Following are UN Secretary‑General António Guterres’ remarks for the opening of the first Assembly on Women, Faith and Diplomacy: “Keeping Faith and Transforming Tomorrow”, held today:

I send my warmest greetings to this first Assembly on Women, Faith and Diplomacy.  This is an important opportunity to link faith-based organizations and communities with women’s mediation networks and leaders.

Around the world, women of all religions have a long history of working for peace in their communities and countries.  Too often, their efforts are marginalized, and they are excluded from formal mediation efforts.

Today, faith leaders have a more important role than ever in building peace through interreligious dialogue.  But without women’s full participation and leadership, that dialogue is incomplete, and peace is less sustainable.

I commend the organizers of this Assembly for making these connections, and contributing to a more equal, inclusive, peaceful and resilient world.  I look to a future where faith and feminism go hand-in-hand, and where faith-based organizations are alliances for peace and progress.  I wish you all the best in your discussions.

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