UN: High-level meeting

Albania, Jordan and the Vatican organize high-level meeting on "Social Harmony for Sustainable Development: Promoting understanding and respect in a time of intolerance"

In the framework of the Sustainable Development Summit in New York, Albania took the initiative to organize a high-level meeting on the topic "Social Harmony for Sustainable Development: Promoting understanding and respect in a time of intolerance". Jordan and the Vatican also joined this initiative. The meeting aimed at underlining the need for a genuine dialogue and interaction between religions and cultures and promoting diversity and harmony.

The event was moderated by the Albanian Minister of Foreign Affairs Ditmir Bushati, while the keynote speakers were Prime Minister of Albania Edi Rama, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Jordan Nasser Judeh, Secretary for Relations with States of the Holy See, Archbishop Paul R. Gallagher, High Representative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Assistant Secretary General Jean-Paul Laborde, Under-Secretary-General and Associate Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme Gina Casar and Administrator of the United Nations Development Programme, Helen Clark.

In his speech, Prime Minister Rama highlighted that Albania is a model of peaceful co-existence and a place of religious brotherhood. Moreover, he underlined that Albanian history has shown that we have always known how to build on commonalities and respect differences in terms of religious beliefs. Today, the world faces the threat of terrorism, which we have to fight together, without giving up our sacred values.

During his speech, Minister of Foreign Affairs Ditmir Bushati emphasized that this panel is very important to Albania, because it is on the eve of the 60th anniversary of Albania's membership in the UN and the 70th anniversary of the founding of the organization. In 60 years of membership, but mainly after 1990, Albania has proven to be a reliable member of the organization, contributing to peace and security in the world. Now, as a NATO member and an EU candidate country, we are committed and determined to play a more active role in line with the priorities and objectives of our national development and advancement towards the EU. Today, the world faces a number of security challenges, such as migratory flows from conflict zones, extreme violence, religious intolerance and discrimination; thus, the promotion of harmony is of a paramount importance.

Furthermore, Minister Bushati underlined that Albania's history proves there are no obstacles to the development of dialogue and communication; it clearly demonstrates a peaceful and harmonious coexistence, in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust.
Minister Bushati praised the generosity of Jordan in coping with the crisis caused by the flow of Syrian refugees and the special role of this country in promoting dialogue, understanding and harmony between religions.

Minister Bushai highlighted the special contribution of Pope Francis II in promoting the values of coexistence and inter-religious dialogue throughout the world, focusing on the importance of his visit to Albania as his first stop in Europe and as a model for religious coexistence.
Referring to the Declaration of Schuman, Minister Bushati concluded that world peace cannot be preserved without creative efforts in response to dangers that threaten it, and in this context, he invited all participants to continue their joint efforts and dialogue with a view to promote understanding and respect in a time of intolerance.

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