The United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations (AOC), Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, and the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, signed a Memorandum of Understanding on 25 September in New York, renewing collaboration between the two organizations for a further two years.
During the signing event, on the fringes of the United Nations General Assembly, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to pursue joint efforts to improve relations between peoples of different cultures, religions and traditions, with a view to bridging divides, promoting mutual understanding and respect, and countering extremism and fanaticism.
Mr Al Nasser affirmed that the agreement formalizes the AOC's excellent cooperation with UNESCO as a “a partnership to complement each other in serving the international community.”
Ms Bokova underscored the heightened importance of the AOC in the current political context, when it is more vital than ever to promote diversity, dialogue among cultures and tolerance. “We have a responsibility in today's world to educate, to teach, to reconcile and to pass a strong message on our shared humanity. Together we can make a difference,” she said.
The agreement notably highlights the two bodies’ determination to work together on programmes and initiatives that promote youth empowerment, civic engagement and media literacy. It also foresees taking advantage of frameworks such as the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022), which was proclaimed last December by the UN General Assembly with UNESCO as lead agency.
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