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According to a UN official promoting intercultural conversation, peaceful cohabitation is not a “utopia,” but rather a reality

According to a UN official promoting intercultural conversation

  • news by AUN News correspondent
  • Tuesday, November 22, 2022
  • AUN News – ISSN: 2949-8090

Summary:

  • The 9th Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), which begins on Tuesday in Fez, Morocco, was discussed by Miguel Angel Moratinos, UNAOC’s High Representative.

  • This time, “Towards an Alliance of Peace: Living Together as One Humanity” is the theme.

  • The UNAOC’s most well-known event, the Global Forum, will take place in Africa for the first time this year.

  • Mr. Moratinos says that Mohammed VI, the King of Morocco, chose and suggested Fez as the host city because it has a lot of religious and cultural significance.

  • How can the UNAOC work with young people fight the stories of hate that are common, especially on social media? Miguel Angel Moratinos: Well, the youth are our key partners in all of the UN’s activities because what we’re attempting to do is improve circumstances throughout society, in all of the various nations, and in all of the various administrations.

The 9th Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), which begins on Tuesday in Fez, Morocco, was discussed by Miguel Angel Moratinos, UNAOC’s High Representative.

This time, “Towards an Alliance of Peace: Living Together as One Humanity” is the theme.

The UNAOC’s most well-known event, the Global Forum, will take place in Africa for the first time this year.

Mr. Moratinos says that Mohammed VI, the King of Morocco, chose and suggested Fez as the host city because it has a lot of religious and cultural significance.

He told UN News why religious leaders, women, and young people are important for building peaceful and fair societies and why the most recent Global Forum is happening at the right time in the evolution of humanity.

For publication, this interview has been trimmed and shortened.

U.N. News What do you anticipate from the Global Forum, and how crucial do you think its holdings are?

Moratinos, lvaro Miguel I believe that the evolution of humanity is at a crossroads right now, and this is a transitional time. Also, the 9th Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations couldn’t come at a better time, what with all the polarization, fear, and, well, “question marks” in the political world right now. Together with the Kingdom of Morocco and, of course, with the backing and presence of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the UN Alliance of Civilizations wants to send a very clear message that peaceful coexistence is not an ideal but rather a reality.

The city of Fez, Morocco hosts the 9th Global Forum of UN Alliance of Civilization, which is held under the theme “Towards An Alliance of Peace: Living Together as One Humanity”.

U.N. News This is the UN Alliance of Civilizations’ ninth global forum; however, it is the first to take place on the African continent. How important is the place?

Lávaro Miguel Moratinos That’s a crucial component, to be sure. Africa was absent from the Alliance’s 9th Global Forum, which had already traveled to other parts of the world. And I think that’s why the Kingdom of Morocco chose to suggest Morocco as an African country to host this important event.

It also happens at a crucial time when African governments, communities, and people want to play a bigger role on the world stage in the 21st century. Also, the fact that so many African foreign ministers and young people will be at this forum shows that Africa wants to play a big role in the next century. So, I think that was the beginning of Africa getting much more involved and represented, and we are so happy that it happened in Fez, Morocco, in Africa.

UN News: How do you think promoting dialogue between different religions, cultures, and civilizations could help build peaceful, harmonious, and fair communities?

Miguel Angel Moratinos: You know, sometimes when we talk about the state of the world—when we are, of course, deeply worried about economic [crisis], financial crisis, or even political crisis—or when we have this shared threat and shared battle against climate change, we don’t realize the importance that religious leaders and interfaith and interreligious dialogue could bring to the movement to help us reach our shared goals.

Why? You cannot dismiss spirituality for this reason. Although there are atheists and nonbelievers, I’m not claiming that they are all present. Humanity must be moved by something. The “something” in question is religion. It’s the spiritual Many people listen to what a priest, imam, or Orthodox church says because it touches their hearts and minds. So, we need to get their help and encourage respect and understanding between religions and other ways of believing. That, in my opinion, is the significance of their participation in this forum.

The High Representative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Miguel Moratinos, spoke with Pope Francis at the Vatican in 2019.

In 2019, Pope Francis and Miguel Moratinos, High Representative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), spoke in the Vatican.

U.N. News Women are frequently overlooked when discussing cultural and religious conflict resolution. What role, in your opinion, may women play in uniting communities?

Lávaro Miguel Moratinos Let me start by saying how important the cultural and religious parts are when talking about the mediation process. I used to be a diplomat, but now I work in politics as the High Representative and have experience in mediation. Prior to a few years ago, religious and cultural considerations were not included in any negotiation or mediation process. My experience led me to the conclusion that something was lacking. When I took on this new role as High Representative, I made the decision to include the cultural and religious components in any mediation process.

But the fact that women were not there or involved in these talks is the second-most important thing. You can come up with better answers when there are women negotiating, when there are women with empathy, and when there are women involved. And because women’s voices and participation haven’t been heard or valued enough, we’ve suggested a whole session on women mediating. There are several projects and programs in the Sahel where women are leading significant engagement and successful missions at the local level, and we have proof of this. Therefore, women’s participation in conflict prevention and resolution is crucial.

U.N. News There are various youth-focused seminars at the 9th Forum. How can the UNAOC work with young people to fight the stories of hate that are common, especially on social media?

Miguel Angel Moratinos: Well, the youth are our key partners in all of the UN’s activities because what we’re attempting to do is improve circumstances throughout society, in all of the various nations, and in all of the various administrations. And how will we go about doing this? We’ll do this with the decision-makers, of course, but mostly with the kids because they are the key protagonists. So, we need to teach children how to change their beliefs and values for the better, so they can accept diversity from the beginning and know that having different points of view doesn’t mean you have to be enemies or treat the other person badly.

In my opinion, young people are our greatest ally. Without young people, we won’t be able to carry out our mandate. And for that reason, we are giving all of our major projects and programs to young people. I used to tell young people in all of my interviews and speeches that even if they aren’t the protagonists of the future, they are already doing so. We may observe how they are calling for action, defending their goals and dreams. So, if we want to make the world better for the next generation, we must help them and work with them.

As a sort of strike in support of the global climate strike in Bangladesh, young activists sit on the street.

U.N. News In the middle of all the fights going on, there are online campaigns that spread lies and hate speech. How does the UNAOC approach these problems?

Miguel Angel Moratinos: Well, I believe that will be the forum’s main message. It sends a message of peace, reconciliation, and understanding, reminding us that, at some point, we will all need to communicate with one another, even if mediation is not an option right now.

So, I think we should stress how important it is to send a clear message of peace. And I believe that is the reason we are now referred to as the Alliance of Civilizations for Peace instead of the Alliance of Peace. So, that is the main part, and I think that is also the main message that will come out of this 9th Global Forum in Fez.

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