The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) was established in 2005, as the political initiative of Mr. Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary General and co-sponsored by the Governments of Spain and Turkey.
A High-Level Group of experts was formed by Mr. Annan to explore the roots of polarization between societies and cultures today, and to recommend a practical programme of action to address this issue. The Report of the High-Level Group provided analysis and put forward practical recommendations that form the basis for the implementation plan of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.
On 27 February 2013, Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser assumed the position of UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations succeeding President Jorge Sampaio.
The UNAOC High Representative and Secretariat are based and operating from New York. The Alliance maintains a global network of partners including states, international and regional organizations, civil society groups, foundations, and the private sector to improve cross-cultural relations between diverse nations and communities.
In its 2006 report, the High-Level Group identified four priority areas for action: Education, Youth, Migration, Media . UNAOC project activities are fashioned around these four areas, which can play a critical role in helping to reduce cross-cultural tensions and to build bridges between communities.