Eliminating Adversity through Diversity 

The theme of the 7th Global Forum held in Baku, Azerbaijan was “Living together in inclusive societies: A challenge and a goal”, a cause I have always been passionate about and have propagated in all of my works and efforts throughout my career. Eventually, I come from a corner of the world which is traditionally a crossroad of ethnicities, cultures, and religions. 

The High Representative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser stressed at the Forum that the Alliance represents a “soft power tool established to contribute to a more peaceful world by countering radicalization and polarization, by encouraging greater intercultural understanding.”

I fully support the goals, missions and the objectives of the UNAOC in advocating social inclusivity and eliminating all forms of hatred. By bringing nations, traditions, cultures and most of all communities from all around the globe closer together, will reinstate the notion that we are all equal and deserving of the same unalienable human rights. 

In today’s world where intolerance, disrespect and extremism are highly on the rise and are closely linked to unresolved international conflicts, social and economic injustices, the United Nations must emerge as a pillar for stability while raising social consciousness. 

In this regard, I firmly believe that the UN together with the international community and the NGO’s  must work together to find sustainable solutions to conflicts in the Middle East, Africa, Europe and in other regions around the globe: noting that lasting peace can be achieved by promoting better intercultural and interfaith understanding. 

We must directly aim at eliminating all forms of marginalization, radicalization, racism, prejudice, hostility and gender discrimination which in turn produce violence that escalates into extremism. 

Through the adoption of the Baku Declaration by consensus, all Heads of State and Government made a commitment to condemn any form of religious hatred and disrespect, and to promote tolerance, dialogue, collaboration and peace. As the Declaration reinstates that the “world’s cultural diversity, as well as cultural heritage, is a wealth to be cherished and sustained by all as a factor of peace and development among all nations” let us not forget that only social inclusion can bring us closer to ourselves and each other. 

28 April 2016