In his first official trip since he took office in January 2019, Mr. Miguel Ángel Moratinos, the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) held talks in Ankara with Turkey’s Foreign Minister H.E. Mr. Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu who reiterated his government’s continued support to the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and to Mr. Moratinos’ new vision on means of strengthening the work of UNAOC within the UN system and rendering it more effective in terms of supporting the UNSG’s agenda on conflict prevention and conflict resolution.
During his stop in Ankara, Mr. Moratinos visited Bilkent University, one of Turkey’s leading research institutions, where he gave a lecture on the history, mission and objectives of UNAOC.
During a brief stop in Istanbul, the High Representative met with the Chairman of Turkish Airlines Mr. İlker Aycı. They both discussed the important role that the private sector plays as an essential partner in development. They also explored potential areas of mutual collaboration.
In Alicante Spain, the High Representative was a keynote speaker in a meeting themed “Dialogue of Women for Peace in the African, Mediterranean and Latin American Communities”. The event was organized by Generalitat Valenciana with the support of the Spanish Foundation Mujeres por África and the non-profit organization Casa Mediterraneo. In his remarks, Mr. Moratinos stressed the role women play in peace-making processes as a mediator and negotiator. He said women would be included as an additional focus area in the work of UNAOC.
The High Representative trip also took him to Abu Dhabi, the UAE where he addressed an interreligious Conference on Human Fraternity). The conference which brought together some 700 religious leaders from Muslim, Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Sikh, Hindu and other religious communities was organized by the Abu Dhabi-based Muslim Council of Elders. The meeting was one of the key activities implemented by the UAE government which declared 2019 as the “Year of Tolerance.”
In his remarks, Mr. Moratinos said that UNAOC would continue to support the efforts of UNAOC Group of Friends in building a narrative of remembrance and solidarity that incorporates the story and experiences of the victims of terrorism. He also proposed convening a conference for Young Religious Leaders that would elevate their voices and provide a platform for constructive dialogue.
Mr. Moratinos was received by the UAE Minister of Tolerance H.E. Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan. They both discussed areas of common interest and means of mutual collaboration.