New York: Vietnamese Ambassador Dang Dinh Quy underlined the importance of religion and belief in promoting peace, understanding, tolerance, and mutual respect among communities while addressing an UN Security Council (UNSC) meeting on March 19.
The Ambassador, who is the Permanent Representative of Vietnam to the UN, voiced the view that efforts should be made to address the root of religious conflict and hatred, to further facilitate people’s participation in religious activities at the local, national and global levels, and to strengthen cooperation and dialogue among religious groups.
Stressing that Vietnam has 54 ethnic groups with different religions and beliefs, who are living peacefully and harmoniously together, the diplomat affirmed that Vietnam always spares no effort to promote solidarity and equality, and create favourable conditions for the operations of groups of different religions and beliefs.
The virtual Arria-formula meeting on “Religion, Belief and Conflict: the protection of members of religious and belief groups in conflict and religious actors in conflict resolution” was initiated by the UK and co-sponsored by Estonia, Norway and the US.
Chaired by Lord Ahmad of Wimbledon, UK Minister of State at the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, the event gathered representatives of all UNSC member states and invited speakers.
Guest speakers spoke highly of religious communities’ contribution to peace progress, humanitarian works, and development cause in many nations and territories worldwide. With some expressing concerns over increasing terrorism and violent extremism related to religion and belief in recent years, they emphasised the importance of ensuring freedom of religion and belief and called on the international community to strengthen the protection of religious groups and communities in conflict.
Participating member nations also backed the freedom of religion and belief, and underlined the need to promote efforts to fight violent extremism. They said they opposed all forms of attacks and oppression against religious groups and communities in conflict.
Arria-formula meetings are informal meetings of the UN Security Council with the attendance of the council’s members, other UN member states, and international organisations to look into important and emerging issues.