On 21 August, Italian Undersecretary of State Maria Tripodi attended the Meeting for Friendship Amongst Peoples (Rimini Meeting) and took part in an event called “Friendship among Cultures. Cultures that nurture Friendship”. The event, introduced by Bernard Scholz, President of the Meeting, centred on the theme of dialogue between cultures in the era of globalisation, with a special focus on interreligious dialogue, particularly between the Catholic world and the Arab world of Muslim faith.
In her speech, Undersecretary Tripodi stressed the fundamental role of intercultural and interreligious dialogue in promoting social cohesion and fostering freedom of expression, identity construction, civic empowerment and dialogue.
She then underlined the leading role historically played by Italy in this area, aimed at enhancing the international community’s commitment to promoting religious freedom and religious pluralism at the global level, working both to ensure individual rights and the autonomy of religious organisations, both of which are indispensable conditions for an inclusive and peaceful society and, consequently, for prosperity. “Dialogue between representatives of different religions,” said the Undersecretary, “is essential to overcome the lack of mutual understanding and the mistrust that is at the root of discrimination, marginalisation and hate speech”.
In conclusion, the Undersecretary wished to refer to a thought of Saint Francis of Assisi, also quoted in Pope Francis’ encyclical “Fratelli Tutti” (All Brothers): “blessed all those who love his brother as much when he is far away from him as when he is with him”.
Undersecretary Tripodi then visited the event, lingering in particular on the International Pavilion – built by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation in collaboration with the CIHEAM in Bari and dedicated to the 2030 Agenda and the work of the Italian Agency for Development Cooperation.