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The International Conference on "Building Tolerance and Peace despite the Current Challenges: MENA and Europe” was held in the Maltese capital, Valletta, over the past two days as a joint effort between Malta’s House of Representatives and the Global Council for Tolerance and Peace (GCTP).
The conference was chaired by Ahmed bin Mohammed Al Jarwan, President of the GCTP. and Anġlu Farrugia, Speaker of the Maltese House of Representatives.
At the Presidential Palace in Valletta, Dr. George Vella, President of Malta, welcomed Al Jarwan and the GCTP delegation and expressed his appreciation for the council’s work in spreading tolerance and peace around the world.
He also assured the delegation of Malta’s ongoing support for the council and its noble goals.
The conference was also attended by Dr. Ian Borg, Minister for Foreign and European Affairs and Trade; Duarte Pacheco, President of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU); Catherine Gotani Hara, Speaker of the National Assembly of Malawai, and a number of parliamentarians, representatives of government and non-governmental organisations, cultural, educational institutions.
During the opening session, Al Jarwan spoke on behalf of the GCTP and called for a collective global effort to foster tolerance, dialogue and peaceful conflict resolution.
He also called for countering extremist and terrorist ideologies by spreading the principles of tolerance and peace around the world. He stressed that he envisioned a future where children are free from the horrors and harms of wars and where people live in security, stability, tolerance and prosperity.
The conference explored various issues, such as the demand for novel peace-building instruments in international law and the contribution of civil society to the regional context, in terms of both prospects and difficulties. During the conference, the participants convened in sessions to exchange expertise and shed light on the importance of civil society in addressing the current challenges and building tolerance in the MENA region and the Mediterranean.
It also examined how civil society can foster peace and tolerance and how to create a culture of tolerance and peace in the Middle East, North Africa and the Mediterranean region, as well as discussed the global role of the European Union (EU) in promoting peace and tolerance in the region.
The “Malta Declaration for Peace and Tolerance.” was launched at the end of the conference by the GCTP, the Maltese Parliament, and delegates from various regions in the Middle East, Africa and Europe.
The declaration highlighted the need for tolerance and peace in the face of ongoing conflicts in the Middle East and Europe. It affirmed that diversity is an asset and that fostering respect for diversity, multiculturalism, and cultural pluralism can help achieve peaceful coexistence.
The statement also urged members of the United Nations Security Council to back the UAE’s resolution on tolerance, peace and international security, which aims to maintain peace and security.
The conference also witnessed the signing of Memorandums of Understanding between the International Parliament for Tolerance and Peace and the parliaments of Malawi, the Central Africa Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Sao Tome and Principe, which aim to promote cooperation in supporting tolerance and peace in international parliamentary work.
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