The 8th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) was held 19-20 November 2018 at the UN in New York. The Forum’s theme – ‘Commit2Dialogue: Partnerships for Prevention and Sustaining Peace’ – stressed the need for a joint search for possible ways to recommit to interreligious and intercultural dialogue and to promote tolerance, diversity, and a culture of peace.
DOC Senior Researcher Nikita Konopaltsev participated in the Forum and spoke in the plenary session on the rights and responsibilities of media in debates around migration.
The Forum provided an open platform for different stakeholders and partners from intergovernmental entities and civil society institutions including NGOs, faith-based organisations, media, and the private sector to share practices on ways to promote dialogue and mutual understanding.
Keynote speakers included UN Secretary-General António Guterres, President of the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly María Fernanda Espinosa Garcés, the foreign ministers of Turkey and Spain, and a number of former heads of state, heads of government, and ministers.
In his opening remarks, António Guterres decried the rise of extremism targeting the “other,” stressed the role of youth in peacebuilding, and emphasised the relevance and importance of UNAOC programmes and activities: “We must all work together to build societies that are truly respectful and inclusive, where diversity is seen as a richness, not a threat.”
At the second Plenary Session (‘Words Matter: The Role and Responsibility of the Media in Shaping Public Perceptions about Migrants and in Promoting Inclusive Societies’), former Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Ángel Moratinos,