The second Forum of the UN Alliance of Civilizations will be held on 6-7 April 2009 in Istanbul, Turkey.
The UNAOC is the most important international initiative aimed at advancing intercultural understanding. In this respect, the Forum, carrying the purpose of forging partnerships in order to build substantive interaction between diverse communities and to strengthen trust and reconciliation across cultures, will convene a powerful network of global leaders, heads of international organizations, corporations, the media, civil society and youth groups.
The UNAOC Forum seeks to address some of the ongoing tensions and divides across cultures and religions, and to examine some of the broader challenges of good governance of cultural diversity in an age of rapidly accelerating globalization. The conference will be hosted by the government of Turkey, and follows the success of the inaugural Alliance Forum which was held in Madrid, Spain, in January 2008. This year's event will feature the participation of His Excellency Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Prime Minister of Turkey, His Excellency José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, President of the Government of Spain, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary General's High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, President Jorge Sampaio, and other high-ranking political leaders.
Like the UNAOC itself, the Forum will be firmly action-oriented, with an emphasis on delivering concrete projects and practical outcomes. In addition to high-level plenary debates, the event shall feature:
- An international platform for participants to develop joint initiatives and launch new programs.
- A range of project-specific working sessions, which will provide an interactive, inclusive convening space for policy-makers, international organizations and civil society groups to share lessons on best practices and develop joint work platforms.
- A unique 'Marketplace of Ideas' that will showcase some of the most innovative and successful grassroots projects with the purpose of transcending cultural divides and building peace.