fredag 26 oktober 2012

Anförande i Quebec

Under Interparlamentariska unionens 127:e session i Quebec i Kanada höll jag i tisdags ett anförande inför antagandet av Quebec City Declaration. Debatten och deklarationen tar sikte på "Citizenship, identity and linguistic and cultural diversity in a globalized world".

Här nedan finns mitt anförande i sin helhet:

"Mr President, Dear Colleagues, 

May I first take the opportunity to thank the Canadian hosts and congratulate you for your excellent arrangements, providing us with an interesting and ambitious agenda. We are happy that the Assembly got a go ahead, anything else seemed unacceptable, with only two weeks notice. But that is history now, and we have to look ahead.

This year, the brave Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg would have reached an age of 100 years. Wallenberg is recognized by Yad Vashem, the world center for documentation, research and education of the Holocaust, as a Righteous among the Nations for his work to save Jews in Hungary from the scourge of the Holocaust. His courage and determination should be remembered in the continuing fight against anti-Semitism and intolerance.

Sadly, anti-Semitism is still alive in Europe and elsewhere. Populist political parties are growing in many European countries and their messages bear traits of xenophobia, nationalism and protectionism.
Those who stand up for openness and tolerance are far too quiet. We have seen the patterns before. As Parliamentarians, as democrats, we need to meet this challenge head on. We have a duty to show leadership and courage in standing up to hatred. This is the most important legacy of Raoul Wallenberg.
Fellow Parliamentarians,

We must emphasize our contribution to the peaceful co-existence of ethnic, cultural, racial, linguistic and religious groups and indigenous people and to international reconciliation. We must remember that women belonging to minorities are particularly vulnerable. The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations’ slogan ”Many Cultures, One Humanity” is the nail on the head.

Three-quarters of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension. Bridging the gap between cultures is urgent and necessary for peace, stability and development.

Conflicts begins in the hearts and minds of people. Conflicts between cultures or civilizations are often founded in a fear of the Other which stems from ignorance and misunderstanding. Political leaders have a responsibility. We need to take concrete actions to stop intolerance. Within the framework provided by international law and standards we can work to advance peaceful relations at national and international levels.
One of the most fundamental aspects in approaching this topic is the issue of identity. The need for enhanced intercultural understanding is often stressed, but what is sometimes overlooked is the need for many young people and especially migrants to strengthen their primary identity.

A strong identity is needed for being open-minded and welcoming towards other cultures and it can grant an individual the confidence to develop multiple identities and allegiances on different levels.

Dear Colleagues,

Sweden has a tradition of being an open and tolerant country. This openness has contributed to a prosperous society with high trust between people and has been a major cause of the economic growth that has built the welfare in Sweden.
Openness and diversity are essential for our growth. Many Swedes were born in other countrys and this is a major competitive advantage in the global market.

Sweden is an Arctic country. We may not have the direct exposure to the Northern Seas as other Arctic nations. Our territory does not extend as far North as that of Canada, and our Arctic population is clearly dwarfed by that of Russia. But the Arctic still matters a great deal to us. Northern Sweden is sparsely populated, but is still home to about one million people, including the indigenous Saami-people.

The rights of the indigenous population in Sweden are of most importance to us and we clearly emphasize their possibility to maintain and nurture their identity. Their culture is enriching, and their knowledge transfer and traditional living such as reindeer herding must be upheld.

Fellow parliamentarians,

There are many cultures in the world but there is one humanity. We must focus on reinforcing the sense of our common humanity and there will be hope for a better common future.

With this Quebec City Declaration we parliamentarians give voice to our concern for the tensions between cultures and we hereby stress the need for preventive, long-term action for diversity and inclusion to counter intolerance and extremism.

It is up to us to meet our international human rights obligations and to promote and safeguard the peaceful co-existence of ethnic, cultural, racial, linguistic and religious groups and indigenous people.

At last

In these times of accelerating global challenges Sweden and the Swedish Parliament will continue to promote an effective multilateral system with the United nations and the Inter-Parliamentary Union at its core.
Thank you for your attention." 

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