Sixth Global Forum on UN WEB TV

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30 AUGUST 2014

Your Excellency Mr. Marty Natalagawa, Foreign Minister of Indonesia
Your Excellency Mr. Juan Manuel Garcia-Margallo, the Foreign Minister of Spain,
Your Excellency Mr. Ali Naci Koru Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am grateful for your thoughtful and helpful interventions during our ministerial segment of the 6th Global Forum. I am also grateful for your stamina and your tolerance. Yesterday was indeed a long day and I value your input.

Aside from our Ministerial segment yesterday provided us with some terrific insights and real opportunities to learn. And, of course, we all enjoyed and were energized by the events of Thursday afternoon and evening. It has been a busy and exciting couple of days!

Let me recap some of the highlights.

Our Focal Points met on Thursday afternoon. There they agreed unanimously to the Bali Forum declaration. You, the Ministerial representatives met yesterday and we took note of the thoughtful comments made by many of you. We also were gratified to hear that new pledges of support to our Trust Fund from Qatar and Indonesia. We also received our first offer to host the 7th Global Forum in 2016 from Azerbaijan.

On Thursday we watched as the 75 youth selected from Indonesia and around the world tackled difficult issues related to building more peaceful, more tolerant societies. We were all impressed by the high quality of the questions they asked of the Secretary-General, Foreign Minister Nakalagawa and my self. Indeed, some of the questions were really challenging!

Then we had the great honor to watch the announcement of the new class of awardees of the BMW-Intercultural Innovation Award. All finalists will be awarded support to help their projects.
I know we were all touched by the emotional power of the presentations of the projects that received recognition. It was a magical evening.

Yesterday we moved into the core of our forum program, the plenary sessions, the breakout sessions and the side events. The conversations were rich and diverse in their substance. I was pleased to get the chance to visit many of them myself.

Plenary 1
In Plenary 1 we learned about the wide application of the term Unity in Diversity. Five noteworthy speakers raised the varied ways in which the term can be applied ranging from the need to consider migration as a fundamental human right, to the diversity of food and cultures as reflective of broader diversity of human civilizations and the key role that food security plays in building peace. We learned about the need to examine our differences and our differing cultures if we are to build a proper foundation for conflict resolution. And we learned about global citizenship, both at the level of the individual and at the level of multinational corporations. Inter-connectivity demands global concepts of citizenship.

Our breakout sessions gave us the chance to explore more specific issues and explore them in greater detail.

On Promoting harmony through inter-religious and cross-cultural education:

The panelists coincided in pointing out that to respect and learn about other religions is a way to improve and purify one’s own religion. But mutual respect, one of the panelist insisted, must be transformative and engaging as well, not limited to a simple acceptance of tolerance, but developing into positive action. To move in this direction, the panel recommended including inter-religious education in primary and secondary school curricula as a way to encourage better understanding among individuals from different cultural backgrounds.

We have learned about Preserving lessons of coexistence from Different Cultures through History in a session sponsored by the Research Centre for Islamic History, Art and Culture. Learning about the Other” was a critical tool to ameliorate identity-based tensions all over the world. Going back to history and everyone’s own tradition is a precious and rich fountainhead enlightening our present and the way the entire human family can coexist together
The Universal Peace Federation has sponsored a side event, to teach us how to build Trust through Interreligious Dialogue. Respectful religious leaders together taught us how to dialogue and exchange views and insights on how to build trust and cooperate with each other’s and among religions.
A side event sponsored by the Indonesia Global Compact Network provided insight on Promoting Harmony through Business. It emphasized, the importance of Business for Peace (B4P) as a leadership platform aims to expand and deepen private sector actions in support of inter-cultural and inter-religious peace and harmony in the workplace, marketplace and communities.”

Media conversations across lines
A debate about the media’s increasing power through social media and constant access to information, panelists stressed that people need to understand and appreciate the enormous power that the media possesses, and the damage that it can cause, realizing that published material, whatever form it may be in, may result in collateral damage. The media, facing a variety of internal and external threats, must improve its ability to operate in an unbiased and transparent way.
Social Inclusion: Developments for the Post-2015 Agenda
The discussion explored the current situation surrounding migrants, challenges and potential for positive change in the future. It was asserted that as migration is inevitable, it is necessary that we have the skills available to responsibly manage social diversity. This should translate into the right to access all public services and live within an environment cultural and religious tolerance that would leave them free to exercise their freedom in exploring their integration while celebrating their diverse identity. One method is to encourage community-based programs that enhance social inclusion in host societies, as well as instill in host governments that it is in their national interest to manage migrant integration well, within their country.

Youth Participation in Peace-Building

Talking about peacebuilding, experts from four different countries shared their thoughts. The session started with showing the “Guiding Principles on Young People’s Participation in Peace Building” which will be used to advance the role of youth in peacebuilding.

Participants spoke to issues such as the importance of economic issues for young people. By having activities to help their communities, young people can avoid being influenced by intolerance, extremism and xenophobia. Participants described the damage that can be done through bad stereotypes about young people, migrants, health status, and sexuality. Participants identified potential solutions such as the development of theatre and art show to encourage the youth to take part in peace building. Social media was also identified as an effective way to attract youth. Another alternative was the use of contemporary methods of communications to encourage youth to participate in peacebuilding.

Alumni of the fellowship program, one of the flagship projects of UNAOC sponsored by the German Government, participated in the different break-out sessions . The 4 Alumni expressed their commitment to working on fostering understanding and dialogue and to continue to dedicate heir personal and professional lives to making an impact on local communities and institutions with a view to fostering gender equality, social inclusion, economic development and dialogue.

The role of culture in the formulation of new sustainable development

Cultural heritage and pride was recognized as a main driver to revive and move forward communities after a disaster. Bottom up instead of top down initiatives have significantly more chances to be successful. It was pointed out that while globalization tends to produce assimilation of communities, the same forces are also a dynamic motor that energizes the development and conservation of local cultures. And we learned about the new concept of “Venture philanthropy” that facilitates the empowerment of communities, providing in the process opportunities for sustainable development. Culture was recognized as a soft power tool to advance the sustainable development agenda.

