Fidest – Agenzia giornalistica/press agency

Quotidiano di informazione – Anno 31 n° 321

Un Alliance of Civilizations

Posted by fidest press agency su venerdì, 8 ottobre 2010

Following the annual Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations in Rio de Janeiro last May, the final Report has just been published, highlighting the major proceedings, final outcomes and achievements of the UNAOC network of partners. The Forum, which was the third of its kind, gathered over 2,000 political and corporate leaders, mayors, civil society activists, youth, journalists, foundations, international organizations and religious leaders in Rio de Janeiro, an emblematic city for diversity. The participants’ mission was to discuss joint actions to improve relations across cultures, combat prejudice and build the conditions for long-term peace.
The event was opened by Brazilian President Lula da Silva, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos, UNAOC High Representative Jorge Sampaio. 2011 Forum host H.H. Sheika Mozah bint Nasser Al Missned of Qatar also addressed the Forum during the opening plenary.
“Stronger cooperation for intercultural dialogue, a wide engagement at grass roots-level, but also leadership at all levels, are all indispensable driving forces for change”, said H.E. President Jorge Sampaio.
As a whole, the forum boasted an impressive roster of attendees including: Argentinean President H.E. Ms. Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner; Bolivian President H.E. Mr. Evo Morales; H.H. Mr. Saud Al Faisal, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Several prominent members of the international media community were also present, to include: Mr. Philippe Cayla, chairman and CEO of Euronews, and Mr. Riz Khan, news anchor for Al Jazeera. Private industry and foundations also weighed in on the discussions. Representatives from Vivendi, Deloitte-Touche, the World Congress of Muslim Philanthropists, the Global Marshall Fund, the Global Dialogue Foundation and many others took part in special discussion panels. A wide range of discussions took place, bringing together political leaders, corporate, civil society, media and youth representatives who had unique opportunities to develop new partnerships and initiatives. Ministers debated crucial aspects of the Alliance’s expanding role, including regional strategies and sustainability.  In addition, several major outcomes resulted from the Rio Forum. The winners of the Marketplace of Ideas, a program that showcases innovative and successful grassroots initiatives aimed at promoting mutual understanding among people and cultures, were highlighted during the forum.  The winners were chosen through a competitive application process and were invited to Rio to present their plans. A complete list of the winners is available in the forum report. Mid-way through the three-day event a special presentation was made highlighting the Dialogue Café, a non-profit initiative which uses state of the art video technology to enable face-to-face conversations between diverse groups of people from around the world. The Alliance also announced the launch of an online community on migration and integration entitled Integration: Building Inclusive Societies (IBIS). The focus of IBIS is to feature ideas and innovative projects from around the world in order to highlight successful ones and inspire all new projects. Youth were a key component in this event. More than 140 young people between the ages of 18 and 35 from around the globe attended the conference to participate in a Youth Walk and Youth Event. During that event, the young leaders developed an eight-point list of recommendations, detailed in the report, which they presented at the Forum’s closing ceremony. Youth organizations proved very active throughout the Forum. Eighteen organizations were recognized as recipients of Youth Solidarity Fund grants. The international program awards grants of up to $30,000 for organizations that advance intercultural and interfaith dialogue at the local, national, regional or international levels. This year’s recipients were invited to present their projects to the forum. A complete list of winners is available in the report.

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