Imagen ilustrativa Alianza de Civilizaciones
Family picture of the meeting of the Alliance of Civilizations, held in August 2014 in Bali (Indonesia). EFE PHOTO
Alliance of Civilizations
The Alliance of Civilizations is an initiative of the United Nations, co-sponsored by Spain and Turkey, the purpose of which is to promote dialogue and cooperation among different communities, cultures and civilizations and bridge the gap for uniting people beyond their cultural or religious differences, developing a series of specific actions aimed at the prevention of conflicts and building of peace

The UN Secretary General (UNSG) formally constituted the UN Alliance of Civilizations on 14 July 2005 as an initiative of the United Nations with the co-sponsorship of Spain and Turkey. Its launch was based on the project submitted by Spain before the UN General Assembly in September 2004. The Secretary General entrusted a report that pointed out the foundations and political measures of the Alliance of Civilizations to the High Level Group, which was submitted in November 2006.


High Representative

In April 2007, the UNSG appointed a high representative, Jorge Sampaio, who took office until February 2013. Since March 2013, the high representative is Al-Nasser, from Qatar, appointed by the UNSG. He was Chairman of the UN General Assembly during the 2011/2012 period.

United Nations Resolutions on the Alliance of Civilizations

- On 10 November 2009, the UN General Assembly adopted by consensus a Resolution on the Alliance of Civilizations that states the formal and political support for the initiative by the United Nations.

- In June 2015 the UN General Assembly adopted by consensus the second resolution on the Alliance of Civilizations. The UNAOC capacity is included as an instrument to promote conflict prevention and reconciliation. Its projects and programmes are aimed at meeting the growing need to tackle conflicts before they arise and, where appropriate, contribute positively to their resolution and peace consolidation, by means of programs that promote understanding among diverse cultures and religions. The UNAOC is given a role for solving the rise of radicalisation and violent extremism by means of greater inter-institutional cooperation within the United Nations system and with its various bodies and programmes.

Meetings of the Group of Friends
A Group of Friends made up of countries and international organisations has been created around the Alliance. It has 145 members from all geographical areas, consisting of 119 countries and 26 international organisations.

The members of the Group of Friends hold meetings at different levels: High-Level Meetings for Ministers of Foreign Affairs and high representatives of International Organisations, which are being held twice a year, in the Forum and for the opening of the session of the UN General Assembly. Meetings are also held at the level of Focal Points and Meetings at the level of permanent representatives before the United Nations.

Forums
The Forum is the great annual conference attended by the UNSG and numerous heads of state, government, ministers and high representatives of international organisations, together with prominent figures from political, academic, religious, civil society and business areas.

The 1st Forum was held in Madrid (January 2008), the 2nd in Istanbul (April 2009), the 3rd in Rio de Janeiro (May 2010), the 4th in Doha (December 2011), the 5th in Vienna (February 2013), the 6th in Bali (August 2014), and the 7th in Baku (April 2016).

Forums have reinforced the role of the Group of Friends, have outlined the action framework of the Alliance, and have served as a platform for meetings and presentations of new collaboration opportunities and projects with civil society.

Priority action areas
The activity of the Alliance of Civilizations is based on the promotion and development of various projects and initiatives such as:
- Youth: Youth Solidarity Fund; Student exchange programmes; Summer Schools; Dialogue Cafes; Silatech; Soliya; Young Leaders Programme; Scholarship Programme.
- Education: Research Network of the Alliance of Civilizations; teaching of History; centres for the exchange of media information; teacher training courses on cultural diversity.
- Media, internet: Rapid Response Mechanism in the Media; Global Search Engine of Experts; media literacy program; Fund of the Alliance of Civilizations for the media; programmes with civil society in the Arab region; training courses for journalists; exchange of journalists; Peaceapp programme form developing videogames and mobile apps with intercultural understanding content.
- Migrations: Plural plus video festival; programme to restore confidence; on-line community on migration and integration.
- Other: Business coalition for intercultural dialogue; global fund for intercultural innovation; intercultural innovation award.

Regional Strategies

The Regional Strategies are the political instruments of the Alliance of Civilizations aimed at facing those challenges whose resolution can benefit from collaboration among countries of the same geographical region and that share similar problems. They identify a series of goals for creating common projects.

The following Strategies have been adopted:
- Regional Strategy for South-eastern Europe.
- Regional Strategy for the Mediterranean.
- Regional Strategy for Latin America. 
- Strategy of the Arab League.
Likewise, some regional consultations for Asia-Pacific (in Auckland and Shanghai) and a regional debate on the Danube region, the Black Sea, the South Caucasus and Central Asia have been held.
 

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