Statement Attributable to the Spokesperson for the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
Rome/New York – 28 March, 2014
The High Representative for the United Nations 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.