The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) was established in 2005, at the political initiative of Mr. Kofi Annan, former United Nations Secretary General, and co-sponsored by the governments of Spain and Turkey. A High-Level Group of experts was formed to explore the roots of polarization between societies and cultures today, and to recommend a practical programme of action to address the issue, which formed the basis for the implementation plan of UNAOC.
Guided by this report, the principles of the UN Charter, and the priorities of the UN Secretary-General, UNAOC works towards a more peaceful and socially inclusive world, by building mutual respect among people of different cultural and religious identities, and highlighting the will of the world’s majority to reject extremism and embrace diversity. UNAOC will seek to operate in situations where it can contribute to broader efforts to ameliorate identity-based crises and promote culturally sensitive development policies.
In its 2006 report, the High-Level Group identified four priority areas for action: Education, Youth, Migration, and Media. UNAOC project activities are fashioned around these four areas, which play a critical role in reducing cross-cultural tensions and in building bridges between communities.
UNAOC pursues its objectives through a variety of activities:
UNAOC High Representative, H. E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, and Secretariat are based in New York. The Alliance maintains a global network of partners including states, international and regional organizations, civil society groups, foundations, and the private sector to improve cross-cultural relations between diverse nations and communities.