1- Introduction to the Forum:
The World Forum for Culture of Peace
“LEADERSHIP FOR JUST PEACE”
MALTA MEETING 2022
The 2nd Edition of the World Forum for Culture of Peace was held in Malta under the auspices of His Excellency the President of Malta George Vella on 3-4 March 2022.
According to its title “Leadership for Just Peace”, the Forum’s aim was to be a practical step ahead to explore and setup institutional mechanisms, educational programmes, tools and action plans for the development of leadership competences in order to achieve the overall goal which is “Just Peace” and enduring stability of relations between peoples.
Towards this end, political leaders and institutional representatives, IGOs high level experts, civil society organizations (CSOs on a national or international scale) and intellectuals have gathered to debate openly on how the international community should promote governance devices, implement plans and joint initiatives, within a process of collaborative efforts to plan for the project of “Leadership for Just Peace”, whose aim is to connect and motivate all the parties involved at social, political and educational level, in order to act institutionally and collectively as “Leaders of Just Peace” for the world future.
Special emphasis has been on preventing conflicts and the searching for mediation-reconciliation policies, as well as on the education and training in particular of youths to learning a body of knowledge and skills for the practice of a culture of just peace within their own communities.
3 March: Day 1
Session I: The Role of World Leaders: Kings and Head of States
The invited World Leaders have debated within this session on how a “Global Platform for Leadership of Just Peace” could serve as a rapid mechanism of conflict prevention-mediation-conciliation in emergency situations. There are currently more than 37 conflicts worldwide, 25 million people in need of humanitarian assistance and 60 million people who were forced to flee their homes.
4 March: Day 2
Session II: The Role of Governments and Intergovernmental Organizations/IGOs.
Representatives of Governments and Intergovernmental Organizations (IGOs) have discussed prioritizing a Culture of Peace and activating it in daily activities, taking into account individual and social behaviors. They have considered how to make 2022 the year of launching the Global Peace Leadership Platform and help lay its foundations through the programs they are developing. This should provide the international community with a unique opportunity to take bold actions and prioritize such a program in their humanitarian agenda.
Session III: The Role of the Parliamentarians and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs).
The parliamentarians from different regions and countries and Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) have discussed how they could serve as strong voices speaking out for the need to prioritize the “Global Platform for Leadership of Just Peace” in their region, country and worldwide.
2- Programme of the Forum:
10:30 - 11:15 OPENING SESSION
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)
11:30 - 13:00 :SESSION 1
THE ROLE OF WORLD LEADERS
HE. George Vella, President of Malta
HE. llir Meta, President of Albania
HE. Vjosa Osmani, President of the Republic of Kosovo
HE. Stjepan Mesić, Former President of Croatia
HE. Armen Sarkassian, Former President of Armenia
10:00 - 11:45 : SESSION 2
THE ROLE OF INTERGOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS
Dr. Omar Grech, Director of Centre for the Study and Practice of Conflict Resolution at the University of Malta.
HE. Nayef Falah Mubarak Al Hajraf, Secretary General of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf.
HE. Taieb Baccouche, Secretary General of the Arab Maghreb Union
HE. Salim M. AlMalik, Director General of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO).
His Honor. Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, Former President of the International Court of Justice.
HE. Khaled Khalifa, Regional Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
HE. Mohammed Alshafee, Representative of the League of Arab States
Prof. Alfred J. Vella, Rector of the University of Malta.
12:00 - 13:30 : SESSION 3
THE ROLE OF THE PARLIAMENTARIANS AND CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS
HE. Anġlu Farrugia, Speaker of the House of Representatives of Malta.
HE. Mohamed Nasheed Speaker of the Parliament of the Maldives.
HE. Hanno Pevkur, First Vice-President of the Parliament of Estonia
HE. Behgjet Pacolli, Member of the Parliament of Kosovo (Former President).
Mr. Abdesselam Lebbar, Head of the ‘’Isteqlal’’ (Independence) Parliamentary Group in the House of Councilors of Morocco.
Mr. Struan Stevenson, Former Member of the European Parliament.
Mr. Jesmond Saliba, Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations, Malta.
Mr. Jean -Christophe Bas, CEO of Connectors for Peace
Mr. Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain, Chairman of Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation.
HE. George Vella, President of Malta.
3- Summary of the Activities:
Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation organized the "Second World Forum for the Culture of Just Peace" on March 3-4, 2022, in the Republic of Malta, under the auspices and in the presence of His Excellency, "Dr. George Vella", President of the Republic of Malta, and in the presence of His Excellency Ilir Meta, President of the Republic of Albania, Her Excellency "Vjosa Osmani Sadriu", President of the Republic of Kosovo, and His Excellency "Stjepan Mesić", Former President of the Republic of Croatia, with the participation of United Nations Secretary-General "Antonio Guterres", who sent a written message to the forum, and the President of the United Nations General Assembly, "Abdullah Shahid", who participated with a videotaped speech.
In addition, the Forum was attended by His Excellency the Speaker of the Parliament of Malta "Anġelo Farrugia", His Excellency the Speaker of the National Assembly of the State of Kuwait, "Marzouq Al-Ghanim", His Excellency the Speaker of the Parliament of the Maldives, "Mohamed Nasheed", His Excellency the First Vice-President of the Parliament of Estonia "Hanno Pevkur", representatives of parliaments, intergovernmental organizations, Civil Society Organizations, academics and others from about twenty-seven countries from five different continents.
