Cornelia Pieper, Minister of State at the Federal Foreign Office, held talks today (20 May) with the High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations (AoC), Jorge Sampaio, the former President of Portugal. Their meeting focused on the preparations for the AoC’s Third Forum, which will take place from 28 to 30 May 2010 in Rio de Janeiro at the invitation of Brazil.
Minister of State Pieper underlined Germany’s willingness to continue its active participation in this international initiative aimed at fostering intercultural dialogue and understanding under UN auspices. High Representative Sampaio particularly thanked Ms Pieper for the Federal Foreign Office’s intention to invite all AoC National Focal Points to a meeting in Berlin this autumn, combined with a seminar on the role of the media in intercultural dialogue organized by Deutsche Welle. Both agreed that concrete projects and civil-society participation were needed to make further progress in the international dialogue between cultures and religions.
The AoC was created in 2005 at the initiative of the then UN Secretary-General, with Spain and Turkey as co-sponsors. The AoC’s Group of Friends now comprises 119 UN countries and international organizations. Germany has been a member of the Group since 2007; the AoC’s most recent new member is the USA, which joined in May 2010.