Message of Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al Nasser the UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations on the Occasion of Easter and Passover

New York — 17 April, 2014

I would like to express my warmest wishes to people around the globe celebrating Easter and Passover 2014.

These sacred days provide a time to reflect on the true meaning of spiritual unity for peace, and a chance to cherish the common values between nations, that we share together within our diversity.

On such time, we need to come together to solve our problems resulting from our natural background differences in order to ensure a better world for now and for our next generations.

On behalf of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, I once again wish you all peaceful and joyful holidays.

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Remarks by H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser United Nations High Representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations Doha Conference on “Empowering Families: A Pathway to Development” Plenary Session on Family and Development

Doha, Qatar: 16-17 April 2014

Distinguished Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure for me to be addressing you today, in my capacity as the High Representative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. I would like to thank Her Highness, Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser and Mr. Saad Al-Muhannadi of Qatar Foundation for inviting me here today.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the United Nations International Year of the Family—a momentous year, as it is also the final year of the Millennium Development Goals. Today, we are reminded of the integral role the family unit plays within today’s turbulent society.

The issue of the family is important to the UNAOC. Our initiative focuses its activity around four priority areas that Family plays an essential role in: youth, education, migration and media. These central pillars, necessary for reducing conflict and tensions between societies, are also interconnected with the concept of “family”. The Alliance of Civilizations is a platform on which the international community can build greater understanding and communication to stem the tide of intolerance and misunderstanding, which is sometimes deliberately promoted for political ends. It can offer the family a new perspective of hope and peace for security and development. As the first line of educators, parents and family members educate children of the importance of understanding and respect for people of different cultural, racial and religious backgrounds.

It is worth noting that since I took office, I designated Sustainable Development as an additional focus area for the future vision of the Alliance. We say at the UN that Peace, Security, Human rights and development are inter related and they will be no development without Peace and Security and I want to add that protecting families is a moral obligation if we want to advance development.

I would like to recap that the eight (8) goals that we identified in 2001, re-affirmed that the MDG’s are strongly linked to family issues. As stated in the 2000 Millennium Declaration: “Families are essential to achieving peace, safety, justice, unity, and prosperity in the world.” In order to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger, the Practical Plan of Action recognizes the obligation to focus efforts not only at the State level, but also at the local level and on the family.

We all have the responsibility to achieve the MDGs through smart, efficient and innovative partnerships that strongly aim at sharing information, knowledge and skills. Our efforts must continue after 2015, when the MDGs will become Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which again will require the strong and basic support of families and of other civil society organizations.

If we are to make serious progress on our international development goals, promote broader peace and security and achieve social development for all peoples we must be willing to invest in and protect the family so that we can use this human capital in a way which fosters a better life for all.

Through support for the family we can work to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger (MDG 1) by promoting cash transfer programs, which target families and identify the family as the entry point for alleviating poverty and hunger. By providing parents with the resources to educate their children and by encouraging parents to be actively involved in their children’s education we can make progress towards achieving universal primary education. (MDG 2)

Through encouraging the empowerment of women and recognition of the role of men and boys to promote and respect women we can foster achievement of MDG 3. Through educating and promoting access to clean drinking water and sanitation we can make real progress towards addressing child mortality.

During the “Fourth Global UN Alliance of Civilizations Forum“, here in Doha, we recognized the important development of the MDGs in relation with our coexistence, respect among all human being and survival in our planet. The global community must come together to overcome these roadblocks and implement the policies and programmes that can address our global problems and reach the goals envisioned for sustainable and peaceful development.

In all of these initiatives, my home country, Qatar, has played a leading role in promoting the family within the countries but also in promoting the role of the family around the world. In 2004 Doha was the host of the International Conference for the Family to mark the 10th anniversary of the international year of the family and adopt the Doha Declaration on the family. In addition the Doha International Institute for Families Studies and Development is a leader in promoting research and greater understanding of the importance of protecting and promoting the family. These initiatives, along with the continued leadership of the Qatar Mission to the United Nations on the annual resolution of the Commission on Social Development on the role of the family help to promote greater understanding of the importance of supporting the family.

I hope that this result, in our part of the world will continue to strengthen awareness of family issues among national governments, local authorities, NGOs, parliamentarians, academia, the private sector and families.

