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UNITED NATIONS ALLIANCE OF CIVILIZATIONS (UNAOC) AND BMW GROUP ANNOUNCE 2013 WINNERS FOR THE INTERCULTURAL INNOVATION AWARD

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Marking the second year of a historic partnership, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the BMW Group today announced ON FEBRUARY 12the 2013 finalists for The Intercultural Innovation Award, as it was shown in a press release sent to caleaeuropeana.ro.

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Since 2011, the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) and the BMW Group have engaged in a historic partnership geared towards creating a new model for collaboration between the private sector and the UN system. To that end, the two organizations have established The Intercultural Innovation Award whose mandate is to select highly innovative grassroots projects that promote dialogue and intercultural understanding and make vital contributions to prosperity and peace in global societies. The most outstanding projects receive award money as well as consulting services from the BMW Group and the UNAOC. Ten finalists will present their projects at the Viennese Volkstheatre on Tuesday, February 26th2013.

President Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, Incoming United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, and Mr. Bill McAndrews, Vice President Communications Strategy, Corporate and Market Communications, BMW Group, will chair the ceremony, in the presence of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. High-level representatives of the UNAOC and the BMW Group will give the award to the five top organizations.

“The Alliance is more than a platform for dialogue; it is also a tool at the service of the international community to prevent conflicts, especially those that are identity based. The Intercultural Innovation Award is a unique example of this mandate.” stated Al-Nasser.

In addition to offering a monetary prize, the UNAOC and the BMW Group are committed to helping these projects expand and replicate in other settings where they may be useful. Winners will become members of the World Intercultural Facility for Innovation (WIFI). WIFI is a platform for winners to connect with potential donors and mentors and to enter into a dialogue with other awardees. Under the coordination of the WIFI team, the winners of the Award will:

• Participate in conferences, trainings and workshops;

• Be connected to policy-makers and funders;

• Become active members of the WIFI community of practitioners and experts who help each other in achieving their particular goals;

• Receive customized project support based on the individual and specific needs;

Bill McAndrews from the BMW Group said: “As a company with associates from around the globe, intercultural understanding is an essential part of our daily work at the BMW Group. It is because of this that we are so proud of our strong partnership with the UNAOC. This collaboration and the Intercultural Innovation Award enable us to highlight some of the wonderful cross-cultural work being done worldwide. BMW Group’s commitment to the awardees extends beyond financial support to include every relevant resource we can offer. This can make the crucial difference in turning an idea into a practice that enriches peoples’ lives.”

This year’s finalists include:

Chintan Environmental Research and Action Group – Recycling as Bridge and Binder (India)

Through recycling, Chintan’s project promotes understanding between poor migrants and the middle class and wealthy residents of New Delhi.

Cultural Infusion – Sound Infusion (Australia)

Cultural Infusion is an innovative digital learning platform which utilizes music from all over the world to build intercultural understanding.

FilmAid – Filmmaker Training and Screening Program for Refugees and Host Communities (Kenya)

FilmAid is screening series and filmmaker training project creates opportunities for refugees and their host communities in refugee camps and urban areas across Kenya to share their stories.

IDResearch Kft. – Immigropoly (Hungary)

Immigropoly is a unique Internet-based character-game to increase the understanding of migration and integration in our global world, and targeted towards youth communities.

Kapamagogopa Inc. (KI) Volunteers – Muslim Youth Volunteering for interfaith dialogue and understanding (Philippines)

Local young Muslims are mobilized to work as volunteers in non-Muslim organizations to promote dialogue, understanding and development to non-Muslim and Muslim communities in Mindanao.

Plain Ink – When change reads like a book (Italy)

Plain Ink is a pioneering, non-profit social venture harnessing the power of stories, comics and children’s books to help children and communities overcome the stumbling blocks of poverty and social exclusion.

Puerta Joven – Languages of Youth (Mexico)

Lenguas Jóvenes is a project that fosters indigenous migrant youth cultural expressions through mobile phones for intercultural dialogue. Puerta Joven, a youth-led organization teaches the use of arts and new technologies as a way to promote cultural interaction and appreciation of cultural diversity.

Search for Common Ground Morocco – Multimedia & Intercultural relations in Morocco

SFCG-Morocco brings together young Moroccans and sub-Saharan migrants in Rabat and Casablanca to learn about video & multimedia and break down cultural stereotypes and prejudices.

TakingITGlobal – TakingITGlobal Online Community (Canada)

TakingITGlobal works to empower youth to understand and act on the world’s greatest challenges. It serves youth worldwide through a multilingual online learning community and innovative education programs geared towards fostering active global citizenship.

The Parents Circle – Crack in the Wall (Israel/Palestine)

The Crack in the Wall is a neutral social network platform on Facebook with more than 10,000 active users. CITW allows Palestinians and Israelis to communicate with one another and express themselves on various topics through video, pictures, and posts with provided translation to the other language.

 

Details can be found here.

 

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MEP Vasile Blaga: The crisis in Afghanistan, especially in its social dimension, must have a firm response from the EU

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MEP Vasile Blaga (PNL, EPP) argues that the current crisis in Afghanistan must be a priority on the agenda of the European institutions, which have resumed their work after the summer break.

In a statement for CaleaEuropeană, MEP Vasile Blaga said that the crisis in Afghanistan, especially in its social dimension, “must have a clear and firm response from the European Union.”

