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    ICESCO Calls for Joint Action to Promote Values of Peace, Human Rights and Sustainable Development

    24 November 2020

    The Director-General (DG) of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, stressed the need to build peaceful and harmonious societies, following the upsurge of violence and hatred during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    The DG also called for establishing common mechanisms of action, based on values promoting religion, culture, human rights, and sustainable development, and coordinating among the different bodies and organizations of the international community to bring the voice of children, youth, and women and guarantee their rights.

    The statement was part of the DG’s address at the “Religion, Human Rights and Sustainable Development Goals” webinar. “Religions for Peace” Foundation held yesterday, the videoconference, in partnership with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) and the Free University of Amsterdam (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam), with the participation of representatives of specialized international organizations.
    Dr. AlMalik added that acts of fanaticism and hatred contribute to the disintegration of societies and undermine the sacredness of religions. He also stressed that cultural and religious discourse is constantly used to justify the oppression perpetrated against women, girls, the elderly, people with special needs, and minorities.

    Dr. AlMalik also indicated that supporting the empowerment of women and girls is a priority for ICESCO, which has proclaimed 2021 as the Year of Women. He also underscored the need to fight gender-based discrimination to enable women to play their full role in society. He then explained that humanity cannot reach its potential by leaving half of society marginalized.

    On the occasion of the World Children’s Day on November 20, the DG said that it is necessary to guarantee the rights of all children, by providing them with quality education and health services and protecting them against all forms of violence and abuse, as they are the cornerstone for a brighter future.

    Dr. AlMalik added that the Organization, at the time the webinar was being held, is celebrating “ICESCO Day for Africa” as part of its considerable interest in the African Member States. “The world continues to discover the wealth that the continent enjoys, despite the increasing rates of poverty, recorded particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic,” he continued.

    The DG called on all components of the society as well as officials to work together to combat violence and fanaticism, by sensitizing and educating those who perpetrate crimes in the name of religion and establishing a discourse based on human values.

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