Another way to recognize the significance of the Family in the process of Development is the idea of inter-generational equity. What we do today as Family will have a profound impact on the lives of future generations. And that impact may be something over which those generations have nothing to say because we took the decision, today, in our time. That’s why I say; we are here to make decisions about the future, not necessarily our own future, but that of children yet unborn. We are called upon to make wise decisions and to act responsibly so that what we do today will not compromise the ability of future generations to realize the benefits that we have enjoyed

Last but not least, during my time as the President of the General Assembly I also sought to promote the vital role of parents in the family and within society. Therefore, as one of my final actions as the President of the General Assembly I proposed for the adoption a draft resolution declaring June 1st as the Global Day of Parents. The rights and responsibilities of parents not only have an impact on their children but also on society as a whole. For it is parents which serve as the first educators of children and are the ones who teach children to be productive and responsible citizens. The fundamental important role of parents is not only recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human rights but is also legally protected in almost every country of the world through the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Most importantly, we should recognize that Family is at the centre of sustainable development and addressing issues that fall within cultural heritage, dialogue, diversity, and cooperation are crucial in creating effective initiatives, business practices, policies, programs, and economic regulations and laws that adhere to the Post 2015 Development Agenda.

When the Post 2015 new Development Agenda is launched, we will have an evident role in its implementation. Empowering Families is key in creating global change and I believe that that we have the potential to shape a future that is sustainable and peaceful for all cultures and civilizations, leaving no one behind, and eliminating extreme poverty.

National and international governments alike must acknowledge the role of family as a social driver of development. We are in need of increased policies and practices that promote the integration of family perspectives in decision-making processes at both regional and international levels. Government officials must be constantly aware of urgent family issues this is not only important for each of our respective families, but for the HUMAN FAMILY at large. I hope you will join us in protecting the world’s families, as well as OUR world’s family, for a future of peace and development for all.

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TERMS OF REFERENCE for “Design, Printing and Distribution of the book “Media and Information Literacy in the MENA Region”

The Printer, under the direction of Alliance of Civilizations Secretariat of the United Nations (UNAOC), will provide the following services:

1. The Printer will print the book with the following specifications:

➢ Title of Book: (tentatively) “Media and Information Literacy in the MENA Region”
➢ Printing specifications are as follows:
• 4-page cover + about 180-200 pages text print 4/4 + aqueous coating for the cover.
• Quantity: 2,000 copies
• Cover: 100# Gloss cover
• Text: 70# Matte text
• Book size: 6.5” x 9.5”
• Preparation: with element provided by the Editor, design all needed materials for printing
• Proofs: PDF to UNAOC
• Finishing: Hinge score cover, fold, PUR Perfect Binding; recycled paper.

➢ Design and specifications for the printing of the book will be decided in consultation with the UNAOC. The Design provided will include format/style, layout including typesetting, styling, color, placement of photos/logo, etc.
➢ The UNAOC will provide Printer with word document copies of the texts to be published.

2. The Printer will provide the UNAOC Secretariat proofs of the book cover and text, color process, for overall reviews and approval prior to printing.

3. The Book will be published in two languages (Arabic and English) as a single book.

4. The Book will have a total amount of pages (including the Arabic and English texts) of between 180 and 200.

5. Once approved and ready for printing, the Printer will supply UNAOC with two PDF documents of the Book, one the Arabic section, the second the English section.

6. Upon completion of the printing, the Printer will be responsible for delivering 1,600 copies of the Book to the UNAOC Secretariat (Chrysler Building, 405 Lexington, New York, NY, 10174), following the security guidelines for deliveries prescribed by the building owner. The tentative timeline delivering of the book is 30 September 2014

7. There will be two payments to the Publisher: at the approval, before printing; and when the 1,600 copies of the Book are received by the UNAOC Secretariat.

8. Cost of the overall project will include design, printing and shipment of the 1,600 books to the UNAOC Secretariat and to a network of about 400 receivers (from around the world) that the Printer and UNAOC will agree upon.
9. The Book will be published under Creative Commons Attribution-Non Commercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 license. All copyright issues will be handled by UNAOC.

