Move from conflict to collaboration: Ban Ki-moon to global forum

Thursday, February 28, 2013
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon addressing 5th Global Forum in Vienna [PHOTO: UNifeed]
Vienna, Austria:  Leaders from around the world, including President Heinz Fischer of Austria, the Emir of Qatar Shaikh Hamad Al Thani, Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey, Foreign Minister Margallo of Spain and Foreign Minister Salehi of Iran met gathered  in Vienna today (27 February) for the 5th Global UN Alliance of Civilizations Forum.

In his address to the Forum, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said that when discriminatory attitudes were left unchallenged, "racists feel empowered" and called on world and local leaders "to speak the language of tolerance and respect, not division and defamation."

"In too many places anti-Muslim sentiment has become commonplace. Migrants from all backgrounds are vilified instead of embraced. When such attitudes are left unchallenged, racists feel empowered. From the world stage to local communities leaders need to speak the language of tolerance and respect not division and defamation," Ban Ki-moon said while addressing the summit.

High-level conversations are scheduled to take to address current global issues such as Syria, Mali, Palestine, and the future of sustainable development.

The Forum is taking place from 27 to 28 February 2013, and has brought together more than 2000 people from around the world to Vienna, including youth, civil society representatives, religious leaders, business leaders, and others.
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