2009: Highlights of activities

  • participation in spreading information about the European elections and the reasons, as formulated by the European Commission, for wide participation of citizens in the voting;
  • the ‘Contest for young leadership talent from minorities of any kind’ (in short: AtmosphEUROPA Contest, formerly entitled and reported as the EurObama Contest);
  • ICLS contributions to the follow up of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue;
  • the expansion of cooperation and consultation with the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC);
  • ICLS seminars and alumni (Networks of Trust members’) engagement in projects;
  • the ICLS parallel event at the Copenhagen Climate Conference, in cooperation with senior members of the European Parliament, the European Environment Agency  and the IPCC (UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) targeting the good governance of diversity through intercultural cooperation on climate protection;

10 February: UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, Lisbon:

Former President and UN High Representative Jorge SAMPAIO announces cooperation between the UNAoC and the ICLS and his support to the ICLS project Good Governance of Diversity through Intercultural Cooperation.

25 March: European Parliament, Strasbourg:

The President of the European Parliament, Hans-Gert PÖTTERING, lends his patronage to the AtmosphEUROPA Contest for young leadership talent from minorities of any kind. The patronage of the European Parliament is extended later on under the newly elected President of the EP, Jerzy BUZEK.

6 April: Turkish Government and United Nations, Istanbul:

The ICLS is one of the winners of the 'Marketplace of Ideas' of the Alliance of Civilizations Second Forum. The President of ICLS, Geza TESSENYI speaks at the plenary of the Forum. The Forum is opened by UN Secretary General Ban KI-MOON, Turkish Prime Minister ERDOGAN, Spanish Prime Minister ZAPATERO and High Representative SAMPAIO and attended, among others, by European Commissioner Jan FIGEL and the Secretary General of the Council of Europe, Terry DAVIS. Geza has meetings with Messrs Sampaio and Davis and gives a press interview to the UN media team present.

May: ICLS, Rome and in cyberspace:

The ICLS is distributing information as provided by the European Commission about reasons why to vote at the European elections.

4 June: Al Azhar University, Cairo:

United States President Barack OBAMA gives a speech about relations between the world's Muslims and the West and endorses a number of concepts and principles the ICLS has been advocating and practising since its inception in 2001-2002 and which are being mainstreamed in intercultural practice and supported by the European Commission and its Executive Agency EACEA. The US President explicitly recalls the importance of the work of the UN Alliance of Civilizations.

8 June: Platform for Intercultural Europe, Brussels:

The ICLS, through its Secretary General, Guido ORLANDINI, becomes member of the management Board of the newly created European umbrella organization on intercultural dialogue.

11 June (2): British Council, Belfast:

At the invitation of the British Council in Northern Ireland, the ICLS President Geza TESSENYI and the ICLS Coordinator for the UK, Mansoor ABBASI, jointly make a keynote speech at a conference on the integration of new migrants in Northern Ireland. Geza and Mansoor also meet local community organizations and refugees at an evening meeting organized by the Corrymeela Community. At a barbed-wired gate of the Belfast Wall, dividing the Catholic and Protestant parts of the city, they shoot a video for the Contest for young leadership talent from minorities (AtmosphEUROPA).

13 July: European Parliament, Brussels:

The Secretary General of the European Parliament, Klaus WELLE authorizes the ICLS for the use of EP premises and facilities for the Final of the AtmosphEUROPA Contest free of charge, "considering the importance and the interest of this activity". Cooperation continues with the European Parliament Press Service and other technical services.

5 - 7 August: United Nations sixth Youth Assembly, New York:

The ICLS youth representative, Maja WARNSTAM, participates at the world youth assembly, meets European and other youth representatives and UN staff. Maja is asked and delivers the report about the Youth Assembly for the front page of the official website of the Alliance of Civilizations: www.unaoc.org.

20 October: European Environment Agency, Copenhagen:

The EEA senior management officially offers the ICLS to hold a 'side event' at their Copenhagen headquarters during the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP15) in December. The event is being organized for launching the initiative called Partnership for a Good Climate in Society and Nature. The initiative is about practical steps to protect the climate through intercultural cooperation by people who are most affected by climate change. It is based on the ICLS concept of 'Climate protection as an instrument of peace building' between different local communities.

4 November (2): European Parliament, Brussels:

Hans-Gert PÖTTERING and Selina ULLAH introduce the ICLS in the European Parliament.

  4 November: European Parliament, Brussels:

The Final of the 'AtmosphEUROPA Contest for Young Leadership Talent from Minorities of any kind' is celebrated by the ICLS and The Intercivil Society in the European Parliament in Brussels. The former President of the European Parliament, a Minister from the EU Swedish Presidency and the European Commission (DG EAC Representative) opened the event.

The winners of the popular cyber-vote are:

  1. Giovanni Padovani
  2. Viktor Huszàr
  3. Halil Cikmazkara

The Final was attended and supported by senior members of the European Parliament from the main political groups and by staff members of the European Commission.

19 November: United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, New York / East London:

ICLS wins the United Nations Youth Solidarity Fund grant for its 2009- 2010 project in East London entitled Micro Cosmos Intercultural. The project is one of the 12 winners, selected from 530 applications from 99 countries around the world. The ICLS is carrying out the project with grassroots community organizations in Tower Hamlets - East London, with PRAXIS Community Projects as the main local partner.

10 December: United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP 15), Copenhagen:

On International Human Rights Day, the ICLS and The Intercivil Society are holding a parallel event of COP 15 at the Headquarters of the European Environment Agency (EEA). The event is held for launching a citizens' initiative for a 'Partnership for a Good Climate in Society and Nature'. The initiative is for strengthening the good governance of diversity through intercultural cooperation on climate protection. The implementation will start in Europe in 2010 through the ICLS and its partners, followed by projects beyond Europe implemented by The Intercivil Society.

One of the Directors of the EEA, an Executive Director of the Nobel Peace prize winner IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), one of the Vice Presidents of the European Parliament and the Leader of the Delegation of the European Parliament to COP 15 are guest speakers (see video below) at the parallel event.

14 December: Council of Europe Youth Centre, Strasbourg:

The ICLS 'Micro Cosmos Intercultural' East London pilot project (see below under 19 November) is the only winner from the European Union countries of the UN Youth Solidarity Fund as communicated by UN staff to the ICLS.