Proposed Timeline of deliverables:
30 August 2014: Editor has collected all articles in both languages
30 September 2014: Publisher submits proposed lay-out of the book
30 October 2014: Published mails copies of the book to UNAOC

Required Competencies and Knowledge:

• Minimum five-year experience in the publishing and printing industry
• Experience in working with tight schedules
• Shown capacity of delivery on time

Interested applicants should send a cover letter (including budget proposal for the tasks and responsibilities mentioned above and a description of the Publisher’s experience)
The quote must be valid at least for 90 days.
Quote will be evaluated according to:
1- Compliance with specification above
2- The cost-effective of the price
Email covert letter and materials to:

Ms. Diloro Normatova

Deadline for proposals submissions: 15 May 2014
Point of Contact
Diloro Normatova
Administrative Associate
United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
Phone: +1.212.457.1083

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UNAOC and Fordham University Sign a Memorandum of Understanding

Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the UN High-Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations

New York – April 8, 2014

The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and Fordham University signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 8 April, 2014, whereby they agreed to collaborate together in joint projects and activities with a view to promoting educational efforts which help foster development and growth for today’s youth.

The MOU which was co-signed by Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, the UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations and President Joseph M. McShane, President of Fordham University, stipulates that both parties would explore potential collaborative efforts to help encourage mutual respect, intercultural dialogue and tolerance, utilizing academia based on a global perspective with a multicultural approach.

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Message of the High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations on the International Day of Sport for Development and Peace

Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the UN High-Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations

New York – 6 April, 2014

April 6th, 2014 will mark the first International Day of Sport for Development and Peace. The UN General Assembly Resolution 67/296 which was adopted in August 2013 signals a strong message of the power of Sport and its contribution to development, peace ,inclusion, tolerance , moral values and equality. At the same time, all these aspects which are essential elements for development lie at the heart of the Alliance of Civilizations mission. In that context, since the beginning of my tenure, I have identified sport, among other forms of collective expressions of human values, including arts and music as additional tools that UNAOC should make every effort to use to foster the culture of peace.

On this occasion, I would like to express my support to the efforts of the United Nations office of on Sport for Development and Peace and all other relevant organizations as well as all stakeholders in favor of promoting sport for development and peace.

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Statement by His Excellency Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations At the UNAOC Ambassadorial meeting on “Peaceful coexistence as Path to Sustainable Development”

New York, 2 April 2014

Your Excellency Mr. Ahmed-Dawood-Oglu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Turkey,
Your Excellency Mr. Román Oyarzun Marchesi, Permanent Representative of Spain to the United Nations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I’m very pleased to meet with you today at our UNAOC Ambassadorial meeting, which I convene under the theme “Peaceful coexistence as Path to Sustainable Development.”

First, I would like to welcome His Excellency Mr. Ahmed-Dawood-Oglu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Turkey whom I appreciate his support to my mission in many occasions and look forward to hear his thoughtful remarks.

I would also like to welcome Ms. Amina Mohammed, Secretary General’s Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, who is joining us today to brief us on the current state of implementation of the 2015 Development Agenda, where we stand and what the expectations for 2015 and beyond are. She will inform us of the collaboration between her office and the UNAOC, the relationship between her mission and the vision of the Alliance for a better peaceful world for all.

Before I give the floor to our special and very important guests, I would like to remind you that since I took office, I designated Sustainable Development as an additional focus area for the future vision of the Alliance. I did so for 2 main reasons;

First; Peace, security, Human Rights and development are mutually reinforcing elements; without peace there will be no chance for development. Here, the UNAOC comes into play; since we live in a world of different cultures and backgrounds, the fight to build tolerance, protect diversity and promote co-existence is a moral obligation if we want to advance the causes of Peace, Human Rights and Development.

Second; The UN established the principles and foundations of the Culture of Peace since 1999. From then on, the UN has highlighted the priority of implementing this vision worldwide through the various mandates of UN bodies. This has become an urgent need as we have less than 20 months before the moment of truth where we will be judged by those whose hopes for development depend on what we achieve as we follow on from the MDGs.

Since 2000, the power of cultural diversity has been recognized. The Outcome Document of the 2010 MDG Summit emphasized the importance of culture for development and its contribution to the achievement of MDGs. This message was reiterated in Culture and Development UNGA Resolutions advocating for the mainstreaming of culture into development policies and strategies.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As stated in the Vienna Declaration and reiterated by our Ministerial declaration of September 2013, I am convinced that cultures, civilizations and religions contribute to the enrichment of humankind. The world’s diversity is a beauty to be cherished as a factor for global peace and development

Next month, we will be reaffirming the nexus between peace, prosperity and development, when my hometown, Doha, hosts the Preparatory Conference for the Sixth UNAOC Global Forum and annual Focal Points meeting, that will take place 29-30 April 2014. The conference will be convened under the theme ‘Peace for Prosperity and Sustainable Development’. I have sent you all invitations and I would like to encourage you to actively participate. I take this opportunity to thank the State of Qatar for hosting the conference and the Alliance will exert every effort to make it a big success.

