"Towards an Alliance of Civilizations: Bridging Cultures to achieve Peace and Development"
Background and Rationale for the Conference Theme
In response to the continuous and growing number of incidents and conflicts reflecting the clash of cultures around the world, the theme of the 2010 Global Model United Nations conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia will be: “Towards an Alliance of Civilizations: Bridging Cultures to Achieve Peace and Development.” Delegations representing UN Member States, together with a wide range of stakeholders, will discuss how best to incorporate intercultural dialogue into government policies and strategies for addressing the many peace and development issues that countries around the world are facing today.
The increasing diversity of our societies – be it ethnic, linguistic, religious or cultural – is indeed generating anxiety among populations, driving communities apart and putting peace, development and democracy under mounting pressure. At the same time, profound changes in all parts of the world are occurring as a result of economic and financial globalization. While the global market economy has generated new wealth for some, not all have benefited equally and these inequalities intensify conflicts between communities.
New technology and new media are connecting people around the world in ways we could not imagine just a decade ago. The ongoing development of information and communication technologies is raising our awareness that we are all part of a global community. At the same time, they make it easier to learn about the social and economic disparities that are widening within and between countries. These disparities require adequate and urgent responses in order to prevent a rise in tensions and conflicts among cultures, communities, and faith groups. The increase of cultural tensions represents a serious threat for peace and stability, and can profoundly harm development.
People are often unprepared to cope with changes that are now occurring in an increasingly complex and interdependent world. The global development agenda cannot be achieved by narrowly focusing on economic and social indicators or factoring in the impact of climate change. The true potential for economic and social development cannot be achieved without the peaceful coexistence of cultures. Good governance, therefore, involves respecting diversity and finding ways to incorporate intercultural dialogue into the governmental policies and strategies that aim to play a role in achieving peace and development.
Having received the mandate of maintaining international peace and security and developing friendly relations among nations, the United Nations must address these important issues and facilitate the discussion between Member States and civil society on how to incorporate intercultural dialogue across the General Assembly’s agenda. The Global Model UN Summit will aim to deliver a road map developed by youth that will move us closer towards a peaceful Alliance of Civilizations.