United Nations Interfaith Conference on Dialogue of Civilizations

As one of the chief proponents if interfaith dialogue, President Macapagal-Arroyo left last night for United States to address the United Nations Interfaith Conference on Dialogue of Civilizations on Nov. 12 in New York City.

In a media pre-departure briefing yesterday afternoon (Monday, Nov. 10) in Malacanang, Press Secretary Jesus Dureza said the President will be the second speaker after Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud.

The interfaith conference was initiated by King Abdullah as a follow-up to the Madrid interfaith conference last July.

“It shows how they highly regard the Philippines, especially in interfaith dialogues,” Dureza said.

Dureza said the President is expected to discuss the importance of interfaith dialogue and cooperation in the quest for lasting peace not only in the region but also in the world.

Dureza added that interfaith dialogue, as originally espoused by the President, has been proven effective in the peace process in Mindanao.

The Philippines is a recognized proponent of interfaith dialogue in the United Nations, having launched this initiative in 2004 with the Tripartite Forum on Interfaith Cooperation for Peace, followed by the Ministerial Meeting on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for peace.

The President has also been addressing various interfaith conference here and abroad after the Philippines initiated the holding of interfaith dialogues when the country chaired the opening session of the United Nations (UN) General Assembly in the June 2005.

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