Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar stressed on Wednesday the importance of continued and robust inter-religious, inter-civilisational and inter-faith dialogue as a catalyst to promote peaceful co-existence, mutual understanding, and harmony.
Addressing the ninth Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), being held in Fez, by Morocco, Khar articulated Pakistan’s perspective and concerns about the growing problem of religious intolerance, discrimination, Islamophobia and violence worldwide.
She particularly drew the attention of the delegates towards the state-driven discrimination, hostility and phobia directed against Muslims and Islam, and the ensuing climate of impunity for such heinous acts.
“Given its pervasive and widely documented impacts, it is time for the international community and the United Nations to formulate an action plan to meaningfully address the insidious phenomenon of Islamophobia and anti-Muslim hatred,” she said.
UNAOC was created in 2005 in response to tensions between the Muslim world and the West in the aftermath of 9/11 attacks in the United States. One of its core objectives is to advance mutual respect for all cultures, traditions and religious beliefs.
The 9th Forum is being held under the overarching theme of ‘Towards an Alliance of Peace: Living Together as One Humanity’. As a member of the UNAOC Group of Friends, Pakistan has been actively contributing to advancing the Alliance’s mandate.
Meanwhile, Khar met Portuguese Foreign Minister Joao Cravinho on the sidelines of the forum. They discussed ways to enhance bilateral collaboration in diverse fields, a Foreign Office Spokesperson said in a twitter post. The two leaders exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest, the spokesperson added.