IPS – Inter Press Service News Agency
December 12th, 2011

Media is perhaps the most powerful force today in shaping our understanding of events and peoples in the world around us. As a global news agency whose mission is to give a voice to the South and promote dialogue and cooperation, IPS has seen first hand how its work has the potential to bring together people from different cultural backgrounds. The alliance among civilizations is one of our core themes. Our partner QNA brings news from the UN AoC ongoing in Doha, Qatar.

Doha, December 11 (QNA) – Helping nations going through transition as well as empowering women and youth are among the five imperatives vital to shape our future generations United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said here Sunday.

In his address to the fourth United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Forum which opened at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha today, he said, “Our differences are nothing compared to our shared humanity. As I begin my second term as UN Secretary General I have identified five generational opportunities to decisively shape our future for decades to come.”

He said the Alliance is an integral part of this agenda and the first among the five imperatives is the empowerment of women and youth.
Stressing now is the time to expand the youth network and have dialogue with them, Ban Ki-moon said, “Together with HH Sheikha Moza bint Nasser I had very constructive and inspiring dialogue yesterday with 400 youth from all the continents around the globe.

Ban Ki-moon. Credit: IPS

“I want to see the coming years give emphasis to women s and children s programmes on health and education, in particular, which are the foundations of all the important pillars and goals which we are now approaching; in creating decent jobs and opportunities on a scale never seen before.”

The second imperative, he said, is “Preventing conflict and violence by promoting dialogue. When terrorists kill innocent people, when politicians stir hatred and exploit stereotypes to win votes, when moderate voices are struggling to be heard in the politics of polarization, the Alliance s global efforts become very important.”

The third imperative he said is building a safer and more secure world. “Conflicts will not be solved by negotiations alone. Mutual understanding is also required. The Alliance is working to solve this problem. We must bring peace and tolerance in places that only know division and discord.

The fourth priority he said is helping nations in transition, particularly across the Middle East and North Africa he said.

“In some countries these transitions have been peaceful while in others it was bloody crackdowns. In all reconciliation is must for transformations to succeed,” he said and added there is considerable scope for the Alliance to help these nations to shape their future.
The fifth imperative is sustainable development.

“This should be our priority for the coming years. There can be no sustainable development without human rights and strong bonds among all people. Globalization is exposing new fault lines between urban and rural communities,” he said and urged the Alliance to address issues that impact development.

He concluded encouraging the Forum, saying “There is power in this Alliance with a wide range of partners coming together to break down worlds. But there is another world, I urge you, to demolish – a world between this small, but dedicated group and our wider world.

“When you leave Doha please do your utmost to involve people in your churches, mosques and synagogues. Engage students, families, activists.  Have a dialogue far and wide and have concrete action to make this world a better place for all.” (qna)

More about: Africa, Arab Countries, Dialogue among civilizations, Global, United Nations

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