Since its inception, the UN Alliance of Civilizations has become a leading United Nations platform for intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation. It has connected governments, lawmakers, local authorities, civil society organizations, the media, and individuals devoted to promoting understanding across diverse communities. Through resolution 64/14 of 22 December 2009, the UN General Assembly expressed its support for the Alliance and acknowledged it as such a platform.
UNAOC features programming in the areas of Education, Youth, Migration and Media. Many programmes engage more than one area. To read more about UNAOC’s Programmes and Projects please visit UNAOC Programmes and Projects page.
UNAOC pursues its objectives through a variety of activities :
- Contacts and dialogues with stakeholders (governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental)
- Development of targeted projects
- Advocacy, including direct public statements or appearances by the High Representative or UNAOC staff
- Interventions to defuse religious and cultural tensions by mobilizing third parties that can act as forces of moderation and understanding such as religious leaders, grassroots organizations, youth leaders and women leaders.
Since assuming office in February 2013, Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, the High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, laid out with clarity his priorities for the Alliance of Civilizations. He has designated six priorities, both substantive and operational in nature. They include:
- Building on previous achievements and moving further to accomplish additional goals in the areas, Education, Youth, Migration and Media.
- Strengthening partnerships and cooperation in multilateral system.
- Adding complimentary concepts and tools to the conflict prevention tool box.
- Linking relevant UNAOC project activities to the post-2015 development agenda.
- Increasing interaction of UNAOC with media, civil society and the business sector.
The High Representative added sports, music and entertainment and other forms of collective expressions of human values to UNAOC toolbox. He has repeatedly stressed that these celebrations of humanity noble yearnings can foster the culture of peace, and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations should make every effort to use them to that end.
Those priorities constitute the framework of any strategic plan and are reflected in the organizational structure.
The High Representative has been explicit about his plans to operate in situations impacted by tensions based on identity issues by reaching out to religious leaders, grassroots organizations and youth groups. As such, the Alliance can use mediation as a tool of preventive diplomacy. The UN Secretary-General had re-iterated in a conference in Istanbul in 2012, that the Alliance could have an important mediating role in many conflicts where culture or religion comes to play.