13 May 2013

Statement by H.E. Mr. Gholamhossein Dehghani,
Ambassador & DPR of the Islamic Republic of Iran to the United Nations
In the Session of the UNAOC Group of Friends
(New York, 13 May 2013)

In the Name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful

Mr. high representative ,
Allow me, at the outset, to pay tribute to President Sampaio former UN Secretary General’s High Representative for his dedication and commitment, towards promoting the initiative of Alliance of Civilizations. Also I would like to thank the Secretary General for his valuable remarks in this regard. My delegation once again congratulate you for your appointment as the new SG’s High Representative, and wish you success in your new post. Also I commend Austria for its excellent job in hosting the 5th Global Forum of the Alliance, which focused on the topic ” Responsible Leadership in Dialogue and Diversity”.

Mr. high representative, 

In the recent Vienna Declaration on the Alliance of Civilizations, all cultures, civilizations and religions are recognized as contributing to the enrichment of humankind, and the world cultural diversity is considered as a wealth to be cherished by all, as a factor of peace and development. It also reaffirms the importance of respect and understanding for cultural and religious diversity and encourages tolerance, dialogue and cooperation among different cultures, civilizations and peoples.

Mr. high representative,

We believe that in order to provide our societies and international community with more humane, safe and prosperous living opportunities, we must work together to enhance a greater level of understanding and respect among cultures and religions. My delegation believes that cultural diversity is a true asset of the human society and an important driving force for social development, cultural exchange and world peace. Therefore, we believe that our strategy should include the promotion of equality among different cultures on the basis of equity, justice and mutual respect.
Mr. high representative,
Perilous situation in the world indicates that the only way that lies ahead of us is the acknowledgement of cultural diversity as a fact of life, paying true and sincere respect to other nations’ values and their sovereignty, and avoiding any efforts to interfere and impose the wills and values of a nation over the other. In our strategy, we should encourage governments to pursue policies that promote mutual understanding and respect.
Mr. high representative,
The advocates of cultural supremacy try to present an imperfect and tarnished image of others’ cultural systems, with the aim of globalizing their own value-system at the expense of excluding others’. This approach and the efforts to eliminate others’ identities, stemming from a hubris approach, cause major setbacks and contradict the promotion of international cooperation and mutual enrichment in the sphere of the cultural life of humankind.
The Islamic Republic of Iran, is inspired by the noble Islamic principles, which include respect for human diversity, recognition of diversified sources of knowledge, promotion of dialogue and mutual understanding, mutual respect in human interchanges and encouragement of courteous and civilized discourse based on reason and logic. We consider such dialogues as an opportunity and a proper approach to better articulate different ideas, visions and aspiration of the human society and to take advantage of collective wisdom of humankind to avoid conflict and violence.
Mr. high representative,
In conclusion, we should endeavor towards finding the best ways to take advantage of differences and diversity in order to broaden our knowledge and to enhance mutual understanding and respect of each other. The Alliance is capable of pursuing and achieving this goal. In fact, what can guarantee a successful outcome for our projects emanating from this initiative, is to respect each other without ignoring differences and without value judgment.

Thank you.

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