Press Releases

    SG/SM/10098
    16 September 2005

    Secretary-General, Prime Ministers of Spain, Turkey Agree on Need to Translate Alliance of Civilizations Initiative into Action

    NEW YORK, 15 September (UN Headquarters) -- The following statement was issued today by the Spokesman for UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan:

    The Secretary-General met this morning with Prime Ministers José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero of Spain and Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey to discuss the initiative for an "Alliance of Civilizations".

    They reaffirmed that this initiative, which the Secretary-General launched in July, holds considerable promise at a time of mounting tensions and misconceptions between societies, in particular Islamic and Western societies.  The task ahead, they agreed, is to translate the broad aims of the initiative into concrete action.

    Both Prime Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to the success of the initiative and said they would continue, as co-sponsors, to provide support.  The High-Level Group for the Alliance of Civilizations, which will be guiding the initiative, is expected to present a report with recommendations and a practical plan of action in late 2006.  The Secretary-General hopes other Governments and entities will join in supporting the initiative and contributing to its efforts to overcome divisions and promote mutual respect and understanding.

    * *** *