The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations will convene its third annual Forum in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, from May 27-29, 2010, under the theme “Bridging Cultures, Building Peace”. Over 2,000 participants, including political and corporate leaders, civil society activists, youth groups, faith communities, research centers, foundations and journalists, will come together to agree on joint actions to improve relations across cultures, combat prejudice and build lasting peace.
Among the attendees to the forum are President Lula da Silva of Brazil, Prime Minister Zapatero of Spain, Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and President Sampaio, High Representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations. This year’s forum will take place in Rio de Janeiro, a diverse city built on years of cultural exchanges, which will provide the perfect backdrop for efforts to address the complex challenges diverse societies face today.
More than ever, our world is shaped by intense interaction among diverse cultural, religious and linguistic communities. This growing diversity is a source of enrichment and opportunity, but can also lead to tensions, misunderstanding and hostility. Building peaceful relations among diverse cultures has become one of the most important and challenging tasks faced by modern societies. Questions discussed over the course of the three-day forum include:
• What kind of actions do we need to combat intolerance and prejudice?
• What tools do children and young people need to navigate an increasingly complex and multicultural world?
• What is the impact of globalization on people’s sense of belonging and identity?
• How do economic inequalities impact on relations among diverse communities?
• How can the media help bridge cross-cultural divides and change perceptions of the other?
• How can we create inclusive societies, founded on the respect for human rights and diversity?
The Rio Forum will be an inclusive platform, bringing together the knowledge, experience and energy of a wide range of partners, all committed to rethink the way in which we deal with tensions across cultures and to agree on concrete, practical initiatives to promote trust and understanding.
A Forum for innovation: the event will showcase some of the most cutting-edge initiatives using imagination and creativity to build cooperation among cultures. As a global meeting place, the Forum will create new opportunities for some of the world’s most dynamic civil society entrepreneurs and grassroots projects, raising their profiles with decision-makers and opinion leaders.
A Forum for partnerships: the forum will create a global interface connecting youth activists with business leaders; heads of foundations with grassroots bodies; human rights advocates with policy-makers; political leaders with civil society; heads of religious communities with academics, journalists and editors. Together, they will develop new thinking and agree on collaborative ventures.
A Forum for ideas: participants will tackle issues such as: the challenge of promoting integration in multicultural societies, the empowerment of women through education, the role of religious leaders in promoting peace and development, the impact of media on perceptions of other cultures.
A Forum for action: through roundtables, workshops and debates, participants will put their minds together to agree on joint actions and make pledges. National Plans and Regional Strategies will be showcased, linking innovative projects across regions and shaping new policies to involve all communities in pursuit of the common good.
Contact : Stephanie Durand at
; +1 212.457.1851