HE. George Vella, President of Malta
HE. Marzouq Al-Ghanim, Speaker of the National Assembly of Kuwait
Mr. Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain, Chairman of Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation
HE. Antonio Guterres, Secretary General of the United Nations (written message)
HE. Abdallah Shahid, President of the United Nations General Assembly.(videotaped message)
Introduction of the forum,
Dr. Touhami Abdouli
Just Peace; these are words that are unlike any other words; in fact, they are greater than the most of words.
There is me, you, and all of us together engaged in that Just Peace; the multi-one with numerous identities all integrated in one, which is the human identity; the very identity that is unified and combined in a possible world.
A human and a poet arrived from the far east of the Arab world with a burning desire to achieve a higher, loftier, and nobler aim. He arrived from Kuwait, the world’s Center of Humanitarian Work, a country small in size but outstanding in achievement. He arrived to an island that is likewise small in size, the country of Malta, but it is a hub of civilizations in the heart of the Mediterranean as well as a melting pot of identities; when we visit it, we find ourselves wherever we turn our faces in it, despite our difference.
Your destiny, you two small countries, is to be greater than the greatest by making the history of the Just Peace, not the peace we can only envision or think about, but the one we should achieve.
Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain, imbued with hope, love, and justice in every breath, joined a man who extended his hand to him, President George Vella, a man who embodies Mediterranean wisdom and long-term vision in his political experience; George Villa, the man who raises his head in the Mediterranean sky and sees nothing but the justice of heaven; the justice of our Creator.
Together, they vowed to serve the human being, from whom will emerge a leader of Just Peace and for the sake of Just Peace.
Perhaps you are totally new with George Vella and Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain, but if you are aware with the Just Peace, you will recognize them as the two men who vowed to beat the drums of justice since they are the only drums they know; the drums of joy.
In the name of all of us, I say to them, «We appreciate you more than any known appreciation for the rest of our lives.»
May God bless you with a long life, for the great never stand still, and the just peace always lives above the earth rather than beneath it.
Honorable brothers, as mentors of just peace, they deserve to be recognized by us by rising as a sign of respect.
Is it so long to see the Just Peace tomorrow! Today, in this forum, we do not wish to wait too long for tomorrow’s just peace.
With these two words, Just Peace, which are unlike any other words, I announce the opening of the Second World Forum for the Culture of Just Peace, Malta Meeting 2022.
HE. George Vella
President of Malta
Mr. Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain,
Speakers of National Assemblies,
It is indeed a pleasure to welcome you to Malta for the “Second World Forum for the Culture of Peace”.
Today we come together to discuss various aspects of leadership for Just Peace.
I want to express my gratitude to Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation for choosing Malta to hold the “Second World Forum for the Culture of Peace”, and it is a most important opportune moment to discuss an agenda of peace.
What the world is witnessing at the moment is an atrocious attack on all notions of democracy, stability, sovereignty and territorial integrity; the world is witnessing a complete disregard of agreements and international institutions.
I am sure that this conference joins me in hoping for a quick ceasefire, a return to the negotiating table and finding diplomatic solutions.
The humanitarian tragedy unfolding in front of our eyes is unacceptable.
Indeed it is a sad moment for Europe and for the international community as a whole.
Let me at the outset state and repeat that what we are witnessing on the European continent is a threat to global stability and a direct affront to humanity.
With heavy hearts, one observes that this is not an isolated case; from around the world, human beings continue to face persecution, threats, military violence and the constant dissolution of harmonious existence.
These events have unfortunately brought us face to face with the very dire consequences of war; something that Europe had thought was something that we had relegated to the past.
The classical Roman poet Virgil was right to state in the Aeneid, “War, horrid war”.
These harrowing events, bringing poverty and death to millions of innocent people eco other destructive state-sanctioned foreign and domestic policies. There is no space for aggression and defiance of international law and human rights treaties at this day and age.
In a post-pandemic recovery period, we should not be talking about war, but about the dialogue, about social justice and peace, and this exactly why most of you have travelled long distances to join us here in these exchanges. In this audience here, we have many countries represented from around the world and many people from different walks of life. Over the next two days, we will exchange and debate on how we can all be promoters of just peace, irrelevant of nationality or status.
