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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Unity in Diversity — Op-ed by Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser

Unity in Diversity
Op-ed by Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, The United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations

The Sixth Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations on the theme “Unity in Diversity” could not take place in a more fitting venue than the city of Bali. Indonesia is indeed the concrete achievement of that most challenging of philosophical pursuits – reconciling unity and diversity.

The UNAOC was born at a critical juncture in world history, when we as human beings faced a potential global cultural confrontation, the result of the criminal extremism of a band of terrorists, who before hijacking commercial flights and turning them into weapons of mass destruction, planned to hijack a faith of peace : Islam.
Faced with this danger, the international community established the new institution to equip the United Nations with a new tool of preventive diplomacy to apply to situations of cultural and identity-based tensions in a world equally blessed and doomed by the new paradigm of globalization.

The daunting challenge for our societies in the near and, more so, in the long-term future will be how to live peacefully with the other: he or she who does not share the color of our skin, our deeply-held beliefs or traditions, or our language, but who is our neighbor or colleague in this globalized world in which borders have become fluid, if not obsolete.

More than ever, the wise idiom, “live and let live,” will be of great value. The virtues of tolerance, mutual respect, moderation, and reason if taught seriously in schools, upheld in the home, and practiced in daily civic life could save future generations from collective catastrophes like those of the last century.
The reason the Alliance was created and the reason I agreed to lead it, is that it remains one of our best hopes to counter polarization across and within societies. I find that sometimes what we fear most, we often ascribe to those so-called “others”, as a way of legitimizing our fears. Indeed, the purpose of much of the UN’s work, and certainly the Alliance of Civilizations’ work, is to remind us of our shared dignity, and from that, our responsibility to the world we share. This is not a mere sentiment. It is a view that has deep and practical consequences in how we carry and conduct ourselves in the world.

The Alliance ability to deliver on our goals is based on meaningful partnerships on the ground. Religious leaders, academia, civil society organizations, the media and the corporate sector have a critical role to play in fostering understanding, respect for diversity and tolerance. All of these human values lie in the heart of the mission of the Alliance. In that sense, the UNAOC is a true reflection of the aims and the principles of the UN Charter.

Not only does diversity matter even more tomorrow than it does today: it is our inescapable human condition. The question is how to equip future generations with the tools that will enable them to make this coexistence an experience of peace, creativity, personal happiness, and a better life for all.
Let’s all work together to make this brighter future possible.

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The UNAOC Sixth Global Forum in Bali: Unity in Diversity, Celebrating Diversity for Common and Shared Values

The Alliance of Civilizations Sixth Global Forum, hosted by the Government of Indonesia, will take place next week on 29-30 August in Bali, Indonesia.

The Opening session will include keynote addresses by : The President of Indonesia, H.E. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyno,  The Foreign Minister of Indonesia, Marty Natalegawa,  The United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations,  Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, The United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon and  the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey , the Foreign Minister of Spain as well as the UN President of the General Assembly, John Ashe.

Heads of state and government, ministers, thought leaders, business representatives, faith leaders, media professionals, and youth, from around the world will meet in Bali to exchange ideas about advancing mutual interests across religions and cultures. Participants will work toward forming lasting partnerships to address shared global challenges across community and identity lines.

The forum’s theme is Unity in Diversity: Celebrating Diversity for Common and Shared Values.

The forum program consists of two plenaries, 11 breakout sessions, and nine side events relating to UNAOC’s four pillar areas of activity: media, migration, education and youth.  In addition, several cultural events will take place alongside the forum, as well as an award ceremony for the Intercultural Innovation Award.

The plenaries will explore “Unity in Diversity: Celebrating Diversity for Common and Shared Values” and “Knowing One Another – Urgent Need to Foster Dialogue and Understanding between Eastern and Western Civilizations.”

The sessions will delve in-depth into topics ranging from media coverage of migration and how to harness the positive power of social media, to the role of women in fostering understanding in different cultures and how interreligious and intercultural approaches can advance mediation in conflict zones.

The side events, sponsored by partners of UNAOC, will explore practical topics such as how to connect innovative ideas for social change with venture capitals or how young professionals can foster understanding and dialogue.

The Intercultural Innovation award will award 11 highly innovative grassroots and sustainable projects finalists monetary and in-kind support to help their project grow, as each one promotes dialogue and intercultural understanding, while making vital contributions to prosperity and peace in global societies.

