World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search


Bridging the Gap Between Islamic, Western World

Annan Announces New Initiative To Bridge Gap Between Islamic, Western Worlds

New York, Jul 14 2005

Amid concerns that extremists are exploiting the sense of a widening gap between Islamic and Western societies, United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan today announced the launch of a new initiative, co-sponsored by Spain and Turkey, which aims to overcome hostile perceptions that sow discord and foment violence.

The initiative, called “Alliance of Civilizations,” is intended “to respond to the need for a committed effort by the international community – both at the institutional and civil society levels – to bridge divides and overcome prejudice, misconceptions, misperceptions, and polarization which potentially threaten world peace,” Mr. Annan’s spokesman said in a statement at UN Headquarters in New York.

The call for the alliance was initiated by Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero and co-sponsored by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Mr. Annan called on the international community to contribute to a trust fund to support the Alliance.

“The Alliance will aim to address emerging threats emanating from hostile perceptions that foment violence, and to bring about cooperation among various efforts to heal such divisions,” the statement said.

“Events of recent years have heightened the sense of a widening gap and lack of mutual understanding between Islamic and Western societies – an environment that has been exploited and exacerbated by extremists in all societies,” it added.

“The Alliance of Civilizations is intended as a coalition against such forces, as a movement to advance mutual respect for religious beliefs and traditions, and as a reaffirmation of humankind's increasing interdependence in all areas – from the environment to health, from economic and social development to peace and security.”

In answer to questions at the daily noon briefing spokesman Stéphane Dujarric said the initiative was not “linked in the calendar” to last week’s terrorist attacks in London that killed more than 50 people and injured 700 or to other attacks, adding that the two prime ministers had been working on it for some time.

“But I think any initiative that can help bridge understanding between civilizations and especially between the Western world and the Islamic world is very much a welcome one,” he declared.

The statement said the Spanish and Turkish Governments would continue, as co-sponsors, to provide support and several other Governments and organizations had expressed interest in joining them.

“The Secretary-General hopes that more will do so,” it added. “The co-sponsors have already pledged substantial initial contributions to a Trust Fund set up to finance the initiative, and the Secretary-General will be inviting other Governments and entities to contribute.”

Mr. Annan is bringing together a high-level group of eminent persons to guide the initiative. The group is expected to present a report with recommendations and a practical plan of action in late 2006.


© Scoop Media

World Headlines


Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>


Other Australian Detention

Gordon Campbell: On The Censorship Havoc In South Africa’s State Broadcaster

Demands have included an order to staff that there should be no further negative news about the country’s President Jacob Zuma, and SABC camera operators responsible for choosing camera angles that have allegedly made the President ‘look shorter’ were to be retrained... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On A Bad Week For Malcolm Turnbull, And The Queen

Malcolm Turnbull’s immediate goal – mere survival – is still within his grasp... In every other respect though, this election has been a total disaster for the Liberals. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Bidding Bye Bye To Boris

Boris Johnson’s exit from the contest for Conservative Party leadership supports the conspiracy theory that he never really expected the “Leave” option to win the referendum – and he has no intention now of picking up the poisoned chalice that managing the outcome will entail... More>>


Mexico: Violence And Repression Of Teachers

The member organizations of Network for Peace express our indignation over the acts of repression that the Mexican State has carried out, through the police forces... In Chiapas, Guerrero and Oaxaca, the conflict has resulted in murders of teachers and civilians as well as hundreds of wounded and dozens of people arrested. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On Britain's Pleas For Mercy

So… Boris Johnson is promising that he won't be holding a snap general election, if he's chosen as the next UK Conservative Party leader. Reportedly, he is even making that promise a feature of his leadership campaign, since a vote for Boris would therefore mean (wink wink) that his colleagues wouldn't have to risk their jobs and face the wrath of the British public until 2020. More>>


Get More From Scoop

Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news