Mabda Report 12/02/12

The World Interfaith Harmony Week celebrated its second successful year spreading peace, compassion and harmony around the globe.

United Nations Deputy Secretary-General, at the concluding day of the World Interfaith Harmony Week

I am pleased to address this special event, and I thank the President of the General Assembly for hosting it.  Let us also thank King Abdullah of Jordan for his continued efforts to advance inter-religious harmony — including the adoption, last year, of World Interfaith Harmony Week by the General Assembly.

Faith is the glue that often bonds communities and cultures around the world.  Yet, too often it is used as an excuse to emphasize difference and deepen divisions.  Only by finding common cause in mutual respect for shared spiritual and moral values can we hope for harmony among nations and peoples.  This observance is meant to remind us that the world’s great religions have more in common than what divides them.  Divided, we are weak; united we are strong.

U.N. marks week seeking interfaith links

The role of religion in promoting links and dialogue across cultures and across continents moved into the spotlight earlier this month as the U.N. General Assembly marked the second annual World Interfaith Harmony Week.

Springing from a 2007 initiative seeking common ground between Muslims and Christians, the week is designed to provide a platform where groups from all faith traditions can highlight their diversity, build ties across religions and stress the “common principles” that promote interfaith cooperation.

UN officials underline religions’ role in promoting global harmony

President of the General Assembly Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser today stressed the potential of all of the world’s religions to promote global peace and stability, saying that faiths have common principles that can be used to bring about greater unity and harmony among people.

“We recognize and celebrate the values that are shared across religious traditions,” said Mr. Al-Nasser at a General Assembly event to mark the end of the annual World Interfaith Harmony Week, which was established by Member States through a resolution adopted by the Assembly in 2010.

“The common principles form a common ground that unites us in our rich diversity,” said Mr. Al-Nasser, noting that the UN was itself established in pursuit of universal values such as peace, freedom, human rights, dignity, and the oneness of humanity, which are also espoused by many of the world’s religions.