The Alliance acts as a soft-power tool for cross-cultural dialogue, understanding and, eventually, peace. The Alliance is committed to promoting cooperative relations among diverse nations, peoples and cultures, and to diminishing tensions across civilizations. We strive to do so through innovation, dedication and efficient use of mandate and implementation.

We can’t do it alone; we will always need your support and cooperation and that of the UN system, as well as the support of all peace loving partners.

Thank you all and I wish us a very fruitful discussion.

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The High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations has audience with His Holiness Pope Francis

Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the UN High-Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations

Rome/New York – 28 March, 2014

The UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, had an audience with His Holiness Pope Francis, at the Vatican.

The discussion touched on a range of issues related to the state of the world’s stability including conflicts that have religious and cultural dimension.

High Representative Al-Nasser also discussed with Pope Francis, matters related to inter-religious dialogue, cross-cultural understanding and peaceful mediation as well as the work of the Alliance of Civilizations in all of these areas. Mr. Al-Nasser explained that the Alliance strives to build bridges between the diverse cultures to promote dialogue and understanding through its various programs and activities emanating from the belief that dialogue and respect for diversity are crucial elements for building peace, tolerance, harmony and mutual understanding around the world.

Mr. Al-Nasser noted that with growing global cultural challenges, the role of the Alliance of Civilizations has become more relevant. In that context, he referred to the Alliance as a platform for inter-religious dialogue and engagement with religious leaders and grassroots organizations to promote mutual understanding, respect for the other and tolerance.

The talks between the High Representative and the Pope also tackled the latest developments in the Middle East, especially the situation in Syria, the Palestinian issue, the crisis in the Ukraine, as well as other global humanitarian issues.

During his visit to the Vatican, the High Representative also held bilateral talks with the Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Archbishop Vincenzo Paglia, President of the Pontifical Commission for the Family, Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, President of Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue and Cardinal Gianfranco Ravasi, President of the Pontical Council for Culture.

This is Mr. Al-Nasser’s second visit to the Vatican. He met with Pope Benedict XVI in june 2012.

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Amb. Tariq Al-Ansari, Chief of Cabinet’s Remarks at the OIF Roundtable on Cultural Diplomacy and Multilingualism

Amb. Tariq Al-Ansari, Chief of Cabinet addressing the OIF roundtable on cultural diplomacy and multilingualism.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to thank the previous speakers for their enlightening thoughts and the kind remarks addressed to the UNAOC. Let me express my gratitude to the Liaison Office of OIF for hosting this event celebrating the International Day de la Francophonie and for inviting me to take part in this conference as the UNAOC Chief of Cabinet and on behalf of the High Representative H.E. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser.

OIF is well known for convening forums that have been implementing innovative strategies in the fields of cultural diplomacy and multilingualism. At the UN, the motto is: “Many Languages one World”. At UNAOC our motto is “Many Cultures, one Humanity.”

Languages Matter! There is no peace without development, there is no development without respect for cultures, and cultures will blossom through languages and communications.

This matter is of great importance to the UN Alliance of Civilizations, and I will explain why Francophonie is for us more than just a language, it is also about how civilizations communicate.

Francophonie is more than language! There is no need to remind ourselves that language is just one aspect of the Francophonie. We already know the great interaction the French language had with other civilizations and the effects it left on many countries due to its beauty and music.

Hence, since its inception, the UNAOC has been working hand in hand with the Francophonie, as a member in the GoF of the AoC. We signed an MOU with OIF in 2008 and are looking forward to energizing further work and mutual cooperation.

At the 14th Francophonie Summit held in Kinshasa, on 29 October 2012, OIF welcomed Qatar, my country, as a new member-state. I am confident in the willingness of my country to promote the principles and objectives of the OIF. Qatar is now on the Francophonie map!

Cultural Diplomacy and multilingualism through the International Organization of La Francophonie (OIF) means, among other things, sharing humanitarian values, in the promotion of the cultures of its members and the intensification of the cultural and technical cooperation among them.