We have learned about Mobilizing Diverse Communities on Climate Change and Justice in the session sponsored by the International Ecological Safety Collaborative Organization. This side event was of great significance for improving the dialogue on ecological civilization and for realizing the Post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda and an opportunity to clarify the meaning of Ecological Civilization, which is “regulating human behavior and realizing the harmonious coexistence between mankind and nature”.
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations has sponsored a side event and showed us what is involved in Promoting Cross-Cultural Understanding through Food Security.
UNAOC welcomes the strengthening of the partnership with FAO, whose adhesion to the UNAOC’s Group of Friends during the forthcoming months is an acknowledgement that food security and peace have a binding and mutual connection.
We have learned learn how to Increase Awareness on Finance and Cultural Diversity in a session sponsored by the Convention of Independent Financial Advisors. We have realized that economic development is essential for peace, and can only be achieved when the conditions for wealth creation exist in a country when economic progress can be shared with the community and WHEN CULTURAL DIVERSITY IS RESPECTED.
We have benefit from the expertise and uplifting stories of people from all over the world. We have heard voices of wisdom from our great faith traditions calling us to a world of peace, justice and environmental sustainability. New alliances have been formed and new insight has been gained.
I am confident that they will continue to be instrumental in advancing the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through innovative partnerships under the post-2015 vision.
The principles of collective responsibility, collective accountability, collective trust, collective hope, collective sharing and collective inspiration toward intercultural and interreligious dialogue to achieve “Unity in Diversity”, have guided us in this forum, As members of the human family, regardless of our race, religion, ethnicity, cultural or nationality we stand on common values. From that place, lets us work together for a world of greater peace.

Harnessing the Positive Power of Social Media
The benefit of social media in enhancing democracy is massive, but controls are needed to prevent abuse that could even lead to aiding terrorists. The use of media “tribes” such as facebook and twitter in several countries is diverse. It gives young people a voice and they don’t have to put their identity, which can make them feel secure. But that security can itself be abused, and must be studied further.

Fostering understanding through the power of sports, art, music and entertainment
Four main lessons were considered the participants – crucial elements to foster understanding through the power of sports, art, music and entertainment:
• Emphasizing the concept of reaching out to challenge ourselves and going into places where you have not been before.
• Being ready to look at images and stories that surprise and challenge the existing beliefs.
• Choosing leaders that touch hearts and spirit.
• Cultivating a sense of human empathy.
Perception of Migration: How to Change the Narratives about Migrants
During this session, panelists discussed how word choice in articles and perspective in photographs, for example, give a specific perception to the readers or viewers. Unfortunately this perception is often negative. In an effort to provide a solution to the often negative perceptions created by common depictions of migrants UNAOC and Panos Institute Europe has launched a Media-Friendly Glossary on Migration. It stresses the importance of using the correct terminology when journalists are reporting on migration.

Yesterday’s side events included “Ecological Civilization: Time Calling for Common Values”

This side event focused on the interconnections between ecological issues and economic growth, politics and sustainable development. I attended that event and reminded the participants that ecological issues, while important on their own, also impacted the programs supported by UNAOC. The connection to youth is essential. Changes in our ecological health impact the future and we know the future belongs to the youth. Handled properly, a well-managed ecology can create economic growth.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

We have had a wonderful time here in Bali. All of you, government representatives and civil society representatives alike, have done your part to make our conversations fruitful and ensure that the 6th Global Forum will long be remembered not only for beauty of its setting but the quality of its debates.

Before closing, let me one more time thank our hosts, Republic of Indonesia. None of this would have happened without the dedication of H. E. Minister Marty Natalegawa, Amb. Esti Andayani and the rest of Indonesian team. They have lifted heaven and earth to make this a most wonderful experience.

I would also like to thank the interpreters, the conference officers and the security personnel for their tireless efforts.

I also would like to thank my team , especially the task force for their diligence, resilience and hard work. You all did a great job.

May we all return home to continue the important work of the Alliance.

I thank you.

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Opening Remarks By H. E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, The United Nations High Representative For The Alliance Of Civilizations, Before The Ministerial Segment Of Sixth UNAOC Global Forum

29 AUGUST 2014

Your Excellency, Mr. Ban Ki – moon, UN Secretary- General
Your Excellency Mr. Marty Natalagawa, Foreign Minister of Indonesia
Your Excellency Mr. Juan Manuel Garcia-Margallo, the Foreign Minister of Spain,

Your Excellency Mr. Ali Naci Koru DeputyvMinister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am pleased to welcome you to our ministerial segment of the 6th Global Forum. I am happy to see Foreign Ministers and representatives of International Organizations, academia, civil society and the media and I thank all of you for their support to the Alliance.

We have had and we are still convening many exciting sessions that will continue till tomorrow.

Under our banner for this year’s Forum “Unity in Diversity”, we will explore a variety of topics that provide us insights into the importance of those words and their importance to the mission of the Alliance. President Yudhiyono has been most gracious in his hospitality and the commitment of the Indonesian government to making this Forum a success will always be remembered.

I also wish to thank our co-sponsors the Governments of Spain and Turkey as well as the Governments that previously hosted these important events, Brazil and Austria. My special thanks go also to Qatar for hosting the 4th Global Forum two years ago and the preparatory conference of this Forum last April and I would like to seize this opportunity to welcome here with us, His Excellency and my dear friend Mr. Ahmad Bin Abdullah Al-Mahmoud, the Deputy Prime Minister of the State of Qatar.

I also wish to take this opportunity to congratulate all of you who worked so diligently to arrive at agreement on the text of the Bali Declaration. This important document crystallizes the most important concepts we wish to take away from the two days we will be spending here. I thank you and your representatives for your efforts in this regard.

Since we last gathered in New York last September, we have witnessed a continuation and even an increase in the level of violence attributable to religious violence and cultural divisions. I need not reference each one here but it is enough to remind you that these problems span the globe from Africa to the Middle East to Asia.

