The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and Deakin University brought together stakeholders from all sectors interested in building more inclusive societies at the Integration: Building Inclusive Societies Forum (IBIS Forum) on 7 October 2011 at Melbourne Town Hall.
President Jorge Sampaio, the United Nation’s High Representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations and Australia’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Kevin Rudd, put Australia front and center of debate on one of the world’s hottest issues – building a society where people feel included.
Participants at the IBIS Forum addressed the four fields of action of the UNAOC ; Education, Youth, Migration and Media. The IBIS Forum initiated debates and explored current issues relating to multiculturalism, cultural diversity and intercultural relations. Along with examining initiatives that can inform policy development and program improvement, the IBIS Forum launched the IBIS website in Australia.
Addressing the participants of the IBIS Forum, President Jorge Sampaio framed his vision of multiculturalism by saying:
“Multiculturalism involves a strong system that enshrines equality namely through a social inclusion agenda that takes into consideration cultural and racial issues and a culture of tolerance and dialogue that promotes social and community engagement and prevents intolerance, prejudice and discrimination”.
At an open forum hosted by Global Dialogue Foundation and several leading peak bodies, the UN High Representative addressed over 130 different cultures, communities, businesses and various civil society organizations. Participants engaged in a conversation on the relevance of grassroots action and ongoing participation in the mission of the UN Alliance of Civilizations.
President Sampaio’s Address: [PDF]
President Sampaio’s speech at the working breakfast with the Honourable Kevin Rudd, Member of Parliament and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Trade: [PDF]