If we analyze the history of civilizations, we come to a stark reality that most often, peace has been unjust, and what was projected as justice was more hostile and aggressive than peaceful, where the victors imposed their idea of peace without consultation with the affected peoples and describe the resultant situation as peace. Very often, this resulted in an imposed temporary end to violence and the creation of a feeling of dissatisfaction in most or in all parties.
Emmanuel Kant, in his book “Perpetual Peace”, had already stated that “...peace agreements should avoid clauses that carry the seeds for the outbreak of further war...” Kant, very famously, stated as well that “...there is a moral obligation to peace...”
Some immediate questions come to mind; what do we intend by peace? How does one make it just? and above all, how does one make it last?
Professor John Galtung, who is a leader in contemporary theories of peace, suggested that “...defining peace is a never ending task...” There is a lot of truth in this phrase; the definition of peace has been evolving since time in memorial, we have moved from the concept that “peace is just the absence of war or violence or is a political situation that is the opposite of war”. By just peace, contemporary scholars understand that it is “a social state of well-being, in which all relationships are in harmony”. Just Peace addresses both structural violence and direct violence as it embraces restorative justice, trauma healing, conflict transformation and peace building strategies that put the human being at the centre, it also puts an equal balance between peace and justice. This nexus between peace and justice is at the core of the functioning of the United Nations. In fact, the United Nations Declaration on the “Right to Peace” states that peace is not only the absence of conflict, but also requires a positive, dynamic and participatory process, where dialogue is encouraged and conflicts are solved in a spirit of mutual understanding and social economic development that is ensured.
Furthermore, the United Nations Declaration and Programme of Action on a culture of peace, adopted on September 1999, describes a culture of peace as a set of values, attitudes, traditions and modes of behavior and ways of life. These are to be based on respect for life, ending of violence and the promotion and practice of non-violence through education, dialogue and cooperation.
Excellences, Dear Participants, whose definitions and theories help us understand the process, we need to uptake and also the new tools that we have to develop to aim for peace, we also have to have realistic overview of the situations on the ground.
It has been said that the link between justice and peace is often overshadowed by more immediate concerns, like; security and stability. Very often, the semantics change to accommodate our interest, our own interest, and the spirit of common good dies out. It is on this point that we have to work together as leaders, parliamentarian, academics and civil society.
We cannot have just peace if we still live in a world of inequalities, big or small. There cannot be peace when people are hostile to each other just because they are different or treated differently. There cannot be peace where there are social injustices, where there are chronic industrial disputes. There cannot be peace where there is racism, where there is xenophobia and ostracism. Pacifism is also very dangerous; we cannot turn a blind eye on those who are living in poverty or in other vulnerable situations, we cannot ignore the plight of those affected by disabilities, by chronic unemployment, by addiction, by criminality; these are some of the areas that we need to tackle in this regard.
The role of women and girls, in all aspects of life, needs to be reinforced and sustained through active and meaningful participation in societal life. Women make up half of the population of the world and their contribution is indispensable to ensure a just and peaceful existence. We have woken up to this reality rather late, but that does not justify not changing our old habits. On the contrary, this should spare us on to make up for all the time that has been lost in not putting to best use the latent capabilities in women and girls.
We also need to listen more to the voice of young people; they are not the future, they are a living present and our actions will influence theirs in the coming years.
We need to understand that the involvement of many talented young people will help in the development and transformation of better systems that possibly will make our world a more just one.
Another important consideration is creating an environment of peace and dialogue and the respect of different beliefs. Too often, beliefs are used as excuse to start conflicts. More tolerance and more acceptance will build trust and reduce fears of imposition from one group over another. Hence, fostering a sense of understanding and reducing to the minimum the need to resort to violent practices.
The change in climate, including food and energy security, is another area that deserves our attention; the well-being of many people depends on them. Drastic changes in the natural environment forces displacements and the search for a better life and opportunities. Drought, crop failure, desertification; these are some of the environmental conditions that could disrupt whole societies and end any existing peace.
Another concern, which I am sure many of us would share, is the easy access to small arms and light weapons. It is with such weapons that most conflicts, big or small, are fought. Better controls on the distribution of small arms and light weapons would reduce, in no small way, violent and aggressive activities, which lead to conflicts, to the displacement of whole populations and, subsequently, to humanitarian emergencies at times even that due to hunger, if humanitarian aid and medicines fail or are prevented from arriving.
