WHERE WAS THE HIGH REPRESENTATIVE FOR DIALOGUE AMONG CULTURES?

 

1 FEBRUARY 2015

WHERE WAS THE HIGH REPRESENTATIVE FOR DIALOGUE AMONG CULTURES?

Where was the "High Representative" for Dialogue Among Cultures when the whole world was clamoring for it? The response to the terrorist murder of cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo prompted an international outcry and populous demonstrations, not just by political officials which could have been and was indeed exploited, but by civil society groups and everyday people around the world who stood by freedom of expression despite the fact that some of the views expressed in Charlie Hebdo were rejected and some, particularly those produced in the first issue following the assassination, could have been more considerate of other people's values and feelings.

The question has nothing to do with content which has been always confronted, rebutted argued and singled out.

Indeed, an active, enlightened response by the U.N. Dialogue team could have been the most appropriate and valuable at that particular time of an emotional field day flying in every direction. There is no question that freedom of opinion is and should be protected. There is also no doubt that human dignity and individual beliefs should be graciously protected and clearly defended.

The U.N. supposedly established that Dialogue group or venture or whatever its actual purpose was -- at least officially -- to handle just such confrontational situations, encourage seemingly difficult dialogue, defending freedom of information and free and varied press -- while, once more we repeat -- maintaining respect for other cultures.

Perhaps more attention will be paid to dealing with such urgent and current situations when that "High" Group meets in such hardship posts like the island resort of Bali as it did last August.

We would just make this point at this time. More, perhaps later, if required.