UNITED NATIONS, Dec 10, (Asia Free Press): The United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) has adopted, by an overwhelming majority, a Pakistan-Philippines sponsored resolution on promoting inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue that underscored the need for respecting sacred religious symbols, local media reports.
The vote was 139 in favour, to none against, with nine abstentions. The resolution align with Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan vision of interfaith harmony and opposing Islamophobia and other forms of intolerance based on religion or belief. Pakistani diplomats have been working hard to advance that vision.
In September this year, addressing virtually to the 75th Session of General Assembly, Pakistan’s prime minister highlighted the incidents of Islamophobia and other provocations. He has also called on the United Nations to declare an “International Day to Combat Islamophobia”.
Though opposition from some western countries during negotiations, the resolution acknowledged the significance and respect accorded to religious symbols in many religions and societies, Diplomatic sources told APP.
Speaking in the General Assembly ahead of the vote, Ambassador Mohammad Aamir Khan, Pakistan’s deputy permanent representative to the UN, stressed the need to enhance mechanisms that promote dialogue and understanding, reported by APP.
“Our Founding Fathers declared that the religion, caste or creed of a citizen had nothing to do with the business of the said,” Ambassador Aamir Khan said.
In addition, he further claimed, “Today, in Pakistan, we are seeking to build a polity based on the principles of equality, justice, tolerance and solidarity.”
A large majority of the member states from the OIC and the developing countries voted for the resolution. The only notable exception from the developing world was India which tried to unsuccessfully mobilize support for deletion of reference to the Kartarpur Corridor.