The Alliance of Civilizations held its first forum in Madrid, Spain on the 15-16 January 2008. An initiative of the United Nations Former Secretary-General, the Forum provided an opportunity to find new ways to bridge the growing divide between nations and cultures worldwide, and to establish new partnerships to promote global understanding.
World Scouting was invited to participate in one of the working groups entitled 'Youth Approaches to Intercultural and Inter-religious Dialogue.'
Mr. Adrián Contursi-Reynoso, External Relations Representative from the Interamerica Region attended on behalf of the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM). The Working Group explored how young people can contribute to improving the learning processes of university students, and how to promote young people as intercultural 'bridge-builders'.
The President of the Government of Spain, Mr. José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero; the Prime Minister of Turkey, Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdogän, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Mr. Ban Ki Moon, and the United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilisations, Mr. Jorge Sampaio joined a full auditorium of more than 350 participants.
The Alliance of Civilisations is a response to the perceived necessity for the International Community to take actions towards overcoming the divisions created by mistrust and bad judgements that threaten peace and stability in the world.
Moreover, the event was an opportunity to announce several high profile initiatives, including important projects designed to promote understanding between cultures in the field of media and youth, and several agreements and alliances between governments and multilateral-organisations.
Picture: Adrián Contursi-Reynoso (left) participated in the Forum on behalf of WOSM.
© Alba Aguilar