President SBY calls for the rise of a Global Conscience and Global Compassion at UN AOC

By Humas     Date 1 September 2014
Category: International
Read: 10.245 Views

unaocOn Friday, 29th August 2014, at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Centre (BNDCC), President SusiloBambangYudhoyono delivered his keynote address at the 6th United Nations Alliance of Civilization (UNAOC).  Also attending as key speakers at the event were UN Secretary General Ban Kin Mun, Prime  Minister Timor LesteXananaGusmao, President of the 68th UNGA, John Ashe, , UN High Representative of the AoC, Foreign Minister of Spain Jose Manuel Garcia Margayo, Deputy Foreign Minister of Turkey, Naci Koru.

In his speech President Yudhoyono highlighted the emerging challenges and threats to harmony and civilization, and what the alliance could do to prevent its worsening.

Below are excerpts of the Presidents speech:

Let us pay tribute to a great Indonesian diplomat-statesman, the late Ali Alatas, who passionately served Highlevel Group early in UNAoC

Ali Alatas worked hard to ensure Alliance did not exclusively focus on Islamic & West, but include all civilizations without exception

Indonesia’ strategic location, on historic trade and sea routes, we have always been exposed to intense cross-currents of world civilizations

Over centuries, Islamic,Hindu,Buddhist,Sinic&Western civilizations merged w/ local cultures becoming part of our rich National heritage

The harmonious confluence of civilizations which together form the heart and soul of Indonesia, where Islam, democracy and modernity can co-exist

So I stand here today w/absolute conviction,that the sum interaction & fusion of civilizations makes the world better, richer & stronger

Of course, I realize history is replete with examples around the world where collision between civilizations led to wars,conflict&oppression

But I do believe that in our time we have much greater opportunity to change the course of history for the better

The challenge for our Alliance is how to end the divisions and fault lines that in the past had caused so much suffering to humanity

In our imperfect world, plenty of people who for their own reasons are suspicious of differences and diversity,  anduse it as basis for discord

People who are intolerant of others’ viewpoint, exclusive in their approach, and with false righteousness impose their will on others

 The human race has been paying for the cost of intolerance for a very long time

You’d think after more than 180 million deaths & so much hunger, disease and pain endured as a result of armed conflicts in the 20th century

That humankind would renounce war forever. But no, we have not escaped its grip

I admit that 10 years assuming President of Indonesia, I see troubling signs that the world is not necessarily in a better shape. How so?

1. Relations between the major powers, after roughly a decade of stability and cooperation, are now in a dangerous downward trend

2. In many parts of the world, including here in Asia, strategic rivalries are rising

3. In Europe, the Ukraine crisis is changing the geopolitical equation

4. In the Middle-East too we see rapid geopolitical shift that has created a lot of turbulence

5. The Arab Spring has not led to peaceful and stable democratic transitions, and indeed has led to intensified conflicts

6. Palestine remains farther away from the promise of independence in the two-state solution

7. Islam phobia is growing in the West

8. Within the Islamic world, we see a volatileSunni – Shiite fault line, with all the attendant political and security implications

9. Radicalism has continued to grow, and so will the risks of terrorism now that ISIS has become the wealthiest terrorist group in our time

Some say we are heading towards a “new Cold War”. Whatever it is, to me it feels like “hot peace”. And it will not cool on its own

This is where the international community and the UNAOC can play a critical role to help remedy this worrying situation

Despite limits of what the Alliance can do. We can advance the 4 pillars of our cooperation — on youth, media, migration and education

Our Alliance WILL make a difference in fighting prejudice, ignorance, extremism and injustice worldwide

There are a number of constructive things that the Alliance can do.  Let me cite a few

1. The Alliance can help restore strategic trust,replacing trust deficit between nations. Its NOT easy and it will require courage&risk taking

This is exactly how Indonesia& Timor-Leste was; we have managed to evolve from enmity to one of the best bilateral relations in Asia

