“The Alliance of Civilizations is a special project of the UN Secretary-General which seeks to counter the cultural and religious forces which can lead to extremism and polarization in society, and works to actively engage governments in support of civil society projects that help bring communities together. The Alliance has already developed a number of partnerships with US-based organizations, and the entry of the US government into the Alliance is expected to lead to greater participation by US-based academic and research institutions, NGOs, businesses, religious and media groups.”
News article: http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/WO1005/S00300.htm
Here is a quote from the website for the upcoming AoC forum in Rio:
“The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations seeks to address widening rifts between communities and societies by reaffirming a paradigm of mutual respect among peoples of different cultural and religious backgrounds and by helping to mobilize concerted action towards this end.”
Here is a pdf of the High Level Group Report. Pages 47-48 contain some goals.
Here’s the government announcement: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2010/05/141812.htm
Please check out Paul Latour’s analysis and commentary in the comments section.