Waldner: “Dialogue of cultures is an effective means to combat prejudice, discrimination and conflicts”
State Secretary attends Partner Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations in Istanbul
Istanbul, 31 May 2012 – “Our efforts in the Alliance of Civilizations are geared towards creating pluralistic and inclusive societies”, State Secretary Wolfgang Waldner confirmed in his speech at the Partner Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations in Istanbul today. Chaired by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the conference is attended by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and numerous foreign ministers and secretaries of state.
“The Alliance strengthens the understanding between cultures and contributes to overcoming prejudices and discrimination. The dialogue of cultures is also an important tool for crisis prevention”, the State Secretary said and referred to the initiatives Austria is currently taking in respect to the dialogue of cultures and religions. He mentioned in particular, the celebrations marking the 100th anniversary of the Austrian Law on Islam in June and the new International Centre for Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue in Vienna.
The Alliance of Civilizations was founded at the initiative of Spain and Turkey and under the auspices of the United Nations in 2005 and has been in effect since 2007. In the same year, the UN Secretary General appointed the former President of Portugal Jorge Sampaio as the High Representative of the global alliance. The fifth Annual Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations dedicated to “Promoting Responsible Leadership in Diversity and Dialogue” will be hosted by Austria from 26 to 28 February 2013 in Vienna. “The conference is an opportunity both for Austria and Vienna to present themselves once again as platforms for dialogue and international cooperation”, Waldner concluded.
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