Minister Bushati attends UNAOC Ministerial

Foreign Minister Ditmir Bushati attended the Ministerial of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations held in New York.

In his speech, he focused on the achievements of the Summit on Global Goals and the adoption of an ambitious, transformative development agenda for the period 2015- 2030. With regard to latest developments, Minister Bushati underlined the importance of social harmony as a prerequisite to achieve sustainable development.

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Remarks of H.E. Mr. Ditmir Bushati to the UNAOC Ministerial Meeting in New York
Mr. President,

Excellences,

During these last days we have been through a particular moment in history. World eyes have been concentrated in New York with a justified hope that the Summit on the Global Goals and a reflection on the course of the world today while marking the 70th anniversary of the UN would produce some good news. We can happily admit, there was good news. We have approved a bold, ambitious, transformative development agenda designed to change the world for good by 2030.

Last Saturday, together with Jordan and the Holy See, we organized a panel discussion on the necessity of having social harmony as an important prerequisite to achieving sustainability. It was a moment to share ideas, thoughts and experiences, pointing out that respect and understanding for our differences are fundamental for any given country to ensure normal life and achieve progress and development. I would like to thank the High Representative for his participation and his thoughtful remarks.
Dear Colleagues,

Our world has never been a “fleuve tranquille”. It has gone through all kinds of man-made upheavals that have shaped humanity, not always for good. Progress has thus not been easy, at times it has been very costly, but it has never stopped.

As we take a moment to reflect of the past 70 years of the UN, we cannot avoid asking ourselves some hard questions: how much have we learned from our past failures and mistakes? How much our investments in education, cooperation, understanding and tolerance, have helped our societies move forward? Have we done enough and have we adopted the right approach?

These question and many others become more resounding in the critical times we are living. On one hand, we have never been more hopeful for our future, and on the other, we are horrified by an unprecedented rise in religious intolerance, violent extremism and widespread discrimination and persecution of individuals belonging to religious, ethnic, or other minorities. Religious and cultural diversity are under threat not only in Iraq and Syria where the unspeakable brutality has undone the social fabric of communities living side by side, but elsewhere as well.

During his memorable visit to Albania, Pope Francis pinpointed what we consider being one of the most precious elements of our society, an almost unique religious harmony that the Pope baptized “religious fraternity”. We cherish this treasure as a fundamental part of us, as a necessity to continue to be who we are.

As we notice nowadays how easy it is to exploit differences and generate violence, how fragile the social compact is and the risk to fall victim of extremes, we are seriously reflecting and will soon come up with a reform to ensure that every child be educated properly and extensively with an open mind to the world's differences, in terms of religions, cultures, spiritual heritage and historic particularities. Investing in our children and youth is the most lasting and most sustainable investment that we all can make. We are also establishing a Regional Centre against Violent Extremism in Tirana, the capital city of Albania, to combat ethnic division and eradicate stereotypes through people to people contacts, dialogue, and understanding.

The Prime Minister of Albania was one of the speakers at the Leaders’ Summit countering ISIL and Violent Extremism President Obama chaired two days ago. Let me end by quoting what he said: “…to defeat the ideology, we have to win the battle for the hearts and minds of future generations, as it is the power of their dreams that makes changing a daily reality…” This is our commitment and we will work hard to make the proper investment for the future generations.

We believe that the Alliance of Civilisations, with its 10 years strong record, remains a very valuable asset we have in this regard and we should make the best use of its tools to make the world a better one for all.

Thank you!

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