Non-aligned Movement ministerial meeting in Manila to push thru in mid-March

January 11, 2010 10:52 pm 

By Gloria Jane Baylon

MANILA, Jan. 11 — The Philippines will host the Special Non-Aligned Movement Ministerial Meeting (SNAMMM) on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace and Development on March 16 to 18, more than three months after it was deferred from early December 2009.

This was announced Monday by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) as it explained anew that the postponement was due to the Philippine government’s decision at the time to “concentrate on relief and rehabilitation efforts in the wake of devastating typhoons" which hit Luzon in September-October.

A Senior Officials’ Meeting (SOM) will be held on March 16 to finalize the conference’s draft outcome document, DFA said.

More than 40 NAM countries have so far confirmed their participation in the SNAMMM which the Philippines is hosting for the first time. DFA said more countries are expected to send high-level delegations.

The convening of the meeting in Manila, where NAM Heads of State or Government are to “identify and pursue necessary measures and contribute positively in further promoting dialogue of civilizations, culture of peace and interfaith dialogue,” was laid out by the Sharm El Sheikh Declaration of the 15th SNAMMM in Egypt last July 15 and 16.

The Sharm El Sheikh Declaration of the Heads of State or Government and Heads of Delegations issued a "call for an active participation and engagement of all NAM members in the Special NAM Ministerial Meeting (SNAMMM) on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace and Development to be held in Manila, Philippines on the initiative of the Government of the Philippines.”

The Philippines considers that intercultural and interfaith dialogue policy framework paves the way for the coming together of people of different cultures and faiths to build, through dialogue and action, a shared environment of peace and security based on mutual understanding, trust and respect, according to DFA.

The Philippines has been leading international initiatives on interfaith dialogue and has hosted three global events on the subject matter since 2005.

These events are the Philippines' successful chairing of the First Informal Meeting of World Leaders on Interfaith Dialogue and Cooperation for Peace in the United Nations in September 2005; the hosting of the Second Dialogue on Regional Interfaith Cooperation for Peace, Development and Human Dignity in March 2006 in Cebu; and the launching and chairmanship of the Tripartite Forum on Interfaith Cooperation for Peace. (PNA)

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