This morning, the Secretary-General has made this point to us yet again. Religion and culture must be a bridge – never a wedge. The Alliance must lead the way in engaging with religious and cultural leaders to promote messages of inclusion, tolerance and understanding. It is in-comprehensible that religious leaders use their positions to claim the right to promote atrocities in the name of God. We must reverse that trend.

Today I intend to review with you what I promised to you last year, what has been achieved in the past year, and my plans for the coming year.

What I promised

My vision as described in Vienna and later expanded upon in our Strategic Review and Plan for 2013-2018, focused on the need to build on the achievements of the past. I also indicated that we must be prepared to expand our thinking about how to best reach the largest number of people.

The vision I described last year consisted of six primary elements:

First, we would build on Previous Achievements

Second, we would strengthen our partnerships and cooperation in the multilateral system

Third, we would seek to add complementary tools to the conflict resolution tool box

Fourth, we would contribute to post-2015 Development Agenda by adding considerations of culture

Fifth, we would seek ways to strengthen the Financing and Structure of the Alliance

Sixth, we would increase UNAOC’s interaction with Media, Civil Society, Business Sector and Academia

What I’ve done

I would like to share with you some examples of our recent achievements:

1. On building on Previous Achievements: We have worked diligently to identify the program activities that had the greatest impact and had the best chance for sustainability. This has resulted in building up several of our activities including the Youth Solidarity Fund, the BMW-Intercultural Innovation Award, the Entrepreneurs for Social Change Project, the Summer School, the Media Literacy Program, the Hate Speech Project and competitions such as Plural + and PeaceApp.

2. On strengthening our Partnerships: I have insisted that our staff develop an increasing level of cooperation within the multilateral community and this past year we have focused on our internal efforts with the UN Secretariat. Our partnerships with DPA, UNDP, PBSO, UNICEF, OCHA and other entities has resulted in AOC staff taking on increasingly important roles in inter-agency activities.

3. On adding to the Conflict Resolution Toolbox: We are making all reasonable efforts, in coordination with the Policy and Mediation Unit of the Department of Political Affairs, to assist and augment their work wherever possible. We have expanded our work into the prevention field through our efforts on Combatting Violent Extremism in cooperation and consultation with the Counter-terrorism Task Force of DPA and will be hosting a training event for diaspora Somali journalists in September. This morning we heard from President Yudhiyono who added his voice to the call for us to do more to use religion and culture as bridges between peoples. We heard specific suggestions to this effect from Foreign Minister Garcia Margallo to use mediation for defusing tensions. I have heard the call. And I am committed to making this a reality.

4. On contributing to the post-2015 Development Agenda: At the invitation of UNDP we have participated in their planning process and have contributed to deliberations related to the inclusion of culture as a planning feature in this process. UNDP’s work on this subject is based on their pillar for the planning process that is led by UNESCO and UNFPA, and our interventions have been welcomed.

5. On strengthening the Financing and Structure of the Alliance: Over the past year we have established a new organizational structure that has permitted us to operate in more collaborative ways and for staff to work together on projects more frequently. Unfortunately, our financial support continues to be inadequate and requires urgent efforts on your behalf to secure funding on an immediate basis from your governments.

6. On increasing interaction with Media, Civil Society, Business Sector and Academia: I have signed Memoranda of Understanding with civil society organizations, opened the door for them and for the media to interact with the Alliance in every meeting and occasion.

What I plan to do

Finance: As you heard from my own messages and in letters to your governments from the Secretary-General, our financial situation count on your support. I will employ every option at my disposal to keep our financial ship afloat. I have been negotiating with the United Nations Foundation to establish a means under United States law for philanthropists to contribute to the Alliance in accordance with the law of the host country.

Governance: This past year I have considered changes to the governance structure of UNAOC. Our challenge is to ensure you, the members of our Group of Friends, are as fully engaged as possible and that your advice can be considered in a timely fashion. I will be reviewing current structures, perhaps adding or amending some structures while possibly eliminating others, to ensure that the Member States of the Group of Friends can fill its crucial advisory role.

Substance: You have heard this morning about the need to bridge divides based on identity, especially identities derived from religion and culture. The Secretary-General has been clear in his desire to see the Alliance take a leading role in promoting Interreligious and Intercultural dialogue as a critical element in the mediation agenda and I will do everything I can to expand the role of the Alliance in this field as we move forward. I pledge to you that I and my team will work tirelessly to ensure that the United Nations has a strong voice in the promotion of shared human values, that we will make sure religious and cultural leaders are reminded of their obligations and their opportunities to be genuine peacemakers, not warlords. The inspiration we witnessed last night will guide us as we move forward.

I extend my sincere thanks to Secretary – General Ban Ki-moon for his kind support and personal attention to the Alliance, and I take this opportunity to say thank you to our donors and partners, whose help and support has been invaluable in enabling us to carry out our duties.

Ladies and gentlemen,

In closing, allow me to thank all of you for supporting the outcome of this meeting.

We will continue our work in contributing to the vision of universal peace among nations laid out in the United Nations Charter for the sake of global harmony for development and prosperity to live in a better world.

I thank you.

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Opening Remarks By H. E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, The United Nations High Representative For The Alliance Of Civilizations Before The Sixth UNAOC Global Forum

29 August 2014
Bali, Indonesia

Your Excellency Mr. Susilo Bambang Yudhiyono, President of the Republic of Indonesia
Your Exellency Mr. Ban Ki-Moon, United Nations Secretary-General,
Your Excellency Mr. John Ashe, President of the UNGA
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Selamat dating!

Good morning and welcome to Bali.

It is an utmost honor for me to welcome all of you to the Sixth Global Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations, convened under the theme; “Unity In Diversity”.

Today is a historical chance for us to celebrate the world diversity for common and shared values for all.

A little over a year ago I took the helm of this organization with sincere intention to expand its work in bridging cultural divides; to help it create mutual understanding and respect for different communities and across ideologies.

