Unity in Diversity – World Civil Society, India Launch

Mumbai, India 15-16 March 2016
Planetary Citizens Assembly

Remarks by UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations
Remarks by Dr. Hanifa Mezoui, Senior Advisor Humanitarian Affairs & Civil Society, UNAOC

Interview by DNA India with Dr. Hanifa Mezoui

GDF Press release

Press releases: 1234567

Photo albums: Pre-eventLaunch eventGarden Inauguration, Workshop Session,
Video Gallery
Outcomes Report

Images for Mumbai


It is evident, that in areas where there is no dialogue and no understanding of each other’s insecurities, there is conflict. Therefore, a collaboration by Citizens with Governments and Religions, as three basic pillars of the new world order based on Unity in Diversity, will find its pathways for progress through dialogue and will build trust as the basis for respect and living as good neighbours.

Unity in Diversity – World Civil Society is the nucleus of a planetary citizens assembly, which aims to represent every culture, ethnicity and civilization at the local, regional and global (UN) levels, committed to increasing capacity in communities so that citizens may integrate while maintaining their cultural identity and heritage, and may better contribute to mainstream society.  Not as citizens alone, but together and in collaboration with local, state, federal governments and international institutions this vision will become successful.

Since 2010, GDF and numerous civil society partners around the world have been working with the UN Alliance of Civilizations to promote intercultural dialogue and understanding.  Currently, Unity in Diversity-World Civil Society is lead by a Global Presidency, representing 19 countries from; South Pacific, South Asia, Europe, Africa, and the Americas. It is supported and guided by a Consortium-Global Consultative Advisory Body, which has a registered membership from over 45 countries.

The UN welcomes and requires these endeavors of bringing together governments, international organizations, private business sector, civil society organizations and individuals to enhance understanding through constructive dialogue and to boost the implementation of the UN sustainable Development Goals.



  • to form a “National Steering Committee” in India; which will coordinate continuous collaboration among civil society, private business sector, governments, religions, spiritual organisations, and work towards building inclusive societies,
  • to establish a grassroots “Community Leadership Team”; which will work with local communities in creating and implementing projects to strengthen civil society via dialogue and understanding,
  • to lay the foundation of the Policy of the Indian Unity in Diversity – World Civil Society Assembly and to create the first action plan based on this policy, and
  • to establish collaboration between the UN Alliance of Civilizations India Focal Point, UN associated organisations and the India civil society; in order to contribute to reaching the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals


Who is invited:

Corporate leaders, youth groups, women’s groups, media, educationists, migrants, sports, music arts and entertainment, volunteer groups, faith or spiritual groups, community organizations, cultural & ethnic groups, multicultural & diaspora organizations, congress bodies, councils, individuals with an interest in intercultural understanding, prominent thought leaders, etc., and everyone who believes in the vision of the Unity in Diversity.

Contacts – Media/Information:

South Asia: Maya Shahani, Cell: +91 9820212290  maya@shahanigroup.com 
North America / South Americas: Patrick Sciarratta, Cell +1 (914) 843-4820 patrick@vnclm.org
Europe: Miomir Rajcevic, +381 63 386 285  rajcevic@sbb.rs

Africa: Moses Kyamakya, mkyamakya@gmail.com

Australia / South Pacific: Peter (Pece) Gorgievski +61 405 33 00 66 pece@globaldialoguefoundation.org


Program of the OFFICIAL LAUNCH EVENT (Draft)

15 March 2016

VENUE:         KC College Auditorium, Churchgate, Mumbai 400020

5:00 pm        Arrival (for 5:30pm start)

5:30 – 6:00    Welcome Remarks

  • Mrs. Maya Shahani, Chairperson, Shahani Group & Vice Chairperson GDF
  • Mr. Peter (Pece) Gorgievski, CEO Global Dialogue Foundation
  • Mr. Mike Handcock – Senior Administrative Board Director Global Dialogue Foundation (song by video)

