Remarks by Mr. Miguel Moratinos
High Representative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
2021 Awards Ceremony of PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival
Excellencies, Director-General Vitorino, Under-Secretary-General Melissa Fleming, distinguished Partner Organizations, awarded filmmakers, ladies and gentlemen:
It is an honor to welcome you to the 13th edition of the PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival. PLURAL+ is a joint project of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, UNAOC, and the office of the International Organization for Migration, IOM, headed by my dear friend, Director-General Vitorino.
Both of our entities launched this joint initiative in 2009 with the inspiration to create a platform for the world’s youth to share their vision with the world on key topics in original and creative ways. Although the festival’s main focus is on migration, diversity and social inclusion, its twelve previous editions have brought fantastic youth made productions that explore from the root causes of xenophobia to the unquestionable importance of global solidarity. The 2021 edition of the PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival is nothing less.
Over the years, PLURAL+ has consolidated itself as a fundamental platform for the global youth to express their voice and share their vision on issues that inform our reality today. Through its Special Awards and the awards given by the distinguished partner organizations, the PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival recognizes the youth’s power and potential to be drivers of social change, advocating for a world where all the different cultures, religions and peoples can live together, free from xenophobia, discrimination and hate. In line with this vision, the 2021 Special Award for the Prevention of Xenophobia recognizes a powerful film from Pakistan that reminds us of the immeasurable value of friendship and solidarity in the frameworks of migration.
In 2021, still in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic, solidarity has become more is more important than ever before.
The Covid-19 pandemic has certainly put our societies to the test in more than one way. What begun as a global health crisis quickly developed into a social, political and even cultural crisis. Solidarity quickly became an essential tool for surviving to the pandemic’s many effects. This is why one of the main awards of the PLURAL+ 2021 edition is the new Special Award for Solidarity Amid Covid-19. The young winner of this award will take us to the enchanting country of Guatemala and how solidarity was expressed between the Mayan people.
Despite talks of solidarity and cooperation in face of this global disease that knows no borders, we have also seen the pandemic used as an excuse to exacerbate already existing fissures between some of the world’s cultures and faiths. Temples of worship across the world became even more targeted as fear and lack of understanding spread across the globe. This is why another of the 2021 Special Awards is the #forSafeWorship award. This year’s awarded film from Kenya very strongly highlights the importance of coexistence between faiths and religions.
These Special Awards are just a selected few of the almost thirty films that the PLURAL+ 2021 International Jury and Partner Organizations will be awarding today for their influential message, great narrative and creative quality.
I wish to congratulate all of the awarded winners for their great work in voicing their vision on these essential topics and contributing to fostering a culture of peace and solidarity. I would also like to profusely thank all of the festival’s Partner Organizations for their renewed commitment to providing the world’s youth with a platform for expressing their dreams and visions through the power of film.
Finally, I wish to thank my dear colleague, Director-General Vitorino, for IOM’s support and commitment in organizing this joint festival, as well as to the IOM’s office in New York and their Director, Mr. Ashraf El Nour. I also express my gratitude for Under Secretary-General Melissa Fleming and her office’s support of the festival. I now give the floor to both colleagues who will be sharing pre-recorded remarks.
Thank you all. Together, we can foster a world for Many Cultures, but only One Humanity.