We can all make a difference in promoting a culture of just peace. The global pandemic has taught us all how international cooperation and multilateral solidarity are essential in ensuring that no one is left behind.
United Nations 2030 Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals set 17 criteria to have a more just and equitable world; it is up to us to determine their fulfillment, and may I point out that 2030 is only 8 years from now. We have the responsibility to continue working on a local level to achieve these aims. I also felt this urgency to contribute here in Malta to foster our national unity. To this effect, in the coming weeks, the Foundation will be set up to see that dialogue and understanding continue across all future presidencies.
On a multilateral level, Malta is aiming to be elected to United Nations Security Council later on this year. As a small neutral country placed strategically in the middle of the Mediterranean, Malta has always acted as a bridge between nations of the northern and southern shores. Our aim is to continue being propagators of peace, even more so within the structures of the United Nations.
I look forward to hearing the debates and the views on how leadership can promote a culture of just peace in the next two days, and I do hope that you have a good stay here in Malta. I want to share with you an observation from Graham Simpson, who is a lead author on youth, peace and security and was tasked by the Secretary General of the United Nations to carry out a progress report as mandated by the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2250 on youth, peace and security; he said that “Justice and peace are a part of a continuum”, meaning that we need to work on their balance every day to ensure that just peace is transformed into a sustainable and lasting peace.
I conclude by expressing my full support to the thoughts expressed by his Excellency Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain in his book “Contemplations for Peace” for all mankind to embrace peace as a value, a goal and a way of life.
Thank you for your attention.
HE. Marzouq Al-Ghanim
Speaker of the National Assembly of Kuwait
In the name of Allah, most Gracious, most Merciful
Praises be to Allah; Lord of all creation, and blessings be upon his most honorable messenger; our prophet Mohammad, peace be upon him, upon his family and upon his companions.
Your Excellency George Vella, President of the Republic of Malta,
Our dear uncle Mr. Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain, Chairman of Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation,
Your Excellency Anġlo Farrugia, Speaker of the Parliament of Malta,
Peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you
At the outset, I feel it necessary to convey my heartfelt appreciation to our dear uncle Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain for his generous invitation and sincere letter. I would want to express my gratitude for the cultural events you are conducting and the world knowledge forums you are hosting, which are of a great importance, and please be sure that we much appreciate all you are doing in this regard. Bringing together such political and cultural figures from throughout the world, and connecting these intellectual elites to critical concerns that cut over continents, religions, and races, is no simple task. I understand that it takes a lot of dedication, work, and energy, much like the ones you have and are so envious of, so please accept our heartfelt gratitude. I hope to God to bless you in everything you do, to guide your feet as you go, and for Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation to continue to be a beacon, light, and role model.
The thanks and appreciation also goes to the Republic of Malta; His Excellency the President and the Maltese People. Your Excellency, your patronage and hosting of this significant forum demonstrates your and Malta’s aspiration to embrace all that bridges cultural divides between peoples in the world and consolidates the culture of peace and harmony.
Why not, and Malta, which lies in the heart of the Mediterranean, has been the scene of ancient nations and civilizations that passed through the region, including the Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Normans, and dozens of other civilizations and cultures, since ancient times, despite its small size. It was certainly a witness to and an embodiment of human cultural diversity, so thank you, Your Excellency the President, for your warm welcome and hospitality, as well as the friendly people of Malta.
As I read the term “the Culture of Just Peace,” which has been given a name to the Forum since its first edition in The Hague in 2019, a question came to mind: Does peace require a culture? Is there, as a result, a culture of war and conflict as the precise opposite of peace? Yes, in my opinion, because racism, sectarianism, discrimination, narrow partisanship, the desire for expansion, and colonial tendencies are all cultural themes and they are all raw materials nourished by a systematic cultural system, with the end result always being wars, conflicts, and mutual phobia. Therefore, the notion of peace is primarily a cultural concept before it becomes a political term; in other words, the human tendency towards peace and reconciliation cannot be a tactical aim, nor must it be the result of your incapacity to go to war or gain time. Peace, on the other hand, must be a strategic goal, an ultimate goal, a way of life, or in some other words, a culture. In order to achieve this, we must always foster the culture of human unity based on respect for diversity, the culture of integration and collaboration, rather than exploitation, penetration, and racial or religious superiority.