During the forum, several partnerships and MOUs will be signed and the outcomes of these sessions and the plenaries will provide a framework for future programmes of the Alliance.

We encourage you to follow the forum on Facebook and Twitter and interact with these change-makers: #UNAOC2014 @UNAOC

The forum will be preceded by the UNAOC Youth Forum on August 28th, which will convene 100 youth from up to 40 different countries and provide an opportunity to share their opinions and perspectives with the rest of the forum attendees. For more information about the forum program, visit the forum website : www.unaoc6.or.id

The forum will be open for the media .

Media & Press contact : Ms. Nihal Saad, Spokesperson for the UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, saadn@un.org

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75 YOUTH FROM 75 COUNTRIES EXCHANGE IDEAS FOR EFFECTIVE PEACEBUILDING METHODS WITH THE UN DEPUTY SECRETARY-GENERAL AND UN OFFICIALS

Media Advisory

NEW YORK, August 12, 2014 – 75 youth from 75 countries, as part of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations—EF Education First Summer School, will discuss personal experiences and effective peacebuilding methods with UN officials during an interactive UNAOC panel on Youth and Peacebuilding on 20 August 2014 in UNHQ Conf. Room 1, Conference Building from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. The panel will help youth understand what the UN does in terms of conflict prevention, mediation, peacekeeping, peacebuilding and reconciliation. Participants and panel members will then have an opportunity discuss areas where the UN can better collaborate with youth organizations to advance peace and security around the world.

United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson will offer opening remarks at the outset of the panel. The panel will also include speakers from the United Nations Department of Political Affairs, United Nations Department of Peacekeeping Operations and will be moderated by United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Director Matthew Hodes.

In addition, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict Zainab Hawa Bangura will deliver a special address to the summer school participants on 18 August 2014 at 12:00 p.m. in Tarrytown, New York.

Background

The UNAOC-EF Summer School brings together youth from around the world to address pressing global challenges within the context of cultural and religious diversity. Over the course of one week, a group of 75 participants aged 18-35 live together and participate in workshops and roundtables focused on understanding and fostering global citizenship, reducing stereotypes, promoting intercultural harmony and building alliances through the use of concrete tools.

Since 2010, the UNAOC has been implementing Summer Schools based on the conviction that youth are a driving force for positive social change. In 2013, UNAOC joined forces with EF Education First, a private education company, to organize this learning and exchange event. Through this programme, participants increase their understanding of other cultures and faiths and of the similarities that unite us despite our differences. They gain applicable tools for growing and sustaining their impact as teachers, activists, journalists, change-makers and leaders in their communities.

Programme Website: http://www.unaocefsummerschool.org/

Blog: http://unaocefsummerschoolblog.tumblr.com/

For more information, or to attend other sessions that are part of the UNAOC-EF Summer School please contact Ms. Meenakshi DALAL dalalm@unops.org
M: +1.630.272.0772 | O: +1.212.457.1861

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Remarks of H. E. Mr. Nassir Al Nasser The High Representative of the UN Alliance of Civilizations Roundtable with CTED and the Tony Blair Faith Foundation

United Nations Headquarters
July 24, 2014
Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:

Thank you for inviting me to speak to you at today’s roundtable on the role of education in countering violent extremism, led by our partners at CTED and the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.

There are three critical points I wish to convey today.

First is the need to instill in young people, through our education systems, a resilient and broad global identity.  When I use the word “resilient” what I mean is an individual or a community’s cultivated ability to stick to its core purpose in the widest possible set of unforeseen scenarios.  I believe resilience has a huge role to play in reducing the appeal of extremism.  I call for a broad global identity, because I believe that makes our young people more competitive in a world of international markets that is economically interdependent, and also speaks to the challenges of tomorrow’s generations—not least climate change.

Second, we need to make sure that we create alternative and effective channels of empowerment for young people through education and also through youth networks.  In many countries, and especially in the region I come from, the Arab world, young people constitute the majority of the population but are outside of the margins of power.  We need to find ways to include young people in social and political processes in a way where they feel the dividends of mechanisms of empowerment.  So much of what our youth grant making programs at the Alliance are about—including the Youth Solidarity Fund that provides money to youth-led peacebuilding initiatives—is working toward this goal.

