21st Century Threats Require Global Resolve

21st Century Threats Require Global Resolve21st Century Threats Require Global Resolve

The High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) declared the need for global reconciliation in the face of new and emerging ideological threats in the 21st century.

The International Community is facing an unprecedented alarming rise of cultural extremism, terrorist attacks and continued incitement to hatred,” said Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser. “Manifestations of religious based intolerance and violence are increasing across the globe,” he said, referring to the terrorist attacks and violent acts in Paris, Copenhagen, Libya, North Carolina, Nigeria, Myanmar, the Middle East and elsewhere, IPS news agency wrote.

“Such unjustifiable acts have culminated into targeted killings against innocent people from different faiths, perpetuating stereotyping, xenophobia and racism,” according to Al-Nasser.

Rather than hampering the international resolve, these “vicious forces” should be unified by the international community, he said, as a matter of priority.

He made the statement the same day a UN General Assembly draft resolution on the UNAOC was presented at the UN headquarters in an open meeting at the ambassadorial level.

The resolution was discussed in the context of ethnic and cultural dimensions in disasters and emergencies, by permanent representatives from Turkey, Spain, Italy, Brazil, Benin, Qatar, Azerbaijan and elsewhere.

Valerie Amos, Under-Secretary-General Emergency Relief Coordinator, said many conflicts arise or gain strength from the exploitation of ethnic, religious and cultural differences, and that today, 80 percent of humanitarian work is in countries and regions affected by conflict.

“Eighty-two percent of people killed or injured by explosive weapons in 2013 were civilians,” said Amos, adding that violence and other forms of persecution force, on average, 23,000 people daily to flee their homes.

  Unprecedented Displacement

Displacement – which is at record-high levels today – is a defining feature of conflict, Amos pointed out.

“Much of this displacement fueled by conflict is rooted in a lack of understanding, dialogue and respect between communities,” she said. “The principles and initiatives of the Alliance of Civilizations have an important role here.

“Your work, with grassroots organizations can help build openness and tolerance in communities from the ground up. When children and young people are involved in these initiatives, their influence can last a lifetime, and help to build peace and mutual respect for generations to come.”

Adding to the grassroots approach, Al-Nasser stressed, “It is clear that the protection of civilian populations requires global action.”

In his statement, he made the case for universally agreed-on parameters to combat speech and incitement in all their forms.

“Preventive action should entail the empowerment and reform of the relevant existing instruments needed by the international community to respond to and cope with the new and emerging ideological threats, for the sake of our collective security and Human Rights for all,” he said.

  Syrians, Iraqis Homeless

According to a report published by the UN Commission for Human Rights in Syria on Friday, almost half of Syria’s population - over 10 million people - have been forced to leave their homes since the beginning of the Syrian conflict. Over three million people had to quit the country, and over 6.5 million have been obliged to relocate within Syria. According to the report, over 10 million people in the conflict zone need humanitarian assistance. The commission demanded the conflict’s participants provide help and called on the international community to assist refugees.

In addition, the number of internally displaced families fleeing conflict in Iraq has reached 521,000 according to a government official on Friday. “The last statistic shows 521,000 internally displaced families. More than 2.6 million internally displaced persons exist if the average family is five people,” Asghar al-Mosawi of the Iraqi Ministry of Migration and Displacement.

The new displaced families were recorded from Anbar in western Iraq, Diyala in the east as well as Saladin and Ninawa in northern Iraq. Most of the displaced people are located in camps in the northern, central and western regions of Iraq. Mosawi expected the number of displaced families to keep increasing. Latest statistics from Jan. 2015 had recorded 507,000 internally displaced families. Iraqi officials have said that the volume of aid offered by UN organizations to the displaced persons does not match the severity of the situation.