Because I am speaking at this forum as a parliamentarian, with a group of distinguished parliamentarians from all around the world, I will stress the importance of parliaments and parliamentarians in spreading and consolidating the culture of peace, and since the Parliament is the voice of the people, people are naturally inclined towards peace; they are worried about food, decent housing, security, education, and access to basic public services, among other natural human needs.
As for those with power and influence, who are obsessed with expansion, profit, and control, they are the actual beneficiaries of these wars, while the normal people, on the other hand, are the fuel for such wars and conflicts; once in the name of religion, once in the name of motherland, once in the name of race, and so on. Therefore, the true duty of parliaments should be one of enlightenment, or so should it be. However, this role turns to be very dangerous when these parliaments become platforms for the perpetuation of populism and demagoguery, fuelling emotions and primitive instincts, as well as all kinds of political savagery.
I say this because, by nature, peace is a matter of investing in the future rather than the present, because it is an eternal way of life rather than an emergency situation, and because - as I stated at the first edition of the Forum in The Hague three years ago - building peace requires many rational people, whereas war, on the other hand, sometimes requires only one foolish person to initiate it. The necessity of rational parliamentary practice is highlighted here; a practice that fosters civic peace and community security even at the expense of personal losses.
On a personal level, and after a 16-year parliamentary career, I am sorry to say that, with the exception of a few, many parliamentarians around the world are working for the next elections rather than the next generations, even if the path to the next elections requires a psychopathic and tense discourse; a discourse that divides people rather than bringing them together, a discourse that is emotional and thrilling rather than becoming rational and quiet.
Peace, my brothers, requires patience, wisdom, maturity, sanity, forethought, and the ability to evaluate other people’s point of view from many perspectives. Peace requires a discourse of understanding rather than skepticism, a language of promise rather than threat, a discourse of the future with all of the foresight, responsibility, and honesty that it necessitates. This is the real challenge for every parliamentarian in the world: adopting wisdom instead of tickling emotions, frankness instead of procrastination, and working for the future instead of draining the present with all its precariousness, and I can see now in front of me a lot of distinguished people who understand exactly what I mean by my words.
Therefore, brothers and sisters, investing in the culture of peace is not a luxury, idle talk, or a sort of entertainment, but rather the only strategic choice we have, because all its alternatives are troubling, destructive, and catastrophic, if not now, then certainly later; history tells us that all wars are lost at the end, and that all conflicts have devastating effects, both immediate and long-term, and that peace is the basic and only condition for achieving development and progress.
To conclude, I would like to express my gratitude to Abdulaziz Albabtain Cultural Foundation for having provided this opportunity, which brought together many prominent names on both a political and intellectual level, as well as to the esteemed uncle Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain, who is making an important enlightening effort and making a difference in dealing with urgent human issues at a time when the world is overwhelmed with costly conflicts on the humanitarian level, the majority of which could have been avoided if reason and wisdom were given a room.
I would also like to convey my sincere gratitude to Malta; His Excellency the President, the Maltese Leadership and people.
Thank you very much,
Peace, mercy and blessings of Allah be upon you.
Mr. Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain
Chairman of Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation
In the Name of Allah most Gracious, most Merciful
Your Excellency President of the Republic of Malta, Dr. George Vella,
Your Excellency President of the Republic of Albania, Ilir Meta,
Your Excellency President of the Republic of Kosovo, Vjosa Osmani
Your Excellency Speaker of the Parliament of Malta, Anġlu Farrugia,
Your Excellency Speaker of the National Assembly of Kuwait, Marzouq Al-Ghanim,
Your Excellency Speaker of the Parliament of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed,
Excellences the Presidents,
Excellences the Vice-Presidents of Parliaments and Parliamentarians,
Excellences the Secretary Generals and Director Generals of International Organizations, Representatives of Educational Institutions and Civil Society Organizations,
Excellences the Ministers, Ambassadors, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you all,
Within the framework of the cooperation between Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation and the Presidency of the Republic of Malta, I am pleased to extend my sincere gratitude to His Excellency Dr. George Vella for hosting the “Second World Forum for the Culture of Just Peace”, which is held under his auspices and with his presence. This confirms his belief in our orientations and his commitment to defending the just peace.
I also would like to extend my sincere gratitude to His Excellency Antonio Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, for sending a written message of support to the honorable attendees in this Forum, which will be read after a while, as well as to His Excellency Abdullah Shahid, President of the United Nations General Assembly, who agreed to come but was unable to do so, so he sent us a videotaped speech, which will be shown later.
