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Statement by Ambassador Li Baodong at the Briefing of the Security Council on the Question of "Inter-Cultural Dialogue for Peace and Security"

(Photograph by Shenhong/Xinhua News Agency) 
Mr. President,

First of all, I would like to express my gratitude to His Excellency Prime Minister Hariri for presiding over this meeting. I would also like to thank the Secretary-General for his statement.

While the pursuit of peace, development and cooperation has become a major trend of our times, the world has also witnessed the emergence of new challenges to international peace and security. The intertwinement of traditional and non-traditional security threats, the incessant outbreak of regional conflicts and hot-spot issues, terrorism and the proliferation of WMDs, these are threats that we cannot afford to ignore. Discrimination and prejudice against other religions and cultures have given rise to violent conflicts and strife and caused unprecedented conflicts and frictions among civilizations. The international community bears the common responsibility of strengthening cooperation in order to respond to challenges, and faces the arduous task of bridging differences and seeking common understanding. China supports the initiative taken by Lebanon of holding this thematic debate and believes that this meeting will help promote inter-cultural dialogue, enhance mutual understanding and peaceful coexistence among countries and maintain international peace and security.

Mr. President,

Strengthening inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue is in conformity with the purposes and principles of the United Nations and conducive to the conduct of preventive diplomacy, peaceful settlement of disputes and post-conflict peace building. It will also help the UN better fulfill its responsibility of maintaining international peace and security. Here I would like to emphasize the following points:

First, promote equal treatment of different faiths and cultures on the basis of mutual respect. While different faiths and cultures vary in terms of the time of their origin and development, there is no hierarchy among them in terms of merit. All faiths and cultures are crystallization of human wisdom, have contributed to the progress and development of human society, and thus deserve equal respect. Different faiths and cultures should learn from each other and coexist peacefully.

Second, strengthen inter-cultural dialogue in an open and inclusive spirit. History has proven that dialogue with other civilizations leads to enrichment and development of a civilization. In the post-crisis period, it is of great practical significance to strengthen inter-cultural dialogue. Dialogue and consultations represent the best way to resolve differences and prevent conflicts. Countries should adhere to the idea of openness, inclusiveness and cooperation, strengthen dialogue to overcome barriers, dispel misunderstanding and resolve disputes so as to prevent and reduce the outbreak of conflicts.

Third, respect differences and settle conflicts by peaceful means. Conflicts often arise out of alienation, prejudice, discrimination or even hatred caused by differences. Our world should be varied but harmonious. We believe that we should recognize and accept the diversity of our world and the differences among civilizations, and we are opposed to linking terrorism with a particular nation, ethnic group or religion. The international community should work on the basis of mutual trust, mutual benefit, equality and cooperation; use peaceful means such as mediation, negotiation and good offices to resolve problems, settle disputes and promote the solution of regional hot-spot issues so as to build a harmonious family of states.

Mr. President,

China supports and actively participates in the efforts of the international community to promote inter-faith and inter-cultural dialogue and cooperation and has joined in a constructive manner multiple UN initiatives and mechanisms related to inter-civilization dialogue and the “culture of peace”. Together with the rest of the international community, China is willing to continue to work for the strengthening of inter-cultural dialogue and build bridges of communication and cooperation with a view to creating synergy towards the maintenance of international peace and security, the advancement of common human development and the building of a harmonious world.

Thank you, Mr. President.

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