Third, critical thinking.  We MUST instill critical thinking skills in our young, and to be frank, in our adults as well.  Our modern Internet and satellite-television-fueled lives are characterized by a deluge of information, some of which is wholesome and representative of reality and some not at all.  How do we enable ourselves to see the difference between the two?  This is why critical thinking is necessary.  This is why the Alliance’s founding document, the High Level Group Report, clearly identifies Media Literacy as a key component in reducing polarization that often results in violence between individuals and groups from different backgrounds.

In fact, UNAOC has partnered with UNESCO and developed a global network of universities working on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue.  We also launched a multi-lingual Internet clearinghouse focusing on providing resources relevant to Media Literacy to educators and policymakers.

Finally, I wanted to end on a positive note and say that, however slow it may be, real change is coming.  As many of you know, the Alliance partners directly with civil society organizations in experimental projects around the world.

One of our previous partners, the Pakistan Peace and Education Foundation, is involved in curricular reform and teacher trainings at some 25,000 madaris, or religious schools, in Pakistan.  While we have provided seed funding to the Peace and Education Foundation in the past, recently the Foundation received a major grant from the US State Department.
With this grant, the Foundation established five madrasa teacher training centers across Pakistan.  Through these, teachers at religious schools are now being trained in modern pedagogy techniques.  This is significant, because what actually happens inside classrooms, and how the teaching gets done, really matters.  Not only this, the teacher training centers are also being made into dual-use spaces.  Moving forward, in the evening, these spaces will also serve as vocational training centers for madrasa students, to give them market-friendly job training.

All of this is of course wonderful.  But the key thing is we need our Member States to continue supporting such initiatives.  This is why, for instance, I dedicated an entire meeting the Alliance’s Group of Friends to this very topic.

In conclusion, let me assure you that under my leadership, the Alliance remains ready to continue to serve and ramp-up its activities in this area.  And we look forward to working with you.

I thank you.

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Message of the H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, the UN High-Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations on the Occasion of Independence Day

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

New York, 4 July 2014

On behalf of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), I would like to extend my warm regards to the people and government of the United States of America, our host country, on the 238th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, on July 4th.

Americans who have been in the United States for generations, alongside newly naturalized Americans and those visiting or residing in the country temporarily, come together, bond and celebrate the ideals and values on which the country was founded on the Fourth of July. The holiday gives everyone in the United States an opportunity to honor the country’s traditions and history while remaining true to their roots — whatever their roots may be— and incorporating elements of other cultures into this celebration. This is a beautiful occasion, and it demonstrates just one example of how many cultures can simultaneously be represented and respected under the umbrella of diversity.

The UN Alliance of Civilizations aims at working towards a more peaceful, more socially inclusive world by building respect among peoples of different cultural and religious identities, by rejecting extremism and embracing diversity.

Let us all celebrate together, and embrace an interdependence that will lead to a freer, more prosperous, and more peaceful world.

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Remarks of H. E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser The UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations Before the UNAOC Group of Friends meeting at the Ambassadorial Level The Role of Young People in Peace-building

26 June 2014, 3pm — 6pm
ECOSOC Chamber, Conference Building, UNHQ

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am very pleased to meet with you today at our UNAOC Ambassadorial meeting, which I convene under the theme “the Role of Young People in Peacebuilding”.

First, I would like to welcome Ms. Cheng-Hopkins, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations for Peace building Support, and Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, the Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth. I sincerely appreciate the close collaboration with our two special guests and look forward to hearing their remarks regarding the role of young people in fostering sustainable peace around the world.

Before I give the floor to our special guests, I would like to share with you a few words about the Alliance’s work in the sector of youth and peacebuilding.

Since its inception in 2007, working with young people has been a major focus area and one of the core pillars for UNAOC, along with media, education and migration. I consider it a very pressing priority of our mission in the face of new and emerging challenges.

We see young people as indispensable partners of the UNAOC as we clearly recognize their potential and robust contribution in fostering peace and preventing conflicts.

In addition, we celebrate their knowledge, their capacity, energy and resourcefulness in being agents of positive social change. Through capacity-building trainings, we work for their expertise to be well invested in a vast array of contexts.

At the same time, we seek to advance young peoples’ participation in larger decision-making processes. This includes policy making, political life, multilateral work, etc.

