Doha: Mahatma Gandhi’s message that no culture can blossom without people connecting to other cultures was recalled at the UN Alliance of Civilisations Forum which is being attended by world leaders here.
Brazilian Vice President of Brazil Michel Temer, in his address to the inaugural session of the meet yesterday, said Gandhi’s ideals and vision hold well even today.
He specially referred to Gandhi’s remarks that no culture will blossom if people could not connect to others cultures and appreciate them.
Temer said his government would follow the principles of the Mahatma in reaching out to people of different faith and ideology.
On his part, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon underlined the role of Alliance of Civilisations in implementing empowerment of women and youth; promoting dialogue and mutual understanding to solve conflicts; and helping nations in transition and maintaining sustainable development.
“When terrorists kill innocent people, when politicians stir hatred and exploit stereotypes to win votes, when moderate voices are struggling to be heard in the politics of polarisation, the Alliance’s global efforts become very important,” he said.
“We must bring peace and tolerance in places that only know division and discord,” he said.
The priority, Ban said, is helping nations in transition, particularly across the Middle East and North Africa, emphasising on the considerable role of Alliance to assist these countries in shaping their future.
He said no sustainable development could be achieved without boosting human rights and strong bonds among all people.
“When you leave Doha please do your utmost to involve people in your churches, mosques and synagogues. Engage students, families, activists. Have a dialogue far and wide and have concrete action to make this world a better place for all,” Ban told the four-day conference, which was previously held in Madrid, Istanbul and Rio de Janeiro.
Around 2,500 participants representing the world governments and civil society have gathered here to discuss Inter-cultural Dialogue to Boost Development.
India was represented by Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamad and its Ambassador to Qatar Dheepa Wadhwa.
Among other leaders attending the meet are the Emir of Qatar Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani; President of Spain Manuel Chavez, Austrian President Heinz Fischer; and German President Christian Wulff.