Qatar playing lead role in bridging different cultures



Addressing the ministerial meeting of the Group of Friends of the Alliance of Civilisations here on Wednesday, Al-Rumaihi recalled the proposals put forward by HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani in New York on the occasion of the round table organised by Unesco on the margins of the Millennium Summit in September 2000.



The Emir had proposed achieving the objective of promoting relations among human communities at three levels, he said. He said the first level consists of a purely scientific activity that includes experts in history, politics and sociology, and aims to expose the root causes of the conflicts between peoples and cultures.



The second level targets basically opinion leaders in various fields of the media with a view to discovering the best ways to shed light on the impact of misconceptions that might be conveyed by media outlets about different cultural groups.



And the third level includes political leaders and government leaders who belong to different cultural groups, as being the most capable of uprooting tensions and reducing chances of clash.



He said since the establishment of the Alliance of Civilisations in 2005 in response to the initiative of former UN secretary general Kofi Annan, Qatar has contributed through and important participation of HH Shiekha Mozah bint Nasser al-Misnad, wife of HH the Emir Sheikh Hamad Bin Khalifa a-Thani, in the work of the high-level group set up by Annan in 2005.



Al-Rumaihi underlined that the group included a host of prominent leaders from the five regional groups with a view to developing a set of initiatives in the areas of education, youth and media in order to achieve the goal of the alliance, namely bringing peoples and cultures closer together to build peace and stability in a world weary of the scourges of religious and ideological wars and conflicts.



Al-Rumaihi said: “We meet today to discuss ways to translate the initiatives put forward by the high-level group into a concrete reality, and to exchange views on ways of implementation on the ground.


“We would like to stress today in this important forum that the state of Qatar will pursue its efforts to bring the view between peoples and cultures closer together, and to consolidate the principle of dialogue between religions that it has initiated by a series of conferences that brought together representatives of all divine religions.”



He added that Qatar has recently held the Doha fifth Conference for Dialogue Between Religions, which concluded with the announcement of the initiative of HH the Emir to establish and support the Doha-based International Center for Dialogue Between Religions, and the composition of an international advisory board to guide the work of the Center in order to bring religions closer together.



“Qatar will continue to support the efforts of the Alliance of Civilisations that strives to achieve similar goals to our national objectives, namely to create a solid ground to build a world of harmony and understanding”, he said.



Al-Rumaihi called for increasing the size of the Group of Friends to include the largest number of states in the future meetings.



He concluded by recalling the words of HH the Emir during the opening session of the Third Conference of Dialogue Between Religions in 2005, where the Emir stressed that “pursuing dialogue would win new adherents who believe that dialogue is more effective than bickering, communicating is more useful than keeping one’s distance, and that dialogue has become an urgent need to get rid of the burdens of yesterday and to recognise the mistakes of today”.

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