On 11 March, on the margins of the 59th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, the Director-General met with the High Representative of the UN Alliance of Civilizations Ambassador Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser.
This meeting was an opportunity to discuss the continued fruitful collaboration between UNESCO and the Alliance of Civilisations, notably on matters of cultural dialogue and culture of peace. The Director-General highlighted the urgent issue of countering the continuous destruction of the cultural heritage in Iraq and Syria and the different venues that she is using to raise awareness of the problem.
“This is an obligation of UNESCO to shed light on the horrific tragedy of the destruction of the historic cultural monuments in Nimrud and Hadra” she specified.
Ms Bokova further emphasized the need to convene all relevant stakeholders in a global coalition to prevent the illicit trafficking of cultural objects as per the Security Council resolution 2199 since this ‘cultural cleansing” leads to sectarianism and exclusion in societies.
Preventing the rise of intolerance, especially among youth, and building on already existing initiatives, such as the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures, were topics of common interest and mentioned as key elements of the on-going collaboration.
In this light, both committed to work ever more closely together through oint efforts in this crucial juncture, including by promoting mutual participation in major conferences and events such as the High Level President of the General Assembly’s Debate on Fostering Peaceful, Inclusive Societies and Countering Radicalization, scheduled to take place in late April 2015 at the UN Headquarters.