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Address by the Chairman of the Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation, Mr. Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain, at the Opening of the World Forum for the Culture of Peace:

June 13, 2019

In the name of Allah, the most Merciful and most Compassionate.

Mr. President of the Republic of Malta, Dr. George Vella,

Mr. President of the Central African Republic, Faustin Archange Touadera,

His Royal Highness Prince Turki Al Faisal,

His Excellency the Speaker of the Kuwaiti National Assembly Mr. Marzooq Al-Ghanim,

Presidents, Ministers, Ambassadors

Ladies and Gentlemen

Peace, mercy and blessings of God be upon you all.

We are pleased, within the framework of cooperation between the Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation, the United Nations General Assembly, the International Peace Institute (IPI), the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, Leiden University, and the Carnegie Palace of Peace, to welcome all of you to this World Forum for Peace Culture. We gather today in the Peace Palace at The Hague with the presence of this esteemed assembly of leaders, thinkers, academics, and media professionals from all corners of the world.

This Forum is made possible with the blessings of His Highness the Amir of the State of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, may Allah preserve and protect him. His Highness has been honored by the United Nations as a Humanitarian Leader, and under his leadership, Kuwait has become a hub for humanitarian work. We are walking in his footsteps and following his vision in this field.

This Forum is the result of our initiative, representing the Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation, under the theme "Peace Culture for the Security of Future Generations." We presented this initiative in two consecutive sessions to the United Nations General Assembly on September 7, 2017, and September 5, 2018. The aim was to teach the principles of a just peace culture to students from kindergarten to university. At that time, we introduced the "Model Curriculum" prepared by the Foundation, and it was unanimously approved.

Our Foundation, in collaboration with an international committee and world experts, has developed these specialized curricula. There are seventeen of them, based on the ideas we presented to the United Nations General Assembly. These curricula will be presented to you in the closing session of this forum.

Ladies and Gentlemen…

We all live in a painful reality, where destructive wars and fragile situations exist in a number of countries and communities. As a result, social peace is in grave and worsening danger. The human cultural heritage is deliberately and intentionally subjected to destruction. Social relationships have deteriorated, and local and global citizenship is facing a real crisis.

We chose the theme of the first edition of this international forum to be about teaching peace culture and safeguarding cultural heritage. We focused on Iraq and Yemen to protect cultural heritage in these countries. Additionally, we highlighted the Central African Republic to teach peace culture, given the major violations of civil peace it has endured.

Ladies and Gentlemen…

Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation has organized a series of its specialized sessions and seminars on the topic of intercultural dialogue and coexistence among religions in several cities and capitals across Europe and beyond. It began in 2004 in the city of Cordoba, Spain, under the patronage of the Spanish monarch King Juan Carlos. In 2006, the tenth edition was held in the French capital, Paris, under the patronage of President Jacques Chirac.

In 2008, the Foundation held its eleventh edition in the State of Kuwait under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, the Amir of Kuwait. The title of the event was "Cultures and Interests from Two Perspectives: The Axis of Conflicting Interests and Its Impact on the Global Cultural Scene" and "The Axis of Cultural Dialogue as a Method to Resolve Issues."

In 2010, the Foundation hosted its twelfth edition in Sarajevo, under the patronage of Dr. Haris Silajdžić, then President of the Presidency Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina. We are pleased to have him with us in this hall today.

In 2011, we held a course in Dubai under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, focusing on poetry and peaceful coexistence.

In 2013, the Foundation organized its thirteenth edition in the city of Brussels. The event was titled "Arab-European Dialogue in the 21st Century: Towards a Shared Vision." It took place at the headquarters of the European Parliament and was patronaged by the then President of the European Parliament, Martin Schulz.

In 2015, the Foundation held its fifteenth edition in Oxford, United Kingdom, in collaboration with the University of Oxford. The event's theme was "One World: Shared Challenges Ahead." It was under the patronage of Lord Patten, former Governor of Hong Kong and current Chancellor of the University of Oxford.

Throughout these sessions and seminars, distinguished political, intellectual, and media figures representing heads of states, parliament leaders, media institutions, and prominent academics from various countries around the world participated.

Our ultimate goal was to establish the principle of dialogue and understanding among diverse cultures and religions, with the aim of ending sectarian and racial conflicts, and promoting values of truth, cooperation, and peace among all people on Earth.

