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Cablegate: Alliance of Civilizations

VZCZCXYZ0000
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUCNDT #0456 1421901
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 211901Z MAY 08
FM USMISSION USUN NEW YORK
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4312
INFO RUEHAK/AMEMBASSY ANKARA 1597
RUEHMD/AMEMBASSY MADRID 6311
RUEHLI/AMEMBASSY LISBON 0578
RUEHLO/AMEMBASSY LONDON 1267
RUEHFR/AMEMBASSY PARIS 1161
RUEHRL/AMEMBASSY BERLIN 0941

UNCLAS USUN NEW YORK 000456

SIPDIS

IO/UNP FOR AREINEMEIER, EUR/WE FOR ESAMSON

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: UN PREL SP TU OIIP
SUBJECT: ALLIANCE OF CIVILIZATIONS

REF: STATE 042623

1. USUN RECEIVED THE FOLLOWING LETTER FROM JORGE SAMPAIO, UN HIGH
REPRESENTATIVE OF THE SECRETARY-GENERAL FOR THE ALLIANCE OF
CIVILIZATIONS, IN RESPONSE TO THE LETTER FROM EUR A/S VOLKER
(REFTEL).

BEGIN TEXT
Dear Assistant Secretary Volker
Thank you for your letter dated 22 April regarding Secretary Rice's
identification of the US Citizen Dialogue Program as a program that
furthers the goals of the Alliance of Civilizations.

Based on the description of the program in your letter it appears to
be very much in line with the objectives of the Alliance of
Civilizations to build bridges across diverse societies, engage
youth proactively, and foster intercultural understanding.
In practical terms, I believe there are a number of ways in which
the Alliance of Civilizations can engage with the Citizen Dialogue
Program in a manner that would help extend its outreach and impact
while also advancing the Alliance's goal of amplifying constructive
and moderate points of view. Indeed, it would seem that the American
Muslims who participate in the Citizen Dialogue program would be
likely candidates for integration into the Alliance's "Rapid
Response Media Mechanism" (RRMM), a project through which
constructive perspectives are disseminated via mass media in an
attempt to foster greater understanding and mutual respect.

Through the RRMM, civil society leaders, scholars, and activists
with special insight into cross-cultural relations are provided
public relations training so as to build their capacity to engage
the media effectively. They are then featured on an on-line resource
(www.globalexnertfinder.org) that is increasingly being used by mass
media outlets worldwide to invite commentary on matters of
cross-cultural understanding - particularly as pertains to relations
between Western and predominantly Muslim societies.
It would seem that a cooperative arrangement between the Alliance
and the Citizen Dialogue Program could extend the reach of the
participants in your program while advancing our efforts at the
Alliance to provide broader platforms for voices of moderation,
particularly during times of increased cross-cultural tension.

Since my appointment as High Representative of the Alliance last
year, the Alliance has shifted fully from a report-writing body to a
pragmatic action-oriented initiative, In this light, it is exactly
this kind of practical programmatic cooperation that I most welcome
from UN Member States. I therefore hope that we can advance the idea
in concrete terms in the coming months. To this end, I have directed
the Alliance of Civilizations Secretariat at UN Headquarters to make
contact with your office so as to arrange follow-up discussions. I
look forward to the results of these discussions and to a fruitful
cooperation with the Citizen Dialogue Program.


Yours Sincerely,
(signed)
Jorge Sampaio


cc: H.E. Miguel Angel Moratinos, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Spain

H.E. All Babacan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Turkey
END TEXT

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