First Pre Forum of Civil Society of the Alliance of Civilizations, Doha, Qatar, May 3-4, 2011

The Doha Pre Forum was the first ever Forum of the UNAOC dedicated to Civil Society. It put into a new light the convergence of intercultural, governance and development issues, with a special focus on the Arab World.

The Doha Pre Forum brought together more than 170 civil society leaders, representing regional and national networks. It was the first major event in the run-up to the December, 2011 Fourth Annual Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations (AoC), a major initiative affiliated with the United Nations.

The Alliance of Civilizations seeks in factto replace misunderstanding and fear with the confidence that stems from knowledge of each other: “How can we live together in a spirit of respect and cooperation while the increasing diversity of our societies can generate anxiety, divisions and pressure on fragile democracies? That is the question we must deal with at the Alliance of Civilizations and to which we must continue to respond”, said HE Dr Jorge Sampaio, United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations.

In 2011, the AoC is entering a new phase in its development. Under the impulsion of HH Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser, the 4th Annual AOC  Forum  in Qatar’s capital city Doha embodied this new phase. Building on the Millennium Development Goals, HH Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser proposed a more pragmatic and focused linkage between the program of the Alliance of Civilizations and the scope of the Millennium Development Goals.

With the first ever organized consultations session with Civil Society organizations, the Doha Pre-Forum of Civil Society addressed cultural diversity, intercultural dialogue and human rights as fundamental conditions to promote sustainable development strategies.

About the UNAOC:

The UN Alliance of Civilizations was established in 2005 as an initiative of the UN Secretary General, under the cosponsorship of the President of the Government of Spain and the Prime Minister of Turkey. It emerged out of a

conviction that, in order to achieve sustainable peace, long-standing divisions and misperceptions between cultures need to be addressed.

In April 2007, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Jorge Sampaio, former President of Portugal, as High Representative for the Alliance. Under his leadership, the Alliance promotes dialogue that delivers change on the ground. It is supported by a growing Group of Friends of 128 governments and international organizations. The UNAOC is also involving many other partners.