This effort received significant positive response, particularly in the cultural and academic spheres. It led to the establishment of numerous chairs dedicated to intercultural dialogue and historical studies in European, American, Asian, Arab, and African universities.

Ladies and Gentlemen…

Indeed, this Forum today is not a culmination of the Foundation's journey, but rather a gateway to the beginning of a new phase of work. While the road ahead may seem challenging, it is within our reach, provided we possess sincerity and determination.

We hope that nations around the world will incorporate the seventeen principles of peace into their educational curricula, and we express our readiness to assist in this endeavor.

We also look forward with hope and commitment, as believers in the values of just peace, to working towards preserving the humanity of humans and upholding their noble human values and ancient heritage. This can only be achieved by making just peace a daily life culture, embedding it within our thoughts, and letting our everyday language be infused with peace.

The culture of just peace makes us beings of peace, and this is what humanity needs – just peace and harmony.

Oh, world leaders, please bear in mind that you have come to build and protect the Earth, not to destroy it with these deadly weapons. Let the generations to come remember you with gratitude and praise.

It is essential that we all work together to dry up the sources of terrorism. This starts with addressing the sources of injustice, such as the injustice suffered by the Palestinian people.

Peace be upon you and may the mercy of Allah and His blessings be with you.

أعرب المشاركون في منتدى عالمي لثقافة السلام نظمته مؤسسة (عبدالعزيز سعود البابطين) الكويتية بمدينة لاهاي الهولندية امس الخميس عن اشادتهم بنتائجه مؤكدين أنه حدث مهم لنشر ثقافة السلام.

وقال رئيس المعهد الدولي للسلام في نيويورك تيري رود لارسن لوكالة الأنباء الكويتية (كونا) "لقد كان حدثا ناجحا ومفيدا جدا في السعي لتحقيق السلام فيما يتعلق بدور التعليم وحماية التراث الثقافي والحفاظ عليه في الدول التي مزقتها الحروب".

وقال لارسن الذي ترأس جلسة حول تعزيز ثقافة السلام من خلال التعليم في المنتدى "لذلك فإن مؤسسة البابطين قامت بعمل رائع". ووصف الكويت وسمو أمير البلاد الشيخ صباح الأحمد الجابر الصباح بأنهما "نموذج يحتذى به في السعي نحو السلام والمصالحة في المنطقة وفي جميع أنحاء العالم".

ولعب لارسن وهو دبلوماسي نرويجي دورا رئيسيا في مفاوضات التسعينيات التي أدت إلى اتفاقيات أوسلو وهي أول اتفاقيات على الإطلاق بين إسرائيل ومنظمة التحرير الفلسطينية. كما شغل منصب وكيل الأمين العام للأمم المتحدة وعمل بمنصب منسق الأمم المتحدة الخاص لعملية السلام في الشرق الأوسط.

من جانبه قال سفير الكويت لدى هولندا عبدالرحمن العتيبي إن رسالة المنتدى كانت بمثابة "رسالة سلام".

وقال ل (كونا) إن المنتدى ناقش سبل تعزيز ثقافة السلام أمام الجيل الجديد في العالم "بغض النظر عن الدين أو الطائفة أو البلد".

وأضاف "نعتقد أن الوئام والتعايش السلمي بين الناس أمران بالغا الأهمية.. لقد حان الوقت للتفكير بجدية في كيفية التغلب على الكراهية والعنف حتى يعيش الناس في سلام".

من جانبها قالت السياسية الفرنسية وعضوة البرلمان الأوروبي تقية صيفي إن انطباعها عن المنتدى كان "جيدا جدا".

وقالت ل (كونا) "كان المنتدى مهما خاصة عندما ترى كل ما يحدث في العالم".

وأضافت صيفي التي ألقت كلمة أمام المنتدى أن البرلمان الأوروبي مهتم بتعزيز حوار الثقافات حول العالم وينشط في هذا الاتجاه.

ونظم الحدث الدولي الذي استمر يوما واحدا مؤسسة عبدالعزيز سعود البابطين الثقافية الكويتية بالشراكة مع معهد السلام الدولي بنيويورك وجامعة ليدن بهولندا واللجنة الدولية للصليب الأحمر ومؤسسة كارنيغي للسلام.

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