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Viet Nam & UN  »  Human Rights, Social and Humanitarian Issues  »  63rd General Assembly
 
Statement by H.E. Ambassador Le Luong Minh Permanent Representative of Viet Nam at the General Assembly High-level Dialogue on Interreligious and Intercultural Understanding and Cooperation for Peace
11-13-2008, 05:45 pm

Statement by H.E. Ambassador Le Luong Minh

Permanent Representative of Viet Nam

at the General Assembly High-level Dialogue on Interreligious and Intercultural Understanding and Cooperation for Peace

(Agenda Item 45 : Culture of Peace)

12 November 2008

Mr. President,

At the outset, on behalf of the Delegation of Viet nam, I wish to thank you for convening the 2nd high-level Dialogue on Interreligious and Intercultural Understanding and Cooperation for Peace. I would also like to thank the Secretary-General for his report on the activities carried out by key United Nations entities in implementation of General Assembly Resolution 62/90. My Delegation commends the positive measures undertaken over the last few years within the framework of the United Nations in promoting the culture of peace in general and in facilitating interreligious and intercultural dialogue in many parts of the world as a means to achieve this goal in particular. Viet Nam supports the approach pursued by U.N. bodies and mechanisms, especially UNESCO, UNFPA, the Department of Public Information, the Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, and Department of Economic and Social Affairs which advocate long-term measures focusing on inter alia further educating the younger generations in the veneration for cultural and religious diversity.

Mr. President,

As we discuss interreligious and intercultural understanding and cooperation for peace, we must be reminded that while peace is the premise for the solution of problems such as hunger, malnutrition and poverty, racial and religious discriminations affecting the lives of hundreds of millions of people in many countries and societies and a whole array of global issues facing mankind such as climate change, environmental degradation, HIV/AIDS, peace can not be sustainable without solution of these burning problems. Interrreligious and intercultural understanding and cooperation thus can only be promoted if it is based on the shared desire to contribute to strengthening this organic relationship between peace and development and the solution of problems affecting people of all faiths. We are deeply convinced that UNESCO as well as other U.N. bodies, with their pools of wisdom and expertise, should play the leading role in coordinating Member States’ actions in promoting interreligious and intercultural understanding and cooperation in this direction.

Mr. President,

With a population of nearly 90 millions, Viet Nam is home to 54 ethnic groups each endowed with its own unique culture. In Viet Nam, apart from the world’s major religions like Buddhism, Catholicism, Protestantism, and Islam, genuinely indigenous religions like Cao-daism and Hoa-haoism attract approximately 2 million followers each. The many-thousand-year long history of Vietnamese nation has been on of both constant interreligious and untercultural diversity and unity which have not only well co-existed but also strengthened each other as required by historical contexts of our struggles against alien forces and harsh natural conditions for survival. In most difficult times, Vietnamese have never failed to foster interrreligious and intercultural dialogue, understanding, cooperation and harmony for the preservation of national independence, sovereignty and peace. Interrreligious and intercultural hostilities are foreign to our tradition. Over the the past years, the country has adopted a series of laws and policies that aim at protecting the nation’s diverse cultural values and guaranteeing the people’s freedom to religion and belief. Education syllabuses have been developed in 8 minority languages, while a special television channel has been opened to broadcast in 10 minority languages and thousands of programs have been aired by the national radio in 13 minority languages. Great endeavors have been undertaken to help create scripts for many ethnic groups who only had a spoken language for ages. The Vietnamese Constitution provides for freedom of religion and equality between all religions before the law. Most recently, the United Nations Vesak Day 2008 was observed in Viet Nam with some 5,000 Buddhists participating to uphold the philosophy of peace, harmony, compassion, non-violence, tolerance, and no-self. The unprecedented candle-lighting ceremony involving 20,000 people from all religious and non-religious backgrounds at the closing ceremony of the event reaffirms the earnest aspiration of our population for a world of peace and harmony.

Mr. President,

As I mentioned above, interreligious and intercultural hostilities are foreign to the tradition of the Vietnamese nation. Not foreign are the attemps by certain individuals, for their selfish political interests, disguising under the cloak of religion, to carry out activities detrimental to the very fundamental foundation for a culture of peace, which is public order and the guarantee of equality in both rights and obligations of all religions before the law and equality of all citizens in both rights and obligations before the law. For the promotion of interreligious and intercultural understanding and cooperation for peace, it is the duty of all Member States to ensure that such attemptes to abuse religious freedom that we all cherish in sabotage of our shared peace is foreign in our cultures.

I thank you, Mr President!



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Other News:
 » Statement by H.E. Ambassador Bui The Giang Deputy Permanent Representative of Viet Nam at the Third Committee of the Sixty-Third Session of the General Assembly on agenda item : Rights of Children | 10-16-2008 |
 » Statement by Ms. Hoang Thi Thanh Nga At the Third Committee On agenda item: advancement of women | 10-13-2008 |
 » Statement by H.E. Ambassador Bui The Giang Deputy Permanent Representative of Viet Nam on agenda item : Social Development | 10-06-2008 |


 
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