06 April 2009 --
As Ambassador of the Alliance of Civilizations (AoC), Serageldin is attending the Second Forum of the Alliance being held in Istanbul from 6 to 7 April. Several top-level political leaders will participate in this year’s event: Prime Minister of Turkey Recep Tayyip Erdoğan; Prime Minister of Spain José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero; UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon; and the UN Secretary General’s High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, President Jorge Sampaio. US President Barack Obama, who is currently on a state visit to Turkey, is also expected to participate in the Forum.
Serageldin will take part in the High Level Debate (Ministerial Session) of the Group of Friends Reinforcing our Commitment to the Alliance. He will also participate as a panelist in two sessions: Citizenship for the Information Society: Media Education and Civic Participation, and Contemporary Society and Religion.
This year’s forum is action-oriented and lays great emphasis on delivering concrete projects and practical outcomes. It presents a number of initiatives including a group of Euro‐Mediterranean projects aimed at restoring trust and rebuilding bridges in this region. It will showcase the results of the AoC Youth Solidarity Fund , - these are innovative youth‐led projects also aimed at building bridges across diverse cultures. The Forum will also feature a 'Marketplace of Ideas' to showcase the most innovative and successful
grassroots projects aimed at transcending cultural divides and building peace.
Serageldin played a critical role in the creation of the Alliance of Civilizations, as one of 18 members of a panel appointed by Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Anan to present a report analyzing the increase in cross-cultural polarization and to make a set of proposals to counter this trend. He was appointed in November of last year, by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, as Ambassador of the Alliance of Civilizations.
Established in 2005, at the initiative of the Governments of Spain and Turkey, under the auspices of the United Nations, the Alliance aims to improve understanding across cultures and religions and to counter the influence of extremism and its threat to world peace.