The fifth global forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilisations (UNAOC), founded to promote intercultural understanding and dialogue to bring civilisations closer, came to a close Thursday after two days of talks, at which world leaders restated their commitment to the Alliance’s ideals and pledged to build on the foundations it had laid to expand its work.
A UN summit designed to promote tolerance, plurality and global inclusiveness of civilisations has opened with dire warnings of the threat of religious and ethnic intolerance – at the same time as many states that have ostensibly signed up to the UN’s ideals continue to enforce laws and practices restricting religious freedom, and implicitly marginalising communities.
When Philippines President Benigno Aquino III delivered his annual state of the union address in July, he appealed to the country’s lawmakers to break a deadlock on progressive birth control laws in this predominantly Catholic nation.
The recent visit by Abd al-Halim Murad, head of the Bahraini Salafi al-Asalah movement, to Syria to meet with Syrian rebels is an attempt by him and other Gulf Salafis to hijack the Syrian revolution.
Measles outbreaks, which have killed at least 100 children in Pakistan’s militancy-hit border areas since May, have prompted calls by experts for better cooperation in territories adjacent to Afghanistan with international immunisation campaigns.
By ordering a ban on polio immunisation, in its strongholds along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border, the Taliban is holding up an ambitious global programme to rid the world of the crippling childhood disease, say World Health Organisation (WHO) doctors.