeting and the Asia-Pacific Interfaith Dialogue Forums for the promotion of peace, development and human dignity.

In adopting the text on the United Nations Population Award, contained in document A/61/L.59, the Assembly invited Member States to make voluntary contributions to the United Nations Population Award Trust Fund in order to generate adequate investment income and sustain the award, and welcomed additional contributions from foundations, individuals and other sources. 

Introducing that draft, Anders Lidén ( Sweden) said that since the award’s reception in 1981, it had been given to 26 individuals and 21 institutions.  However, in recent years, the Trust Fund’s interest income and related expenditures had dropped below the award’s monetary value, creating an urgent need to mobilize additional financial resources.  He said that by adopting the draft resolution, the Assembly would increase recognition of the links between population issues and sustainable development, as well as shore up support for the important contribution of population issues to achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

The next meeting of the Assembly will be announced.

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For information media • not an official record