Qatar has donated $1m to the trust fund of the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC), the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of State for Cabinet Affairs H E Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid Al Mahmoud announced yesterday.
Addressing a ministerial meeting of UNAOC friends on the sidelines of the Alliance of Civilisations Sixth Global Forum in the Indonesian island of Bali, he said the donation aims to increase the fund to help in the expansion of UNAOC activities. He said Qatar had donated $1m when the fund was set up in 2006 and $1m in 2011 before donating $1.5m to the office of UNAOC high commissioner to meet its needs.
He highlighted contributions of friends of the alliance, particularly sponsors Spain and Turkey as well as Qatar, Brazil and Austria which previously hosted the forum. Al Mahmoud said Qatar established Doha International Centre for Interfaith Dialogue in 2008 to promote peaceful coexistence between cultures and created the Qatar Committee for Alliance of Civilisations to highlight contributions of Arab and Islamic civilisation to other civilisations. It also hosted the fourth edition of the forum in 2011.
He said diversity is a universal norm and an effective means of promoting unity, which requires dialogue and exchange of ideas. “We believe in the necessity of respecting cultural diversity in all societies and civilisations.” He said Qatar takes pride in being a country that loves friendship, coexistence and peace as it hosts people from different countries, cultures, beliefs and religions, adding that Qatar considers this diversity a source of richness as it adds to humanity through positive and voluntary participation and working and living together in peace and dignity.
Al Mahmoud said the belief in diversity is deeply rooted in the Islamic civilisation, which lived side by side with existing civilizations through dialogue and exchange of ideas and commodities. UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations Nasser bin Abdulaziz Al Nasr, foreign ministers, heads of delegations and diplomatic missions accredited to Indonesia, Qatari Ambassador Mohammed Khater Ibrahim Al Khater and Al Mahmoud’s delegation were also present.