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Declaration of the Fifth Asia-Europe Parliamentary Partnership Meeting
Posted: June-23-2008Adjust font size:

Protecting cultural diversity and promote dialogue among civilizations

23. ASEP parliamentarians recognized that globalization brings both growing opportunities for exchanges and interaction among different cultures, civilizations and religions and development imbalances and uneven distribution of benefits. Prejudice, misunderstanding, intolerance and even confrontation and conflict among different cultures and civilizations pose a challenge to human wisdom and civilization. It is all the more urgent to strengthen the political dimension of dialogue among cultures and civilizations.

24. ASEP parliamentarians reiterated their commitment to taking concerted actions and continuing to promote dialogue among cultures and civilizations, advance interaction and reconciliation of different religions, ethnic groups and ideologies, strengthen regional and international cooperation, and build a world of peace and harmony.

25. ASEP parliamentarians reiterated that ASEM partners include ancient cultures and civilizations in the East and the West, and that cultural diversity is a defining feature of this region and an important foundation for Asia-Europe cooperation and exchanges. They stressed the need to respect cultural diversity, and called for understanding, tolerance, mutual respect and harmonious co-existence among various social systems, development paths and cultures.

26. ASEP parliamentarians reaffirmed the positive role of dialogue among cultures and civilizations in eradicating poverty, protecting the environment and promoting sustainable economic growth and common prosperity, and called on ASEM partners to promote good governance and the rule of law, and in the spirit of inclusiveness and dialogue, work for a world featuring harmonious co-existence, equality, mutual respect and common development of different cultures and civilizations as well as promoting dialogue in practical daily life.

27. ASEP parliamentarians reiterated that they oppose extremism and are committed to promoting peaceful and effective solutions of conflicts, preventing and combating all forms of terrorism, and opposing the use of force in the name of religion, faith and ideology and any attempt to provoke conflicts over differences in culture, race and value in Asia, Europe and other parts of the world.

28. ASEP parliamentarians took note of ASEM’s efforts to promote dialogue among cultures and civilizations, and welcomed the positive outcome of the ASEM Conference on Cultures and Civilizations and the ASEM Interfaith Dialogue as well as the rich cultural exchanges sponsored by the Asia-Europe Foundation. They also hailed the role of NGOs and the civil society in deepening dialogue among cultures and civilizations.

29. ASEP parliamentarians emphasized the importance of education in promoting cultural exchanges and dialogue among civilizations, and called on ASEM partners to engage in educational cooperation and academic exchanges in a more active way and provide opportunities to people, youth in particular, to enable them to better appreciate and respect different cultures and civilizations as well as to understand that different cultures can enrich the civilization.

30. ASEP parliamentarians encouraged ASEM to redouble its efforts to develop an ambitious and concrete action plan on furthering exchange programmes for youth and young professionals, as called for by the ASEP IV meeting.

31. ASEP parliamentarians emphasized the important role of the media including internet in respecting cultural diversity and difference and promoting understanding and tolerance among cultures and civilizations and constructing relations of trust and friendship among countries and people and encouraged all ASEM partners to ensure openness and freedom of the media, according to national laws, and emphasized the principle of objectiveness and fairness in media reporting.

32. ASEP parliamentarians recalled the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, reaffirming their commitment to the purposes and principles contained in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. ASEP parliamentarians also called on ASEM partners to respect human rights and fundamental freedom for all, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, sex, language, religion and others.

33. ASEP parliamentarians recognized the contribution made by relevant countries and regional and international organizations to promoting dialogue among cultures and civilizations, including the Global Agenda for Dialogue among Civilizations, the UNSG Alliance of Civilizations initiative, the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, and the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations, and welcomed the implementation of these initiatives in the social, youth, education, media and other areas.

Source: Lydia
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