Fighting Global Issues through Tolerance: Many Cultures, One Humanity
By Niyati Agrawal
“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success”
– Henry Ford
The world is a diverse place. The co-existence of these different cultures, religions and traditions for world peace is very vital. History has been witness to religious and cultural clashes leading to war. The Western and the Islamic societies have been at a constant tussle for the longest time. The situation doesn’t seem to improve as time passes. Extreme acts of violence and terror have been at the forefront. The United Nations Organisation, founded to maintain peace and security in the world, has passed the initiative of the Alliance of Civilisations.
The alliance was first proposed by the Prime Minister of Spain in 2005. It was seconded by the Turkish Prime Minister. The initiative promotes the cross cultural understanding between people and tolerance and respect for one another. It endorses the idea of collaboration rather than conflict. To help carry these ideologies forward, it has several projects arraying from the field of media to youth associations, education to migration and finally the yearly forums.
For the media, the alliance has set up a worldwide online resource platform called the Global Experts. A wide range of journalists, opinion leaders and experts are a part of this project. Instant analysis and help is provided on international issues.
It has also set up a Youth Solidarity Fund, where it provides grants up to US $ 30,000 to individuals and youth organisations for implementing projects that encourage intercultural and interfaith interactions amongst the youth.
An educational establishment has been set, which gives out information and learning about the different cultures, religions, beliefs, ethics and civic education. It has an online forum, journal and other teaching resources.
The Migration and Integration Programme enhances the cooperative relation between migrants and host countries. It does this via an online portal which serves as a virtual space for exchanging knowledge and information.
While most of the projects this alliance carries out are online, it also has annual international forums where public leaders, experts and delegations from different countries come together to formulate new partnerships and strengthen global understanding. The alliance in addition to everything else hosts the Intercultural Innovation Award which is given out to projects that endorse social stability and economic growth in multi cultural societies.
It has been proven time and again the unity prevails. Irrespective of who we are, if the layman decides to untie, the military and the political power will not be able to enforce war. While the Alliance of Civilizations is the UN’s step towards friendly co-existence, individuals will have to take the initiative and help the alliance to move further. Eventually down the line, Syria, Mali, Israel-Palestine and India- Pakistan will just remain chapters in history books and deficits in the budget.