Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – According to UN website, UN Secretary-General António Guterres said, “In a world where “old evils – antisemitism, anti-Muslim bigotry, persecution of Christians, xenophobia, and racism – are receiving new leases on life”, the UN Alliance of Civilizations is helping to show the way on how to act in solidarity.”
Mr. Guterres was speaking at the opening of the 9th Global Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations (AOC) which is taking place in Fez, Morocco.
“The forces of division and hate are finding fertile ground in a landscape marred by injustice and conflicts,” said Mr. Guterres calling for the creation of an alliance of peace through recognizing “diversity as richness” and investing in inclusion; and making sure that “all of us – regardless of race, descent, origin, background, gender, religion, or other status – can live lives of dignity and opportunity.”
“The Holy Quran teaches us that God created nations and tribes ‘so that we might know one another’,” said UN Secretary-General urging at this time of peril, to be inspired by the essence of these meanings and “stand together as one human family – rich in diversity, equal in dignity and rights, united in solidarity.”
Miguel Angel Moratinos, the UNAOC High Representative, recalled the thesis of prestigious American political scientist Samuel Huntington, in his famous lecture on the “clash of civilizations,” but gave his views on the idea.
Mr. Moratinos asserted that “international conflicts cannot be the sole consequence of religion, culture or civilizations. It must be stated bluntly: there is no clash of civilizations. There is a clash of interests and a clash of ignorance.”
“The recent crises affecting the international community have shown us that there are no borders that can stop viruses and wars, whether they occur in Europe or in any other corner of the world,” Mr. Moratinos stated.
“In the face of defending tolerance, let us defend mutual respect. In the face of defending coexistence, let us defend living together: “convivencia” [coexistence].
The Forum takes place against the backdrop of an extremely complex global context marked by myriad challenges, ranging from the surge in violent extremism, terrorism, xenophobia, hate speech to racism, discrimination, and radicalism, among others.
During its work, the 9th Global Forum adopted the Fez Declaration, which stressed, among others, the importance of the central role of education, women as mediators and peace-makers, combating discrimination and intolerance, sport as a vector for peace and inclusiveness, balancing migration narratives through programming, the role of religious leaders in promoting peace, coexistence and social harmony, reinvigorating multilateralism through culture of peace and on countering; and addressing online hate speech.