The 7th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) has started in Azerbaijan Baku, with about 3000 delegates expected; the forum will start with a Youth Forum of about 150 youth leaders from across the globe defining the ‘Narratives of Tomorrow’. The Global Forum is expected to address social inclusion as special premise for peace and sustainable development.
UNAOC initiative was launched in July 2005 by UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, co- sponsored by government of Spain and Turkey and a High-Level Group of experts was formed to explore the roots of polarization between societies and to recommend a program of action, followed by its adoption by the UN General Assembly through a resolution “The Alliance of Civilization” 64/14. The UNAOC has critical four pillars; the Youth, Education, Media and Migration.
The Youth event running under a theme “Living together in Inclusive Societies, Narratives of Tomorrow” is more inclined to Global Forum theme ‘ Living together In Inclusive Societies: A Challenge and A Goal. The Youth event is a unique platform poised for civic and intercultural participation, it is a preparatory event of the Global forum running from 26- 27 of April 2016. The youth will discuss the role of young people in achieving the 2030 development goals and also create the Narratives of Tomorrow as the main outcome of their event , the narratives articulates the participating youth’s vision and solutions for the world to live together in inclusive societies, act as agents for social transformation and facilitate intercultural dialogue in their community.
The Global Forum will harness the multiple perspectives of various sectors to meet the challenge of, and progress towards, inclusive living in today’s increasingly diverse societies. The major outcomes of the Global Forum will be; the global consolidation of UNAOC as a platform for the theme of Living Together in Inclusive Societies; the discussion of relevant best practices; and ways to overcome the challenge and goal of living inclusively together. A Baku Declaration where the UNAOC Group of Friends will issue a declaration on the imperative of Living Together in Inclusive Societies, New partnerships between UNAOC and other entities and the Launching of the UNAOC Advisory Council.
Contacted for comment the Zimbabwean Delegate to UNAOC 7th Global Forum; the National Director of National Association of Youth Organizations (NAYO Africa), SADC AAYC Regional Youth Coordinator and National Association of NGOs (NANGO) Youth Sector Chairperson Mr. Misheck Gondo noted that, ‘the forum is a panacea towards solving youth global challenges, with young people convening to articulate the Narratives of Tomorrow before attending and presenting in the main Global Meetings; this indicates a greater mileage on the side of UN. Young people forms the bases for development and they are key tenants for the world to live together in inclusive societies’
Gondo also noted that the forum provides an opportunity to discuss the 2030 agenda, in particular the role of young people in achieving the these global goals and also share ideas around effective development that can be implemented in different countries.
Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser the High Representative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations noted that, ‘ Ten years after the launch of UNAOC in 2005, its areas of emphasis- education , media, migration, and youth remain essential to the tasks of building those bridges between cultures, countering polarization and encouraging inclusion”
“I love my home country New Zealand, but it is very isolated, both geographically and politically. The Seventh Global Forum has given me the opportunity to look beyond my own culture and nation, and connect with super heroes creating positive change in the world” noted the New Zealand Youth Delegate to the UNAOC Forum Ms Caittin Smort.
“The Youth event and Global Forum is a rich experience, sharing and leaning opportunity. I will take home, the networks and lessons of different initiatives which use various strategies in tackling youth issues all over the world” noted Gella Biresaw from Ethiopia.
The Chinese delegate Mr Bolun Li noted the importance of diversity of youth participation which is a great asset in mitigating world challenges.
The Global Forum which is ending on 27 of April will tackle several developmental issues though plenary and presentation. The forum is being attended by more than 140 countries, governments, representatives of civic society, business among other.