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48th plenary meeting
Thursday, 13 November 2008, 10 a.m.
The meeting was called to order at 10.10 a.m.
Agenda item 45 (continued)
Culture of peace
Report of the Secretary-General (A/63/262)
Note by the Secretary-General (A/63/127)
Draft resolutions (A/63/L.23 and A/63/L.24/Rev.1)
The President (spoke in Spanish ): I now call on His Excellency Mr. Theodoros Kassimis, Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs of Greece.
Mr. Kassimis (Greece): ...
Eighteen months ago, in an attempt to build bridges of peace and cooperation in our region, we launched an initiative called “Building the future”. We organized a summer camp in Greece for children aged 12 to 14 from Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Israel and Greece. Twenty children from each of these countries participated. Boys and girls, Muslims, Jews and Christians, lived together for three weeks. We did not allow anyone to poison them with false messages. We left them by themselves, armed with the religious beliefs they had from their parents, their pure souls and their passion to enjoy life. These children developed a dialogue of their own through their games, the traditional dances of their homelands, the artwork that they crafted together and the happiness that showed on their faces. The outcome of their dialogue could be seen when the time came to bid farewell and is reflected in the letters sent by their parents.
The President (spoke in Spanish ): I now give the floor to the chair of the delegation of Brazil.
Mrs. Viotti (Brazil): ...
Such beliefs rest on Brazil's experience as a nation and as a society. Ethnic, cultural and religious diversity lie at the very heart of our national identity. We know by experience that respect for diversity enriches and strengthens us. We know that the peaceful coexistence of populations from all continents, each with its cultural and ethnic background, and of people of different faiths have progressively instilled in our national character a strong inclination for accommodating those different from ourselves and an aversion to all kinds of extremism. Communities of Jewish and Arab descent, for example, have always lived and live today side by side in harmony in our country. This experience reinforces our strong support for the rights of the Palestinians to self-determination and to an independent and sovereign State, geographically coherent and economically viable, living side by side with Israel, within secure and recognized borders.
The Acting President (spoke in Spanish ): I now give the floor to the chairman of the delegation of Tunisia.
Mr. Mansour (Tunisia) (spoke in Arabic ): ...
In addition, the spread of tension and conflict, the inability to find mutual and fair solutions for outstanding international issues, including the question of Palestine, as well as the profoundly unfair imbalance in the economy, the sciences and modern technologies, place international relations in a position of uncertainty and causes great concern and creates mistrust and lack of confidence. This compels us to think about new ways for rapprochement among States, peoples and individuals and requires creating a new code of conduct and behaviour in line with these transformations and challenges.
The meeting rose at 1.25 p.m.
This record contains the text of speeches delivered in English and of the interpretation of speeches delivered in the other languages. Corrections should be submitted to the original languages only. They should be incorporated in a copy of the record and sent under the signature of a member of the delegation concerned to the Chief of the Verbatim Reporting Service, room C-154A. Corrections will be issued after the end of the session in a consolidated corrigendum.