Statement by Gregory Nickels, U.S. Senior Advisor to the 65th General Assembly, during the General Assembly Plenary Debate on Agenda Items 14 and 15: Global Agenda for Dialogue among Civilizations and Culture of Peace

Gregory Nickels, U.S. Senior Advisor to the 65th General Assembly
New York, NY
October 18, 2010


Mr. President,

The United States is grateful for the opportunity to speak on the important agenda items encompassed by the “culture of peace.”

2010 is the final year of the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World. We commend the work that UNESCO, UNICEF, and other UN organizations have done throughout this decade.

The United States supports efforts around the world that create a forum for people with different views to express themselves through dialogue. This is why we joined the Alliance of Civilizations and why we support initiatives like Jordan’s resolution this year on a Week of Interfaith Harmony.

The United States believes that peace can be achieved when peoples, religions and races come together to understand and accept one another, and to shun the violence and hatred borne of intolerance. Fostering religious and cultural diversity and affirming mutual understanding are the cornerstones of a true and lasting peace. The United States affirms unequivocally that freedom of expression and open intercultural and interreligious dialogue are critical to combating intolerance and to promoting peaceful coexistence.

Mr. President, though the decade for a culture of peace is drawing to a close we look forward to the next decade with its continued opportunities for dialogue.

As President Obama said in his speech in Cairo, “All of us share this world for but a brief moment in time. The question is whether we spent that time focused on what pushes us apart, or whether we commit ourselves to a sustained effort to find common ground, to focus on the future we seek for our children, and to respect the dignity of all human beings.”

Thank you, Mr. President.


PRN: 2010/230