My philosophy to do so was driven by more than taking it as a job. In fact, I believe that God created us free to live, and that we can truly invest the love and compassion implanted in us to develop civilized relations between different civilizations.

Co-existence depends on the rule of law, Human Rights and the protection of dignity for every human being.

Our world desperately needs these magnificent ethics to live happy and we need to act to achieve this goal if we are serious about ending the on-going conflicts and tensions that plague our global society.

But I will not hide the inconvenient truth that you all can see. Global shifts are serious, rapid and disproportionate. Much has changed since I have started my tenure as High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations. The events of the past two months alone are enough to alarm us.

The crises in Iraq, Gaza, Syria and further a field in the Central African Republic, Nigeria, Myanmar, and Sri Lanka so clearly demonstrate that societies are grappling with identity based tensions. Globally, there is a persistent need for the work of the Alliance if we really want to pursue the future we want.

Running an organization with a small number of staff, limited resources and a huge mandate is challenging. This is why as soon as I took office, I initiated a strategic review to take stock of the activities that needed to be continued and expanded, as well as those new and innovative, that deserve to be added as priorities and areas of focus.

As part of this crucial process, I made the mainstreaming of the UNAOC into the broader UN system a strategic priority. One year on, I am happy to report that my team is in regular contact with various parts of the UN system, including the UN entities charged with mandates related to the vision of the Alliance.

International Peace and Security is with great importance to me. No development can be achieved without stability and no Human Rights can be protected without security.

Therefore, I’m in constant collaboration with the Political Affairs and its Counter Terrorism Implementation Task Force, the Mediation Support Unit, UNDP, Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs, the Peacebuilding Support Office, the Office of the Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide, UNESCO, UNICEF —not to mention countless others.

This has not simply been an exercise in information sharing; it has resulted in notable system-wide initiatives.  Take the area of youth as an example, an area in which the Alliance has played a pioneering role, specifically in mainstreaming youth voices and contributions to core UN activities.

In collaboration with the Peacebuilding Support Office and UNICEF, the Alliance, alongside a number of UN agencies, has helped launching guidelines on youth and peacebuilding. These guidelines are directed at policy makers in governments, UN agencies, other multilateral organizations, local authorities and civil society organizations to aid them in leveraging the role of young people in fostering peace. For me, this is a major global issue because in many societies around the world, young people remain the marginalized majority and this is truly dangerous.

This is why when we started this work we asked ourselves “why aren’t young people being brought into the conversation? Why can’t they be part of our decision making?” As these guidelines are new I am excited to see what effects they will have in the future. Some times I even direct such questions to my son in order to understand more about what we should all do about this issue.

But this is not the only way in which the Alliance is working with young people. At the Alliance we believe in a 360-degree approach when it comes to youth engagement. Critically, this includes young peoples’ role in social and economic growth. Inclusive growth is a pillar of civilized and democratic system, that is based on respect for basic freedoms, in particular respect for cultural and religious diversity.

The Alliance partnered with civil society foundation and governmental bodies to launch projects to support entrepreneurs for social change. Under this program we train and mentor young social entrepreneurs from the north and south basins of the Mediterranean to scale up their businesses, while also fostering intercultural understanding. This proved to reduce youth un-employment, and build inclusive societies through social enterprises.

As many of you know, social enterprises are businesses that combine profit making with a social mission. Thanks to the generous contribution of our partners, this year we will have a second edition of Entrepreneurs for Social Change. I am happy to report that compared to last year the number of people applying to this programme has doubled.

Both the initiatives I just mentioned are recent additions to our long-standing youth programming, including the Youth Solidarity Fund programme, which provides seed funding to youth led cross-cultural programs with a special focus on countries and areas where tensions are high. Under this program, we have funded tens of projects in more than 30 countries that have directly and indirectly affected hundreds of thousands of people, most of whom were youth.

In the area of media, which is another one of our pillars, we also work with young people. We look at youth as not just consumers of content but as producers. Here, I would like to highlight the Plural + program, which supports young filmmakers who are using the medium of film to openly discuss the complexities of being a migrant. The films that these young people make are then distributed worldwide on different platforms, including TV broadcasts, the Internet, festivals and schools.

Under another programme, we also have close working relationships with media professionals. We produced a Media-Friendly Glossary on Migration and we will be launching the glossary today!

Another area related to media and entertainment is video games. As many of you know the gaming industry is now larger than Hollywood. In that respect UNAOC and UNDP are working together to promote digital games and apps as avenues for cross-cultural dialogue and conflict resolution.

As you can see from all the projects I have shared thus far, the Alliance retains a strong commitment to innovative approaches. This is reflected not only in the substance of our programs and projects but in our operations as well. As part of this commitment to innovative partnerships, the Alliance has secured partnerships with some International private sector organizations, such as the BMW Group and others. Through these partnerships we promote dialogue and intercultural understanding, while making vital contributions to prosperity and peace in global societies.

The editions of a program we call Summer School that have been organized thus far, provided opportunity for young people from more than 75 countries who came together in New York city for a week of training in workshops and collaboration, to teach them the meaning and benefits of diversity.

One point I would like to emphasize in all of this is that in spite of a fairly rich range of programmes and projects that are ongoing within the Alliance, we operate with very limited resources. However, we are a lean organization and we believe in efficiency.

At the same time we are seeing that identity is being used to divide people rather than unite them toward common purpose.

Under which rule can people remain for decades under foreign occupation? Is it that they belong to different culture?

Who has the right to issue verdicts to end lives of innocent people because of their different background? Aren’t these massive atrocities shameful in the 21st century? Aren’t we responsible according to the Charter of the UN?

In my private conversations with the Secretary-General, we have though on countless occasions that we would like the Alliance to be engaged on more and more fronts. But I will be honest with you as I was honest with him; the challenge we face is that we do not have the sufficient resources to deliver what we really can achieve if we have the means and the adequate support.

We have the know-how, the partnerships and the willingness of our collaborators on the ground, but we lack adequate funds.

