November 23, 2017

Statement by Ambassador Moushoutas on Agenda Item 24 “Culture of Peace”

Mr. Chairman,

Observing as we do, the International Decade for the Culture of Peace and non-violence for the children of the world, and considering the state of the world affairs, one cannot but think how necessary and timely a culture of peace seems today.  

“War begins in the minds of men”, states the UNESCO Constitution “and it is in these minds that the defenses for peace must be constructed”. How true. We need to cultivate peace. Education contributes to knowledge and correct views. The question is, does education by itself build peace among men and nations?

Knowledge alone may lack the requirements to attain peace. We must strive through spiritual uplifting to impute the sense of brotherhood and love among people. Love thy neighbour like yourself and blessed be the peacemakers, we are taught.

The family, the school, the places of worship are inseparable “sine qua non” ingredients for contributing to the building of a peaceful world. Of cardinal importance is the need for respect for diversity, respect for other religions and cultures. The beauty of integration and unity in diversity, must be pounded upon and cultivated in our children’s minds, if we are to realize the objective and essence of the Culture for Peace.

The item “Dialogue among Civilizations” inscribed in the General Assembly agenda by Iran’s President and debated in these halls in the past few years, aims in advancing understanding and tolerance, and contributes to peaceful symbiosis in diversity.

Diversity must be made to be seen, what it is, a part of a beautiful mosaic and not as a pretext for segregation among peoples and separatist movements. We have expanded our horizons and are continuously making strides in scientific knowledge. We have reached other parts of the Cosmos. We have become, or should believe that we have become, a global village. Paradoxically at the same time, however, we experience schisms, partitions, divisions and violent separatist extremist movements. It is obvious that advances in science have not brought peace. We still live in a state of conflicts and terror. Knowledge has not brought the much desired peace.

We have identified the causes of conflicts in underdevelopment, poverty and oppression. We have tried to reverse the use of force in favour of dialogue, by the creation of the United Nations, but we have had limited success. We still have a long and arduous way to go. Why? We believe that the answer lies in the fact that peace cannot exist without justice, the most substantive element for peace, one which is inseparably connected to it. Peace cannot thrive in a State without the presence of political, economic and social justice.

Irrespective of the grave difficulties that we face in this lofty endeavour of establishing a Culture of Peace, we owe it to our children to strive for a just world, a tolerant world, a world of brotherhood in diversity, where justice prevails and the provisions of the UN Charter are indeed imbedded in their young minds and hearts.

Thank you, Mr. President.