Creating Unity in Diversity at the UNAOC Doha Forum
Maya Shahani, Chairperson of Shahani Trust, participated at the UNAOC Forum in Doha on 11th December 2011, in her capacity as Vice Chairperson of Global Dialogue Foundation. Over 2,500 political and corporate leaders, civil society activists, youth groups, faith communities, research centres, foundations, journalists, ministers, and heads of state came together to agree on joint actions to improve relations across cultures, combat prejudice and build lasting peace.
Hosted by the ruling Emir of the State of Qatar, the Forum had among its attendees the High-Level Group member from Qatar H. H. Sheikha Mozah, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, and High Representative for the UN Alliance of Civilizations President Jorge Sampaio.
The UNAOC’s Forum in Doha was a milestone in the UNAOC’s existence. Under the theme ‘Intercultural Dialogue to Boost Development’, high-level debates on how advancing towards the goals of the UNAOC can contribute to foster sustainable development and achievement of the MDGs, were conducted. The Alliance works in four program areas to support its projects. These areas are: youth, media, education, and migration.
Over 400 youth and 300 civil society organization representatives participated in the Forum. Through roundtables, workshops and debates, participants put their minds together to agree on joint actions and make pledges. The program featured project-specific working sessions, interactive discussions and debates, as well as provided a convening space for civil society organizations to present their exciting initiatives. One of the major outcomes of the forum was to increase and rely on youth participation for decision making.
Ms Shahani shared the stage with Mr. Gordon Brown, Former Prime Minister of UK, Beşir Atalay, Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, HRH Prince El Hassan Bin Talal, Rabbi Arthur Schneier, UNAOC Ambassador, USA amongst others. In her capacity as the Vice Chairperson of Global Dialogue Foundation, Ms Shahani spoke about ‘Trust and Tolerance to Advance Development Goals’.
Shahani Trust has been identified by Global Dialogue Foundation in collaboration with the UNAOC as their officiating partner in India.
Shahani Trust has worked across sectors with range of partners. Here are some highlights.