1 October 2015, New York – Intervention delivered by Stephan. Auer, Acting Managing Director for Human Rights Global and Multilateral Issues (EEAS), European Union focal point for the Alliance of Civilizations, at the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Group of Friends Annual Ministerial Meeting
Mr High Representative,
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I would like to reiterate the European Union (EU) commitment and support to the objectives and relevant activities of the Alliance of Civilizations (AoC). We have reaffirmed such support in our annual priorities for the General Assembly since the creation of the Alliance. The EU Council Conclusions on counter-terrorism of 9 February 2015 called for further exploring cooperation opportunities with the UN AoC, in synergy with other key players and partners such as the Anna Lindh Foundation.
The EU is and remains an active member of the Group of Friends and it is our firm belief that he Alliance of Civilizations grows stronger with better governance through more proactive interaction with the Group of Friends and Focal Points.
The EU believes in the great potential of the UN AoC. The current rising of global threats, such as terrorism and extremism, require an international holistic approach and calls on the AoC to play a more prominent role reinforcing the nature of its four pillars of activities. Youth, Education, Media, and Migration are- more than ever – crucial areas to promote and enable understanding of religious and cultural diversity prevent conflicts, foster tolerance and reconciliation.
Taking into account its core goals and considering the privileged position of the AoC as UN platform for cross-regional engagement of states and organizations, we believe that the full potential of the UN AoC has yet to be realised.
In the context of the Post 2015 development agenda we believe that it is exactly by focussing on and implementing its core objectives that the UNAOC will be contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals, notably in the promotion of peaceful, just and inclusive societies.
The search for complementarity and added value are keys in times of scarce resources and increasing challenges. Therefore we continue to encourage the AoC to continue to further develop synergies and complementarities with other players.
We would wish a more assertive and action-oriented role of the UNAoC in mainstreaming UN principles -linked to its mandate -at global level, catalysing and building consensus, mobilizing media and opinion leaders, in particular among the youth.
In this context, we would like to highlight that the High representative of the EU for foreign affairs and security policy, following a mandate by the EU Member States Foreign Ministers, is exploring ways of collaborating with the Alliance of Civilisations to promote initiatives on Youth and Counter-radicalisation in the Mediterranean region with the objective of challenging the extremist narrative and counter radicalisation of youth across the Mediterranean region by offering alternative narratives and identity building. To this effect, The High Representative Mogherini met last Friday the UNAoC’s High Representative to further explore the possible synergies with the Alliance’s work on the areas of Youth and Media as well as that of other relevant institutions, such as the Anna Lindh Foundation.
The current global threats require a ‘quality step’ of the AoC to a more strategic and political role played in the areas of its core mandate.
EU source: European Union
UN forum: Other
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