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Al-Nasser of Qatar Named High Representative for Alliance of Civilizations

UNITED NATIONS, Sep 28 2012 (IPS) - U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last week  designated Nassir Abdulaziz al-Nasser, President of the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly, as High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, replacing Jorge Sampaio.

During his tenure as President of the General Assembly,  Al-Nasser exerted efforts to mainstream the importance of the Alliance of Civilizations as a tool for building peace and stability across all nations, Ban said.  As High Representative, he will provide the vision and leadership required to strengthen the work of the Alliance and enhance dialogue with stakeholders to exert their influence in progressing the objectives of the Alliance.

Ban also expressed his gratitude to Sampaio, former President of Portugal, for his commitment to advancing understanding across cultures, religions, and communities.  He said he was  particularly appreciative of  Sampaio’s visionary stewardship of the Alliance over five years since its early days.

For the past 13 years, from 1998 to 2011,  Al-Nasser served as Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Qatar to the United Nations.  He represented his country on the U.N.  Security Council during the two-year term of Qatar as a non-permanent member (2006 to 2007).  He also presided over three of the subsidiary bodies of the Council, according to a statement released here.

During his term as Ambassador to the United Nations,  Al-Nasser also served as a Vice-President of the fifty-seventh session of the  General Assembly (2002 to 2003).  At the same time, he served as non-resident Ambassador to a number of countries in the Americas, including Argentina, Belize, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Cuba, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay and Uruguay.

Earlier,  Al-Nasser was appointed as his country’s resident Ambassador to Jordan (1993 to 1998), before which he was first posted to the Permanent Mission of Qatar to the United Nations, New York, as Minister Plenipotentiary (1986 to 1993).

The recipient of numerous decorations and awards,  Al-Nasser was made an honorary fellow of the Foreign Policy Association in New York in 2009.  He also holds three honorary doctorates:  in international affairs from the Government of China through Chongqing University; from the Institute of Oriental Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences in recognition of his efforts to foster cross-cultural understanding and strengthen the work of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations initiative; and an Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Fordham University in the United States.

A wide range of countries have conferred on him their national awards, including the Medal of Independence of the Government of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; Grand Officer, Order of Merit (Italy); Medal of Grand Commander of the Order of Makarios III (Cyprus); National Order of Doctor José Matias Delgado (El Salvador); and Commander of the National Order of the Republic (Côte d’Ivoire).

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