The fourth annual forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) will be convened in Doha, Qatar from December 11 – 13, 2011. Over 2,000 participants are expected to attend the event. The participants attending the forum will include political and corporate leaders, civil society activists, youth groups, faith communities, research centers, foundations and journalists from different parts of the world. These participants will join together to agree on joint actions to improve relations across cultures, combat prejudice and build lasting peace.
More than ever, the world is shaped by intense interaction among diverse cultural, religious and linguistic communities. This growing diversity is a source of enrichment and opportunity, but can also lead to tensions, misunderstanding and hostility. Building peaceful relations among diverse cultures has become one of the most important and challenging tasks faced by modern societies. The Doha Forum will convene a diverse network of actors that are working on this issue to share ideas, learn from each other, and listen to the needs of the grassroots in different communities around the world.
On 21 September 2004, HE José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, President of the Government of Spain, called for the creation of the Alliance of Civilizations during the 59th Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations, New York, USA. Consultations on the initiative of the Alliance of Civilizations started on November 2004 by a group of countries and organizations with the Permanent Observer status at the United Nations. Resulting from these consultations, a Group of Friends (composed of mostly states, and also several international organizations) was established to support the Alliance of Civilizations initiative in fostering global cooperation on cross-cultural issues and to promote initiatives aimed at encouraging dialogue and building bridges among societies and communities.
Upon consultations with the Spanish Government, HE Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Prime Minister of Turkey, joined HE José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero as the co-sponsor of the Alliance of Civilizations initiative in June 2005. HE José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and HE Recep Tayyip Erdogan invited Secretary-General Kofi Annan to announce the Alliance of Civilizations initiative to the Member States of the United Nations and to designate the High-level Group for the Alliance of Civilizations. Kofi Annan announced the launch of the “Alliance of Civilizations” initiative in a statement at the United Nations Headquarters, New York a day later.
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