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PRESIDENT of the 64th Session
United Nations General Assembly

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NOTE ATTRIBUTABLE TO THE SPOKESPERSON OF THE PRESIDENT OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY

United Nations, New York, 17 March 2010

Special Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace and Development

Earlier today in Manila, the President of the General Assembly, H.E. Dr. Ali Abdussalam Treki, addressed the Special Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace and Development. Her Excellency Mrs. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Republic of the Philippines, attended the meeting.

Dr. Treki stated that “Promoting dialogue, understanding and coexistence between all races, religions, cultures and civilizations is key to building a multilateral international system based on mutual respect, reinforcing common interests, consolidating the concepts and principles of the peaceful coexistence between peoples, achieving peace and removing the roots of conflict and crisis.”

He added that “One of the most important issues that we must address, whether at the level of the Movement or at the international level at large, is the need to formulate practical and constructive measures aimed at increasing tolerance and understanding, and avoiding branding entire cultures and religions as hostile.” The President of the General Assembly underlined the fact that “we cannot achieve this goal through dialogue alone. It is an important first step to generate enough international momentum in order to enable dialogue to prevail over conflict to enable collective action to prevail over unilateralism.”

President Treki informed participants of his intention to hold a high-level thematic debate on the dialogue among civilizations at the General Assembly in New York on 25 May 2010. This meeting will focus on how such dialogue can help foster international peace and security and resolve longstanding regional and international conflicts. It will complement the relevant General Assembly resolutions and the initiatives and activities of other various stakeholders, including the Alliance of Civilizations and the Global Agenda for Dialogue among Civilizations.

President Treki meets H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Republic of the Philippines

Yesterday, President Treki met with H.E. Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, President of the Republic of the Philippines. President Arroyo welcomed Dr. Treki’s visit to the Philippines as the first sitting President of the General Assembly to ever visit the country.

During the bilateral meeting with President Arroyo, both parties discussed a wide range of issues on the international agenda, in particular United Nations reform, climate change, international economic and financial crisis, dialogue among civilizations as well as disarmament and non-proliferation in light of the chairmanship of the Philippines of the upcoming Non-Proliferation Treaty review conference.

Dr. Treki briefed President Arroyo on the ongoing efforts to strengthen the Organization, including Security Council reform and enhancing coordination and coherence among the various entities of the UN system.

President Treki commended the Philippines for its initiative in holding the SNAMMM meeting on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace and Development. He stressed the need to transform the different initiatives of dialogue into policies and practical measures at the national, regional and international levels.

Dr. Treki also met H.E Alberto G. Romulo, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, who welcomed Dr. Treki as the friend of the People of the Philippines.

Both parties discussed important issues on the agenda of the sixty-fourth session of the General Assembly, including the international economic and financial crisis, and stressed the need for the voice of developing countries to be heard in meetings that do not enjoy universal membership. They also discussed the ongoing efforts to reform the United Nations. They stressed the need for an early reform of the Council and noted that differences between the positions of various parties remain wide.

Earlier on Monday, 15 March, President Treki visited the Rizal Monument in Manila for a wreath laying ceremony.
Moreover, Dr. Treki had a bilateral meeting with the Senate Majority Floor Leader, Honorable Juan Miguel Zubiri.