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Fifth Focal Point Meeting of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations

21.10.2010

How can a “clash of civilizations” be averted? How can stereotyped perceptions be countered? How can state and non-state players foster understanding among cultures?

Senior diplomats from around the world will be grappling with these and other issues at the Federal Foreign Office from 25 to 27 October 2010. For the very first time, Germany has invited the national Focal Points of the Alliance of Civilizations to Berlin with a view to actively promoting the dialogue among civilizations.

The Alliance of Civilizations (AoC) was formed in 2005 on the initiative of Spain and Turkey. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is the institution’s patron. Above all, it is committed to tackling the growing mutual lack of understanding among various cultures, especially between the West and the Islamic world. A network of Focal Points and civil-society actors are paving the way for a fruitful exchange.

The project work supported by the AoC focuses on youth, education, the media and migration. In line with this focus and ahead of the AoC Conference, the Federal Foreign Office and the Deutsche Welle web portal www.qantara.de are holding an international conference, which will be open to experts, entitled “Troublemaker or Facilitator? The Role of Media in Intercultural Dialogue”, on 25 and 26 October 2010.

The international AoC Focal Points are meeting for the fifth time to discuss the practical implementation of their goals. The working sessions on 26 October will be opened by the High Representative for the AoC, former Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio and Ambassador Heinrich Kreft, German Focal Point and Special Representative for Dialogue among Civilizations.

Minister of State Cornelia Pieper will take part in the final event on 27 October.

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