Institution building

Romania joined the Groups of Friends of the Alliance of Civilizations in March 2007 and appointed a national coordinator (focal point) in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Romania counted among the first ten members of the Group of Friends that adopted a National Plan for the Alliance of Civilizations (25 March 2009).

The main feature of Romania’s contribution is to promote the objectives to the Alliance of Civilizations at national level. Such objectives are to be integrated into policies and activities aiming at stimulating inter-cultural dialogue, cultivating the interest of the academic circles and the civil society in general. The background of this contribution is the ethnic, cultural and religious diversity, as well as the traditions of tolerance and mutual respect among various ethnic and religious groups in the Romanian society.

Following the adhesion to the Group of Friends, the national coordination was provided by means of an inter-institutional working-group consisting of representatives of ministries and governmental departments, as well as representatives of non-governmental organizations illustrating the religious and cultural diversity of the Romanian society.

Romania participated in all political meetings, i.e. Annual Forums and Regional Conferences, at the level of minister or secretary of state.

At a latter stage, the focal point mobilized the support and involvement of international organizations represented in Romania. A project dedicated to the Alliance of Civilizations was entrusted to UNDP. In 2010, the initial institutional network was joined by the UNESCO Department - Chair for intercultural and inter-religious dialogue, the UNESCO European Centre for Higher Education (CEPES), and the National Commission of Romania for UNESCO. A partner (Scheherazade Foundation) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the civil society was also designated. The inter-institutional working group was transformed into an open-ended Steering Committee, which at present includes youth organizations as well.

The platform of political support for the Alliance of Civilizations has been extended through the direct involvement of the Parliamentary Commission for the relations with UNESCO, followed by the patronage of events dedicated to the Alliance of Civilizations by the chairperson, and vice-chairperson, respectively, of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. The minister of foreign affairs, at the proposal of the focal point, appointed good will ambassadors for the Alliance Civilizations: Professor George Grigore, prominent Arabist and expert in Qur’an studies, Professor Razvan Teodorescu, medievalist and member of the Romanian Academy, as well as a well-known actress Maia Morgenstern.

Some activities have been undertaken in partnership with the Embassies of Spain, Turkey and Tunisia.

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