Egypt’s permanent representative to the United Nations Mohamed Edrees called for concerted international efforts to face the world’s current “unprecedented” challenges, including the coronavirus pandemic, in a virtual High-Level Forum on the Culture of Peace, the Egyptian foreign ministry said.
Edrees also addressed other challenges, saying that the phenomena of terrorism, hate speech, racial and religious discrimination and xenophobia all require a comprehensive approach with economic, social, cultural and intellectual dimensions.
He said that these dimensions include the need to reform religious speech, improve education, settle disputes in the region and establish national state institutions.
Edrees said that empowering the youth is an “absolute necessity” to save them from falling prey to extremist thought and terrorist organisations that spread hatred.
The meeting, held this year on 10 September, is held annually to uphold commitments to the Declaration and Programme of Action on a Culture of Peace, adopted by consensus in September 1999 by the UN General Assembly.
The programme encourages UN member states to promote a culture of peace locally, regionally and internationally, as well as promote respect for all human rights and sustainable economic and social development, according to the UN.
It also aims to ensure equality between men and women, foster democratic participation, advance understanding, tolerance and solidarity, support participatory communication and the free flow of information and knowledge, and promote international peace and security.
UN Secretary-General António Guterres participated in Thursday’s meeting.