Turkish Airlines and UNAOC create joint platform
Turkish Airlines has put its signature to an important collaboration with United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), the leading United Nations platform for intercultural dialogue and cooperation.
The signing ceremony of this significant step, “Sport for Peace Awards” project, took place on 24 September 2019, at the United Nations Headquarters, New York, in the presence of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, President of the Republic of Turkey, and António Guterres, United Nations Secretary-General. During the ceremony, the agreement was signed by Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, M. İlker Aycı, and United Nations Alliance of Civilizations High Representative, Miguel Ángel Moratinos, along with the attendance of officials from both sides.
Turkish Airlines plans to draw the eyes of the international community to a global mission with UNAOC, the organization based in New York with a mission statement of bridging divides and promoting a culture of peace among people and nations. For the joint project under the name of “Sport for Peace Awards”, the unifying effect of sport and its power of inspiring and bringing people together from all around the world for promoting more inclusive and peaceful societies became the driving force. During the project, an award ceremony will be held for the sport for peace and development initiatives selected by an international jury to promote international recognition and visibility, while prominent names from sports, art and business worlds along with opinion leaders will be brought together to draw the eyes of the world to global opportunities and challenges.
During the signing ceremony of this strategic cooperation, Turkish Airlines Chairman of the Board and the Executive Committee, M. İlker Aycı said; “We connect all corners of the world with each other as we fly our passengers to 316 destinations in 126 countries. These connections are more than just passageways for the transportation sector. As the flag carrier airline that utilizes Turkey’s unique geography that bridges the East and the West and brings them together on an intersection point for centuries, we reach different communities and build bridges between different societies and civilizations with these connections along with our numerous collaborations with prominent brands, organizations and NGOs. We see this as a highly significant mission assigned us by this unique geography where we breathe in over the centuries. In order to properly carry out this mission and to further strengthen our capability in this regard, we continue to work on various projects by dwelling on more innovative and far-reaching options more particularly.
“Thus, following our meetings with United Nations Alliance of Civilizations during the past months, we are so proud and happy to be here today to enter into such a significant collaboration for an important project we think that will be highly beneficiary in the presence of our President, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, and the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres.
“As Turkish Airlines, who has been accepted as a permanent supporter of sports both on local and international scale, we strongly believe that sports has a strong unifying power on different societies and communities from all around the world. From this point of view, we are sure that this strong feature of sports will enable us to reach the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda to provide an important added value to the world peace via this valuable project.
“As one of the partners of this joint strategic initiative, we are confident that “Sport for Peace Awards” project will exceed its goals when it comes to attracting international interest and it will improve the social awareness of the international community by creating a high awareness platform.”
During the meeting with UNAOC High Representative, which took place at the Headquarters of Turkish Airlines, Istanbul, back in February, several project ideas that can be undertaken with UNAOC and the national airline were on the table. Considering that Turkish Airlines is known as a friend of sports and athletes due to its support for sports on an international level with its various sponsorships, the agreement was that the project’s concept should be about sports. Both parties agreed to a collaboration called “Sport for Peace Awards” to encourage and support sports since it is accepted as an universal and unifying tool that encourages peace, tolerance, mutual understanding and empathy that helps to reach the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which was adopted back in 2015.
The Turkish Airlines and UNAOC collaboration demonstrates the pivotal role of private sector in delivering the SDGs by promoting public-private partnerships and aligning the 2030 Agenda with corporate social responsibility strategy. The flag carrier airline will take an active role in the communication and media strategy of the project while reaching vast viewership across local, national and global levels.