Remarks by H.E. Mr. Miguel Ángel Moratinos,
Under-Secretary-General and High Representative for UNAOC
at the Counter-Terrorism Week Side Event
“Towards a Terrorism-Free Society: Peaceful Co-Existence for the Promotion of Tolerance and Mutual Respect in Combating Terrorism

Wednesday, 21 June 2023, 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM, UNHQ, Conference Room 11

Your Excellency, H.E. Dr. Mohammed Bin Said Bin Khalfan Al Mamari,
Minister of Awqaf and Religious Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman,

Your Excellency, Mr. Vladimir Voronkov,
Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism,

Your Excellency, Dr. Mohamed Al Hassan,
Permanent Representative of the Sultanate of Oman to the United Nations,

At the outset, I would like to thank you for inviting me to address this timely topic and I truly regret that I am not able to join you in person due to my travel overseas.

I wish to start my remarks by quoting the words of the founder of the modern Sultanate of Oman, His Majesty the Late Sultan Qaboos: “Extremism, under whatever guise, fanaticism of whatever kind, factionalism of whatever persuasion would be hateful poisonous plants in the soil of our country which will not be allowed to flourish.”

For decades, the Sultanate of Oman has stood out in the Gulf region as a symbol of 3 values: Tolerance, Understanding, Coexistence. This was Oman’s message of Islam. And this is very true, of Islam. A faith which is anchored in these values.

In this context, I salute His Excellency Dr. Mohammed Bin Said Bin Khalfan Al Mamari, Minister of Awqaf and Religious Affairs of the Sultanate of Oman for transmitting this message through art.

The immersive exhibition of Islamic-inspired artwork speaks to the hearts and minds of people since the inception of the idea years ago.

I also commend the initiative of building “harmonious global communities’ which resonates with the goals of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.

That’s why strengthening intercultural and interreligious dialogue continues to be a viable tool for achieving mutual understanding. With mutual understanding comes mutual respect for others, even those with whom we disagree.

The leadership of the Sultanate of Oman has recognized decades ago that diversity is richness. So the country embraced other ethnicities, religions, races and colors.

This legacy of religious pluralism and multicultural exposure has shaped Oman’s unique identity.

These values are needed now more than ever before considering the current global landscape.

A rise in hate speech and xenophobia based on religion or belief or ethnicity. The weaponization of religion for political gains. There is an overall degradation in human values.

In conclusion, I wish to thank you again for having me join this conversation. I look forward to our collaboration with the Sultanate of Oman in advancing our shared objectives.