It is also my pleasure to welcome you all and thank you for your attendance and participation, which will undoubtedly be of qualitative value. I also apologize to the presidents who agreed to attend and committed to do so, but the COVID-19 and the health regulations followed in travelling prevented them from doing so, and they are Excellency Milo Đukanović, President of the Republic of Montenegro, His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan and His Excellency the President of Portugal, Marcelo Repalo de Sousa, who apologized at the last moment for compelling reasons. As well as His Excellency William Ruto the Vice President of Kenya and His Majesty Rukirabasaija Oyo Nyimba Kabamba Iguru Rukidi IV, King Oyo, the reigning Omukama of Toro, Uganda. They are not among us here today, but they are present in our hearts, so they have our full appreciation.
Our efforts are continuing to implement our initiative, in which we believe, on “The Culture of Just Peace for the Security of Future Generations”, which we have introduced at two consecutive meetings to the United Nations General Assembly on September 7, 2017 and on September 5, 2018, with the aim to teaching the principles of the Culture of Just Peace among students, starting from nursery to the university level, and which have been approved and adopted by the Office of the President of the General Assembly.
The first Forum in the International Court of Justice in The Hague in the Netherlands was a first step on teaching the Culture of Peace and the protection of the Cultural Heritage. During that, we focused on Iraq and Yemen in regard of protecting the cultural heritage in these two countries, as well as on the Central African Republic to bring peace.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Our meeting today in Malta, in the capital, Valletta, within the framework of the “Second World Forum for the Culture of Just Peace” entitled “Leadership for a Just Peace”, acquires two special symbolism. The first one is the symbolism of the place; the island of Malta, which is a symbol of coexistence between peoples. It is a beautiful mix of cultures and civilizations; Phoenician, Carthaginian, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Norman, Spanish, French and English, all in one place where all religions coexist. It also has a unique unifying identity and a distinct national unity, so it is an example to be followed.
As for the second symbolism, it is the unanimity of one common goal and a noble aim, which is “Just Peace.” This good gathering of brothers and friends, from about 30 countries and 5 continents, with the participation of leading institutions in the world in the three sessions, represented by the Head of States, Governments, Parliaments, and international and civil institutions. It is a high-level engagement that demonstrates that there is an unparalleled unanimity on what we do and what we want to achieve, which is among what I have made in my book “Contemplations for Just Peace”, a fifth tool, which I call Interactive Engagement. With such unanimity and interaction, we will continue our course of action with great confidence and steadfastness. We must be very aware; we all believe in the values of just peace, but the belief itself is insufficient unless it is accompanied by action, so we must together move forward a great achievement for the protection of human being’s humanity and values, first by spreading the culture of just peace, then drying up the sources of injustice, and finally by achieving harmony.
At this point, I suggest that you to form a delegation of world-renowned figures among you to mediate in what is happening now of killing and destruction of cultures and the cultural heritage that we inherited from our ancestors and which is being destroyed today before our eyes. Therefore, I believe we should form a delegation that will go and mediate between these two warring countries in an effort to calm things down and end this war, which only leads to havoc, destruction and that terrible impact on humanity.
Honorable Political Leaders, Representatives of institutions, high-level experts in intergovernmental bodies, Civil Society Organizations and intellectuals, you are gathered today and tomorrow to have a sincere debate on how to push the international community into a course of cooperation to prepare the project of “Leadership for Peace and the establishment of a global platform for that”. This requires that you, as Leaders of Just Peace, motivate all concerned parties at the political, social and educational levels to work institutionally and collectively for the sake of the security and future of the world.
It is our common journey for a Just Peace and for the establishment of its culture, awareness of its necessity and victory for it. We must not stop, we must always remind others and try again and again because in the end we will succeed, God willing.
May God grant us all success, thank you, Your Excellency President George Vella, and thank you honorable leaders, ladies and gentlemen, and thank you to the sisters and brothers present and many thanks to the dear people of Malta.
May Peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you all.
HE. Antonio Guterres
Secretary General of the United Nations (written message)
I am pleased to send my greetings to the 2nd Edition of the World Forum for Culture of Peace.
Thank you for coming together to explore institutional mechanisms, educational programmes, tools and action plans to foster “Leadership for Just Peace”.
