Skip to main content

‘Let Us Recognize Diversity as Richness’, Resist Those That Seek to Divide Us, Says Secretary-General in Video Message for Tangier Dialogue

Following is the text of UN Secretary-General António Guterres’ video message for the Tangier Dialogue:  Towards a New, Shared Enlightenment, in Tangier, Morocco, today:

I am pleased to greet the inaugural Tangier Dialogue.  My thanks to the Government of Morocco, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and Project Aladdin for bringing us together.

Tangier — a crossroads of cultures and centuries-old hub of knowledge — is the ideal place to reflect on the state of global affairs and relations between peoples.

Today, our world is in turmoil — marred by hunger, poverty, pandemic, disasters, displacement, inequalities and humanitarian emergencies.  We are facing the highest number of violent conflicts since [the Second World War].  The only credible answer to this torrent of threats is international cooperation, multilateral action and global solidarity.

Yet, in too many cases and places, we see the opposite.  Ignorance, intolerance and irrationality run rampant.

History teaches that politics driven by anger, distortion and discrimination is a recipe for disaster.  But, history also shows time and again that prosperity emerges whenever societies embrace diversity, cross-cultural exchange and inter‑religious dialogue.  The history of the Mediterranean is no exception — cooperation and exchange produced prosperity and progress.

It was Arab scholars who preserved the wisdom of ancient Greece for centuries before the Renaissance.  And it was the navigation techniques pioneered and shared by Arab geographers and cartographers that enabled others to cross the oceans and circumnavigate the world.

Now, more than ever, we need careful navigation to find a pathway to a better world.  That is a shared journey.  We must resist those that seek to divide us.

Let us recognize diversity as richness and reaffirm our common humanity.  Let us return to reason.  And let us reach out and together realize a future of dignity for all.  I wish you a fruitful dialogue.  Thank you.

For information media. Not an official record.