Text of Address by, Mrs. Sharifi Sadr
The Second International Summer School
on Human Rights and Cultural Diversity
(9-11 July 2012, School of International Relations, Tehran)
First, I would like to welcome all the Iranian and foreign guests to this Second International Summer School on human rights and cultural diversity and wish this event organized by NAM Centre for Human Rights and Cultural Diversity in cooperation with School of International Relations and Institute for Social Research at Swinburne University of Technology- Australia a big success.
As human beings, all of us have been raised within a particular culture, and have inherited different subjective and objective elements from the very culture that come to the surface in our perceptions and attitudes. Such a plurality of identity rooted in culture and social, political, religious and historical background of each society has also been approved according to Islamic thoughts and the holy Koran, where God the almighty explicitly reiterates (people, we created you from males and females, and divided you into tribes and groups in order to make you understand)The holy Quran, 49:13
Accepting this plurality of ethnic groups and tribes doubtlessly comes with accepting its related requirements and necessities, which is recognition of human dignity for all as well as respect for different cultural/social identities. In the holy Koran, human beings are clearly considered as owners of a God-given dignity. This kind of plurality and diversity is of course for a particular purpose, which is driving us to stick to moral values, as well as piousness. Koran explicitly states after recognition of diversity and plurality that the most honored person before God is the most pious one -The holy Quran, 49:13. In addition, in Islamic teachings the ultimate all-encompassing development of human rights relies on a proper culture as well as correct cultural doctrines. This statement implies that developing various dimensions of human rights is not possible without having a correct perception of the universe, mankind, human life and human capacities along with moral values and God-given rationality, in addition to proper legal principles.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Colleagues
As usual, I.R.IRAN supports all the wise, sympathetic and politically unbiased endeavors to develop human rights on a global basis. To this end, it particularly encourages activation of academic institutions and civil entities to support the influential presence of different cultures in developing human rights. Such entities, can certainly make a difference by managing to strengthen the required cultural basis for complying with human rights from bottom upwards, in other words from the main body of the society, and not by dictating certain criteria and principles from above without preparing the necessary grounds and socio-cultural capacity, in a mandatory way.
As formation of NAM in 1961 was a result of efforts made to prevent global political and cultural domination, naturally the organization is trying to play its role in preserving cultural diversity and boosting human rights in a proper way. To this end, it is necessary for this Summer School and all similar academic events to study different dimensions of human cultural rights as well as concerns of developing communities on issues related to human rights, also in the framework of joint entities like NAM Centre for Human Rights and Cultural Diversity.