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Under the auspices of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), the Centre for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, in partnership with the Ethnic Communities' Council of Victoria (ECCV) and in collaboration with the Victorian Department of Premier and Cabinet (DPC), the Municipal Association of Victoria (MAV), the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), Office of Multicultural Affairs and Citizenship (formally VMC), the Federation of Ethnic Communities' Council of Australia (FECCA), Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, the Australian Multicultural Foundation (AMF) and the Immigration Museum will be hosting, in Australia and for the first time, a major migration and integration public forum under the theme of: 'Building Inclusive Societies: Diversity, Citizenship, and Social Inclusion'.
UNAOC is an initiative of the UN Secretary General which aims to improve intercultural understanding and cooperative relations among nations and peoples across cultures and religions. The UNAOC has created a program on migration and integration under the nomenclature of: 'Integration: Building Inclusive Societies (IBIS)'. IBIS showcases best practice projects that help integrate migrants across the world. One of the key objectives of the Melbourne IBIS event is to launch the IBIS initiative and website in this part of the region, and to use the occasion to explore the issues and debate around multiculturalism, citizenship, identity and social inclusion. The event will also highlight the important role UNAOC is playing in improving intercultural relations and in linking the concept of cohesive diversity to overall human development.
The specific objectives of the Melbourne event are:
1. To launch the UN Alliance of Civilisations' and its IBIS activities, including the website, as a tool for sharing resources and best practice examples at the international level, and to encourage Australian stakeholders to contribute to, and make use of the website.
2. To debate and explore current issues relating to multiculturalism, cultural diversity and intercultural relations.
3. To bring together public servants, policy makers, service agencies, academics, community sectors, civil society and NGOs, etc. to explore ongoing debates about immigration and multiculturalism, and how such debates and initiatives can inform policy development and program improvement.
The forum themes will focus on:
Education, citizenship and belonging
Global youth and cultural identity
Migration and cultural diversity
Media, communication and social inclusion