Uzbek Foreign Minister calls on UN to play lead role in promoting tolerance

2 October 2007

The United Nations has a vital role to play in combating intolerance between people of different faiths, cultures and ethnic groups, Uzbekistan’s Foreign Minister said today in his address to the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate.

The United Nations has a vital role to play in combating intolerance between people of different faiths, cultures and ethnic groups, Uzbekistan’s Foreign Minister said today in his address to the General Assembly’s annual high-level debate.

Vladimir Norov said “the problem of shaping and promoting the ideology of tolerance, mutual understanding and cultural diversity has taken on a special urgency” in recent years.

Therefore, “under the current circumstances the role of the United Nations is more important than ever,” he said, also urging greater dialogue between the world’s peoples.

Mr. Norov used his address to the Assembly to warn against distortions and negative interpretations of Islam.

“We are seriously concerned about some negative interpretations of the historical role of Islam and the deliberate distortion of historical facts. We resolutely stand against [the way] that the counter-terrorism transforms into Islamophobia and acquires the form of open or hidden stand-off with the Islamic world.”

He welcomed the holding of the High-Level Dialogue on Interreligious and Intercultural Understanding and Cooperation for Peace, a two-day meeting starting on Thursday at United Nations Headquarters. General Assembly President Srgjan Kerim is convening the event.

 

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