Jul 19, 2019
Brody MacDonald - Interfaith Fellow
UN Alliance of Civilizations

Brody travelled to Qatar and Iraq on behalf of his UN Fellowship on June 25, returning just recently. His fieldwork brief was to explore the trajectory of future conflict in Syria and Iraq. His research focuses on sectarianism and its impact. He has a background in government and interfaith relations in international settings.

He will give us an overview of the Syrian Civil war and where it is headed.

He is very cognisant that peace building, conflict resolution and education are core to Rotary’s international work.  His talk will be a great opportunity for us to know about a region that is much in the news and on people’s minds.

A bit of background:

The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations was established in 2005 as a special initiative of then Secretary-General Kofi Annan (sponsored by the Governments of Spain and Turkey).  It was intended to explore the roots of polarization between societies and cultures.

The UNAOC Fellowship Programme was launched in 2010. Its aim: to build bridges between cultures and societies through dialogue and cooperation, and to reinforce the global           commitment to live together in mutual tolerance and respect. 

The Programme recognized the need for better understanding between peoples and societies from the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and North America.  Young civil society leaders and professionals from these regions take part. Framed around two-week exchange trips, the Program’s participants travel from each geographic area to their counterparts’ region.

According to the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations -- by exposing participants to new ideas, perspectives, and culturally diverse environments, the Fellowship Programme can challenge perceptions and deconstructing stereotypes. Participants become better equipped to be informed stakeholders and to develop cross-cultural partnerships.  They can bridge divides between peoples from different faiths and cultures.