New York, October 24, 2011—High Representative of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) Jorge Sampaio reaffirmed UNAOC’s commitment to OneVoice during a meeting at the movement’s local branch in Ramallah on Thursday.
Sampaio, former president of the Portuguese Republic, spoke about the importance for UNAOC to maintain its partnership with OneVoice as it works to bridge global divides. He also endorsed OneVoice’s grassroots activism, while encouraging the movement’s youth activist to take part in UNAOC’s Dialogue Cafes and upcoming Doha Forum.
“Watching your presentation, I was thinking of what kind of work and activities our organizations can do jointly,” said Sampaio. “There is a huge range of opportunities of cooperation, especially after the inauguration of the Dialogue Café in Ramallah.”
Prior to the meeting, Sampaio visited the Dialogue Café in Ramallah, which is set to open soon. It will allow Palestinians to link with people from all over the world through video, creating space for conversations that can break prejudices.
“Our relationship with such organizations as the UNAOC help us take our role one step forward,” said OVP Executive Director Samer Makhlouf. “It gives us an international stage that allows us to enhance our visibility.”
OVP has previously attended UNAOC conferences hosted in Rio de Janeiro and Madrid. The conferences help improve relations across cultures, fight against prejudice, and build sustainable peace, according to the UNAOC.
“I think [Sampaio] knew about OneVoice through our participation in different conferences and out of hundreds of youth that have participated, our youth leaders came on his radar,” said Makhlouf. “He mentioned examples of what they said and did from their conferences.”
The upcoming UNAOC Forum in Doha will take place from Dec. 11 – 13, with over 2,000 participants, including political, corporate, and civil society leaders expected to attend.
From left: Helena Barroco, special advisor to President Jorge Sampaio, Samer Makhlouf, OneVoice Palestine executive director, and President Jorge Sampaio answer questions from OneVoice Palestine youth leaders.