Salvatore Martinez on a Mission in Brussels, speaks at the 3rd International Ministerial Conference on the victims of ethnic and religious violence in the Middle East

The President of the Vatican Foundation "International Center Family of Nazareth" Salvatore Martinez is on a mission in Brussels, as Personal Representative of the Italian Presidency in OSCE 2018, Dimension 3 on "Human Rights" with responsibility for the "Fight against Racism, Xenophobia, Intolerance and Discrimination of Christians and Members of Other Religions".

Salvatore Martinez spoke at the Egmond Palace in Brussels on Monday, May 14, at the International Ministerial Conference on the victims of ethnic and religious violence in the Middle East, co-chaired by the Kingdom of Belgium and the Lebanese Republic.

The purpose of the International Conference, three years after the adoption of the 2015 Paris Action Plan and one year after the Madrid International Conference, was to retrace the state of the art following the military defeat of Da'esh ( Isis) in Iraq and Syria and to identify the risks, perspectives and initiatives to be put in place on the issues under discussion.

After a plenary session, in which the Foreign Ministers of various countries focused on the general theme of the conference, the theme "peace, justice and strong institutions" was divided in two specific sessions, with reference respectively to control and reconciliation and therefore to inclusive participation and prevention.

The International Conference was attended by Ministers and High Representatives from different countries of the world, the Secretary for Relations with States, S.E. Mons. Paul Richard Gallagher, representing the Holy See, besides His Majesty the King Philip of Belgium.

During the meeting, President Martinez said: “We are committed to promoting intercultural and interreligious dialogue and mutual understanding between the different communities. Our fight against discrimination on ethnic and religious grounds is first of all a cultural initiative, a great social investment that requires more civil society and long-term efforts to address the younger generations who find it difficult to trust politics and religions“.

For Martinez it is necessary "a dialogue that requires “community identities” today strongly de-structured, which affect the future of young people and their peaceful coexistence" and urges "a great “educational investment” that makes the new generations able to govern the reconstruction of the “moral and spiritual” processes, not secondary to the economic and infrastructural ones".

Martinez, on the theme of the conference, also underlined how: "the destruction of cultural and religious heritage, has a negative impact on the stability of these territories, stability that can only be determined through the harmonization of the deep and historicized differences that exist in the territories themselves".

Finally, he concluded by highlighting how "there is among peoples, a desire for peace and growing social justice, which can not be disappointed and altered by international policies that pay little attention to the fate of the people before the States".

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