Petition to Excellency Secretary General, United Nations Organization New York, USA
Establish a Universal Center for Dialogue in Lebanon & Designate Lebanon Land for Dialogue
This petition to establish a UN universal center for dialogue in Lebanon and to designate Lebanon as a land for dialogue Amon civilizations and cultures is addressed to His/Her Excellency the Secretary General of the United Nations Organization in New York, USA. This is a civil society effort. In his address to the UN General Assembly on the Dialogue between Cultures and Religions (Item 45: Culture and Peace) on November 12th, 2008, His Excellency, President Michel Sleiman, stated that “the philosophy of the Lebanese entity is based on dialogue, reconciliation and coexistence”. He declared that the Lebanese people would like Lebanon to “become an international center for the management of the dialogue of civilizations and cultures and consequently a global laboratory for that inter-entity dialogue”.St. Pope John Paul II, Ayatollah Muhammad Mahdi Shamseddine, the Muslim-Christian Summit at the Maronite Patriarchate in Lebanon and hundreds of thousands of people in Lebanon and around the world, we believe that Lebanon is more than a country it is a message of freedom, a model of pluralism and a special space for dialogue and coexistence of different cultures, ethnicities and religions. We also believe that Lebanon’s vocation is to embody this message and to strive to live it and to promote it despite all the challenges and the obstacles faced. We started this petition to capitalize on the call by former President Michel Suleiman to the UN to designate Lebanon as “an international center for the management of the dialogue of civilizations and cultures and consequently a global laboratory for that inter-entity dialogue”. Your signature will make a difference because the world needs a place where dialogue takes place not on the macro levels but also on the micro levels – on the levels of people in their daily lives as it is the situation in Lebanon. Your signature will give people hope and strengthen their resilience not only in the Middle East, but also around the world for an alternative to disputes, conflicts and wars. The Middle East needs Lebanon to be this space and your signature will make it happen. The Initiative is Notre Dame University project using civil society track to achieve its objectives. It is supported by Lebanese people, friends of Lebanon, people of good will, civil society advocates and organizations who believe that Lebanon is a land of dialogue and needs to be internationally acknowledged as such by the UN and its member states. My name is Dr. Guita Hourani. I am the Director of the Lebanese Emigration Research Center, member of the Initiative's Steering Committee and the Petition Campaign Coordinator of the Initiative. On behalf of Notre Dame University, the Steering Committee, the Executing Director and the Advisory Committee of the Initiative thank you in advance for supporting this initiative and for signing the petition. "Make no little plans. They have no magic to stir men's blood and probably will not themselves be realized. Make big plans; aim high in hope and work, remembering that a noble, logical diagram once recorded will not die, but long after we are gone be a living thing, asserting itself with ever-growing insistence." Architect Daniel Hudson Burnham (1846 – 1912).