Speaking at the joint press conference, Miguel Angel Moratinos, Senior Representative of UNAOCand Nasser Bourita, the Moroccan Minister of Foreign Affairs, African Cooperation and Expatriates, spoke about Forum and its results. They also praised the high-level, mass participation that enriched the dialogue that took place during the two-day conference.
‘The people yearn for peace’
“In a very complicated geopolitical context, we spoke here at Fez about peace, understanding, mutual respect, commitment to coexistence,” Moratinos told journalists, adding: “This is it. is what people need… They are yearning for peace. And I think that’s something we need to keep in mind.”
The High Representative noted the resulting text of the Forum, known as the Fez Declaration, calling it “a road map for the international community, including the Union of Civilizations,” and pointed to the example of Ma- Rock should be an inspiration for everyone.
“The Moroccan model has yielded concrete results about the pressing needs of mutual respect, fraternity, peace and understanding,” he explains.
in him opening speech at the Forum on Tuesday, the head of the United Nations António Guterres praised Fez “with its long and rich history, [as] the perfect place to meet and reflect on the state of our world.”
It’s time to affirm tolerance, dialogue and understanding
Noting that “the presence of United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres gave this meeting a special character”, Nasser Bourita praised the success of the Fez meeting in terms of the number of participants as well as the nature of the meeting. of dialogues and discussions, pointing out that “the meeting comes at a time when the world needs to affirm the value of dialogue, understanding and tolerance.”
“Today’s international situation demands that we listen to the language of reason, the language of the mind, and affirm that the values of dialogue are fundamental, and that despite differences in interests and differences in religion and race, this humanity has a lot in common,” he asserted.
Reinforcing Mr. Moratinos’ comments, the Foreign Minister further explained what Morocco stands for and what the city of Fez stands for, stating: “What has been successful in Morocco has can be successful in the world. What Morocco can do at the national level in terms of harmony and coexistence over the centuries, can be an inspiration for other regions.”
‘We need to build on the Fez Declaration’
Interviewed by UN News, Mr. Antonio Vitorino, Director-General of the United Nations International Organization for Migration (International Organization for Migration)IOM), said his agency is present around the world, in 80 countries, “but we certainly have very important operations on the African continent to protect and support migrants. ”
He explained that 80% of African migrants leave one African country for another African country. “That shows the importance of IOM action across the African continent. And we hope that this first meeting of the Union of Civilizations here in Africa is a pivotal moment in reaffirming our commitment to the protection of migrants.”
When asked how he thought the Fez Declaration was adopted, Mr. Vitorino said, “Declarations are always important – politically. But that’s not enough. We need to build on the Declaration. And we are committed.”
“Every day, everywhere, with those who need us, IOM aims to translate the essence of the Declaration into concrete actions, to protect migrants, to support safe, affordable migration. orderly and lawfully, while fighting human trafficking, an attack against the basic rights of migrants.”
Dialogue between generations
In other activities on Wednesday, about 100 young participants from different countries gathered at Euromed University of Fez to talk about the “future they want”. They emphasize the importance of intergenerational dialogue and the benefits the younger generation can bring to combat hate speech.
Ali Mahmoud from Lebanon, one of the Youth event participants told UN News that he and his partners in an association called ‘Adiyan’ are working on a program to push back against hate speech and its impact on Lebanese society, whether psychologically or physically. , through seminars and campaigns aimed at everyone in the country.
Overall, the Fez Forum was well attended by about 42 participants at ministerial level, 90 heads of regional organizations and 12 heads of state or government, a high point for meetings of Union, as the Moroccan Foreign Minister stated.
Since its inception, UNAOC has become the United Nations’ premier forum for intercultural dialogue, understanding and cooperation. It has connected governments, legislators, local authorities, civil society organisations, the media and individuals dedicated to promoting understanding among diverse communities.