Working with young people is both about highlighting what they do in their own community and advocating for their voices to be mainstreamed into comprehensive processes on the global scale.
Our various youth-focused projects are all based on this two-fold perspective.

For example, we have a Summer School which aims to reinforce the capacity of youth while mobilizing youth as trainers. To date, we have held 5 Summer Schools that together welcomed over 500 youth from over 130 countries. We are just about to hold the 6th Summer School mid-August in Tarrytown, north of New York City. This Summer School is co-sponsored by Education First, one of our private sector partner. Together, we will welcome 75 youth from all corners of the world for 1 week of learning together about each other in a safe context that fosters candid conversations. For this Summer School, over half of the trainers are young people themselves.

Since 2008, the UNAOC offers the Youth Solidarity Fund which supports youth-led projects at the community level in a way that can lead to a policy impact. To date, this initiative funded 40 projects that impacted directly and indirectly over 775,000 people – most of them youth – in over 30 countries. A few members of the Group of Friends have been funding Youth Solidarity Fund and UNAOC is very grateful for this continued financial support. We are proud that many international organizations within the United Nations system consider Youth Solidarity Fund a unique model in terms of youth empowerment for conflict prevention and peacebuilding.

In 2013, we launched Entrepreneurs for Social Change. This project aims to address both lack of employment and limited opportunities for participation in social development in the Euro-Med region. This reality, coupled with high levels of migration toward the North of the Mediterranean Sea, often increases tensions between communities and can contribute to incitement, xenophobia, radicalization and violent extremism. Given this, our partner from the private sector – Fondazione CRT Italy, tasked with investing a portion of the profits made by Italy’s largest bank to create Entrepreneurs for Social Change with the Alliance. UNAOC provides training and mentoring to young social entrepreneurs from the Euro-Med region, so that they can create employment while acting as leaders in social inclusion and cross-cultural understanding.

UNAOC’s PLURAL +, a video festival, acts as an empowering tool for young people to speak out about what they think of migration, diversity and social inclusion, using their own views and voices. This project is done in partnership with the International Organization on Migration.

We are also coping with the rapid change in the area of Information and Communication Technology. UNAOC now has AppPeace – a contest that invites app and video game developers to create apps or mobile games designed to generate new opportunities for intercultural dialogue and conflict prevention. Most of participants of this project are young people. We are partnering with UNDP on this project which also benefits from additional support from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

One last example is the Youth Event at the UNAOC Forums, which is an output-oriented and collective reflection on the theme of the Forum for young people. The Youth Event helps youth establish contacts, actively exchange and explore how they can collaborate together, before and after the Forum. At each Forum, we have an average of 100 youth from all continents.

As you can see, the UNAOC offers a great range of initiatives to young people as we understand that most of the time, but especially in situations of tension or post-conflict, they remain on the margins or are excluded from participating in peacebuilding processes. We know that young people are leaders in advancing the mission of the UNAOC both at the local and global levels. Why wouldn’t we partner with them, learn from them, invest in them? That would be such a missed opportunity as they represent over two thirds of the world population.

In recent years, there has been a growing recognition that young people’s participation in peacebuilding is fundamental to reaching durable peace. Even with this increased visibility, the UNAOC will continue to advocate for young people’s role in peacebuilding to be recognized. Everywhere, policies need to be updated, funding mechanisms need to be adjusted, programming needs to be restructured, and dialogue channels need to be opened.

Based on this conviction, since 2009, the UNAOC is an active member of the United Nations Sub-Working Group of Youth and Peacebuilding which is co-chaired by the UN Peacebuilding Support Office and Search for Common Grounds, a leading NGO in the sector. As Ms. Cheng-Hopkins will certainly explain in a minute, this inter-agency group has recently developed Guiding Principles on Young People’s Participation in Peacebuilding.

These Guiding Principles are designed to inform participative, inclusive and inter-generational peacebuilding strategies and programmes that systematically promote and ensure participation and contributions of young people. They aim at offering guidance to key actors including governments, UN entities, national and international non-governmental organizations, donors and civil society actors.

