September 27th, 2014 08:37 EST
World Leaders Meet at UN to Promote Common Humanity
United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson today reminded the annual meeting of the Alliance of Civilizations designed to promote better cross-cultural relations that people are very good at seeing prejudice in others " but they are not so good at seeing their own bias. "
We have to provide them, the young people, with education and jobs, " the Deputy Secretary-General said. But even more, we have to provide young people with an understanding of our common humanity, our common destiny " in fact, our common survival. "
He went on to say if you start to divide people into us and them, you put a stamp of quality on yourself vis-Ã -vis others. In the "us-and-them` syndrome, the "us` is practically always qualitatively higher than the "them`. And then you build up biases which can lead to horrible things, as we`ve seen far too often. "
Saying that the majority of the world`s citizens are far from extreme, " he said, we must try to reach out to young people. We need to amplify these voices of these moderate forces, both Muslim, Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish and other faith communities. "
Mr. Eliasson reminded the meeting that two days ago, at the General Assembly, the Secretary-General spoke out against the rise of divisive politics, as you may recall. He made the point that people are very good at seeing prejudice in others " but they are not so good at seeing their own bias. "
Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, the High Representative of the Alliance of Civilizations, launched in 2005 through the initiative, of Spain and Turkey under the auspices of the UN to seek better cross-cultural relations worldwide, told the meeting: We need to unite and reject any suggestion of a clash of civilizations. "
Belief in permanent religious war is the misguided refuge of extremists who cannot build or create anything, and therefore peddle only fanaticism and hate, " he said. And it is no exaggeration to say that humanity`s future depends on us uniting against those who would divide us along fault lines of tribe or sect; race or religion. "
The High Representative said he will ensure that the concrete suggestions from the meeting today will be built upon through consultations to make them a reality.
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