On the conclusion of the High-Level Dialogue on Interreligious
and Intercultural Understanding

The President of the General Assembly expresses his appreciation to all Member States and civil society representatives for their support in taking part in the first ever High-level Dialogue on Interreligious and Intercultural Understanding and Cooperation for Peace held by the General Assembly on 4, 5 and 8 October 2007. The active participation of over eighty Member states, many of them represented by government ministers, underscored the importance countries and individuals attach to the need for dialogue among cultures and religions.

Holding the High-level Dialogue marked an important and timely decision on the part of the General Assembly to address the tensions that exist and to enhance mutually reinforcing efforts at the national, regional and international levels. The event clearly demonstrated that the General Assembly had an important role to carry this dialogue forward. The President notes that the views, statements and proposals voiced during the meeting demonstrated that it is only through dialogue that we can promote unity in diversity and replace misunderstanding with mutual understanding, acceptance and respect for each other.

The President believes that the dialogue on Interreligious and Inter-cultural Understanding and Cooperation for Peace is an important avenue that can lead to a new culture of international relations based on human rights and security, mutual cooperation and respect for international law.

He notes that the success of such a global dialogue rests on the active involvement of all, governments, private sector, civil society, faith groups, NGOs and the media. The President on his part will continue his efforts to engage Member States through the General Assembly to make this dialogue continuous and forward looking.

New York, 8 October 2007

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