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Under the esteemed patronage of H.E Sheikh Nahayan bin Mabarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Tolerance & Coexistence, and in collaboration with the Ministry of Tolerance & Coexistence of the UAE and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC),


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International Dialogue of Civilizations and Tolerance conference concludes in Abu Dhabi with renewed optimism

Source link : aletihad newspaper – Feb 23, 2024

The International Dialogue of Civilizations and Tolerance (IDCT) conference concluded on Thursday in Abu Dhabi after exploring a wide array of topics centred  on human fraternity, coexistence and dialogue.

In his closing address, Dr. Firas Habbal, the conference president and Director General of the Emirates Scholar Research Centre, expressed his pride in the sessions and their outcomes over a span of three days.

The concluding session delved into ways to address cyberbullying, and the crucial need to comprehend the digital age. Dr. Habbal highlighted tolerance as a vital element, advocating for empathy, understanding, and respect in online interactions.

“In the digital age, it is crucial to understand that a lack of tolerance results in harmful impacts, particularly in fostering cyberbullying. Tolerance promotes empathy, understanding, and respect in online interaction,” he said, adding that it is crucial in addressing cyberbullying collectively and creating safer and more inclusive digital worlds.

Dr. Habbal drew attention to strategies for preventing cyberbullying, including education and social media policies. 
The final day of the conference hosted a session titled “Building Bridges: Tolerance in the Tapestry of Sustainable Development and Relations”, moderated by Professor Andrew Davies, Professor of Public Religion, Director, Edward Cadbury Centre, with the participation Dr. Juhi Gupta, Assistant Professor at the Advanced Centre for Women’s Studies; Dr. Husna Ahmad OBE, CEO of Global One 2015; Einat Levi, Consultant and Partnership Builder between Israel and Morocco; and Huda Raphael Sievers, Researcher and Dialogue Promoter.

Dr. Juhi Gupta emphasised the need for inclusive peace-building, which she said can be achieved through awareness programmes in schools to bridge faith gaps. She also stressed the need to address the root causes of marginalisation, and highlighted the media’s role in fostering understanding.

“Spreading more awareness and education is vital,” Dr. Gupta said, advocating for collaborative responsibility to construct a more tolerant global society.

She highlighted a balanced approach, underlining the significance of family discussions to promote a more understanding society.

Dr. Gupta also underscored the necessity of including everyone in the dialogue, ensuring active participation of women and children.

For her part, Dr. Ahmad highlighted climate change’s significant impact on migrants, noting that 32.86 million are displaced annually, with 80% being women. She stressed leadership’s crucial role, especially in mitigation, and called for urgent action to address climate change challenges.

Dr. Ahmad highlighted values of compassion, kindness, and inclusivity, underscoring the importance of community-based solutions. She reiterated the necessity of diverse voices for meaningful societal results.

In her turn, Levi delved into the significance of cultural understanding and collaboration between nations. Levi portrayed culture as the “blueprint of our identity”, shaping judgement, influencing behaviour, and fostering partnerships.

“We are not creating something new. We are actually renewing tradition,” Levi said, emphasising the deep-rooted meaning behind regional collaborative efforts.

Levi underscored the imperative of understanding and harnessing multiculturalism in the region, advocating for active engagement in practices promoting collaboration.

Also speaking during the session, Sievers emphasised the transformative power of education.

“Educating women changes society. They are mothers, sisters, not property,” she said.
Commending the internet’s role in fostering communication, Sievers urged sustained efforts in bridging knowledge gaps. She underscored the universal sense of belonging and called for collective action to address global challenges.

During the closing ceremony, Nihal Saad, Director of United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, underlined the vital role of dialogue in nurturing tolerance, stressing that it is essential for constructing peaceful societies. Dismissing the “Clash of Civilizations” theory, she advocated for acceptance and shared knowledge to bridge divides.

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