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IESCO delegation attends 7th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations

   (IESCO Reporter: Fan Zhu) On the morning of April 26, 2016 local time, the 7th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) was held at the Baku Convention Centre in the capital city of Azerbaijan. The attendees at the opening ceremony include H.E. Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of the Republic of Turkey, H.E José Manuel García-Margallo, Foreign Minister of Spain, H.E. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, and delegations of governments and international organizations. Delegation of International Ecological Safety Collaborative Organization (IESCO) attended the Forum at the invitation of UNAOC. Centering on the theme of “Living Together In Inclusive Societies: A Challenge and A Goal”, the 7th Global Forum of UNAOC, by stressing the concept of “inclusiveness” in “living together”, aims to fully harness the strengths of multiple aspects and various sectors to meet the challenges of living in an increasingly diversified society and facilitate common progress.

   In his speech at the opening ceremony, H.E. Ilham Heydar oglu Aliyev, President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, pointed out that in the past few centuries, Azerbaijan has served as a cultural and geographical bridge between the East and the West. Various cultures and religions co-exist in harmony in Azerbaijan. Currently, the UNAOC is vital to the development in West Asia, Europe, Middle East and other regions. We are gathering in Baku at the Forum to solve problems so as to foster world peace and harmony, and promote development on the basis of mutual understanding. All religions carry forward values such as unity and peace. The attendance of more than 140 representatives from different countries also showcases the faith in multiculturalism which is not only a national policy but also a way of living. The conflicts between Azerbaijan and Armenia have to be addressed through UN peace resolutions. Apart from that, he also mentioned that his government will invest billions of US dollars in clearing local pollution. The efforts his government made for environment protection indicate that Azerbaijan is on the right track of development and pursuit of the Millennium Development Goals.
   Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan mentioned in his remarks that all countries should be united to combat terrorism. It is imperative to take joint actions to eliminate our sufferings and dialogue remains an important tool for counter-terrorism. This year terrorist attacks will lead to the displacement of 600 million people worldwide, most of whom are children. Turkey has invested 10 billion USD to help refugees and accepted one million of them at present. Different from other countries, in the future Turkey will further open its gate to more people in need.

   In his speech, Spanish Foreign Minister José Manuel García-Margallo underscored the importance of multilateral mechanism for problem resolution. He pointed out that Azerbaijan as an important country along the Silk Road plays an essential part in the global economic growth. He suggested that more positive messages should be spread through media to prevent young people from joining extremist organizations. All social media, search engines and games companies are welcome to join us to deliver positive information about different cultures and religions. He also stressed the important role that females play in promoting peace, encouraging women to be more involved in peace negotiations and peace actions.

   Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, High Representative for UNAOC, mentioned in his opening speech the theme of this forum “Living Together in Inclusive Societies: A Challenge and a Goal” converges with the four pillars of the UN: peace and security, human rights, rule of law and development. It also converges with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Sustainable development cannot be realized without peace and security; at the same time, peace and security will be at risk without sustainable development. Too many people, especially young people, join terrorist groups because they lack prospects and meaning in their lives. Therefore, we need to make a special effort to reach out to young people and recognise their potential as partners and leaders. We need to support their dreams of a better life and a positive vision of the future. Their voices need to be heard in political processes and decision-making through youth empowerment. Their participation is an important element in building inclusive societies that can resist the threat of violent extremism.

   UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sent a video message to the opening ceremony of the Forum. In his remarks, he spoke highly of the efforts and results that  President Ilham Aliyev, the Government of Azerbaijan and the City of Baku have made and achieved for this Forum. As he pointed out, we live at a time of grave crises; many are forced to flee homes because of conflicts, extremism and other factors. We are working around the world to resolve disputes, end conflicts and consolidate peace. We are focusing on prevention by tackling the root causes of conflicts. However, the emergence of these problem does not stem from any single religion or nationality. Therefore, he stressed that stereotyping is dangerous and destablising.

   In recent years, the world has witnessed a surge of violent extremism, religious discord and radicalism. Extremist groups are trying to undermine our shared values of peace, justice and human dignity. Moreover, many countries and regions in the world are faced with the issue of massive immigration and refugees. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has reiterated many times that the international community is deeply plagued by the spread of extremism and radicalism, and he has also stressed the need to tackle the root causes to prevent extremism.The UNAOC intends to make this forum an integrated platform for participants to explore in depth the import subject “Living Together in Inclusive Societies”; at the same time, it also aims to adopt and release the Baku Declaration, and initiate the UNAOC Advisory Council.

   Mr. Wu Jisong, Director of the Consultative Committee of Experts of IESCO, attended the special session under the theme “Civil Society and Business: Working Together for Peace, Security and Sustainable Development”. At the session, he delivered remarks focused on “understanding, development, achievements and sustainability”, and exchanged ideas with other guests presented.

   The members of IESCO delegation that attend the Forum include: An Xueli, Executive Director-General of IESCO, Wang Ge, Executive Vice Chairman of Ecological Civilization Committee of UNAOC, Wu Jisong, Director of the Consultative Committee of Experts of IESCO, Jin Xiaoyi, Assistant President of IESCO etc. During this forum, IESCO delegation will also be presented at a number of special sessions and forum-related events.










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