This is where you come in; Member States and Partners. I want to emphasize here that over and above mere financial support, what we are seeking from you is meaningful partnerships. The Alliance only stands if you stand with it. The Alliance is only as strong as its members. You are the Alliance!

The Alliance is here for you to serve as a soft power tool for conflict prevention, reconciliation, and to advance sustainable development.  All of these are major issues for our global community. Our preventive role is indeed cost-efficient and protective against the consequences of unsettled tensions when they erupt.

This is why I would like to end my remarks this morning with an invitation.

As we are gathered here in this beautiful part of the world, please use this moment and the coming days to reflect on how the Alliance might better serve the needs of your governments, of your multilateral organization, your grassroots initiative and your respective constituencies. I invite any of you to approach me and my staff directly for this purpose.

It is my sincere hope that you will use the myriad opportunities that the various sessions of this forum offer, to speak up and engage with us.

I’m truly proud that the 6th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations is focusing on the overarching theme “Unity in Diversity” and reaffirming the importance of common and shared values as a unifying factor in a multi-divergent world, as well as bringing to the fora new themes for discussions and break-out sessions in the areas of “Promoting harmony through interreligious and cross-cultural education”; “Media conversation across lines”; “Social inclusion and migration: developments for post-2015″;  ”Youth participation in peace building agenda”;  ”The role of culture in the formulation of new sustainable development”; “Harnessing the positive power of social media”; “Fostering understanding through the power of sports, arts, music and entertainment”; “Perception of migration & how to change the narratives about migrants?”; “The use of interreligious and intercultural approaches to advance the broader interests of mediation in conflict”; “The role of women in fostering understanding among cultures” and some others.

In conclusion, I, the High Representative, humbly ask for your utmost support to make this forum a unique success, and to put your hands in the hands of every woman and man in the United Nations Alliance Of Civilizations, in service of our humanity.

I thank you and wish you very good day, memiliki hari yang baik!


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Address by HE. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser The UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations At the Closing Ceremony UNESCO Global Media Forum Delivered by Ambassador Tariq Al-Ansari Chief of Cabinet to the High Representative

Bali, Indonesia
28 August 2014

Excellencies, Distinguished guests, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Let me first express my gratitude to the Government of Indonesia for hosting this important event and especially to Mr. Tifatul Sembiring, Minister of Communication and Information Technologies and Mr. Muhammad Nuh, Chair of the Indonesian National Commission for UNESCO and Minister of Education and Culture.

In particular, I would also like to thank my colleague and friend, Ms. Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO for inviting me to address all of you at the closing session of the Global Media Forum.

For the last three days, we had the opportunity to listen to leaders in the field of media and communication and the importance of media in a culture of peace and dialogue and how it can contribute to the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

The debates and discussions underscored the key role that media, access to information and communication technologies play in human and social development and how they can spearhead a culture of peace and dialogue.

UNESCO and the UNAOC are both devoted to the promotion of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue. We both are constantly developing action plans to support a culture of peace and non-violence through dialogue and communication across religion and culture.

When establishing UNAOC, the High-Level Group recommended the development of partnerships to advance the goals of the Alliance. Partnerships are essential to reinforce the impact of organizations with common visions and objectives. Partnerships provide a conduit for exchange of information; draw on mutual synergies and complementarities.

In first place, the High-Level Group suggested a partnership between UNAOC and UNESCO. Our joint commitment to promote dialogue among cultures and civilizations and to contribute together to a culture of peace was formalized through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding.

Since the signature of our agreement, we have multiplied joint actions. We have participated in each others forums, high-level panels and highlighted each other events. We have joined our efforts to advocate for youth and students exchanges. We have supported each other in the development and dissemination of educational, cultural and scientific content to foster ethnic, religious and cultural diversity.

We highlight our efforts and collaboration on the role of the media in fostering dialogue and mutual understanding.

Both our organizations understand the role of the media and social communication in promoting values of respect and understanding among people of different cultures and religions. Media occupies a strategic position to promote a broad-based dialogue.  Media shapes people’s identity and perception. The explosion in the 21st Century of communication technologies allows people to interact and share ideas on a continuing basis. They can be used negatively to strengthen stereotypes, deepen divides and incite violence among peoples.

But media has the power to help people understand how cultural and religious diversity enriches societies. They can promote peaceful coexistence as the cement of economic development and prosperity. The media in all its forms holds the potential to serve as a bridge between cultures and societies.

The constant exposure of populations to media presents an educational challenge, which has increased in the electronic and digital age. Evaluating information sources requires skills and critical thinking and is an educational responsibility the importance of which is often underestimated.

The UNAOC has been working hand in hand since its inception with UNESCO to foster an environment that allows critical views to be disseminated and to give a voice to minorities and other marginalized segments of society. Our joint initiatives have included the expansion of media education initiatives and the sharing of our respective global network of experts.

I would like to bring to your attention concrete examples of UNAOC’s work in promoting democracy and strengthening intercultural and interreligious dialogue. In the field of media, we believe that an access to fair, accurate and balanced information contributes to enhancing democratization processes.

We have been particularly active in skill and capacity building with trainings for media professionals to do better reporting and we understand the importance to use culturally sensitive resources for this purpose.

For instance, we have worked recently with Canal France International to bring together journalists from francophone Mali, Togo, Cameroun, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia along with experts on culturally sensitive issues to cover the UNAOC Bali Forum in French and Arabic.

Similarly, the UNAOC has embarked on an innovative project that monitors hate speech in the media in relation to specific cross-cultural events and incidents in several countries.

The key to improving migration coverage begins with developing journalists’ knowledge of the subject. This is why the UNAOC regularly convenes high-level migration experts and media professionals to share their ideas on best media practices and ways to support journalists as they turn these practices into habits.  Last year, a high-level meeting in Paris led to concrete outcomes. We intend to organize a similar event in the African context.

By doing so, the UNAOC is taking the lead in strengthening discussion among media professionals on ways of improving standards of reporting to avoid intolerance and hate speech.