The participants presented important ideas on spreading the Culture of Just Peace in the international community, as well as a variety of solutions to existing international tensions and conflicts.
We cite His Excellency Dr. "George Vella," President of the Republic of Malta, who stated that achieving the just peace requires concerted international, regional, and national efforts.
Similarly, His Excellency "Marzouq Al-Ghanim," Speaker of the National Assembly of the State of Kuwait, valued "the wisdom of the Mediterranean," advocating for its usage in a way that promotes the just peace.
In the same context, His Excellency President "Ilir Meta", President of Albania, highlighted the link between true leadership and democracy, particularly in light of the current global circumstances, with the understanding that strong ties between people and societies are the foundation for spreading the Culture of Just Peace and achieving just peace in the world.
Her Excellency President "Vjosa Osmani", President of the Republic of Kosovo, emphasized that everyone in the world has the absolute right to live in peace, a right guaranteed by various international conventions and laws, and she stressed the need to activate the principle of observation, and the importance of using social media for the benefit of societies rather than as a tool to sow discord.
His Excellency President "Stjepan Mesić", former President of the Republic of Croatia, followed the same stance, underlining that true qualities of a true leader should be justice, wisdom, and sacrifice for the common good and the interests of our brothers around us, and to use them perfectly in promoting the just peace, explaining that people of all differences and orientations want to establish and achieve peace in the world.
His Excellency "Dr. Nayef Al-Hajraf", Secretary-General of the Cooperation Council for the Arab States of the Gulf, pointed out the need of moderation and called for freedom of opinion, tolerance and acceptance of others, as well as condemnation of all forms of violence and terrorism.
His Excellency "Dr. Taieb Baccouche", Secretary-General of the Arab Maghreb Union, affirmed the need of institutional collaboration in spreading the Culture of Just Peace.
His Excellency "Dr. Salim M. Al-Malik", Director-General of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), marked the need of stability in achieving development.
His Honor Judge "Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf", Former President of the International Court of Justice, spoke about the importance of understanding the role of law in resolving international disputes and building peace, the need of education, collaboration, and mutual respect in achieving the just peace.
The lack of peace, according to His Excellency "Khaled Khalifa", Regional Representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), has numerous repercussions and consequences, especially when it has become a dream of millions of people and communities.
The same idea was confirmed by His Excellency Ambassador "Mohamed Alshafei", Representative of the League of Arab States, when he expressed the need of dialogue, mutual understanding, and respect for human dignity.
"Prof. Dr. Alfred J. Vella", President of the University of Malta, made an important reference to universities' main role in raising individual and communal awareness and spreading the Culture of Just Peace among persons and communities of all orientations.
His Excellency "Anġelo Farrugia", Speaker of the Parliament of Malta, had called the attention to the important role of parliamentarians in peacekeeping, which was also confirmed by His Excellency "Mohamed Nasheed", Speaker of the Parliament of the Maldives, in addition to the role of political parties, free and fair elections, and peaceful power transfer in achieving just peace in societies.
At the same level, His Excellency "Hanno Pevkur", First Vice-President of the Parliament of Estonia, spoke on the future of democracy and human rights charters.
"Abdesselam Lebbar", Head of the "Isteqlal" (Independence) Parliamentary Group at the House of Councilors in Morocco, stressed the significance of constantly speaking the truth, rejecting and condemning wars, and opposing all types of assaults under all circumstances.
His Excellency "Struan Stevenson," Former Member of the European Parliament, suggested that the political use of religion should be prohibited due to the divisions it causes within societies, as did "Mr. Jesmond Saliba", Commissioner for Voluntary Organizations in the Republic of Malta, who emphasized the importance of achieving and maintaining peace, and praised the role of voluntary civic organizations.
Then, Mr. Jean-Christophe Bass, CEO of "Connectors for Peace," presented an interesting notion about the nature of contemporary world divisions, whether between countries or within those countries.
4- Recommendations of the Forum:
- A more direct involvement of world leaders, NGOs, regional organizations and institutions maintaining the Culture of Just Peace as well as universities think tanks.
- Ensuring effective role of responsible leadership to bring harmony and just peace in societies.
- Reinforcing preventive diplomacy in order to maintain the global Culture of Just Peace.
- Gender empowerment of women and girls and assigning more importance to their role in all aspects of life, as they constitute 50% of our societies.
- Making sure that young people have an effective voice.
- The respect for different beliefs and multi-faith societies in different countries.
- The control on the distribution of small arms and light weapons.
- Accentuating the power of dialogue because just peace cannot be simply taken for granted.
- The necessity of identifying and eliminating the root-causes of conflict and of physical violence.
- The promotion of the dignity of every human being and the recognition of the values of understanding, dialogue as well as solidarity.
- Regarding the ongoing war between Ukraine and Russia, they called for an immediate ceasefire and diplomatic solutions to stop the war.
- Implementing the UN 2030 Agenda of sustainable development goals relating to goal 16 about peace, justice and strong institutions.