This sub-working group is now working on the Operational Guidance to support the implementation of the abovementioned Principles. UNAOC recently invited 3 outstanding youth from our network to join the sub-working group’s deliberations and contribute lessons learned and good practices from the field. These youth were from Jos in Nigeria, from Kenema City in Sierra Leone and from Lahore in Pakistan. The sub-working group was quite thankful to the UNAOC for including these youth into the discussions on the Operational Guidance.

After the first meeting with the sub-working group, the young person from Sierra Leone said “You might have no idea how fast our involvement with the Alliance and the sub-working group has lifted us up the ladder. We are now better must equipped to do our work in our community and change many more lives for the better.”

It is interesting to note that a break-out session at the upcoming UNAOC Forum in Bali will contribute to the efforts of the sub-working group regarding the Operational Guidance.

While UNAOC is relatively new entity, I’m proud to see our work to support the principles and objectives of the United Nations system, is advancing the contribution of youth in building peace. Having said this, we are also, constantly, on the lookout for innovative approaches, untapped synergies and unique partnerships.

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I will now invite Ms. Cheng-Hopkins, Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations for Peace building Support to share her thoughts about the role of young people in peacebuilding.

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I would now like to turn it over to Mr. Ahmad Alhendawi, the Secretary General’s Envoy on Youth, who took his post in early 2013 as a result of the United Nations Secretary General stating in his second Five-Year Action Agenda that ‘Working with and for women and young people was one of his top priorities”. In this context, Mr. Alhendawi is now working to address the needs of the largest generation of youth the world has ever known.

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VA | Project Management Specialist – Migration and Media

Vacancy code VA/2014/B5004/5457
Position title Project Management Specialist – Migration and Media
Level ICS-10
Department/office GPSO, Development Group
Duty station New York, United States of America
Contract type International ICA
Contract level IICA-2
Duration June 2014 to December 2014, with the possibility of extension
Application period 19-Jun-2014 to 26-Jun-2014


Link for more information and to apply: https://gprs.unops.org/pages/viewvacancy/VADetails.aspx?id=5457


Background
The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations seeks to reduce tensions across cultural divides that threaten to inflame existing political conflicts or trigger new ones. Through preventive diplomacy initiatives, it works at grassroots level, promoting education, youth, media and migration projects aimed at building trust and respect among diverse communities.

The Alliance was established in 2005, at the initiative of the Governments of Spain and Turkey, under the auspices of the United Nations. In March 2013, Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, former President of the General Assembly, was appointed by the United Nations Secretary-General to succeed Jorge Sampaio, former President of Portugal, as High Representative for the Alliance. UNAOC is supported by a Group of Friends – a community of over 130 member countries and international organizations and bodies. The UNAOC Secretariat, based in New York, NY, is funded by multiple donors, with operations-level support provided by UNOPS.

The UNAOC is looking for a Project Management Specialist to run activities focused on Migration and Media which are key areas of work of the UNAOC. The work of the Project Management Specialist – Migration and Media would include responsibilities linked to project development and implementation, monitoring and evaluation, partnership building, research and data analysis, as well as support for other UNAOC activities.

Functional Responsibilities

Responsibilities

Under the coordination of the Program Management Coordinator and the direct supervision of the Director, UNAOC, the duties of the Project Management Specialist – Migration and Media will include:

Design, implement and coordinate new project activity across the full spectrum of the UNAOC pillars of activity with an emphasis on Migration and Media projects;
Engage in the development and expansion of partnerships with research bodies, think-tanks, civil society groups and universities to build and expand on potential content areas; research and develop new areas featuring best practices and resources on cross-cultural dialogue;
Monitor the full field of international project activity by international and regional organizations as well as NGOs involving innovative grassroots projects, with a focus on intercultural understanding;
Draft new initiatives with specific focus on media and migration, in accordance with internal procedures to participation of selected organizations in various events of the Alliance and partners; Incorporate a consultation process with stakeholders and partners from different regions;
Responsible for actively monitoring the financial aspects of the assigned project including keeping progress report of budget execution and drafting reports to the donors. Actively provide support to all logistics needed for project activities while working closely with the Administrative Associate;
As appropriate, participate in the selection of the projects related to competitive processes; Where appropriate, follow up with the selected organizations, providing technical support and expertise;
Ensure use of best practices in monitoring and evaluation of all UNAOC projects;
Draft TORs for services and liaise with vendors as needed including collecting vendor forms.
Maintain records, file and organize documents regarding project operations.
Liaise with UN departments and agencies in order to maintain policy relevance and identify innovative and entrepreneurial practices;
Coordinate website and other electronic (internet, social media, etc.) outreach efforts with the Communications staff; Assist Communications team when relevant to monitor and track stories about achievements of organizations or individuals supported by UNAOC; Support Communications team and provide input for the communications team to produce communication materials pertaining to assigned project activities and activities of the High Representative;
Contribute to the overall work of the UNAOC Secretariat and take on additional tasks as and when needed.