In another hand we are enhancing the efforts of PLURAL+, a youth video festival on migration, diversity and social inclusion, which recognizes youth as powerful agent of social change.

We are interested to know what you care about, UNAOC on twitter is asking you: “What are specific ways in which journalists can improve the breadth and depth of coverage of migration stories?” “Are migrants fairly covered in Media? Does Media do a good job of covering cross-cultural conflicts? “ We are interested to know your thoughts!

It is also worth noting that we are launching a Media-Friendly Glossary on migration during the last breaking session of the Forum. “It will help journalists to have both precise and media-friendly definitions of key migration concepts”

It is notable that both of our organizations have been invited by the Government of Indonesia to hold their respective Forums in Bali with overlapping sessions. It shows the commitment of Indonesia to promote tolerance and mutual respect among its diversity of faiths, ethnicities, languages and cultures.

The agenda of our Forums are examples of cooperation and synergy. I was delighted to see that UNESCO had sessions which focused on youth, gender equality, governance and especially that a plenary session was held on the contribution of Media to Peace and Dialogue.  These are indeed crucial issues that are at the core of the mandate of the UN Alliance of Civilizations.

The UNAOC Sixth Forum started today in Bali with the Youth Event and will officially open tomorrow in the presence of UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki moon, His Excellency Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of the Republic of Indonesia, His Excellency Marty Natalegawa, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Foreign Ministers of Spain and Turkey, President of the General Assembly John Ashe, several high level dignitaries including of course our eminent and accomplished Director General, Ms. Irina Bokova.

With its annual forum, the UNAOC brings together a powerful network of political and corporate leaders, civil society activists, youth, journalists, foundations, international organizations, and religious leaders to agree on joint actions to improve relations across cultures, combat prejudice and build the conditions for long-term peace.

Our forum has key areas of common interest with the UNESCO Global Media Forum. We have sessions devoted to youth and media and Migration as well as sessions on social media, media conversation across lines, media coverage and migration.

Our agenda extends to discussions and debates on all aspects of the mandate of the UNAOC and will focus on the theme of   “Unity in Diversity: Celebrating Diversity for Common and Shared Values.  To name just a few, we will speak about the role of women in fostering understanding among cultures, mediation in conflict-affected setting; dialogue between Eastern and Western Civilizations.

The initiative of UNESCO to focus on the role of the media in the Post-2015 development agenda spells out the importance of the availability of fair and objective information on economic, social and political progress. Media can and must contribute to a peaceful dialogue across cultures, religions and ethnicity and be a foundation of sustainable development. But to do so, it requires fairness, objectivity, freedom of expression and accessibility to all.

I welcome the Bali Road-map for Media and Development and its recommendations on both media development and media for development. A diversity of voices, respect of cultural diversity and joint efforts are essentials for the promotion of peace.

In this regards, the Alliance of Civilizations is right on target with the concern of the Post 2015 Development Agenda.

Thank you all for your attention.

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Statement of the High Representative at Intercultural Innovation Award (IIA) Ceremony

Intercultural Innovation Award (IIA) Ceremony
Pecatu Hall 3&5, BNDCC 2
August 28, 2014 – 7.00 PM
Statement of the High Representative

Distinguished Head of States and Governments, Honorable Ministers, Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am really thrilled to join you on this stage here in Bali for the 2014 Intercultural Innovation Award Ceremony.

Building bridges across cultural and religious borders, fostering understanding and dialogue, promoting diversity are all at the core of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations’ mission.
During the Forum that starts tomorrow, we will participate in enriching and stimulating debates. But we need to ensure that this dialogue leads to action that is real and concrete, and make this world better for everyone.
The Intercultural Innovation Award is an extraordinary example of this commitment to action. In partnership with BMW Group, since 2011, the Intercultural Innovation Award awarded twenty grassroots initiatives helping them to become sustainable, scale up and replicate.
They all represent living models of how intercultural dialogue can lead to more peaceful and inclusive societies.
Creativity, commitment, resilience, courage and passion are all qualities that define the people that will be honored tonight: they are all witness of how small changes can contribute to global peace and prosperity and therefore make a difference.
Let me thank very much the BMW Group for its vision and support to this initiative and of course for making this award a reality.

Let us all celebrate outstanding achievement and creativity. Let us all get inspired by these champions. Thank you.

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Statement of the High Representative — Intercultural Innovation Award (IIA) encounter with the press

August 28, 2014 – 12.45 PM
Frangipani Room – Westin Hotel

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am really pleased to see you all here today on this beautiful island ahead of the 2014 Intercultural Innovation Award Ceremony and the 6th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.

Since 2011, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the BMW Group have engaged in a historic partnership whose mandate is to select and support innovative grassroots projects that promote intercultural dialogue and understanding contributing to prosperity and peace.

Later tonight we will be hearing about extraordinary stories. Coming from all over the world, the awarded projects are outstanding examples that reinforce our belief that peace, stability and prosperity around the world require harmony, dialogue and respect among peoples and cultures.

During this meeting today we will have the opportunity to hear from two previous IIA Alumni. They will speak about the impact of the Award on the development of their projects. Both the Alliance and the BMW Group remain committed to helping Awardees. An important goal of the IIA is to increase the impact of their projects and expand their range of action.

Let me take this occasion to express my gratitude to BMW Group and in particular Mr. Bill McAndrews, for its continued support, vision and strong partnership.

Thank you.

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Remarks by H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, The United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations Before the Focal Points Meeting


Dear Focal points,
Excellencies and Friends,

Welcome to Bali!

Today, we celebrate our 6th Global Forum.  This island is such an icon of rich heritage, in this country, Indonesia, with 230 million citizens from various backgrounds, what could be better to set the example for pluralism and coexistence.

In many ways this has been our most ambitious Global Forum to date.

Gathering under the banner “Unity in Diversity”, the motto of our host country, Indonesia, I am confident that the varied sessions and events we will participate in between now and Saturday midday will be rich in their color and substance.