Our world is in turmoil. Conflicts are spinning out of control. Geopolitical divides are deepening, hindering efforts to find peace.
Mistrust and division are driving people apart.
COVID-19 has wreaked havoc everywhere and inequality and poverty are on the rise.
The climate crisis is worsening, exacerbating vulnerabilities and escalating humanitarian needs.
Our response to all these challenges must be rooted in solidarity and centred on effective multilateral cooperation.
The concept of a culture of peace provides an intellectual frame and political impulse for action.
It embodies the yearning to make peace a way of life. Peace must be our goal and our guide.
Dignity, hope, progress and prosperity all depend on peace, but peace depends on us.
It is at the heart of the United Nations Charter and all that we do. Let us commit to a culture of peace today and every day.
I wish you a successful Forum.
HE. Abdallah Shahid
President of the United Nations General Assembly.(videotaped message)
Your Excellency Dr. George Vella, President of the Republic of Malta,
Mr. Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain, President of Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation,
Colleagues and friends,
We started the new year confronting many challenges, old and new; heightened international tension, socio-economic and political instability, compromised global supply chains, climate change, refugee and humanitarian crises and a continuing COVID-19 Pandemic loomed over our existence. Together, these challenges threaten the multilateral order that has underpinned our world and preserved its stability since the Second World War; they foster resentment and mistrust, threatening to undo the painstaking work we have done over the decades to shape a global regime of cooperation and peace.
Now, more than ever, we need to recommit to a culture of peace and strengthen the multilateral architecture necessary for that peace to thrive.
To succeed, we must be inclusive, shape a multilateral system that benefits us all; a system that addresses the challenges faced by marginalized communities is underpinned by strong institutions, and invest in youth that will one day be its stewards.
As the pandemic has demonstrated, it is often marginalized and overlooked communities that bear the brunt of human costs of global crises. The pandemic has also compounded the many indignities they were already enduring; poverty, exclusion, discrimination, inequality and human rights violations. These indignities fuel resentment and potential strife, that is why the United Nations must work alongside all stakeholders, including; local actors and civil society, to identify and address the challenges faced by the global south, in particular; LDCs (Least Developed Countries), LLDCs (Landlocked Developing Countries) and the SIDS (Small Island Developing States).
We must mobilize to meet the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development on time, and in an inclusive and holistic manner, that is how we will ensure that global recovery benefits everyone and alleviates the socio-economic conditions that gives a rise to collective anxiety and conflict.
Under no circumstances should the post-pandemic future see a portion of the world better off and another portion worse off than they were before all of this started, this will never lead to a positive outcome.
To cultivate and maintain a culture of peace, we need individuals, communities and governments to proactively pursue it through a strategic process that builds the right circumstances for it to thrive.
Building a culture of peace is an active process; it involves bottom-up approaches aimed at preventing, reducing, transforming and assisting people to recover from all forms of violence.
At this critical point in history, it is vital that we strengthen conflict prevention mechanisms, and to that end, I fully concur with the Secretary General’s call for greater global investment in peace building. The global community now recognizes the invaluable role of peace building in helping countries to uphold peace of their own accord through strengthening their institutions and governance.
In line with the twin-resolutions of the 2020 Peace Building Architecture, I look forward to convening a high-level meeting of the General Assembly to advance, explore and consider options for adequate, predictable and sustained peace-building financing. I also concur with the Secretary-General’s view that we must facilitate greater youth engagement and invest in the young leaders who will one day take our place.
Through supporting education, that instills the values of international cooperation in our youth, and by providing them avenues to shape global affairs, we will secure the continued future of global multilateralism.
It was in this spirit that I launched a Youth Fellowship Programme for Young Diplomats from Underrepresented Countries; through that fellowship, these diplomats will work in my office and gain valuable insight into the functioning of the United Nations.
They will take back the lessons they learn here and, hopefully, be better equipped to support their nations to engage with multilateral systems. Alongside their peers, I hope that they will become important and influential advocates within that system, champions of multilateralism that will use their insight, experience and network to build partnerships and resolve common issues.
Throughout my tenure as the President of the General Assembly and beyond, I will continue to be guided by the knowledge that global peace and multilateralism are deeply linked. I draw upon the convection as I call on the international community to cherish cooperation and strengthen bonds of friendship.
Together, let us march forward, meet the challenges of our times and secure a just and lasting peace.
I thank you.