Competencies
Ability to work in a multicultural and international environment;
Ability to harmoniously work in a team to achieve organizational goals;
Ability to work well under pressure and to meet tight deadlines;
Strong entrepreneurial spirit;
Strong attention to details
IT proficiency.

Education/Experience/Language requirements

EDUCATION

Master’s Degree in international relations, global studies, public policy, social sciences or other fields related to the mission of the UNAOC;

EXPERIENCE

Unless noted otherwise, applicants need to possess all of the below criteria to be considered:

5 years of relevant work experience in project support or management or organization of large-scale events; this should include 1 to 2 years of work experience with international organizations or international non-governmental organizations;
Proven knowledge of international relations, particularly matters related to the United Nations, including trends in the field of cross-cultural issues;
In-depth knowledge of migration and media, especially in an international context;
Experience with research management, analysis and drafting of documents on complex issues;

LANGUAGE

Fluency in both spoken and written English; working knowledge of another UN language is an asset;

Contract type, level and duration

Contract type: International ICA
Contract level: IICA-SP 2
Contract duration: June 2014 to December 2014, with the possibility of extension

For more details about the ICA contractual modality, please follow this link:

https://www.unops.org/english/Opportunities/job-opportunities/what-we-offer/Pages/Individual-Contractor-Agreements.aspx

Additional Considerations

Please note that the closing date is midnight Copenhagen time (CET)
Applications received after the closing date will not be considered.
Only those candidates that are short-listed for interviews will be notified.
Qualified female candidates are strongly encouraged to apply.
For staff positions UNOPS reserves the right to appoint a candidate at a lower level than the advertised level of the post
The incumbent is responsible to abide by security policies, administrative instructions, plans and procedures of the UN Security Management System and that of UNOPS.

It is the policy of UNOPS to conduct background checks on all potential recruits/interns.
Recruitment/internship in UNOPS is contingent on the results of such checks.

Apply Now

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Remarks of H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, the UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations before the Opening Session of The World Cultural Forum

Shanghai, China – June 18, 2014

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen:

Indeed, it is a pleasure and honor for me to return once again to one of my favorite cities in the world, Shanghai, to address you. I am always moved by the energy of this place.

I also find that this particular gathering, the World Cultural Forum, represents the great diversity of this city with the wide range of actors it convenes: from media to academia to civil society and many others from around the world.

It bears mention that convening such a group is no small achievement. As High Representative of the UN Alliance of Civilizations, an organization committed to advancing mutual respect understanding across communities and cultures, I know that no dialogue can truly work or be meaningful unless we take into account the participation and concerns of all stakeholders as much as possible. Of course our success also depends on the political will of our leadership to make what may, at first, be difficult possible.

Our conversation today on cultural exchange and promoting understanding of others to reduce misunderstanding and strengthen trust is a timely one.

The world that you and I inhabit today is fundamentally different from that of our parents. Never before have people been able to access so much information so quickly. But more information does not always mean better understanding.

We must bear in mind that it takes effort to move from knowledge to kindness, from insight to empathy, from awareness to action. The Confucian (كنفيوشن) philosophy, and in particular the concept of “Ren”, also teaches us this very point. These are the values we need in the world. Thus, I welcome China’s initiative and foresight in establishing Confucius (كنفيوشوس) Institutes around the world to advance such values.

Ladies and Gentlemen:

Promoting dialogue and understanding has long been considered a form of “soft power” because it bears the possibility to bring peaceful settlement, without military action. Our situation as a global community points to many reasons for why, in this time, we desperately need more dialogue.

More than half the world’s population is under the age of 25. That is more than at any other time in history. Given the kind of discrepancies (ديسكربنسيز) in opportunity and employment across countries, migration is taking place at unprecedented levels and is expected to double in the years ahead.