I am grateful to H.E. Dr. Marty Natalagawa, the Foreign Minister of Indonesia, and the joint Organizing Committee of both Indonesia and UNAOC. Thanks to these efforts, we could make it and gather here despite the various challenges that faced us as organizers.

Today, close to 4 months since we last met in Doha at the preparatory conference for this forum, we are able to say that the promises made regarding the preparation of the Bali Forum have been met.

Tomorrow morning we will convene to discuss a number of important topics.  The Secretary-General and the President of Indonesia will speak to us about their concerns facing the world.  I know the Secretary-General is deeply concerned about the rise of tensions and conflicts that carry a tone of interreligious or intercultural friction.

I, too, share those concerns and will be doing all I can in the years to come to increase the efforts of UNAOC to advance the agenda of interreligious and intercultural dialogue as a means of contributing to the prevention and resolution of conflict.

I will also address the Ministerial meeting of our Group of Friends where we will discuss the worrying state of the world affairs.

There I will also tell the Ministers what I am about to say to you with regard the fiscal challenges facing the Alliance of Civilizations. The Alliance needsmore and regular financial support.  Last year we provided you with the graphic evidence of the decline of financial support from the member states.  This decline is made even worse by the fact that an ever-growing percentage of the support we do receive is earmarked for particular projects.  This support, while welcomed with our full hearts, cannot suffice our operational needs.

Still another fiscal problem comes with the uncertainty of the time of the year when support does arrive.  Funding that reaches us too late in the year makes it very difficult to comply with the requests for reporting on result-based activities.

As High Representative, I have pursued public and private partnerships. Also pursuing an arrangement with the UN Foundation that will allow us to have contributions directed to our Trust Fund from private donors.  But these efforts are complementary.  They cannot replace and should not replace the committed support of the member states.

You, our Focal Points, are uniquely placed to be our advocates within your governments.  We need that advocacy now more than ever before. I’m confident that the UNAOC is also very important to you.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I look forward to hearing from you on how you view our mission and how can we work together to fulfill our common targets for the Alliance.

Before that, I would like to drag your attention to a key element we achieved through our cooperation. Thanks to your support, we successfully concluded the consultations on the Bali Declaration, which took place between June and August.

My Chef de Cabinet, Amb. Tariq Al-Ansari, whom I entrusted with this process, has been in contact with you and your colleagues in New York.  I herby invite him to discuss the text in greater detail.




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High Representative Al-Nasser Inaugurates the Youth Event at the 6th UNAOC Global Forum in Bali, Indonesia

28 August 2014, 8:00am to 8:30am
Bali, Indonesia
BNDCC, Pecatu Hall 1

Excellency Natalegawa,
Dear youth partners,
Ladies and gentleman,

It is quite a pleasure for me to being activities of the 6th UNAOC Forum with the kick-off of the Youth Event. Together with Minister Natalegawa, I warmly welcome you to Bali as you are about to embark into a crucial collective endeavour with your fellow participants to this Youth Event.

You are part of a select group of 100 young leaders selected from over 3,000 applications from all over the world. That, in itself, is quite an achievement.

But this achievement is only the beginning of a long and certainly challenging journey that you will take together. You are here with a great group of youth who are as motivated, as engaged, as ready to contribute to advancing the mission of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.

Together, you represent what the world needs to make progress when it comes to preventing conflicts, building peace, fostering social cohesion.

I firmly believe you are what the world needs, but sometimes the world does not fully recognize or measure correctly the vital role that you play in shaping our societies. Your presence here and your development of Youth Recommendations is a step toward the proper recognition of what you bring to the table when it comes to advancing the mission of the UNAOC.

I am glad to share with you that when it comes to engaging young people as partners to peacebuilding, the UNAOC is viewed as a pioneer by the youth themselves. The UNAOC sees youth engagement as indispensable to its mission.

In many places around the world, young people are a majority but their contribution is not seen or sought. We will not be successful in fostering peace if this continues to happen.

In order to support, on one hand, the recognition of young people’s amazing efforts to foster peace in their communities, and on the other hand, the fact that they need to be at the table with other decision-makers, the UNAOC offers a wide range of projects, trainings and events such as this one.

Together, these projects, trainings and events make the UNAOC a platform for young leaders who are working hard to reduce tensions, advance peace processes, and increase social cohesion across the globe. I am proud to say that we engage a large number of youth from conflict zones who are regularly side-lined in peace processes.

While we know very well that these youth and youth organizations are already succeeding in their work and are already very knowledgeable, we invest in them so that they can become beacons of social change in their communities.

In doing so, the UNAOC has contributed to the growing recognition, over the last few years, that young people’s participation in peacebuilding is fundamental to reaching durable peace. Despite this needed recognition, the UNAOC will continue to advocate for a larger role for young people in peacebuilding. And we do so in many ways, some of them unexpected.

As an example of this, is the PEACEapp project developed by the UNAOC and the UNDP. PEACEapp is a global competition promoting digital games and apps as venues for cultural dialogue and conflict management. Drawing on the unique cultural resources and experiences of developers, technologists and budding young peacebuilders around the world, PEACEapp invites individuals to create new digital games and apps to foster dialogue that prevents violence.

As a more traditional example, we worked with other UN agencies, NGOs and youth partners on the development of the Guiding Principles on the Role of Youth in Peacebuilding. These principles are designed to inform participative and inclusive peacebuilding strategies and programmes that systematically promote and ensure participation and contributions of young people.

I know that the Youth and Peacebuilding Break-Out Session offered tomorrow at the Forum will showcase a number of UNAOC youth partners that are involved in peace processes. These youth, along with people in attendance in this Break-Out Session will have the opportunity to contribute to the development of the Operational Guidance linked to these Guiding Principles.

While it will certainly sound interesting for you to attend this youth-focused Break-Out Session, I encourage you to take a look at other Break-Out Sessions offered as part of the Forum programme. You need to make your presence known and your voice heard on other topics. After all, as I say all the time, young people are concerned by everything around them. There are Break-Out Sessions about freedom of speech, migrant integration, inter-religious dialogue, the power of sports, arts, music and entertainment to foster cross-cultural understanding, etc. You are most welcomed in all of these Break-Out Sessions; make your opinion about these things known to other Forum participants.

