High-Level Dialogue on the Africa We Want: Reconfirming the Development of Africa as a Priority of the United Nations System – ICERM Statement

Good Afternoon Your Excellencies, Delegates, and Distinguished Guests of the Council!

As our society continuously becomes ever more divisive and the fuel that flames dangerous misinformation grows, our increasingly interconnected global civil society has responded adversely by emphasizing what pulls us apart instead of common values that can be used to bring us together.

The International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation seeks to diversify and commemorate the richness that this planet offers us as a species—an issue that so often influences conflict among regional partnerships over resource allocation. Religious leaders across all the major faith traditions have sought inspiration and clarity in the unadulterated reliquary of nature. Maintaining this collective celestial womb that we call Earth is necessary to continue to inspire personal revelation. Just as every ecosystem requires an abundance of biodiversity to flourish, so should our social systems seek the appreciation for the multiplicity of social identities. Seeking a socially and politically sustainable and carbon-neutral Africa requires recognizing, reprioritizing, and reconciling ethnic, religious, and racial conflicts in the region.

Competition over diminishing land and water resources has driven many rural communities to urban centers which strain local infrastructure and motivate interactions between many ethnic and religious groups. Elsewhere, violent religious extremist groups prevent farmers from maintaining their livelihoods. Almost every genocide in history has been motivated by the persecution of a religious or ethnic minority. Economic, security, and environmental development will continue to be challenged without first addressing the peaceful abatement of religious and ethnic conflicts. These developments will flourish if we can emphasize and collaborate to achieve the foundational freedom of religion—an international entity that has the power to motivate, inspire, and heal.

Thank you for your kind attention.

A Statement of the International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation (ICERM) at the Special High-Level Dialogue on the Africa We Want: Reconfirming the Development of Africa as a Priority of the United Nations System held on July 20, 2022 at the United Nations Headquarters, New York.

The statement was delivered by the Representative of the International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation to the United Nations Headquarters, Mr. Spencer M. McNairn.

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