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General Assembly – Informal Meeting

Statement delivered by Ambassador Inigo Lambertini, Deputy Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations, in his capacity as Chair of the WEOG for the month of May 2018, at the General Assembly Informal Meeting on the occasion of the celebration of the International Day of Living Together in Peace —

Madame President,

I have the honour to deliver this statement on behalf of the Group of Western European and Other States on the occasion of the celebration of the International Day of Living Together in Peace.

As one of the primary purposes of the United Nations, as stated in its founding Charter, is ensuring lasting and peaceful relations among its Member States, we reiterate today our full and unwavering commitment towards this crucial goal. In doing so, we are convinced that this can be achieved only through a holistic approach to peace, one that encompasses and joins together the three agendas of peace and security, sustainable development and human rights, in full coherence with the vision on Sustaining Peace by Secretary-General Guterres.

Madame President,

in order to promote peaceful and inclusive societies and live together in peace, it is essential to foster inclusivity, mutual understanding, tolerance and diversity, which hinge on intercultural and interreligious dialogue, so as to build bridges between different cultures and religions, reinforcing common values and identifying shared objectives. Standing up against discrimination and stigmatization on the basis of religion or belief and ethnicity as well as efforts to diminish marginalization are also crucial.

While governments should have a fundamental role in this regard, we believe critical that civil society be fully involved in mediation, prevention and early warning of threats to international peace and stability. In particular, the crucial value that women and young people can provide to mediation and peacebuilding efforts must be fully underlined and actively promoted. Second, we recall the role of religious leaders in promoting mutual tolerance and understanding. We also wish to commend the efforts of UNESCO and of the Alliance of Civilizations to keep the United Nations system and the international community focused on the importance of intercultural dialogue, tolerance and diversity.

Madame President,

to conclude, as we steadily proceed towards the implementation of Agenda 2030 and celebrate, this year, the 70th Anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, let us renew our commitment to the promotion of open and peaceful societies. Such a commitment represents a strategic investment into enhanced security, greater economic development, and a more effective promotion and protection of human rights.

I thank you very much, Madame President.