Statement of the Chairman of Freedom Party, Mr. Ilir Meta to the Third World Forum For The Culture of Peace, Cairo

Statement of the Chairman of Freedom Party, Mr. Ilir Meta to the Third World Forum For The Culture of Peace, Cairo


CAIRO, 20 FEBRUARY 2024                  


“Peace is not something you wish for; it’s something you make, something you do, something you are, and something you give away.” – John Lennon


Distinguished guests


It is my honor and privilege to participate in the Third World Forum for Culture of Just Peace.


I express my gratitude to the President of the Arab Republic of Egypt, His Excellency Mr. Abdel Fattah El-Sisi for hosting this event and especially to the “Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation”, which, after the sudden and unexpected passing away of Mr.Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain, the Chairman of the Albabtain Cultural Foundation, decided to continue with the organization of the Third World Forum for Just Peace.


This Forum is not only an homage to the cultural legacy and aspirations for promoting the Culture of Just Peace of the Late Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain, May his Soul rest in Eternal Peace, but also the continuation of his charitable work, ideas, principals and humanitarian values.


“Building bridges of understanding between diverse communities is essential for fostering a culture of peace and harmony.”- said Mr. Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain.


And the World Forums for Just Peace, organized by the “Abdulaziz Saud Albabtain Cultural Foundation”, do exactly this, by bringing together distinguished personalities and scholars from different backgrounds and countries of the world.


The culture of just peaceis a set of values, attitudes, modes of behavior, and ways of life that reject violence and aim to prevent conflicts.


Just peace acknowledges that peace cannot be achieved through coercion or domination, but requires genuine reconciliation, dialogue, negotiation and cooperation among conflicting parties, individuals, groups, and nations.


We cannot achieve peace without respect for human rights and human dignity, without promoting social justice and economic equality, without ensuring that all individuals have equal access to their basic rights: the rights to life, liberty, and security.


Unfortunately, we are living today in a world full of conflicts, wars, injustices and inequality.


The dramatic situations we are witnessing in Ukraine and Gaza are examplesof how fragile peace can be.This is a dramatic time not only for Ukraine and Gaza,but for the entire world.

Part of arriving at a just peace entails recognizing a shared existence and common history even if this approach highlights serious differences. From this approach, a two state solution for Israelis and Palestinians is whatcould address the past and the future of this nations. I appreciate in particular the efforts of Egypt to give end to this brutality and pushing both sides for dialog and solution because not only the future of this region is at risk but its continuation threatens peace and security broader.

It demonstrates once again that warcan erupt at any time, anywhere in the world.


Sadly, the figures prove it.Only in the year 2022, there were 55 violent conflicts across the world and the number of deaths in active conflicts doubled that year.


While for 2023, according to the researchers of the Uppsala Conflict Data Program, this dark trend will continue.


Meanwhile, according to the World bank, it is estimated that 80% of humanitarian need is driven by violent conflicts, where unfortunately women and children are the most affected.

Furthermore, conflict is “a major cause of the reversals in economic growth in many low- and middle-income countries”.


If current increasing trends of violent conflicts continue, the OECD estimates that by 2030 more than half of all the world’s poor people will be living in countries affected by a high level of violence and as a consequence they will be even poorer.


Nowadays, we are witnessing an increase in the global tensions between the USA, Russia and China, which makes it difficult to organize UN operations.


There is also a return to the international conflicts with two states fighting each-other, which is quite worrying for the international peace.


While geopolitical contestation is at its highest peak, since the end of the Cold War,a wave of transformation processes can be observed in many countries across all regions of the world, such as the decline of quality of democratic regimes, rise of nationalist and often authoritarian movements and leaders, increasing restrictions on civil society actors (“shrinking civic spaces”) etc.


At the moment, it is estimated that nearly ¾ of the world’s population live in countries with an autocratic regime.


Furthermore, we are living in a world where environmental degradation and resource scarcity can exacerbate conflicts, particularly in resource-rich but economically marginalized regions.


The climate is heating up every year and unfortunately, it seems like we are getting used to accepting the breaking of negative records of the rising temperature of our planet Earth.


We all feel the impact of climate change in our countries. 2023 has been a year with extreme heatwaves, sea level rise,flooding disasters, hurricanes and stormswhich have affected millions and millions of people around the world, but especially those in developing countries.


At least 12,000 people – 30% more than in 2022 – lost their lives due to floods, wildfires, cyclones, storms, and landslides globally in 2023. (Save the Children)


While according to The World Health Organization (WHO), as many as 828 million people, or about 10% of the global population,are affected by hunger.


Economic shocks, extreme weather events, and conflicts like the war in Ukraine have restricted global food supplies, driven up prices, and presented a threat to vulnerable populations and countries.


The future unhappily, seems grimmer. It is estimated that climate change and biodiversity loss will increase food prices by 20% for billions of low -income people,which as a consequence will create more instability and insecurity, not only within these countries, but for the rest of the world too.


There is no dispute that peace is one of the main pillars of the United Nations’ Agenda 2030. This Agenda states that without sustainable development there can be no peace, and without peace there can be no sustainable development.


Data shows that peace is ultimately “a key determinant” for all the threats and challenges addressed by the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), “from chronic diseases to child poverty to environmental degradation”.


Unluckily, it seems like only 15% of the Sustainable Development Goals agreed in 2015 are due to be met by 2030.


There are some reasons for this, which include: violent conflicts around the world, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine which brought energy and food insecurity for millions of people; COVID 19 which slowed down the economic development; environmental degradation and climate change which bring insecurity and instability.



Poverty, inequality, injustice, lack of access to resources, environmental degradation and conflictsare common underlying factors that need to be tackled for both just peace and sustainable development to be achieved.


How can we work together to achieve just peace? 


First. Political institutions and governance systems play a critical role in promoting just peace by ensuring accountability, transparency, and the rule of law.


Democratic governance, respect for human rights, and inclusive political processes are essential for building trust, fostering civic engagement, and promoting social cohesion.


Political reforms that address corruption, promote good governance, and protect the rights of marginalized groups can help prevent conflicts.


Second. We need strong, transparent institutions which are the guardians of justice and accountability.


By investing in the capacity-building of institutions, from judiciary systems to public service agencies, we consolidate peace and lay the groundwork for long-term stability.


Third. Just peace has a strong implication for social development. Social justice lies at the heart of any truly peaceful society.


For this we need to eradicate discrimination, to promote equality and empower marginalized communities and make it possible for every person to fulfill their potential.


Fourth.Culture plays a pivotal role in promoting just peace by fostering understanding, empathy, and mutual respect among diverse communities.


True peace requires the cultivation of a culture of tolerance, understanding, and dialogue—one that embraces diversity as a source of strength rather than a cause for conflict. I am proud to say that Albania is an example to the world for its religious harmony and tolerance.


Finally.Economic inequality and exclusion are often root causes of conflict and instability. To promote just peace, it is crucial to address economic disparities and ensure inclusive economic policies that benefit all members of society.


Investing in education, healthcare, and infrastructure, promoting entrepreneurship, supporting small businesses, supporting sustainable development and responsible resource management can help reduce poverty and inequality, mitigate environmental conflicts and promote long-term economic stability.


In conclusion, I would say that we should never take peace for granted. We should work tirelessly across all sectors and disciplines and we need to engage all stakeholders, including governments, civil society organizations, grassroots movements, and local communities to achieve just peace and make a better world.


To accomplish this, we should put in life the teaching of our dearest Albanian Mother, Saint Theresa, who said “Peace begins with a smile”.


Thank you!