Open Meeting of the Group of Friends of the Alliance of Civilizations

UNAOCMr. Nasser stated that radicalization, extremism, and terrorism continue to grow around the world, as they are driven by cultural and religious differences. UNAOC and OCHA are working together to ensure humanitarian action for natural and man-made disasters despite ethnic, political, or religious motives. Mr. Nasser expressed his support for the first World Humanitarian Summit, which will take place in Istanbul in May of 2016. The summit is placed in a symbolic location in hopes of promoting solutions for the world’s complex challenges. Ms. Amos noted that OCHA’s work is not politically motivated. By using “soft power,” OCHA aims to protect civilians, build confidence through communities, and facilitate humanitarian aid. She emphasized that political action, and not just humanitarian work, is needed to address underlying sources of conflict. Ms. Amos reflected upon how states turn to the UN for aid when the state itself is in a situation of conflict. In South Sudan, looking at two out of hundreds of attacks, at least 300 civilians were killed based on their ethnicity or nationality.
Ultimately, she expressed her support for the Alliance of Civilizations and dialogue across borders. All representatives that spoke during this meeting supported the Alliance of Civilizations and the belief that, with unity, the draft resolution can be adopted shortly. The Ambassador of Spain proposed three initiatives in an attempt to aid peacekeeping, which included having platforms for peaceful coexistence in areas like Syria, Israel, and Iraq. The Representatives of Turkey, Portugal, and the Republic of Korea, along with UNESCO, stated that education is crucial for preventing intolerance. The Representatives of the European Union, Italy, and Kazakhstan addressed the importance of private sectors and faith-based organizations that have an impact with regard to linking cultures and religions. At the end of the meeting, the Partnership Agreement was signed.

Meeting: Open meeting of the Group of Friends of the Alliance of Civilizations (at the ambassadorial level) (organized by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC))
Date & Location: Wednesday, February 18th, 2015. Conference Room 4, United Nations Headquarters, New York.
Speakers: H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al- Nasser, United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC); H.E. Ms. Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary- General for Humanitarian Affairs and Emergency Relief Coordinator (OCHA); Mr. Ramon Oyarzun, Ambassador of Spain; Mr. Yasar Halit Cevik, Ambassador of Spain; Representative of Hungary; Representative of the European Union; Representative of Qatar; Representative of Azerbaijan; Representative of Portugal; Representative of Brazil; Representative of Benin; Representative of Kazakhstan; Representative of Iran; Representative of Palestine; Representative from UNESCO; Representative of Fao; Representative of Italy; Representative of Mexico; Representative of the Republic of Korea; Representative of Malaysia.
Written by WIT Representative: Paige Stokols
Edited by WIT Representative: Philip Bracey

Open Meeting of the Group of Friends of the Alliance of Civilizations held at UN

UNAOCH. E. Mr. Nassir Abdul-Aziz Al-Nasser opened the UNAOC Annual Ministerial Meeting and elucidated that currently, we are facing some level of tension in every region of the world and world leaders have expressed their concerns on these important worries. Further, he said that the present state of global harmony is worrisome and current conflicts have cultural, religious or ethnic dimensions. The conflicts in Africa, Middle East and Eastern Europe all have features of identity based divisions and the alliance is mindful of the disturbing facts. Moreover, he spoke of UNAOC’s 6th Global Forum in Bali which was themed: Unity in Diversity.

At Bali, the UNAOC involved stakeholders such as, youth, civil society, religious leaders and politicians in an interactive dialogue that is urgent in the present-day geopolitical atmosphere. Most importantly, they advocated for the empowerment of young people to help solve some of the ongoing situation around the world because we will eventually inherent the problems the world is currently facing. Co-sponsors of the UNAOC, the Governments of Spain and Turkey, were represented by their Foreign Ministers as they echoed each other’s statements. They both spoke of the UNAOC’s mission and vision as a guide for all to follow.

Next, the Foreign Minister of Tunisia denounced the recent activities by the militant group in Algeria who are linked to ISIS. Following his statement, the Foreign Ministers of Algeria explain that 9/11 was an attack on human civilization. He then said that Algeria has suffered immensely from terrorism and the global community should stand together against the barbarism. Statements were made by numerous Foreign Ministers and the Deputy Secretary-General H.E. Jan Eliasson wherein they agreed on working together to defuse tensions while involving religious leaders, grassroots organizations, youth and women leaders. Near the end, the
Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan offered the capital city of his country, Baku, as the host of the 7th Global Forum in 2016. The membership of the Group of Friends endorsed the offer by consensus.

Meeting Title: Open Meeting of the Group of Friends of the Alliance of Civilizations (at the ministerial level) (organized by the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC))
Date: September 26th, 2014
Location: Conference Room 3, United Nations HQ, New York
Speakers: The United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations chairs the meeting, welcomes participants and delivers opening remarks under the theme “New and Emerging Ideological Threats to Global Peace & Co-Existence”; Remarks by the President of 69th Session of the General Assembly (tbc); Remarks by the co-sponsors (Spain and Turkey); Remarks by the Executive Director of the Counter Terrorism Executive Directorate; Remarks by the Director of the Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force; Foreign Ministers of Indonesia, Pakistan, Egypt, Morocco, Bulgaria, Mangolia, Finland, Netherland, Lithuania, Spain, Algeria, Finland, Netherlands, Lithuania, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Bahrain.
Written By WIT Representative: Modou Cham
Edited by WIT Representative: Aslesha Dhillon