IPS – Inter Press Service News Agency
Alliance Among Civilizations

Migration is one very important factor affecting relationships between different communities and countries. Overall, migration is more often examined from the point of view of the North – that is the rich, receiving countries. Emphasis is put on the “negative” aspects of migration, such as social unrest, the “war on terror”, political challenges and economic and labour dilemmas. 

Contributing Southern perspectives and human dimensions to the debate, stressing the upside of migration as a force of the alliance of civilization, is one of IPS’ underlying goals.

IPS Asia-Pacific undertook a series of ground-breaking reports and publications about the impact of female migration on women, families and communities. Recently IPS launched a global e-newsletter on migration to package and disseminate reporting on the subject.

In a now famous article published in Foreign Affairs in 1993 — titled “The Clash of Civilizations?”– U.S. political scientist Samuel P. Huntington suggested that people’s cultural and religious identities would be the primary source of conflict in the post-Cold War world. Huntington’s theory has gained new ground in recent years, with the apparent escalation of cultural and religious fundamentalism across the globe, accompanied by greater suspicion and mistrust between different communities.

In 2006, the High-Level Group of the Alliance of Civilisations — an initiative launched by the Secretary-General of the United Nations and co-sponsored by the Prime Ministers of Spain and Turkey — released a report claiming that the key reasons for the growing divide between, for example, Muslim and Western societies are not religious but political .

As the Alliance of Civilisations report emphasises, the media is perhaps the most powerful force today in shaping our understanding of events and peoples in the world around us. Media professionals can frame images and perceptions so as to better reflect the diversity that exists within communities, and to improve prospects for cooperation and harmony between them.

Religion plays a big and in some cases growing role in the socio-political dynamics inside countries and is a factor in civil and cross-border conflict, conflict resolution and peace building. Recognizing how religion affects overall prospects for an alliance among civilizations, IPS has created a religion news site focusing on how religion impacts the world, from daily life to geo-politics. 

Religion and culture are inherently personal and sometimes sensitive issues for the reporter and reader alike. As a locally-based international news agency, IPS reporters are rooted in many cultures and faiths. Media training tools like Religion, Gender and Culture ( part A and part B ) produced by IPS Africa help journalists to think about their roles and responsibilities.Religion in the News

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. For example, translation of the same news into different languages is a vital contribution toward bridging divides between peoples. IPS is steadily increasing its language services. Recent additions in 2010 include: Czech, Hungarian and Polish . IPS currently has services in 26 languages (see our News service page for further details).

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