ABU DHABI, 23rd November, 2022 (WAM) — Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, represented the United Arab Emirates at the ninth session of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) Forum, which was held for two days on November 22-23, 2022, under the theme ‘Towards an alliance for peace: Living together as one humanity’, in Fez, Morocco.
The event, placed under the patronage of His Majesty King Mohammed VI of the Kingdom of Morocco, focused on ways to strengthen dialogue and cooperation between different societies, cultures and civilizations. The forum hosted UNAOC member states and senior officials from international organizations, including UN Secretary-General António Guterres and 40 ministers and heads of state. It also welcomed participants from all over the world to discuss issues related to religions, cultures and civilizations, the prevention of extremism and violence, as well as topics related to migration, identity , to heritage, to shared values, to the fight against discrimination and intolerance on the basis of religion, belief and race.
In her speech at the forum, Noura Al Kaabi pointed out that the world faces many challenges, such as conflict, climate change, food insecurity and water scarcity, which are further aggravated as a result of the devastation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. . “These crises are negatively impacting economies and societies around the world and must be urgently addressed on a global scale with swift and real action.”
She continued: “There must be real, serious and collective action to address these issues. We must find effective solutions to overcome the crises, and that is what brings us here to this pivotal forum. There is an urgent need to forge policies that are human-centred, focus on humanity and improve the quality of life for everyone. With its inherent quality of forging human and community bonds, culture can offer solutions to meet current challenges and enrich our lives.
“The United Arab Emirates, under the leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the United Arab Emirates, plays a key role in promoting tolerance, coexistence and human brotherhood. We believe that these values are the pillars of sustainable development and prosperity in societies and contribute to peace in the world, while supporting peoples’ aspirations for a decent life,” she added.
The minister stressed that the UAE’s vision of peace stems from a well-established approach based on the values of coexistence, dialogue and tolerance instilled by the UAE’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed: “The UAE is an example of how diverse cultures and religions can co-exist in perfect harmony.Our nation has been at the forefront of spreading world peace by easing tensions, bridging differences, and promoting a human-first approach.
She also highlighted the UAE’s contribution to supporting tolerance, coexistence and peace over the past three years. She mentioned the visit of Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of Al Azhar, Ahmed Al Tayeb, to Abu Dhabi to sign the Document on Human Fraternity, which was a blueprint for the establishment of interreligious dialogue. It was this historic meeting that led to the announcement of the Abrahamic Family House, which includes a mosque, church and synagogue. She also spoke about the UAE’s success in hosting more than 190 countries and organizations at Expo 2020 Dubai, with the vision of connecting minds and creating the future.
The 9th UNAOC Forum adopted a declaration in Fez setting out the commitment of Member States to achieve global goals, so that governments, with the support of civil society, can overcome challenges and move towards coexistence within peaceful, inclusive and sustainable societies. This would only be possible by promoting media and information literacy and spreading tolerance, respect and mutual understanding.