The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) was established in 2005, as the political initiative of Mr. Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General and co-sponsored by the Governments of Spain and Turkey.
A High-Level Group of experts was formed by Mr. Annan to explore the roots of polarization between societies and cultures today, and to recommend a practical programme of action to address this issue. The Report of the High-Level Group provided analysis and put forward practical recommendations that form the basis for the implementation plan of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.
On 7 January 2019, H.E. Mr. Miguel Ángel Moratinos assumed the position of High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, succeeding H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, who succeeded H.E. Mr. Jorge Sampaio.
The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations High Representative and Secretariat are based and operating from New York. The Alliance maintains a global network of partners including states, international and regional organizations, civil society groups, foundations, and the private sector to improve cross-cultural relations between diverse nations and communities.
In its 2006 report, the High-Level Group identified four priority areas for action: Education, Youth, Migration, Media. UNAOC project activities, fashioned around these four areas, which can play a critical role in helping to reduce cross-cultural tensions and to build bridges between communities. In 2019, Mr. Moratinos announced that he intends to propose adding “Women as peace mediators” as an additional pillar of UNAOC.