I thank you

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BMW Group And United Nations Alliance Of Civilizations Announce Finalists For The 2014 Intercultural Innovation Award

Since 2011, UNAOC and the BMW Group have engaged in a historic partnership geared towards creating a new model for collaboration between societies and people with different cultural backgrounds. To that end, the two organizations established the Intercultural Innovation Award whose mandate is to select the highly innovative grassroots and sustainable projects of non-profit organisations that promote dialogue and intercultural understanding, while making vital contributions to prosperity and peace in global societies.

This year’s project finalists come from all over the world, representing countries across six continents. The many different regions they come from underline the importance of the Intercultural Innovation Award and its commitment to the worldwide promotion of intercultural diversity and understanding.

The eleven finalists will present their projects within the framework of the 6th Global Forum of the UNAOC in Bali, Indonesia in the presence of heads of state, ministers, the media and civil society organisations. The official award ceremony will take place on 28 August and will be chaired by President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, and Bill McAndrews, Head of Communications Strategy, Corporate and Market Communications, BMW Group, in the presence of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

“We often focus our attention on conflicts and suffering, which is necessary. But we also need space for hope and enthusiasm. The Intercultural Innovation Awards provide an opportunity to celebrate those who believe that a more cohesive and inclusive world is not only possible, but also indispensable” Al-Nasser said. “For that purpose, we are deeply committed to our partnership with the BMW Group”, he added.

“The BMW Group regards intercultural competence as being an absolutely essential factor. As a company with associates from around the globe, intercultural understanding is a vital part of our daily work at the BMW Group,” said Bill McAndrews. “This is why we are very pleased to partner with UNAOC in the Intercultural Innovation Award and to support organizations that innovate in the field of intercultural dialogue and cooperation.”

During one year, the selected projects can reap the benefit of expertise and resources from the BMW Group and the UNAOC. The aim is to increase the long-term effect and sustainability of the projects and help them expand and replicate in other contexts. In addition to receiving a financial reward, the finalists will have the opportunity to participate in training activities and workshops covering the most diverse subjects such as further development, financial sustainability and marketing. The workshops are carried out by experienced trainers and employees of the BMW Group.

In addition, all finalists will be admitted to the “Intercultural Leaders” group, an exclusive online platform for the exchange of competence and knowledge among leaders committed to fostering intercultural understanding and respect.

This year, due to a tie, there are 11 project finalists instead of ten. This year’s finalists include:

Africa e Mediterraneo – ComiX4= Comics for Equality (Italy)
Using comics, Africa e Mediterraneo  fosters intercultural awareness and understanding in a creative way. The comics tell the stories of immigrants and the experiences made by immigrated comic-strip artists.

All Together Now – Everyday Racism (Australia)
Everyday Racism is an App for smartphones raising intercultural awareness and understanding. Users of the App adopt the role of persons who are faced with prejudices and racial discrimination in their daily routine. As the game develops, users gain a better understanding of the situation in which culturally disadvantaged groups find themselves.

Arcenciel – A Circus School in the Service of Intercultural Dialogue (Lebanon)
Within the framework of a circus workshop, Arcenciel encourages the exchange, dialogue and cooperation among youths from different cultural backgrounds in the Lebanon and helps socially deprived and marginalised young people gain a foothold in society.

Association for Cultural Child and Youth Education in the Federal State of Saxony-Anhalt – Equal for Equal (Germany)
Equal for Equal is a project focusing on the equality of women the world over and encourages women to tell their personal stories on the subject of discrimination. The stories are published on an online platform, enabling mutual exchange.

Department of Culture and Leisure, Municipality of Simrishamn – More Than One Story (Sweden)
More Than One Story is an innovative card came which brings together people of different ages, backgrounds and cultures. The game helps to weaken prejudices and has proved to increase mutual understanding.

Fundación CONSTRUIR – Intercultural Dialogue and Plural Justice: Strengthening Indigenous Justice (Bolivia)
With its project,  Fundación CONSTRUIR organisation is committed to sustainably strengthening the rights of indigenous people in Bolivia by contributing towards building a multicultural vision of the law, both in state authorities and indigenous authorities.

Manav Seva Sansthan “SEVA” – Facilitating Informed and Safe Migration among Vulnerable Nepalese Migrants along the Indo-Nepal Border(India)
The organisation SEVA’s project aims to provide efficient help to migrants in the regions along the Indian-Nepalese border and to promote their rights, thereby counteracting long-standing problems in this region such as human trafficking, illegal immigration and a lack of intercultural awareness.

Post-Conflict Research Center (PCRC) – Ordinary Heroes (Bosnia & Herzegovina)
Ordinary Heroes is a project that tells the stories of ordinary people who were outstandingly courageous during the conflict between Bosnia and Herzegovina and stood up for peace and reconciliation. The PCRC uses the stories of “ordinary heroes” to encourage young people to build intercultural understanding and courage.

Wapikoni mobile – International Network of Aboriginal Audiovisual Creation (Canada)
Wapikoni mobile strengthens the case of Canada’s young indigenous people. Workshops are held in which First Nation filmmakers are given the opportunity to shoot short films which tell their personal story and focus on cultural identity.

Welcoming America – Welcoming Cities and Counties Initiative (USA)
Welcoming Cities and Counties Initiative is a project supporting American cities and regions to create an amicable and attractive environment for immigrants. Specially designed Welcome Plans are used to attract the most diverse talents and creative minds.

Youth Service Organization (YSO) – Intercultural Dialogue Awareness Rising For Cooperation (IDARC) (Rwanda)
The project initiated by YSO fosters intercultural dialogue amongst the people of Rwanda. YSO focuses on the long-standing tradition of dance and music in Rwanda, providing the people with a creative platform to express their thoughts and ideas.

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