General Assembly General Assembly

United Nations High Level Forum on the Culture of Peace

“Transformative role of the Culture of Peace: Promoting Resilience and Inclusion in Post-COVID Recovery”


India Statement


Ms. Vidisha Maitra

First Secretary


7 September 2021


We thank the President of the General Assembly for convening this important high-level forum on Culture of Peace.


Mr. President,


Culture of Peace is the corner stone of any global order to build inclusive and tolerant societies. Since the adoption of the UN Declaration and Programme of Action in 1999 at Bangladesh’s behest, the culture of peace agenda has provided an effective blueprint for multilateral action to promote solidarity and understanding.


The current pandemic has underscored the interconnectedness and interdependence of humankind like never before. Yet even during the pandemic, we have witnessed an upsurge in intolerance, violence, and terrorism.


Even in the midst of the pandemic, we face the ‘infodemic’ challenge which has been responsible for a rise in hate speech and in seeding hatred within communities. Last year in June, India along with 12 countries co-sponsored the Cross-Regional Statement on “Infodemic” in the Context of COVID-19 – a first of its kind statement by UN Member States.


Mr. President


The principles of democracy, pluralism, compassion, cultural diversity, dialogue and understanding form the basis of the Culture of Peace.


India is called a country of ‘unity in diversity’. Our concept of pluralism is based on our ancient ethos of ‘Sarva Dharma Sambhav’ which means ‘equal respect for all faiths’. In 1893, while speaking at the Parliament of World Religions in Chicago, India’s great philosopher Swami Vivekananda impressed upon our civilisational ethos of accepting the greatness of all religions.


India is not just the birthplace of Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism, but is also the land where the teachings of Islam, Judaism, Christianity and Zoroastrianism have taken strong root.


Mr. President


There can be no doubt that terrorism, which is a manifestation of intolerance and violence, is the antithesis of all religions and cultures. The world should be concerned by terrorists who use religion to justify these acts and those who support them in this quest.


India reiterates its call for the application of the principles of objectivity, non-selectivity and impartiality to form the basis of discussions in the United Nations especially on the issue of religion. The United Nations including UN Alliance of Civilizations and Member States should refrain from selectivity on such issues which hinders a culture of peace.


Mr President,


A Culture of Peace is not just an abstract value or principle to be discussed and celebrated in conferences, but needs to be actively built into global relationships between and among member states. We have witnessed yet another attempt today by the delegation of Pakistan to exploit a UN platform for hate speech against India, even as it continues to foment a ‘culture of violence’ at home and across its borders. We dismiss and condemn all such efforts.


To conclude Mr President, India will continue to spread the message of humanity, democracy and non-violence. We once again appreciate the UN's initiative of organizing today’s  High-Level Forum.


I thank you.