The Alliance of Civilizations Initiative

The Alliance of Civilizations (AoC) was launched in 2005 by the then Prime Minister H.E. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Republic of Turkey, and by H.E. José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, former Prime Minister of Spain. The AoC became a UN initiative upon its endorsement by the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

Unfortunately, various extremist elements exploit the mutual suspicion, fear and polarization between the Muslim countries and Western societies. The Alliance aims to overcome this tendency by enhancing mutual respect between cultures bearing in mind that only a comprehensive coalition can prevent the deterioration of this situation, which threatens international peace and stability. The Initiative is based on the idea that all societies are interdependent on the matters of development, security, environment and welfare. It aims at establishing a common political will in order to overcome prejudice, misperception and polarization.

The Initiative’s visibility has steadily increased and it has become a prominent project within the context of dialogue among cultures today.

The Group of Friends of the Alliance of Civilization established under the umbrella of the UN, today consists of 146 members, including Member States and international organizations.

In order to ensure coordination and carry out the administrative work of the Alliance, a Secretariat was established in New York within the United Nations. The Secretariat promotes the Alliance in international platforms and carries out concrete projects in the fields of media, youth, migration and education.

Jorge Sampaio, former President of Portugal, was designated by the UN Secretary-General as the first High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations on 26 April 2007. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser of Qatar has assumed this post since January 2013.

UN General Assembly Resolution
The first resolution on the AoC co-sponsored by 96 countries was adopted by the UN General Assembly on 10 November 2009. The adoption of this first resolution indicated the international community’s appreciation of the work of the AoC and its support for its projects. The second resolution was adopted on 6 July 2015, which was co-sponsored by 101 UN members under the agenda item “Culture of Peace”. This resolution strengthened the visibility and efficiency of the Alliance within the UN system.

Annual Forums of the Alliance of Civilizations

Annual Forums of the AOC represent the political will of the members ensuring the highest level of participation. So far, Madrid Forum (2008), İstanbul Forum (2009), Rio Forum (2010), Doha Forum (2011), Vienna Forum (2013), Bali Forum (2014) and Baku Forum (2016) were organized bringing the representatives of the governments, international organizations, civil society and private sector.

Moreover, in order to maintain the financial sustainability of the Alliance, a financial support mechanism was introduced and its commitment meeting was held under the title of “ Istanbul Partners Forum” in Istanbul on 31 May-1 June 2012.

Istanbul Partners Forum was attended by Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, then President of the 66th session of the UN General Assembly, and former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon as well as representatives of 70 countries and 20 international organizations from among the members of the Group of Friends of AoC.

The amount of financial commitments made by the participants of the Forum reinforced the reputation and importance of the Alliance in the international arena, confirming Turkey’s leading role in the field of dialogue, harmony and cooperation between nations, cultures and civilizations.