On Tuesday, United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres called on the countries of the world to “financially support the implementation of the Alliance of Civilizations initiative.”
This came in a speech delivered by Guterres at a round table within the activities of the ninth global conference of the United Nations Organization for the Alliance of Civilizations in the Moroccan city of Fez.
Guterres said: “The Alliance of Civilizations needs funds and alliances are not expensive, so I call on all members to be generous and give again, because we need funds before ever.”
He added, “The Alliance of Civilizations was born at the hands of Turkey and Spain, and today it has become totalitarian and cosmopolitan and needs funds, and it has done extraordinary things in terms of fellowships and a solidarity fund with young people, so today we need funding.”
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Guterres expressed his happiness for the Moroccan city of Fez hosting the conference, and said: “Fez brings together the three religions. It is the Fez of the scholar Ibn Khaldun (referring to the fact that he lived a period of his life in Fez), and he can be considered the founder of sociology.”
He explained that “Fez deserves to be at the heart of civilizations and in all our future commitments.”
For his part, former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Zapatero said: “We must end the conflict between the Palestinians and the Israelis, which causes other conflicts, and Palestine has the right to have a state.”
Luis Zapatero added in his speech at the event of the conference: “We must invite the international powers to think about the peoples who aspire to live in peace, and I direct this word to the United States and the major countries in Europe.”
He continued, “Efforts for peace must be intensified, and only the United Nations body is capable of doing so. I congratulate Turkey on its efforts, and other countries must join it.”
In this context, the participants in the forum emphasized their political commitment to the five pillars of the work of the Alliance of Civilizations, which are related to youth, education, migration, media and women.
The Fez Declaration, issued today on the sidelines of the forum, highlighted the important role of the United Nations Alliance Forum for the Dialogue of Civilizations as a platform for dialogue between cultures and religions, and a space to encourage cooperation, solidarity and human fraternity.
The forum will be held for the first time in an African country, in the presence of the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, and the participation of Turkey and 49 other countries at the ministerial level, and it will conclude its work on Wednesday.
According to the organizers, the forum witnessed the registration of more than 1,000 activists from all over the world working for understanding and respect for different cultures and civilizations, in addition to 96 delegations from all countries.
The forum was announced on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly.