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01/06/2012

Strengthening the Euro-Arab Dialogue

• UNESCO and MBI Al Jaber Foundation hold an international conference in Vienna
• H.E. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber and Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO are honoured with the ISESCO Gold medal

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, First Deputy Prime Minister of Libya Mr Mustafa Abushagur and Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber, Founder and Chairman of MBI Al Jaber Foundation, at the International Conference “Euro-Arab Dialogue: contribution to a new humanism”, Vienna June 2012. H.E. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber is presented with the ISESCO gold medal by Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO).

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, First Deputy Prime Minister of Libya Mr Mustafa Abushagur and Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber, Founder and Chairman of MBI Al Jaber Foundation, at the International Conference “Euro-Arab Dialogue: contribution to a new humanism”, Vienna June 2012. H.E. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber is presented with the ISESCO gold medal by Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO).

Vienna, June 2012 – The International Conference of National Commissions for UNESCO ‘Euro-Arab Dialogue: Contribution to a New Humanism’ organized by UNESCO in conjunction with the MBI Foundation was held in Vienna in June 2012. Approximately 200 participants from 67 nations took part in the conference aiming to strengthen the Euro-Arab Dialogue in fostering tolerance and mutual respect. Among the delegates in attendance were senior representatives of ALECSO (Arab League Educational Cultural and Scientific Organisation, ISESCO (Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), ABEGS Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States and Council of Europe.

The opening was chaired by philanthropist and businessman H.E. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber, Founder and Chairman of the MBI Al Jaber Foundation, Madame Bokova, UNESCO General Secretary and H.E. Dr. Mustafa A.G. Abushagur, First Deputy Prime Minister of Libya. The conference was attended by representatives of more than 67 European and Arab States, diplomats and ministers.

Over two days, the main actors of the Euro-Arab Dialogue initiative reviewed the work of the last decade and explored ways of generating innovative actions and developing Euro-Arab cooperation in the fields of education, culture, science and communication. H.E. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber, Founder and Chairman of the MBI Al Jaber Foundation, Madame Bokova, UNESCO General Secretary and H.E. Dr. Mustafa A.G. Abushagur, First Deputy Prime Minister of Libya.

The main objective of the meeting was new terms of references and an action plan aimed at developing Euro-Arab cooperation, particularly around the concept of the ’new humanism’. This has even more significance now, due to the Arab Spring. “We are in a process of change. Up to now, the freedom of expression and human rights was more or less non-existent in those states. Now everything is changing, the countries are on a good path. Also Europe will benefit in many ways. I am very optimistic about the future”, says Sheikh Al Jaber.



Speaking at the opening ceremony of the conference, Sheikh Mohamed said: “Now is the right time for this conference. We are holding this important meeting within the framework of the National UNESCO Commissions on the 10th anniversary of the Euro- Arab dialogue at a time when the Arab region is undergoing very important changes in its political and economical structures.” In her address, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova agreed with Sheikh Al Jaber that the timing of the conference was ripe to accelerate the rhythm of the initiative and that “the changes occurring in the Arab world open vast new opportunities for democracy and peace. Dialogue is a lifeline for understanding and respect. It lays the foundation for cooperation and joint action.” The Director-General went on to say, “It is not enough to connect. We must share solutions, experiences and dreams, as a single community bound together by human rights and fundamental freedom”. H.E. Dr. Mustafa A.G. Abushagur, First Deputy Prime Minister of Libya, spoke about the importance of the initiative and the long-standing relationship between the regions, saying “The Arab and European worlds have been in contact for many years: Euro Arab dialogue is a new concept but our relationship goes back many, many centuries. We need to come together in a real dialogue where we can learn from one another.”

H.E. Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber and Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO honoured with the ISESCO Gold medal.

For their engagement in this dialogue, the promotion of coexistence and the culture of tolerance in a bid to enhance international cooperation, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, and Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber, Founder and Chairman of the MBI Al Jaber Foundation, were honoured with the ISESCO Gold medal. Dr. Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), presented the medal as “recognition of the efforts of UNESCO and the MBI Al Jaber Foundation to promote coexistence and dialogue.”

About the Euro-Arab Dialogue
The Euro-Arab Dialogue project was launched in 2001 in Geneva as a framework for interregional cooperation among National Commissions to promote the values of “learning to live together.”Thereby the cultural understanding should be promoted and strengthened through educational projects, such as the promotion of partnerships between schools, UNESCO Clubs and similar projects.

About MBI Al Jaber Foundation
The MBI Al Jaber Foundation is a UK-registered charity (Charity Reg No. 1093439) based in London. Its aim is to promote links between the Middle East and the wider world through educational and cultural activities, and runs a long-standing scholarship programme. His Excellency, MBI Al Jaber is founder, CEO and Chairman of MBI International, a hotel and resort, real estate development, oil & gas and agro-industries conglomerate.


For further information, please contact:
Director of Public Relations
info@mbifoundation.com

 

 

Charity Reg. No. 1093439

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