Participants at the event
The Head of the International Centre for Dialogue among Civilizations, former President Seyyed Mohammad Khatami said here that the paradigm of war and conflict must be changed into a paradigm of peace and understanding.
Addressing a ceremony marking the International Day of Peace at Tehran Peace Museum on 21 September, the former President added that this paradigm must be changed so that people’s lives can be improved.
He added that the ‘Dialogue among Civilizations’ had been introduced to counter the talk – a decade and a half ago – of the prevalent talk of a ‘Clash of Civilizations’.
“War mongers and extremists must be rooted out so that peace, reconciliation, mutual understanding and security can prevail for all,” Khatami said.
During the ceremony, the UNIC Tehran National Information Officer, Mohammad Moghadam, read the UN Secretary-General’s message on Day.
Also speaking at the event, was the Manager of the Tehran Peace Museum, Mohammad Reza Taghipour-Moghadam , who said that unfortunately,, even as the world commemorated the International Day of Peace, millions of people around the world were still suffering from war and violence and its aftermath.
Mr. Taghipour-Moghadam added that this did not mean that the efforts for peace were in vain or that peace was not achievable. In fact, peace is indeed achievable and today more than ever, the world needs to promote a culture of peace. “That is why we are gathered here at the Tehran Peace Museum, to recall that we all belong to each other, regardless of political boundaries that separate nations from each other,” he emphasized.
Speaking on the occasion, the UN Resident Coordinator in the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mr. Gary Lewis, pointed to the “right to peace” aspect of the UN Secretary-General’s message, indicating that all rights have reciprocal obligations. He indicated that there were a number of things that could be considered a obligations incumbent on governments and individuals to reduce the risk of conflict. According to Mr. Lewis, “If we, as human beings, expect the right to live in peace, what is our obligation to make that peace happen?”
Among these obligations, he suggested, were the need to reduce poverty, reduce injustice, protect the environment, improve accountability and “promote a culture of peace”. He added that the concept of “human security” should be elevated as an effective measure of security of peoples.