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The Kingdom of Morocco will host the 9th UNAOC Global Forum in Fez

On 22 and 23 November, the ninth Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations will be held in the city of Fez, chosen for its ancestral character and symbolism
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PHOTO/TWITTER/MAROC DIPLOMATIE/@MarocDiplomatie  -   Miguel Ángel Moratinos and Nasser Bourita

Morocco was chosen to host the 9th UNAOC Global Forum following a bilateral meeting at the Permanent Mission of Morocco in New York, on the sidelines of the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly, between Nasser Bourita, Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Moroccans Residing Abroad, and the Deputy Secretary-General of the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC), Miguel Ángel Moratinos. 

Established in 2019, the UNAOC is a global platform for intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation. It aims to reduce intercultural tensions and build bridges of compassion, understanding and tolerance between communities and nations. It also seeks to promote a culture of peace and fraternity. 

Moratinos expressed his appreciation and thanks to King Mohammed VI for hosting this international event. He also revealed that the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, will participate in the forum. Moratinos stressed the need to seek paths that lead to peace, as well as the importance of saving the planet, the need to learn to live together and to understand different religions and cultures, alluding to Morocco as one of the countries that perfectly embodies these attitudes. 

Although the Forum will take place in a challenging global context marked by challenges ranging from the rise of terrorism, xenophobia, hate speech, racism, discrimination and radicalisation among others, the UANOC High Representative affirmed that the holding of the ninth UNAOC Global Forum under the aegis of King Mohammed VI and the joint efforts of the United Nations and the Kingdom of Morocco will ensure success. 

Countries such as Saudi Arabia have provided $1 million to the UNAOC to support its work plan, activities and programmes. Mohammed al-Wasel, permanent representative of the Kingdom to the United Nations handed over the financial support to the UN High Representative. He affirmed the Kingdom of Morocco's appreciation for the important role and performance in spreading the culture of peace, tolerance and strengthening diplomacy.

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the progress of the Sustainable Development Goals. The UNAOC points out that empathy, compassion, respect for diversity and the ability to recognise or challenge discrimination are key skills for young people to acquire. To this end, they carry out a series of programmes such as the scholarship programme where they encourage cooperation between young people to exchange good practices and the Youth Solidarity Fund that supports youth-led organisations that promote peaceful and inclusive societies.  

The choice of the city of Fez is no coincidence, as Minister Nasser Bourita said. He commented that tackling many of these issues has a special focus on the African continent, as it has not yet achieved its rightful place in terms of collective action and global mobilisation. 

It has therefore never been more urgent to find paths to peace, unity and solidarity rooted in mutual respect, human dignity and compassion, the UNAOC statement said.