6:00 – 6:30     Addresses by Invited Speakers

H.E. Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, High Representative, UN Alliance of Civilizations 
    (Presentation delivered by Dr. Hanifa D. Mezoui PhD, Senior Advisor, Humanitarian Affairs and Civil Society, UN Alliance of Civilizations)
  • Mr. Bruce Knotts, Chair NGO/DPI Executive Committee (By video)
  • Mr. Patrick Sciarratta, Special Adviser Sao Tome and Principe Mission to the United Nations (By video)

6:30 – 6:50     Cultural Performance

6:30 – 7:30 Panel Discussion – How to take Unity in Diversity forward

    • Moderator: Samyak Chakraborty
    • Dr. Zeenat Shaukat Ali, Founder Director-General, Wisdom Foundation & Islamic Research Scholar
    • Dr. Shankar Vasudeo Abhyankar : ​Chief Editor of The​ Great ‘ENCYCLOPAEDIA OF DEVOTION’, Founder of Aditya Pratishthan, A Renowned Charitable Trust & Founder  President of Vaishwik Sant Vidya-Peeth
    • Fr. Errol D’Lima
    • Mr. Akhil Shahani, Managing Director, Shahani Group

Dr. Mukund Rajan, – Member of the Group Executive Council at Tata Sons, Tata Brand Custodian and Group Spokesperson

  • Mr. Ameya Dabli – Director Swades Foundation and affiliated to The Art of Living
  • Iliana Schmatelka – VP Unity in Diversity-World Civil Society, Business & Corporate & International Leadership Initiative

7:30 – 8:00     Networking


16 March 2016

VENUE:  Thadomal Shahani Centre for Management, 257 SV Road, (next to Shroff Eye Hospital, Bandra, Mumbai 400050)

9:30 – 10:00    Arrival & Registration

10:00 – 11:30  Roundtable Discussion:  Business for building Unity in Diversity

Moderator: Ms. Iliana Schmatelka, Unity in Diversity-World Civil Society, Vice President, Business/Corporate


  • Dr. Hanifa D. Mezoui PhD – Senior Advisor, Humanitarian Affairs and Civil Society, UN Alliance of Civilizations
  • Mr. Akhil Shahani, Vice Chairperson, Shahani Group
  • Mr. Peter (Pece) Gorgievski, CEO GDF
  • Mr. Dave Rogers – Entrepreneur / Business Coach – Asia Pacifi
  • Ms. ​Meera Chadha Borwankar, Special Inspector General of Police, CID State Crime Branch, Pune
  • Mr ​AP Parigi, Member, Business Advisory Council, Said Business School, Oxford University UK​
  • Mr. Ratan Kumar Kesh – Senior President & Country Head, Yes Bank
  • Mr. Manish Joshi, Municipal Commisioner of the Thane Municipal Corporation

11:30 – 11:45   Coffee break

11:45 – 1:15    Workshop session:

  • Creating the policy, team, first action plan of the Unity in Diversity – World Civil Society, Indian Assembly
  • Detailed presentation on the Unity in Diversity – World Civil Society mission, objectives, international activities
  • Unity in Diversity – World Civil Society Code of Conducts
  • Collaboration with the UN Alliance of Civilizations
  • Discussion on the Indian relevant topics and first projects

1:15 – 2:15 pm    Lunch and networking

2:15 – 3:00 pm    Workshop resumes:   

  • Adapting the Unity in Diversity – World Civil Society Code of Conducts into the Policy of the Indian Assembly
  • Discussing the roles in the Indian Steering Committee 
  • Forming of the Indian Assembly Steering Committee & Community Leadership Team
  • Establishing the first action plan on projects and on local and international policy dialogue
  • Next steps

4:00 – 5:00          Inauguration: Unity in Diversity Peace Garden

Venue: Muktanand Peace Garden, off Linking Road, Mumbai 54

News of interest

In collaboration with: United Nations Alliance of Civilizations “Unity in Diversity – World Civil Society”
United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon
“…the regional forums in Australia and India, organized by the Global Dialogue Foundation and local partners under the auspices of the Alliance, allowed the Alliance to expand its outreach and significantly develop its footing at grass-roots level.”
Official report of the Secretary-General Ban Ki moon to the UN General Assembly.