“The European Parliament has put the crisis in Afghanistan on its agenda this session. I expect that all the debates on the situation in Afghanistan will lead to solutions to the serious humanitarian situation that is about to unfold in Afghanistan. The EU, but also the Member States, owe a debt of gratitude to Afghan citizens who suddenly see their security and that of their families threatened”, added the EPP MEP.

The European Union this week began discussing the implications of recent events in Afghanistan for security and migration within the 27-nation Union.

The Foreign Affairs Committee, Development Committee and Parliament’s Delegation for relations with Afghanistan will hear from Gunnar Wiegand, Managing Director for Asia and the Pacific at the European External Action Service, who will present an assessment of the latest developments in Afghanistan. European Commission representatives are also expected to address MEPs.

Afghanistan has been rocked by deadly violence and a brutal terror attack against Kabul airport over the past few days, in the midst of U.S. and international troops evacuating from the country by 31 August.

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MEP Vasile Blaga: EU response to future health crises and progress of national recovery and resilience plans, important issues on EP agenda

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MEP Vasile Blaga  (EPP) argues that the September plenary session of the European Parliament should debate as a priority the EU’s instruments in the face of health and humanitarian crises, as well as the progress of National Recovery and Resilience Plans.

According to the MEP, the European Parliament is putting on the agenda extremely important issues for the future of the Union.

„I believe that an EU response to the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic is vital. The future of the Union must find us prepared for potential health threats similar to the coronavirus pandemic. We can all see that a health emergency of the scale of the present one can only be managed by joint measures taken by all Member States. This unfortunate experience of the last two years has shown us the fragility of the EU in the face of external health threats. We need to learn from this so that the negative social and economic effects will not be repeated in the future”, said Vasile Blaga in a statement to CaleaEuropeană.

A second priority, says the EPP MEP, is linked to an accelerated recovery of the EU economies: “National recovery and resilience plans must be urgently adjusted and approved so that investment policies become engines of development in each Member State and, as a whole, kick-start the EU economy as a whole. The European Parliament must closely follow, also during this session, the progress of the national recovery plans and the way each Member State spends the money allocated by the NRRP to achieve the objectives listed in the Recovery and Resilience Facility”, added Vasile Blaga.

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After working on infrastructure projects for NASA and the British Air Force F-35 aircraft, Lagan Aviation & Infrastructure will modernize Campia Turzii Air Base, together with the consortium represented by Leviatan Design

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©️ Forțele Aeriene Române

The British company Lagan Aviation & Infrastructure, with extensive experience in the field of infrastructure and logistics projects of the British Royal Air Force and with collaborations at NASA level, will participate as a subcontractor in the infrastructure project in the operational area of the air base at Câmpia Turzii, according to the announcement on the public procurement platform SICAP.

The British company Lagan Aviation & Infrastructure, with extensive experience in the field of infrastructure and logistics projects of the British Royal Air Force and with collaborations at NASA level, will participate as a subcontractor in the infrastructure project in the operational area of the air base at Câmpia Turzii, according to the announcement on the public procurement platform SICAP.

The tender for the first phase of the project, worth 514 million lei, on “Realization of infrastructure – operational area in barracks 1833 Câmpia Turzii” was won by the joint venture Telekom Romania Communications SA – Ubitech Construcții SRL – Petrodesign SA and Leviatan Design SRL, as leader of this partnership.

“Our consortium has the necessary experience, both from a national perspective, through similar specific projects it has carried out, and from an international perspective, through the partners we collaborate with”, said Cătălin Podaru, director of Leviatan Design, the company that participated in the pre-feasibility study for the multi-roller infrastructure at Câmpia Turzii.

Among the key international partners involved in the Câmpia Turzii project is Lagan Aviation & Infrastructure, part of the Lagan Construction Group Ltd, established in 1962. The Brits build infrastructure to the highest safety standards for Romania’s most important strategic-military partners: Among the most recent major British-managed projects are aviation projects at Dublin Airport and RAF Marham, an important strategic base for the British Royal Air Force, for the operation of F35 multi-role aircraft. The contract to upgrade infrastructure and facilities at RAF Marham is worth £135 million.

Recently, the company has successfully delivered projects at Heathrow, London City Airport, RAF Akrotiri and RAF Gibraltar. In recent years, the company has also executed a £23 million runway resurfacing contract at RAF Northolt.

The group also has a specialist US airport team based in Virginia, Washington DC, currently working at Ronald Reagan National Airport and the Wallops Flight Facility for NASA.

This company’s expertise in infrastructure projects for F-16 aircraft is important for defence projects at Câmpia Turzii, as the Romanian base hosts F-16 aircraft of the Romanian and allied air forces, as well as American MQ-9 Reaper drones.

The Campia Turzii Air Base is one of the key strategic points in Romania’s defence and security infrastructure, being treated as such even by allies. In May this year, the US Air Force announced that the United States will invest $152 million in 15 infrastructure upgrades at Romania’s Câmpia Turzii Air Base.

The first works have already started in May-August 2021. The US Air Force plans to spend $130 million this year on “mission optimisation” at the Romanian air base. This amount is reflected in the Department of Defense budget for this year and represents the largest US military investment in Europe for 2021.

Other new modernisation projects are due to start at the end of 2021.

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