The Alliance benefits from a political support of the Group of Friends, a community of countries and international organizations which actively promotes the Alliance’s objectives and work at the global, regional and local levels, as well as worldwide. The Group is a driving force of UNAOC and plays a vital role in UNAOC’s strategic planning and implementation process. Through a broad dialogue-based and consensus-building approach, the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations seeks the input, advice and support of the Group of Friends’ members on all key aspects of UNAOC’s activities and its mandate.
Our Group of Friends currently includes 158 Members of which are 129 UN Member States, 1 non-member state, and 28 international organizations. They represent all continents, societies and cultures. As of today, the Group of Friends is composed of these countries and international organizations.
Group of Friends Meetings
The Group of Friends meets on a regular basis to discuss UNAOC’s current programmes, new initiatives and other activities. To date, the following meetings have been organized, and reports, summarizing key points and recommendations, have been issued:
- February 8 (Ambassadorial Meeting, Summary Report )
- September 29 (Annual High-level Meeting, Summary Report )
- April 3 (Ambassadors’ level, Summary Report )
- September 28 (Ministerial level, Summary Report )
- November 20 (Ministerial level, Summary of Discussion: Assessment of United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) Implementation of Strategic Plan (2013-2018) )
- March 20 (Permanent Representatives’ level)
- September 28 (Ministerial level)
- February 10 (Permanent Representatives’ level)
- September 24 (Ministerial level, Summary Report )
- January 16 (Permanent Representatives’ level)
- June 22 (Permanent Representatives’ level, Summary Report )
- September 26 (Ministerial level)
All members of the Group of Friends have been invited to appoint a Focal Point for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations in their capitals or headquarters. Focal Points are officials working in Governments and international organizations who coordinate the UNAOC’s related work in their institutions, facilitate and coordinate regular communication between each member of the Group of Friends and the Office of the UNAOC in New York. Through the network of Focal Points, the UNAOC benefits from national and international inputs and contribution to its strategic orientation, programmes and initiatives. The High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations convenes periodic Focal Points meetings and working sessions in the framework of the Global Forums of UNAOC.
National and Regional Strategies
Following the invitation of the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, country-members of the Group of Friends adopt and implement (or are in the process of preparation of) their National and Regional Strategies Cross-Cultural Dialogue in the areas of media, youth, education and migration. The National and Regional Strategies are an indication of countries’ ownership of UNAOC’s goals and objectives. They outline concrete opportunities to exchange experiences and lessons learned regarding challenges of increasing cultural diversity, new identity problems and conflicts. At present, the following countries – members of the Group of Friends – have adopted their National Strategies: Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Italy, Kuwait, Malta, Mexico, Montenegro, Morocco, New Zealand, Oman, Portugal, Qatar, Republic of Korea, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, UK. On the regional level, members of the Group of Friends have adopted South East Europe, Mediterranean, Latin America and Arab Regional Strategies.
The High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations welcomes broadening of the community of its supporters and encourages countries and international organizations to express their interest to join UNAOC’s Group of Friends. Please contact the offices of UNAOC to learn more about the Group, membership and procedures.