Miguel Ángel Moratinos Cuyaubé - High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations
CAIRO - 23 December 2019: Miguel Ángel Moratinos Cuyaubé is a Spanish diplomat and politician, who is since 7 January 2019 is the UN High-Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations (UNACO), an initiative that seeks to galvanize international action against extremism through the forging of international, intercultural and interreligious dialogue and cooperation.
During his visit to Egypt to attend the World Youth Forum in Sharm El Sheikh, we had a chance to interview Moratinos to hear all about his insights on the forum and Egypt.
Can you give us your impression about the World Youth Forum?
I am extremely impressed, mostly impressed by the magnitude of this World Youth Forum in Sharm Al-Sheikh. I was expecting an important event of course, like any kind of forum, but this one I think is much better than I could expect, in terms of organization, and participations, I amazed with the huge participation, around seven thousand young people are here, who all came together in order to start to work in a better understanding about themselves, and their future.
What would the presence of 7 thousand young people contribute to the diversity, and to the objectives of the United Nation?
Bringing people from different geographic origins, and putting them together, gives them a great chance to discover each other, to start to understand what is diversity and how to respect the other. The youth, they are continuing to get better education for the future, but at the same time such forum gives the chance to bring their own aspirations, what they are expecting from the world, to be taken into account, what are their ways, what are their expectations, what are their worries and concerns, so it’s a very good chance for them to continue their formation but at the same time they take part, their voices are heard, and we can really learn from them, in order that we can adapt our voices, our decisions and take into account what are the main elements that really concern the youth in the world.
You had a meeting with the Egyptian Foreign minister, can you tell us about the meeting?
There was two part of the meeting, the first part is about the work of the United Nation Alliance of Civilization, and how Egypt is contributing and participating in the different areas that we are developing; our program of education, youth, migration, gender and media. We discussed the possibility of creating some specific diplomats and mediators for participating in certain conferences resolution crisis, what we need to be formed in terms of religion, social culture… to really give an understanding on how to solve such crisis, and now on the security counsel of the United Nation, 75 percent of the crisis have a religion or culture dimensions, so you have to form these new diplomats, in order to handle this conflicts. We talked about anti-terrorism, and we also have a program for it, that Egypt is going to participate in. The second part of the meeting, was about the Mediterranean, the challenge of today need a much acting role of Egypt, I think Egypt is taking the leading role from the southern Mediterranean countries, we are to honor the 25 anniversary of the Barcelona Process, and we count on Egypt to be an active actor in these new roadmap that the Union for the Mediterranean wants to propose to the main actors.
Egypt is a diverse country, we have been there for 7 thousand years, you are part of the Document on Human Fraternity, how Egypt and Al Azhar are contributing on advancing the culture of mutual respect?
This is very important. I’ve had the honor to meet the Grand Emam of Al-Azhar, El Sheikh Ahmed El Tayeb, and I’ve also had the honor to be received by his Holiness, Pope Francis, both of them presented to me their fantastic document of Human Fraternity, and of course the United Nation, and the United Nation Alliance Civilization are working with them to implement the content of this document signed last February in Abu Dhabi. We’ve been working together, and we will be in permanent contact with the committee that has been created to implement the Human Fraternity Document, and we hope that we will have important events and activities that we demonstrate that the Human Fraternity is going to spread all around the world, and Egypt is a leading country, and will be one of the references to implement the philosophy and the legacy in the spirit of this Human Fraternity Document.
President Abd El Fatah Al-Sisi in many different occasions has repeated the call for tolerance between Muslims and Christians, and all religions, he has contributed in building a new church, he is putting more effort in promoting diversity and accepting the other…What do you think of his efforts?
It’s a very outstanding role, Egypt has been a country of respect and mutual acceptance of different religions and culture throughout history and at the same time during the leadership of president al-Sisi, we have seen the inauguration of the church, how the pope community has been sustained and supported, and how the president seeks to spread this message. One of the element of the Human Fraternity Document is what they call the creation of equal citizenship, we are working that each man or woman have the same right, and that includes the right to pray, whether you’re Christian, Muslim or Jewish, each individual, each citizen has the same right, and that’s I think is a guide to how the religions leaders are going to work together, and how Egypt has been at the beginning of the origin of this new approach.