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Visit by the High Representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations
Ref.: 341/2011
20، Oct 2011

Sampaio-VisitAl-Haq is pleased to announce the visit of H.E. President Jorge Sampaio, High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), and Jorge Lobo de Mesquita, the Representative of Portugal to the Palestinian Authority, at Al-Haq’s headquarters in Ramallah.

These two distinguished guests met with Al-Haq’s Director, Shawan Jabarin, to discuss obstacles to cultural cooperation in the Occupied Palestinian Territory.

The meeting included an assessment of how Al-Haq can best utilise UNAOC’s new Dialogue Café global initiative, an example of which has just opened in Ramallah. The purpose built video-conferencing venues are intended to facilitate face-to-face conversations between diverse civil society groups from across the globe.

Mr. Sampaio, who was president of Portugal from 1996 to 2006, also invited Al-Haq to attend the fourth UN Alliance of Civilizations Forum, to be held in Doha, Qatar in December. The event will focus on realizing the potential of culture, cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue in development.

Shawan Jabarin, Director of Al-Haq, said that UNAOC had an important role to play, especially with a view to breaking down barriers that currently exist between peoples and societies in the Middle East.

“Human rights are universal, irrespective of ethnicity, religion and cultural origin. Violations of these rights and of international law have been taking place for too many years and at too fast a pace in the Occupied Palestinian Territory. Bodies such as the Alliance of Civilizations are important in fostering an environment of mutual respect where such violations and flagrant disregard for human rights are unacceptable to all sides.”

UNAOC was established in 2005, at the initiative of the governments of Spain and Turkey, with the aim of improving understanding and relations between nations and peoples and across cultures and religions.

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