United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC)


UNAOC improves understanding and cooperative relations among nations and peoples across cultures and religions. Established in 2005, on the initiative of Spain and Turkey, under the auspices of the United Nations, UNAOC is:

  • bridge builder and convener, connecting people and organizations, promoting trust and understanding between communities, particularly Muslim and Western societies;
  • catalyst and facilitator promoting innovative projects to reduce polarization between nations and cultures through joint goals and mutually beneficial partnerships;
  • An advocate for building respect and understanding among cultures and amplifying voices of moderation and reconciliation which help calm cultural and religious tensions;
  • platform to increase visibility, to enhance the work and to highlight initiatives devoted to building bridges between cultures;
  • A resource providing access to information and tools drawn from successful initiatives which could be used by Member States, institutions, organizations or individuals seeking to initiate similar projects.  

© UNESCO/German Solinis

UNESCO’s contribution

UNESCO is active in four fields:

  • Education, formal and informal;
  • Youth, based on an intersectoral approach;
  • Media, with specific education to introduce the programmes like “Training in Information and Media Literacy”;
  • Migration, through the Management of Social Transformations Programme (MOST).

Intercultural Vademecum

Spain is funding five intersectoral projects, aiming to strengthen ties between Muslim/Arab and European societies in order to improve mutual understanding:

1. A scientific, philosophical, literary and artistic anthology of Muslim/Arab civilization and its contribution to the revival of Western philosophy and culture. This anthology is designed as an educational tool for teachers, students, or the general public. It presents an intercultural vision of history that unites the Muslim/Arab world and the West;

2. A philosophical look at Muslim/Arab civilization. This entails the production of educational tools illustrating dialogue and exchanges within and through Arab civilization that are intended primarily for secondary school teachers;

3. Fostering cooperation and dialogue among Mediterranean countries. This project includes three activities:

  • Organizing joint workshops on migration, carried out by institutions and museums and with the participation of local artists and citizens from the immigrant population;
  • Creating thematic visits in museums in order to develop intercultural relations and mutual respect;
  • Setting up a common water management project in the Mediterranean zone.

4. Young artists for intercultural dialogue between the Arab and Western worlds. Inspired by the “Artists for Peace” of UNESCO, this project provides recognition and awards to young artists for their creative achievements in favour of Arab/Western dialogue;

5. The Power of Peace Network (PPN) is an interactive platform that harnesses innovative mechanisms to promote peace through media and ICTs. PPN fosters global cooperation for cultural self-expression, mutual understanding, reduction of conflicts, and support of sustainable living.

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