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ASEM Resolves to Further Promote Interfaith Understanding and Exchanges
    2008-10-26 01:27:45     Xinhua

The Seventh Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) issued the Chair's Statement here on Saturday, resolving to take concerted action to further promote interfaith understanding and exchanges.

The statement said the leaders reaffirmed the respect for cultural diversity and the need to protect our cultural heritage and advocated mutual understanding, tolerance, respect and peaceful coexistence among different social systems, development paths and cultures.

Leaders reaffirmed the positive role of dialogue among cultures and civilizations in reducing poverty, realizing social peace, preventing regional conflicts, protecting the environment and promoting sustained economic growth, social development and common prosperity.

They resolved to take concerted action to further promote interfaith understanding and exchanges, taking global leadership in working towards building a world where different cultures and civilizations co-exist in harmony, equality and mutual respect.

The statement said the leaders noted with satisfaction the outcome of the ASEM Culture Ministers' Meetings (CMM) held in China, France and Malaysia and welcomed the recommendation that a Cultural and Art Festival proposed by China be held in connection with ASEM Summits or ASEM CMM.

They reaffirmed their determination to respect, protect and promote cultural diversity and the equal dignity of all cultures.

They also emphasized the importance of keeping the good momentum of the ASEM Interfaith Dialogue and urged governments to actively facilitate interfaith and intercultural dialogues, particularly at the regional and inter-regional levels, which is part of a much broader dialogue between Asia and Europe.

They welcomed the constructive role of parliaments, NGOs and the civil society in promoting dialogue among cultures and civilizations and mutual understanding between people of Asia and Europe.

They recognized that human resources development constitutes a key factor in poverty reduction and economic and social development. They renewed their commitment to further strengthen their cooperation in human resources development, capacity building and sustained dialogue and exchanges in primary and higher education, vocational training and lifelong learning.

The statement said the leaders affirmed their commitment to promote global health security including developing health-care systems and local infrastructure to improve public health in the developing world.

They commended the Asia-Europe Foundation for its positive contribution to promoting cultural, intellectual and people-to-people exchanges between Asia and Europe.

The Seventh Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM 7) was held in Beijing on 24 and 25 October 2008. The Meeting was the first gathering of the leaders of 45 members of ASEM since its second round of enlargement.



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