Special NAM Ministerial Meeting
16-19 March 2010
Dr. William F. Vendley, Secretary General, Religions for Peace
“Your Excellency President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo of the Republic of the Philippines
Your Excellency Secretary of Foreign Affairs Mr. Alberto G. Romulo
Your Excellency President of the United Nations General Assembly Mr. Ali Abdussalam Trekki
Your Excellency Egyptian Minister of Endowments Mr. Mohamoud Hamdi Zakzouk
Your Excellencies and all Esteemed Participants,
It is a pleasure to thank the Republic of Philippines for their leadership in organizing this important event.
To go forward, religious believers must, first of all, acknowledge that their religions traditions have at times been abused by extremists. Then, standing together across all religious differences, they must reject this abuse.
Second, diverse religious communities and governments must work together on common problems. We need to put those problems squarely before us.
We know too well the blood of war, how it kills, maims and destroys the lives of the innocent. We know too well the crushing weight of poverty, how it stunts, humiliates and plunders. We know too well the children lost or held back by preventable diseases and denied educations. These and the abuses to our environment are genuine threats to peace. They are common problems. They call us to cooperative action.