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HH Sheikha Moza speaks at closing of 4th UN AOC Forum
Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, ambassador of Alliance of Civilizations, stressed the importance of linking the Alliance’s objectives to Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), making education a main priority and actively engaging the youth as decision makers, during the conclusion of the fourth United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Forum yesterday.
Establishing a link between the Alliance’s objectives and the MDGs, Her Highness expressed optimism the Millennium Development Goals could be realized by turning conviction to action through projects approved by the United Nations within a certain framework to eventually reach international tolerance, peace and cultural diversity. To this end, Her Highness also called for setting up a monitoring and follow-up mechanism to ensure progress on the outcomes of the UNAOC dialogues.
“We thought of creating an observatory in order to ensure follow-up and identify indicators in all levels. We will try to monitor through reports to assess efforts and see results reached,” she said. She called for the youth to be an active partner of the Alliance in making decisions and policies as they will inherit the world in the generations to come.“The youth need to be involved in the forum as partners of the Alliance as policy and decision makers. I am very optimistic of the future of youth who are educated, aware and empowered to draw the future in a better prospect,” she said.
The fourth UNAOC Forum saw participation of 400 young leaders giving recommendations on cross-cultural and inter-religious understanding issues.
Underpinning the significance of education as means to change, she said it is the key for people, particularly the youth to the get to know each other and raise awareness on the core of things.“It is proven that education is key to any transformation…Without education we will live in a world of ignorance and intolerance…Through education we can mobilize the society and provide the youth the true weapon to change the world.”
Other panellists at the closing session expressed common views on the importance of intercultural dialogue, education and youth in development. They recommended the need for proper funding and support from political leaders and philanthropists to translate the Alliance’s objectives to tangible reality and bring the results of the forum to fruition. Citing the Forum’s theme ‘Intercultural dialogue boosts development’, Mohammed Al Fadel, a Sudanese youth who was a panellist at the session, said decision makers should endeavour to promote cultural and religious rights because differences between cultures could spark crisis citing it as main reason for Sudan separation. “We should take responsibility of what we have learned from each other, take ownership of the vision and get it implemented in our own countries,” Sofana Dhalan, Founder, Tashkeil and one of the panelists in the session told the audience. The panel also included Konstanze Carreras, Head of Corporate Social Responsibility at the BMW Group; Fernando Riquelme, General Director of Multilateral Affairs, Spain; Jorge Sampaio, High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations; Hassan Al Mohannadi, Vice Chairman, Qatar Committee on the Alliance of Civilisation; Emre Yunt, Turkish Ambassador to Qatar and Xavier Guerrand-Hermes, President, Guerrand-Hermes Foundation.
The closing session also saw the announcement of a number of UNAOC linked projects including a film festival in China and a global media exchange reviving the role of public service in media.