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Statement by Mr. Gert Auväärt, Deputy Permanent Representative of Estonia during the UNAOC Global Forum, 20 November 2018

20.11.2018

Secretary General, High Representative, Ministers, Excellences, Ladies and Gentlemen,

The mission of United Nations Alliance of Civilizations is to strive towards a more peaceful and more socially inclusive world. It remains as relevant today as it was in 2005, when H.E. Mr Kofi Annan together with interested states created this Alliance.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The work of the Alliance cannot be underestimated in any of the four pillars – Youth, Education, Media and Migration. Moreover, the Alliance has successfully linked these priorities by engaging with youth and young civil society leaders from different cultures through the fields of education, media and information.

We would like to thank the High Representative for the UN AoC for the presentation of the report on the implementation of the 2013-2018 Strategic Plan.

As a small state, we support effective use of resources and avoiding duplication, therefore we were glad to learn that the AoC has been actively strengthening cooperation with various UN departments and entities.

The importance of the Alliance of Civilization lies in its practical cooperation projects. In this regard, the work of AoC concerning youth-led and youth-focused organizations and for implementing projects promoting intercultural and interfaith dialogue, is highly appreciated.  Providing education that would prevent radicalization of youth, facilitating intercultural dialogue and thereby preventing future conflicts is of utmost importance.
As Estonia highly values the cooperation with civil society, we would like to commend the work of AoC already carried out and encourage further cooperation with civil society in the coming years.

Thematically, we pay special attention to digital diplomacy and through the Digital Defenders Partnership of the Freedom Online Coalition, we support journalists, bloggers and human rights defenders in order to contribute to the development of free media, civil society and support the people all over the world. Thereby we would also like to highlight the initiatives on media and ICT in the framework of AoC.  For instance, the new PEACEApp, which featured workshops targeting young refugees and youth from different cultural and religious background should be further developed and promoted.

We are looking into possible fields of engagement, in particular on how to advance the youth engagement and participation in the decision-making processes. In this regard, we would welcome even more feedback on the projects carried out by the AoC. By initiating new projects, we would welcome timely and more effective distribution of relevant project information in order to promote the projects of AoC also internally and to find additional ways for cooperation.

To conclude, I’m glad that many important topics such as Digital Diplomacy, Online Citizen Engagement and Social Media; strengthening the Leadership, Inclusion and Visibility of Women in Sustaining Peace Processes as well as partnerships with civil society, are being discussed at Global Forum.

I can assure that Estonia will continue to support the ambitions of the AoC through its 4 pillars and remains committed to our common efforts in uniting cultures and nations in peace and security.   

Thank you for your attention

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