New York, January 19, 2016. The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) convened a meeting for the Focal Points of the Alliance Group of Friends on January 15, 2016 at the UN Headquarters in New York.
With 140 participants in attendance, the meeting was kicked-off by a forum session, discussing trust-building as a crucial element of preventing violent extremism. The session was chaired by the High Representative, Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, with the participation of UNAOC’s co-sponsors Spain and Turkey. “We must advance mutual respect for religious beliefs and traditions, and reaffirm humankind’s interdependence,” stressed UNAOC High Representative H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser. “How to do this? We begin by building trust between and among groups.”
The afternoon sessions included a presentation on the progress and impact of UNAOC’s programmes and initiatives as well as an overview of the organization’’s financial status. The meeting also offered the opportunity to present further details on UNAOC’s 7th Global Forum, which will take place on April 25-27, 2016, in Baku, Azerbaijan, and convene around 3,000 state and non-state actors to discuss the theme of “Living Together in Inclusive Societies: a Challenge and a Goal”.
Taking place on a regular basis, the Focal Points meeting serves as a platform to discuss UNAOC’s current programmes, initiatives and activities, as well as key themes regarding cross-cultural and interreligious dialogue and cooperation.
The Focal Points are appointed by the Group of Friends which are currently comprised of 118 UN member states and 26 international organizations, representing all continents, societies, and cultures. Focal Points are officials of governments or international organizations who coordinate UNAOC related work in their institutions and facilitate the dialogue with the UNAOC network.
UNAOC is a United Nations political initiative of the Secretary-General. The primary mission of UNAOC is to forge collective political will and to mobilize concerted action aimed at improving cross-cultural understanding and cooperation among countries, people, and communities. The Alliance develops its actions, geared around education, youth, media, and migration, at both the governmental and civil society levels, and works towards countering forces that fuel polarization and extremism.
For more information on UNAOC, the Group of Friends and a detailed report on the January 15 meeting, please visit www.unaoc.org.