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unaocThe creation of the Alliance of Civilizations was proposed at the 59th General Assembly of the United Nations in 2004 by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, then President of the Government of Spain. The initiative was co-sponsored by the Prime Minister of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

Although originally conceived as a tool to deepen the ties between the West and the Muslim World, especially in the Mediterranean region, the Alliance of Civilizations acquired a global scope since it was embraced by the United Nations in 2005: its members are part of the G-77, the Non-Aligned Movement, the European Union, the League of Arab States and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation, all fora for dialogue of great importance to Brazil.

Interest in the Alliance of Civilizations comes naturally to Brazil, a multicultural and multiracial nation where diversity is an important part of its identity.

The objectives of the initiative are broadly convergent with Brazilian foreign policy, especially with regard to the promotion of peace and the overcoming of prejudice. Since 2006, Brazil is part of the ‘Group of Friends of the Alliance of Civilizations', currently composed of more than 135 countries and international organizations.

Brazil has participated in all editions of the Global Forum of the Alliance of Civilizations: Madrid (2008), Istanbul (2009), Rio de Janeiro (2010), Doha (2011), and Vienna (2013). The Forum hosted by Brazil was the first held outside Europe, a truly global initiative that brought together a greater number of African and Latin American countries, which have much to contribute to the dialogue between cultures.

During the 1st Forum (Madrid, 2008), States were recommended to consider drawing national action plans which included the planning of activities and the consolidation of experiences related to the priority areas for the initiative (education, migration, youth and media). Brazil presented its National Plan on the priority areas of the Alliance of Civilizations at the 2nd Forum, in April 2009.

At the opening of the General Debate of the 67th UN General Assembly, President Dilma Rousseff mentioned the initiative: ‘as the President of a country where thousands of Brazilian Muslims live, I express here today our most vehement repudiation to the escalation of Islamophobic prejudice in Western countries. Brazil is one of the protagonists of the generous initiative of the Alliance of Civilizations'.

 

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