URI Joins UN in Appeal for Peace

20 September 2010

On the occasion of the celebration of the International Day of Peace (IDP), September 21, 2010, United Religions Initiative (URI) joins hands with the United Nations and its all member states in observing the day through its 495 Cooperation Circle in 77 countries around the world.

The International Day of Peace is a time to reaffirm our commitment to peace and a day dedicated to ceasefire and non-violence. It is a day in which citizens of the world can join hands and stand together for peace and nurture a culture of peace in the world.

In the words of Director General of UNESCO, "Nurturing a culture of peace calls for efforts at all levels to promote intercultural and interreligious understanding." This is URI’s mission since it was founded in 2000.

URI strongly upholds the purpose of the United Nations and its principles as enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

On this occasion, URI would like to reconfirm its partnership with the United Nations to work for peace, interfaith cooperation and development, based on the principles of justice, human dignity and the well being of all people.

URI also would like to register its gratitude to the UN for its commitment in organizing the High Level Dialogue on Interreligious and Intercultural Understanding and Cooperation for Peace.

URI believes that interreligious dialogue and intercultural understanding are an integral part of the effort to translate shared values into actions and constitute important dimensions of the dialogue among civilizations and of the culture of peace. Interreligious dialogue promotes understanding, tolerance, respect and friendship among people in all the diversity of their religious, beliefs, culture and languages.

On the celebration of the International Day of Peace, URI would like to recognize the work of the Tripartite Forum on Interfaith Cooperation for Peace, The Committee of Religious NGOs at the United Nations, Parliament of the World’s Religions, World Conference on Religion and Peace, Temple of Understanding and other interfaith organizations for their commitment and dedication to promoting a culture of peace and interfaith harmony in the world.

Religions play an important role in society in facilitating peace, ethics, moral values, co-existence and environmental protection and in promoting reconciliation where the painful experiences of the past have brought divisiveness and hatred. Religions also work to eradicate poverty by encouraging the implementation of the Millennium Development Goals and strive for social and economic justice.

It is time now for world religious leaders to exercise their moral persuasion for the elimination of nuclear weapons in order to prevent the potential of the greatest human and environmental catastrophe. Nuclear weapons pose a critical threat to all humanity today and for future generations. URI is addressing all of these important issues.

On this peace day, URI makes the following urgent appeals:

  1. That the UN continue to promote interreligious dialogue to all governments, regional organizations and relevant international organizations; work to strengthen interreligious linkages; and focus more on practical actions such as the implementation of initiatives on interreligious and inter-cultural dialogue and cooperation for peace.
  2. That religious leaders in the world promote the spirit of dialogue within their respective communities; be ready to engage in dialogue with other faith communities; teach the Golden Rule as a common denominator of all humanity; and work closely with United Nations to promote a culture of peace.
  3. That political leaders of the world work for a world of true and lasting peace; develop curriculums, textbooks and activities that teach the Golden Rule; promote cultural and religious tolerance as well as ways of resolving conflicts peacefully; and respect the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  4. That mayors of the world join the Mayors for Peace initiative to eliminate nuclear weapons by the year 2020.

URI is an international interfaith organization working to end religiously motivated violence, promote enduring daily interfaith cooperation and create cultures of peace, healing and justice for the Earth and all living beings.  URI is an NGO with special consultative status with Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.  It has official representative in New York at the UN and the Economic Commission for Africa in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.