24.09.2010 - UNESCOPRESS

UNESCO Director-General addresses Alliance of Civilizations Group of Friends Ministerial Meeting

New York, 24 September - Addressing the Group of Friends of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova stressed that “the power of cultural diversity and dialogue, and the role of shared values in building peace, have not been sufficiently recognized in international relations.”

“While globalization is bringing people closer together than ever before, the speed of that process is making many groups feel that their identity, their language and their traditions are threatened. And the social, financial and environmental crises of recent years are exacerbating that sense of isolation, of fragmentation,”  Irina Bokova told a gathering of Government Ministers and United Nations Official who comprise the Group of Friends.

Reflecting this point, the Director-General noted that pursuant to a Memorandum of Understanding between UNESCO and the UNAOC, the two are jointly developing educational, scientific and cultural content to reinforce dialogue and mutual understanding.  In particular they will work to highlight the role of the media in fostering dialogue through young journalist training programmes to promote cross cultural reporting.

“We will put a particular focus on youth, as a joint contribution to the International Year of Youth, launched on 12 August last. A force of 1.2 billion between ages 15 and 24, young people have the energy and motivation to propose innovative solutions to today’s global challenges and the aspiration and tools to build bridges of dialogue across cultures.

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