The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and The International Organization of La Francophonie utilize multiple aspects of culture in order to achieve goals and make an impact towards their mission, which is to ultimately unite people of different cultural backgrounds through dialogue. By utilizing aspects of culture such as the religion, arts, music, sports, education, media, and fellowships we create opportunities for understanding and cooperation that comes with uniting people.

There is also another opportunity for the UNAOC in supporting cultural diplomacy and multiculturalism: it will facilitate practical approaches and local solutions to better achieve the Millennium Developments Goals. The post 2015 Agenda should see the implementation of the recommendations made regarding: Goal 2 of the Millennium Development Goals: “Achieve universal primary education”, to be addressed under the thematic approaches of language, cultural perspectives and traditional knowledge.

I am confident that through this International day we are demonstrating the complementarity of our actions as much as the proximity of our visions.

Diverse societies do not have to be divided societies.

Cultural and religious differences do not produce exclusion unless they are hardened by discrimination. The Francophonie has proven to be a catalyst between nations of different cultural background, and to contribute to their well-being. Better knowledge of our languages provides better opportunities to understand each other correctly.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

That’s why we have been particularly active in skill and capacity building with training for media professionals to do better reporting -and that within the world of the Francophonie- 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 media experts to cover the UNAOC Vienna Forum in French and Arabic.

By so doing, we aim to improve the standards of reporting to avoid intolerance and hate speech.

Finally, the UNAOC plays a unique role through its capacity to organize high-level political forums to foster cultural diplomacy and multilingualism.

We will continue addressing these crucial issues at our next Forum in Indonesia. The theme will be: “Unity in Diversity: Celebrating Diversity for Common and Shared Values”. We are looking forward to working with OIF in Bali.

You are ALL invited! And French will be used and spoken there.

Thank you all for your attention.

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HR Al-Nasser Remarks to the Third Seminar of the Initiative on Mediation in the Mediterranean Region “Promoting a Culture of Mediation and Prevention in the Mediterranean”

BRDO, 11 March 2014

Your Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

➢ It gives me great honor to address this distinguished gathering in the City of Brdo here in Slovenia. My thanks go to the Government for the excellent organization and generous hosting.

➢ We live in a unique era in our history when it comes to the global will to transform and resolve human conflicts.

➢ What was previously sacred and inviolable in the sovereignty of nations is now mitigated by our responsibility to protect one another.

➢ Not only this, but the Cold War and its multiple battlegrounds are increasingly a curiosity of the past.

➢ The United Nations was built to play a greater role in resolving global conflicts, including as stipulated in the Chapter 6 of the Charter on Mediation. Why is it that since 1989, there has been a 10-fold increase in the size of the UN’s peacekeeping force: from 10,300 in ‘89 to 98,000 military and 24,000 civilians in 2011? Is there good reason for this change? Could it be because of the unprecedented challenges that global stability is facing?

➢ As I ask these questions, it is also important to note the good news. There is a growing sense of global citizenship. A civic sense that is more global in its outlook than it is national is emergent. This is a wonderful thing. We can ascribe this change to many things, whether the Internet and global media or the increasing size of a global middle class, but that is not what I wish to talk about today.

➢ What I would like to focus my remarks on is the thriving ecology of citizen-led groups around the world that are working to resolve and prevent deadly violence. For many of these, they are working on the ground and interacting directly with armed groups that are in conflict.

➢ You see, for diplomats like me, by virtue of the nature of our work and communication, we have few conversations with actual combatants. Our governmental positions can restrict us to talking mostly to those who are in power or are incumbents.

➢ This is why I believe that the question of citizen-led initiatives, such as civil society groups or religious leaders, in mediation or other processes that present alternatives to violence is one of the fundamental questions of our time.

➢ This is also why the organization I lead, the UN Alliance of Civilization, actively supports initiatives that bring in the voices of civil society, religious leaders, and vitally, young people into mediation processes and broader reconciliation efforts to lessen identity-based divisions.

➢ Mediation, as you know, is a preventive dispute resolution method. Since it is preventive, it is cost effective as an early intervention before violence erupts.

➢ Now of course I should emphasize here that just because civil society groups lack direct decision-making power in conflicts does not mean that they are not stakeholders. Quite the opposite. Society at large is affected by armed conflict, and so citizens are huge stakeholders in any conflict, including women and children.

