“Doha Preliminary Forum 2011: Consultation with Civil Society Organizations-Linking the Message of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations and the Millennium Development Goals: An Action Plan for Cooperation.”
The United Nations Alliance of Organizations (UNAOC) partnered with ADF, the National Human Rights Council (NHRC), Doha Center for Media Freedom, and Silatech to organize the Doha Preliminary Forum 2011 from 3-4 May 2011. The Forum was attended by over 100 participants from various nations representing governments, civil society movements, religious and political organizations, and media. Amongst them were the Former Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio the High Representative of the UNAOC, Iqbal Riza the Special Adviser to the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Ambassador Lazarus Kapambwe President of Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, Ms. Magda H. Zaki Director of Dialogue among Civilizations in the Arab League, Dr. Mohammad Shbato from the Islamic Education, Scientific, and Cultural Organization-ISESCO.
The forum comes within the preparatory framework of the fourth Alliance of Civilizations Forum which will be hosted by Qatar next December. It aims at activating the participation of all parties concerned to comply with the objectives of the Alliance of Civilizations, particularly the civil society organizations in order to support the efforts of the international community to achieve development and peace.
The participants discussed the different visions and future challenges in order to strengthen the relationship between culture and development through national plans and regional strategies for cooperation and dialogue between cultures, frameworks and political means, lessons learned and future prospects, how to take advantage of cultural diversity and using education to foster a culture of respect, forgiveness and peace. Moreover, the promotion of social responsibility and leadership roles for youth and the role of media in supporting diversity and promoting dialogue were discussed. The participants also addressed the new role of civil society, how to benefit from the Arab experiences, this session was chaired by the Secretary-General of the ADF, Mr. Mohsen Marzouk.
The closing session of the Preparatory Forum was attended by Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, who gave a speech which confirmed that the conclusions reached at the Preparatory Forum will be employed to expand the international coalition in support of the alliance, noting the role played by civil society representatives in the success of the Forum’s activities, indicating that the partnership with the civil society will contribute to strengthening efforts and energies so that the Alliance of Civilizations would become an active and influential factor in the formulation of a new approach to international relations.