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Speech by the Chairman of the Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation at the opening session of the Second World Forum for a Culture of Just Peace, Malta, March 3-4, 2022.

March 4, 2022

In the name of Allah, the Most Compassionate, the Most Merciful.

Your Excellency, President of the Republic of Malta, Dr. George Vella,

Your Excellency, President of the Republic of Albania, Mr. Ilir Meta,

Your Excellency, President of the Republic of Kosovo, Mrs. Vjosa Osmani,

Your Excellency Speaker of the Maltese Parliament, Mr. Angelo Farrugia,

Your Excellency Speaker of the Kuwaiti National Assembly, Mr. Marzouq Al-Ghanim,

Your Excellency Mohamed Nasheed, President of the Parliament of the Republic of Maldives,

Esteemed Presidents,

Honorable Deputy Presidents of Parliaments and Members of Parliament,

Honorable Secretaries-General and Directors-General of International Organizations and Representatives of Educational Institutions, and Civil Society Organizations,

Honorable Ministers,

Ladies and Gentlemen Ambassadors,

Ladies and Gentlemen in attendance,

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

I am pleased to express my sincere appreciation and gratitude within the framework of the collaborative endeavor between the Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation and the Office of the President of the Republic of Malta. I extend profound gratitude to His Excellency, President Dr. George Vella, for graciously hosting and endorsing the Second World Forum for the Culture of Just Peace. This act underscores his unwavering belief in the principles we stand for and his resolute commitment, along with that of Malta, to championing the cause of equitable peace.

I also extend my gratitude to His Excellency, Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. António Guterres, for conveying a written message to the participants of this forum, offering his support and endorsement, which will be read shortly. Likewise, my thanks go to His Excellency Abdullah Shahid, President of the United Nations General Assembly, who had intended to join us but was unable to do so. Instead, he has provided us with a prerecorded video message, which will also be presented in due course.

Furthermore, it gives me great pleasure to extend a warm welcome to all of you and to express my gratitude for your presence and participation, which undoubtedly holds significant value. I must also offer my apologies to the esteemed heads of state who had graciously agreed to attend but were unable to do so due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the health-related travel restrictions. These distinguished leaders include His Excellency the President of Montenegro, Mr. Milo Đukanović, His Excellency the President of the Republic of South Sudan, Mr. Salva Kiir, and His Excellency the President of Portugal, Mr. Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, who withdrew at the last moment due to compelling reasons. Additionally, His Excellency the Deputy President of Kenya, Mr. William Ruto, and the King of the Kingdom of Toro, King Oyo Nyimba, are also among the absent attendees who are, in spirit, present with us. They have our utmost appreciation and respect.

Our efforts are continually dedicated to the implementation of our initiative on "A Culture of Just Peace for the Security of Future Generations." I would like to recall that we presented this initiative in two consecutive sessions to the United Nations General Assembly on September 7, 2017, and then on September 5, 2018. The aim is to teach the principles of a just peace culture among students from nursery to university level. This initiative has received approval and endorsement from the Office of the President of the General Assembly.

The first forum, held at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, marked an initial step towards the teaching of a culture of peace and the preservation of cultural heritage. Our focus was directed towards Iraq and Yemen, aiming to safeguard cultural heritage within these nations. Additionally, attention was given to the Central African Republic in efforts to establish peace within its borders.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The current gathering, taking place in Valletta, the capital of Malta, as part of the Second World Forum on "Leadership for Just Peace," carries two distinct symbolic meanings. The first symbolism lies in the significance of the location itself, as the island of Malta stands as a symbol of coexistence among nations. It is a beautiful mosaic of cultures and civilizations, encompassing Phoenician, Carthaginian, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Norman, Spanish, French, and English influences, all while accommodating various religious beliefs. Its unique and distinguished national identity forms a cohesive and exceptional whole. Therefore, Malta serves as an exemplary model to be emulated.

As for the second symbolism, it embodies a unanimous pursuit of a shared noble and sublime goal: "Just Peace." This harmonious assembly of brothers and friends represents nearly thirty countries spanning five continents. It involves the participation of influential institutions worldwide across the three sessions, including presidencies of republics, governments, parliaments, as well as international and civil institutions. This high-level participation underscores an unparalleled consensus regarding our endeavors and aspirations. This aligns with what I have articulated in my book "Contemplations for Just Peace," where I introduced a fifth strategy termed "Interactive Collaborative Action." With such unity and interaction, we will continue our work with immense confidence and steadfastness.

It is imperative that we awaken to our shared responsibility here. While we all embrace the values of Just Peace, belief alone is insufficient if not accompanied by action. We must collectively strive to achieve a monumental accomplishment in preserving human dignity and upholding the lofty principles of humanity. This begins with disseminating the culture of Just Peace, addressing the roots of injustice, and ultimately achieving harmony.

Distinguished political leaders, representatives of institutions, high-level experts in international governmental bodies, civil society organizations, and intellectuals,

Gathered here today and tomorrow, you engage in sincere dialogue on how to propel the international community along a path of cooperation to formulate the concept of "Leadership for Just Peace" and establish a dedicated global platform for it. This necessitates stimulating all concerned parties across political, social, and educational spheres to collaboratively and institutionally work towards being "Leaders of Just Peace," securing the future safety of the world.

Our journey together is for the sake of just peace, for establishing its culture, raising awareness of its necessity, and triumphing in its cause. We must not halt, but rather continue reminding and persisting in our efforts. In the end, with the grace of God, we will succeed.

May God grant us all success. Thank you, Your Excellency President George Vella, and thank you, esteemed ladies and gentlemen, leaders. Thank you to the present sisters and brothers.

Peace be upon you and may the mercy of God and His blessings be upon you all.

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