In a stirring speech, HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser yesterday reminded the world why an initiative such as the Alliance of Civilisations (AOC) should be at the centre of a global future for the benefit of coming generations.
Speaking at the closing session of the two-day Doha pre-forum for the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC), Sheikha Moza, a leading member of the alliance, said “the event here became the first step in realising the goals”, ahead of the fourth annual UNAOC forum which is expected to take place in Doha in December.
“However the steps awaiting us are difficult. We must work harder, be more creative, (and) be persistent to achieve the December forum goals,” she said.
“I don’t (want to) talk about failures but talk about a new phase and track. Our discussion is in keeping with the new world we live in. After December, I hope UNAOC will have a new phase in keeping with the aspirations of people in developing countries and the world at large.”
According to her, the recommendations of the pre-forum will be handled by a drafting committee in an “optimum way”, translating UNAOC’s work into realistic programmes.
“UNAOC’s objective has been to create an opportunity on how to link the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with those of UNAOC which focus on education, media, youth and migration.”
UNAOC High Representative, Dr Jorge Sampaio, said a “new deal” was not far away. “We were very, very fortunate that we could meet here in Doha and that this pre-forum brought together civil society organisations (CSOs) and representatives from governments because we need a new deal that involves all actors of social change.”
Around 190 participants from all over the world, representing CSOs, corporations and national focal point committees attended the pre-forum.
“I don’t know what the ‘new deal’ will look like. I will go home, reflect, consult … I will come up with a vision for a renewed commitment to bridging the gaps,” Dr Sampaio added.
The journey, he said, might not be easy, but was worthwhile.
“After all what is at stake is fundamental values… human dignity.”
The Doha pre-forum also allowed for UNAOC to be in a position to develop a strategic framework with involvement of the civil society.
And while the CSOs did not have any major role in the development of UN MDGs, the Alliance’ mission had always generated interest by the CSOs which had been instrumental in mobilising energy and help, he said.
“So let us not waste potential common actions and let us live to the best of our capacities. Our synergies can be combined and mutually enforced,” he said, while adding that Alliance’s mission was to strengthen CSOs across the world as they were important in promoting democracy, and fostering intercultural dialogue and understanding
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