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

Date:

UN promoting intercultural conversation and peaceful cohabitation

  • 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 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.

Introduction

Fez, Morocco – The 9th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) is set to commence on Tuesday in Fez, Morocco. This highly anticipated event, themed “Towards an Alliance of Peace: Living Together as One Humanity,” holds significant importance as it marks the first time the Global Forum is taking place on the African continent. With a strong emphasis on intercultural conversation and the pursuit of peaceful cohabitation, the forum aims to foster dialogue, understanding, and cooperation among diverse cultures and civilizations.

The Significance of Fez as the Host City

Fez, known for its rich religious and cultural heritage, was specifically chosen as the host city for the 9th Global Forum. His Majesty King Mohammed VI of Morocco played a pivotal role in suggesting Fez, considering its historical significance and its ability to facilitate meaningful intercultural exchanges. The selection of Fez as the host city demonstrates the Kingdom of Morocco’s commitment to promoting dialogue and harmony, as well as Africa’s growing influence and participation in global affairs.

Anticipated Outcomes and the Evolution of Humanity

In an exclusive interview with Miguel Angel Moratinos, the UNAOC’s High Representative, he emphasizes the forum’s significance amidst the current global context. Moratinos believes that humanity stands at a crossroads, facing polarization, fear, and uncertainty in the political realm. He asserts that the 9th Global Forum couldn’t have come at a more opportune moment, emphasizing the urgent need for peaceful coexistence as a tangible reality rather than an ideal. With the backing of UN Secretary-General António Guterres, the UNAOC aims to send a clear message that peaceful and fair societies can be achieved through intercultural dialogue and cooperation.

Promoting Dialogue for Peaceful Coexistence

Moratinos underscores the crucial role of promoting dialogue among different religions, cultures, and civilizations in building peaceful, harmonious, and fair communities. He acknowledges that while the world faces various challenges, such as economic crises, political unrest, and climate change, the significance of religious leaders and interfaith dialogue often goes unrecognized. Moratinos emphasizes that spirituality plays a profound role in shaping people’s beliefs and values, making the participation of religious leaders crucial in fostering respect, understanding, and cooperation between diverse communities.

He states, “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 find inspiration and guidance from religious figures, such as priests, imams, or leaders of other faiths, who touch their hearts and minds. Moratinos believes that harnessing the help of religious leaders and encouraging respect and understanding among different faiths is key to achieving peaceful coexistence.

Empowering Women as Agents of Unity

The UNAOC recognizes the often-overlooked role of women in cultural and religious conflict resolution. Moratinos emphasizes that the inclusion of cultural and religious considerations in mediation processes has become essential. However, he further emphasizes that the absence of women’s voices and perspectives in such discussions is equally significant. Acknowledging the untapped potential of women in conflict resolution, the forum dedicates a special session to highlight their role as mediators.

Moratinos explains, “You can come up with better answers when there are women negotiating, when there are women with empathy, and when there are women involved.” Recognizing the power of women’s voices and their ability to bridge divides, the UNAOC showcases various projects and programs where women have played instrumental roles in conflict prevention and resolution. By actively involving women in the peace-building process, societies can achieve more inclusive and sustainable outcomes.

Harnessing the Power of Youth

The 9th Global Forum places a strong emphasis on youth engagement and participation. Moratinos highlights the pivotal role of young people as key partners in shaping the UN’s activities and improving societies worldwide. He asserts that young people are not only the protagonists of the future but are already driving positive change in the present. Their passion, determination, and ability to challenge the status quo make them indispensable in creating a better world.

The UNAOC recognizes that to effect lasting change. Young people must be equipped with the necessary tools and values to accept diversity, embrace different perspectives, and reject hate and discrimination. The forum aims to empower young individuals, providing them with opportunities to voice their concerns, aspirations, and ideas. By working hand in hand with young people, the UNAOC seeks to create a more inclusive and harmonious global community.

Countering Online Hate Speech

As the world grapples with the proliferation of online campaigns propagating lies and hates speech, the UNAOC addresses this pressing issue through the 9th Global Forum. Moratinos underscores the importance of sending a clear message of peace, reconciliation, and understanding. The forum aims to emphasize the significance of countering online hate speech and promoting the responsible use of digital platforms.

The 9th Global Forum serves as a platform for stakeholders to discuss strategies, policies, and initiatives to combat online hate speech effectively. By engaging governments, civil society organizations, and technology companies, the forum aims to foster greater cooperation and collective action in creating safe and inclusive online spaces.

Conclusion

The 9th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations in Fez, Morocco, holds immense promise in advancing the intercultural conversation and peaceful cohabitation. Its significance lies not only in its theme of “Towards an Alliance of Peace: Living Together as One Humanity” but also in its venue on the African continent for the first time. Through the active involvement of religious leaders, women, and young people, the forum seeks to build peaceful and fair societies by promoting intercultural dialogue, fostering respect, and countering hate speech.

As the world faces increasing challenges, the forum provides a platform for diverse voices to come together, share experiences, and explore innovative solutions. The outcomes of the 9th Global Forum will serve as a roadmap for a more inclusive, harmonious, and united future. By embracing intercultural conversation and promoting peaceful cohabitation, societies can pave the way for a world where diversity is celebrated and divisions are bridged.

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