I thank my good friend XananaGusmao for his leadership & for partnering with me the last 10yrs to restore strategic trust between our nations

If Indonesia and Timor-Leste can overcome our troubled past, so can other nations

2. Our Alliance can also promote reconciliation. 10-15 years ago, we too experienced power of reconciliation to heal broken communities

We employed reconciliation to end the conflict in Aceh, in Poso, in Maluku, and in Papua

Reconciliation is a special art; it requires leadership, sustained efforts, a generous spirit of forgiveness, &willingness to compromise

Reconciliation also requires willingness to forgive.A winner-takes-all, or a might-is-right mentality, willNOT work

3. Most importantly, the Alliance must continue to CONNECT and OPEN UP minds

We must do all we can so that others can see the virtue of our cause, and believe in the beauty of mutual respect and togetherness

And we must make sure these valuesare passed on to succeeding generations

This is why we are right on track in stressing on educating the hearts & minds of the people, a tool for nation-building and promoting peace

Education, especially during a child’s earlyyears, is key in shaping his or her positive attitude

Remember: Tolerance,open-mindedness,respect for others, donot happen by itself. They must be taught, trained and instilled in our people

Remember: a bigot can emerge even from a tolerant family, and vice versa

We must therefore never tire to open up our children’s minds, and inculcate in them the values of diversity and unity

Our Alliance must raise the quality of dialogue between civilizations, cultures, faiths and ideologies, then move beyond words into action

All views should be brought into the dialog, even radical ones. For if moderates talked only with moderates, there will be no change

The voices of moderates should be strengthened,but also important is the grievances of those who have been alienated should be a heard

Their grievances should be addressed. With patience and determination, I believe we will be able to achieve this objective

A large part of the dialogue take place today not in seminars but through reportage & opinion writing in mass media

The Internet is effective for fast data but ruthless in viral spread of prejudice and advocacy of violence and terrorist recruitment via social media

Advocates of a reasonable dialogue between cultures and faiths should make optimal use of the Internet, particularly social media

In this, there is no such thing as a late learner.  I am one of them.  As I stepped into my 60’s, I did not know what Twitter was

Now have a modest 5.3 million followers, and almost daily I sent tweets that would keep my people informed as opposed to misinformed

We must also engage and empower the global phenomenon of diaspora, estimated to be around 200 million 1st born immigrants around the world

With Indonesian diaspora in Timor-Leste, I prayed with them in a mosque in Dili& reminded them to strengthen solidarity w/Muslims Catholic

Despite challenges in building harmony among cultures,faiths and civilizations, I’m optimistic that w/ sustained efforts we can achieve much

For once, in this century we are seeing the advent of a positive trend—that of global conscience: SBY

When I was growing up; during the military; in the fifties/sixties; in the anti-colonialism era. I lived in much of a Cold War era

But the world changed, and I see and feel it now, this evolving global compassion

Perhaps this has something to do with the rise of the middle class worldwide

Citizens of the world are now becoming connected and empowered.  More and more people have less toworry about the basic necessities

They worry and care about things they see on TV, read papers, no matter how far away, and they want to do something to make a difference

This sense of GLOBAL CONSCIENCE is taking root not just in New York, London, Oslo, but China,India,Korea,Qatar,Mexico,Brazil,South Africa, and Indonesia and other countries

This means that care and compassion now can come from everywhere, and go in all directions

GLOBAL COMPASSION is not utopia.  It is a very real force for good. This is what we are striving for in ASEAN

We are now transforming towards a caring and sharing community under the ASEAN Community

We will live in a more peaceful world if we can make this idea a global norm

As a final thought, in Bali harmony is at the center of Balinese way of life.  It is called Tri Hita Karana, the three harmonies of life.

Harmony between: human & God; human & nature; and all human beings.

Miss one and life would be incomplete. Achieve all and life be fulfilled: SBY


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