On the occasion of the International Day of Peace on 21 September, the President of the Global Council for Tolerance and Peace, Ahmed bin Mohammed Al-Jarwan, issued a statement saying:
“Today we live in a world full of wars, terrorism, criminality and violations, where there is a growing sense of insecurity and no confidence, while the vast majority of people want peace and dignity.
But the question is, how can we achieve peace through nonviolence? Peace is a human right. This right can only be achieved through a new approach based on instilling a culture of tolerance in societies and nations, defending human rights, respecting freedoms and beliefs, addressing the root causes of conflicts, providing access to justice and building accountable institutions. A peaceful society is a society with justice and equality. No sustainable peace without sustainable economic and social development which fights poverty and hunger, provides health, education, water, energy and social justice, ensures gender equality and takes care of the environment.
On this day, we call upon States and societies to strive to reduce all forms of violence, combat terrorism, end abuse, exploitation and trafficking in human beings, especially children, reduce corruption and bribery, and establish effective and transparent institutions which can be held accountable.
We affirm the right of everyone to possess all rights and freedoms without discrimination of any kind, in particular discrimination on grounds of race, color, sex, language, religion or opinion. Darkness cannot be expelled by darkness, hatred cannot be driven out by hatred, dialogue and tolerance are the key. Those who implant hatred reap violence.
Let us all commit ourselves to being leaders of tolerance and peacemakers.
The Global Council for Tolerance and Peace announced the launch of a program to grant a series of awards at the continental and global levels each year to promote the ideals of peace and to celebrate the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, a historic document adopted by the General Assembly of the United Nations in Paris on 10 December 1948.
The awards will be granted to media professionals and media organizations who contribute to instilling a culture of dialogue and openness, empowering women, defending children’s issues and promoting tolerance and peace in the face of extremism, racism, violence, hatred and terrorism. Awards will also be bestowed on universities and students who rely on scientific and humanitarian disciplines related to promoting a culture of tolerance and concepts of peace, as well as the most prominent human rights and peace-building activists worldwide.
The awards program aims to reward scientific, artistic and cultural activities or those who contribute to the spirit of tolerance and non-violence.”