G20 meet focuses on dialogue

Shoura Council Chairman Abdullah Al-Asheikh, right, and other delegates at the Third G20 Speakers’ Consultation Meeting in Riyadh on Sunday. (SPA)

Speakers at the G20 countries decided to form a mechanism of dialogue between energy producers and consumers to contribute to the growth and stability of the global economy and energy markets and they also vehemently condemned all forms of terrorism, racism, discrimination and xenophobia.

A set of 13 resolutions were moved unanimously at the Third G20 Speakers’ Consultation Meeting on sustainable economic growth for a secure world, which concluded in Riyadh on Sunday. The two-day summit, organized by the Shoura Council headed by its Chairman Abdullah Al-Asheikh, was held under the aegis of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah.

The concluding session was chaired by Al-Asheikh at the Ritz Carlton Hotel on Sunday. The conference was attended by representatives from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the European Parliament.

Besides the G20 countries, some Arab, Islamic and friendly countries and international bodies also took part as guests at the summit. They included the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Morocco, Malaysia, Spain, Hungary, Kazakhstan and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU).

The participants extended their thanks to King Abdullah, his people and the Shoura Council for hosting the meeting. The delegates also welcomed the invitation of Mexico to host the fourth meeting, subject to confirmation by the incoming Mexican Parliament.

The issues discussed during the five sessions of the meet included a global dialogue of cultures, energy for sustainable development and the sovereign debt crisis and its effects on the world economy.

The interdependence between energy and global economic growth makes demand for and supply of energy sources dependent on the growth and stability of the world economy and vice versa. Therefore, delegates said, it is essential to facilitate the mechanisms of dialogue between energy producers and consumers to contribute to the growth and stability of the global economy and energy markets.

Terrorism: Violation of Fundamental Right to Life

“Terrorism is a direct violation of the fundamental right to life of each human being, and poses a threat to international security and stability. It is condemned in all its manifestations, irrespective of its motivations and should not be associated with any religion, culture or ethnic group. Therefore, enhanced international cooperation is necessary in combating terror,” the final communiqué adopted by the meeting said.

It was pointed out that racism, discrimination and xenophobia undermine human dignity and threaten the harmonious fabrics of society. “It is incumbent upon us to actively address these negative trends and promote mutual respect, global cultural dialogue and understanding,” one of the resolutions stated.

Acknowledging the concept of dialogue among people and cultures is essential for consolidating international peace, security and development, the summit strongly stressed the international community must develop a climate conducive to dialogue, tolerance and the development of human rights culture instead of intolerance, extremism, discrimination and prejudices, said delegates.

Adopting Interfaith Dialogue

This includes viewing differences as an advantage to humanity and adopting interfaith dialogue as a means to eradicate misunderstanding, conflict, animosity and hatred, and to focus on areas of cooperation among people, parliaments and states in the service of common human and universal values that foster positive understanding, love and peace among all mankind.

adopting Interfaith Dialogue reduces misunderstanding

G20 recommends adopting interfaith dialogue as a means to eradicate misunderstanding, conflict, animosity and hatred

In this context, the statement said institutional frameworks that promote international dialogue have a particularly important role to play. This includes the initiative of King Abdullah to strengthen the concept of dialogue between the followers of different faiths and cultures on an international level, culminating in the establishment of a devoted center for interfaith dialogue in Vienna that was cosponsored by Austria, Saudi Arabia and Spain. It also includes the Alliance of Civilizations, which was co-sponsored by Turkey and Spain and operating under the aegis of the United Nations.

Annual Day of Peace at Assisi, World Interfaith Harmony Week

The annual day of peace at Assisi (Italy) held in 2011 was attended by all the world’s religious leaders, and the World Interfaith Harmony Week was established by the United Nations. “The strong global interest in such initiatives and others is one demonstration of the fact that the international community prefers cooperation to confrontation,” said the statement.

Day of Peace at Assisi

G20 tells that the Day of Peace at Assisi, and World Interfaith Harmony Week reflects strong global interest in such initiatives which are demonstrations of the fact that the international community prefers cooperation to confrontation

It was observed that in a globalized world, parliaments, governments, international institutions, the media and civil society can all make important contributions to support dialogue among people and cultures. “This requires facilitating the use of technical means and modern communications to foster effective dialogue between followers of different religions, civilizations and cultures. Parliaments of the G20, through their role as a direct bridge to the people, should be more directly involved in the process of promoting interfaith dialogue as well as global peace and security,” added the statement.

The delegates indicated the Middle East region is known as a cradle of civilizations and religions and an important source of energy supply to the world. “Achieving a just, viable and comprehensive peace in the Middle East and working toward a region free of nuclear arms are essential for global peace, stability and prosperity. In this regard, dialogue within each country and institutional reforms are essential in fulfilling the aspirations of the peoples of the region. In addition, as G-20 parliamentarians, we recognize the importance of respecting international law and trust, in order to promote peace and security in the world.”

Millennium Development Goals

Achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) requires devising ways and means for universal access to energy, while providing environmentally friendly energy sources and green technologies for sustainable development. In this regard, the initiative of King Abdullah to increase development assistance from national, regional and international institutions and channel such assistance toward addressing energy poverty contributes to the achievement of one of the main Millennium Development Goals. In this context, the United Nations proclamation of 2012 as the “International Year of Energy for All” must be supported, said delegates.

It is important to channel resources and efforts to develop appropriate technologies in order to address global environmental issues, including climate change, they added. Delegates said such efforts complement the national and global programs and policies to achieve an international agreement within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities.

Repercussions of the sovereign debt crisis of some countries may extend, owing to the interdependence of markets, beyond those countries and affect financial markets, world trade and global economic growth. Therefore, when dealing with the sovereign debt crisis, self-reliance efforts by each country for fiscal consolidation are imperative and concerted efforts to address the crisis are also needed. This should be associated with greater priority given to stimulate recovery in production and employment in the short term, and to begin the necessary structural reforms to achieve strong, sustained and balanced growth in the medium and long terms. In this context, parliaments have an important role to play, delegates said.

International supervisory frameworks need to be strengthened to oversee the operations of international financial institutions. Of note also is the need to create an effective global early-warning mechanism to deal with financial risks.

Finally, the delegates stressed the strong need for sustainable fiscal policies in industrialized and emerging economies, depending on country specific circumstances. This includes protecting the most vulnerable groups in society through targeted support measures for inclusive growth to ensure social cohesion.

Source: Arab News

Photo Credit: Arab News