UNAOC aims to improve understanding and cooperation among nations and peoples across culture and to reduce polarization at local and global levels. It helps develop more inclusive societies, in which diversity is experiences as an asset.
Guided by the principles of the UN Charter, the report of its High-Level Group, and the priorities of the Secretary-General, the UN Alliance of Civilizations works toward a more peaceful, more socially inclusive world, by building mutual respect among peoples of different cultural and religious identities, and highlighting the will of the world’s majority to reject extremism and embrace diversity. UNAOC will seek to operate in situations where is can contribute to broader efforts to ameliorate identity based crises and promote culturally sensitive development policies.
The High-level group described UNAOC as an entity that would assist in diminishing hostility and promoting harmony among the nations. The UN Secretary-General has described it as a soft power tool for bridging divides and promoting understanding between countries or identity groups, all with a view toward preventing conflict and promoting social cohesion. UNAOC pursues its objectives through a variety of activities:
- Contacts and dialogues with stakeholders (governmental, intergovernmental and non-governmental)
- Development of targeted projects
- Advocacy, including direct public statements or appearances by the High Representative or UNAOC staff
- Interventions to defuse religious and cultural tensions by mobilizing third parties that can act as forces of moderation and understanding such as religious leaders, grassroots organizations, youth leaders and women leaders.
Youth Solidarity Fund
The Youth Solidarity Fund (YSF) supports youth-led organizations that foster peaceful and inclusive societies by providing direct funding to outstanding projects promoting intercultural and interfaith dialogue. Established in 2008, the Fund responded to calls for action made by youth-led organizations around the world on the importance of establishing funding mechanisms for youth. Today, the Fund is more relevant than ever: As the global agenda increasingly speaks of youth’s participation and contribution to peace, development and security, it is critical to support this participation and contribution through funding and partnership opportunities.