➢ What is remarkable about the entry of third party civil society mediators is that they come with flexibility that the parties to the conflict may lack. The understanding that using purely official remedies to conflicts sometimes overlooks the emotional and financial costs informs their approach. Civil society organizations are closer to the people directly affected by conflicts and can serve to construct bridges between groups in conflict, especially at local levels.
➢ In any such case, of course the parties to the conflict need to provide their consent to having any third party enter as a mediator.

➢ Whether government or IGO-led, it is a widely accepted fact that mediation comes with many broad benefits. My main point here is that the benefits that come with mediation are somehow magnified in the case of civil society-led processes.

➢ Now, there is more than one kind of mediation. There is facilitative mediation, where a mediator structures a mediation process for the parties in conflict without providing opinions on any of the substance. There is also evaluative mediation where the mediator may provide an opinion on weaknesses or legal ramifications of the decisions being made by the parties in conflict.

➢ However, what interests me most and where I see the Alliance of Civilizations playing a possible role is in supporting civil society-led transformative mediation, especially when cultural differences come into play. In transformative mediation, while it is the parties in conflict that structure the mediation process, the mediator approaches things with a view to transforming the views of the parties involved. This is made possible by empowering the conflicting parties to recognize each other’s views and empathize with one another. Transformation occurs by virtue of using mediation as a tool.

➢ There are important examples of mediation that is transformational in contexts where cultural differences prolonged conflict and placed certain countries and regions on the UN agenda for many years. Without going into the detail of each, what I would like to note here is that these examples have helped build support for mediation as an approach to resolving conflicts, and moreover, mediation in which citizen-led groups play a critical role.

➢ In terms of the future, there are three points I’d like to end my remarks with:

1. While there is a wonderful flourishing of mediation initiatives, there is little coordination between them. This is why we need a more systematic approach to peacebuilding broadly. Policymakers need to understand the complex environments that conflicts are taking place in. They need to be able to find links between different initiatives, both official and unofficial, and leverage those links. This will also help them set compelling priorities for future action.

To further this issue, during my leadership of the 66th Session of the UN General Assembly, I chose mediation as the theme of the year. Not only this, but the same session of the GA passed resolution 66/291 on strengthening the role of mediation in the peaceful settlement of disputes, conflict prevention and resolution.

2. Secondly, Security Council Resolution 1325 brings much needed attention to a crucial issue: Women have a huge role to play in mediation. Africa is a very good example, where women played a decisive role in mitigating the conflict in that Region. Similarly, the role of young people should be explored further. They represent the future of their societies and see things through different eyes. For this reason, education processes that promote peace and reconciliation are critical.

3. Last, in order to improve our government and citizen-led mediation efforts, we need to take in the ecological dimension of conflict. Climate change, desertification and the unavailability of arable soil has already played a major role in conflicts we have seen in certain regions of the world. This is why we need to put further fuel behind efforts to draw global attention to the need to act on climate change.

I thank you and welcome your interactions.

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HR Al-Nasser Remarks at UN Women for Peace March in March

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very happy to be with you here and to join your march again. This year we are very proud to be partnering with UN Women for Peace in organizing their March for a second year in a row. For that, I would like to thank UN Women for Peace and my wife, Chairperson Muna Rihani for their dedication and resilience in their efforts to End Violence Against Women. I would also like to applaud Mrs. Ban Soon-taek, patron of UNWFP for her work and devotion to this cause.

I look around and I see all these remarkable women around today and I feel very proud to be part of their March. Because yes, I do agree with what my wife just said, that this is not a women issue , it is a human issue. I stand here as a husband and as a father.

This is a challenge that we all have to stand up for and speak out against.

We have to teach young boys and educate them that they should raise their voices against this crime. If we don’t change attitudes and perceptions, this crime will continue to happen.

The issue of “the woman” is one that is inherently close to the work of the UN Alliance of Civilizations. It is not just a women’s rights issue, but a humanitarian one as well. Besides the obvious parallel of education as a key priority, fighting differences to achieve equity falls naturally within our line of activity. The UNAOC aims to improve understanding and foster mutual respect among nations and peoples, overlooking their innate differences.

Our rights, our lives, our dignity, should not be dictated by any of these diversities—including gender. On behalf of the UNAOC, we applaud UNWFP for their work and contribution to the UN Trust Fund to provide educational and economic opportunities to these women, supporting them on the way to a decent life.

I am proud to support UNWFP’s endeavors and its fight to end violence against women and girls. I sincerely hope we can count on all of you for your support as well.

Thank you.

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