There are also a number of crisis situations that require our urgent attention. The Central African Republic, though not initially an inter religious conflict, has become the site of horrific fighting between Christians and Muslims. A power struggle in South Sudan has displaced more than 1.2 million people and exposed the country to the possibility of famine. In Syria, in the fourth year of a worsening conflict, more than 150,000 have been killed; 3 million have left the country; and at least half the population – more than 9 million human beings – have been affected. In Myanmar, identity-based tensions and violence continue. In the Middle East, the unsettled question of Palestine remains an obstacle in the path toward a comprehensive and just peace.

Globally, too, there are longer-term risks and trends. Key resources – energy, food, land, water, clean air – are in progressively shorter supply. The impacts of climate change are being felt already and will affect generations to come.

Inequality and intolerance are also on the rise. Injustice is prevalent, and in many contexts, this trend aggravates insecurity. Women do not yet enjoy their equal rights. Young people are looking for hope and very often for jobs.

While these challenges seem daunting and almost impossible, I know of a country that has fought impossible odds to see success and to help its people; a country that has achieved an unimaginable feat in the last three decades that no economist thought was possible: and that country is China.

As the World Bank attests, across China, there were over 400 million fewer people living in extreme poverty in 2001 than 20 years previously. By 2001 alone, China had met the foremost of the Millennium Development Goals — to reduce the 1990 incidence of poverty by half — and it had done so 14 years ahead of the 2015 target date for the developing world as a whole.

No country in human history has achieved such a miracle. China teaches us that with the right approach, we can indeed face the challenges before us as a global community.

As far as the future is concerned, my view is that China’s role in the world rests on three interconnected pillars.

First, continuing South-South cooperation. Drawing from my experience as former President of the UN High-Level Committee on South-South Cooperation and as former Chair of the G77 and China, I know that China presents us with an extraordinary model of cooperative development. In the African continent alone, China has delivered cooperative development projects to the tune of 50 billion dollars.

I would like to emphasize that in this area, China has a very special role to play, as the country is a living, breathing example to all developing economies as to what is possible.

Second, expanding Multilateralism. The world is now looking to China to play a greater role in advancing peacebuilding and conflict resolution, pushing forward environmental goals and research, and furthering development objectives.

The United Nations needs a China that is more vocal and more active on the world stage. It is now up to China to take the place to which it rightly belongs. The UN Alliance of Civilizations, for one, is ready to welcome China’s active involvement in all of its four main areas of activity: youth, media, education, and migration.

The third pillar should be opening more avenues for cross-cultural exchange. The fact is that alongside economic growth, social inclusion, and environmental protection, culture is also an engine of sustainable development. Research in the area of culture and development bears this out.

Perhaps the future is one where all three pillars can feed into one another creating a virtuous cycle. As an example, China can, as part of it model of cooperative development, push the creative economies of its partner nations.

I welcome China’s tremendous progress in advancing cultural exchanges around the world through its myriad (ميرياد) initiatives. I believe it is now time to take things to the next level. Let us not forget that the creative economy is also a major way to tackle the persistent issue of youth unemployment. This is a big part of why upon assuming my role as the High Representative for the Alliance, I immediately established sports, music, and arts as additional areas of focus for the Alliance’s work, alongside the main four ones.

In conclusion, through continued South-South cooperation, increased multilateralism, and greater cross-cultural exchanges, China will augment its already substantial global role and assume its rightful place in the international community. Moreover, it will do so in a way that serves both the interests of this country and the world at a critical time. As head of the organization, I can assure you that the UN Alliance of Civilizations is an open and ready partner to accompany China along its path to continued influence and greater success. Thank you.

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The High Representative speaks at Oxford Center for Islamic Studies

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

New York – June 18, 2014

The Oxford Center for Islamic Studies hosted a visit by Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, the UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC). During the visit, Mr. Al-Nasser spoke to the audience about the priorities and activities of the UNAOC and invited views on the way forward for its mission of promoting inter-cultural and inter-religious dialogue as well as tolerance and respect of the other.

On the other hand, Director of the Center ,Professor Farhan Nizami, pointed to the shared commitment of their respective institutions to promoting dialogue and cooperation, in the case of the center specifically in the academic sphere. Both, High Representative Al-Nasser and Professor Nizami expressed their desire to work more closely together towards that end.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between UNAOC and the Center.

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