Rhodes Forum 2014 completes its work

| September 29, 2014 | 0 Comments

Rhodes-Forum-2014-GR-IBNA-565x376The 12th annual session of the Rhodes Forum, held by the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations”, which gathered on Greek island of Rhodes more than 400 public figures and statesmen, academics, religious figures and representatives of the arts, mass media and business spheres from 65 countries, has finished its work. The attendees of the event discussed possibilities of harmonization of international relations and strengthening of stability in the world. Among the speakers of the forum were founding president of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” Vladimir Yakunin, President of the Czech Republic Miloš Zeman, Minister of Infrastructure, Transport and Networks of the Hellenic Republic Michalis Chrisochoidis, German politician Matthias Platzeck, Austrian politician Alfred Gusenbauer, Princess of Bahrain HH Shaikha Dheya bint Ebrahim Al Khalifa, co-chairman of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” and former Secretary General of the Council of Europe Walter Schwimmer, the Commissioner of South Aegian Hatzimarkou Georgios and other prominent figures.

The main theme of the 12th Rhodes Forum was ‘Preventing World War Through Global Solidarity: 100 years on’, commemorating the 100th anniversary of World War I. The theme is as relevant today as it has ever been in light of the numerous military conflicts raging in different parts of the world today, when it’s imperative to promote the culture of non-violence, and the spirit of cooperation, peace, and justice in the world.

The participants of the forum condemned the aggression against sovereign nations and peoples, the mass killing of innocent civilians, indiscriminate sanctions against the citizens of other countries, the intellectual and moral suppression of natural forms of human behavior, mass surveillance programmes as well as the wholesale destruction of humanity’s social ecology, which has been elevated recently into the new norm.

In concluding remarks of the Presidency of the World Public Forum Dialogue of Сivilizations, voiced by founding president of the WPF DoC Vladimir Yakunin, was noted that the systemic crisis that proves that even the analytical value of the neo-liberal globalization paradigm has exhausted itself, not to mention its predictive power. The rise of inequality above any reasonable limits in so many developed and developing countries is a compelling example of its inadequacy. It was underlined that we need to assess the risks and threats to human civilization and thereby to establish a world order that will ensure the survival of society, mankind and future generations.

It was also noted in concluding remarks that the WPF will seek to translate the concept of “dialogue of civilizations” into plausible public policies by instituting a dedicated WPF Dialogue of Civilizations think-tank, which could also serve as a global hub for the theory of dialogue. Its main task will be to ensure intellectually that the dialogue of civilizations is not hijacked by manipulative forces.

Also among the initiatives of the WPF which will contribute to harmonization international relations will be the project on the Schools of Intercultural Dialogue. The WPF will support its expansion both geographically and generationally, and it seeks to apply the project’s principles and standards to existing educational systems. The WPF shares the view that adult responsibility exists in any civilized social system and the forum will work out its policy towards the youth in order to ensure their right to access to education and best practices of the dialogue of civilizations. The existing programme of digital courses of dialogue of civilizations, that has been implemented for three consecutive years, will get significant support from the WPF in order to foster cooperation with leading universities.

The World Public Forum Dialogue of Civilizations (WPF DoC) is a large-scale, international, European-based discussion platform as well as the World Economic Forum and World Social Forum, and has been active more than 12 years. Currently, the activities of the WPF DoC are focused on the creation of a new multi-polar world picture; aimed at producing a vision for future development paths while considering actual socio-political situations. The organization enjoys United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Special Consultative Status since 2013 and unites into a single network various international and national nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), representatives of public and state institutions, civil society organizations and faith-based groups, academics, representatives of cultural, spiritual, business, and media spheres from different countries, members of diverse civilizations and cultural traditions, and individuals who share the principles of openness mutual respect which form the basis of the contemporary dialogue of civilizations.

The WPF DoC seeks to create effective and democratic instruments to solve global problems and set in motion evolutionary changes in the structure of modern society. Among the Forum’s tasks are protecting and promoting the co-existence of diverse ideas, and combining liberal standards with humanitarian values. Implementation of the Dialogue of Civilizations programme is closely connected with inter-confessional dialogue that brings together representatives of world religions to face the global challenges of extremism and terrorism.

The International Coordinating Committee (ICC) of the Forum is leaded by the former Secretary-General of the Council of Europe and WPF Co-Chairman Walter Schwimmer. Among the ICC’s members are the President of the International Progress Organization Hans Koechler (Austria), Director of Research Emeritus at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique of France Henri Favre, among many other prominent scholars and researchers of the current “dialogue of civilizations” agenda.

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The Endowment for the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” (DofC) was registered in July 2013 in Geneva. The activity of the endowment is aimed to support research in the study of political and social sciences, religion, and culture; develop communication between countries on political and economic matters; and seek compromise in cases of social unrest and international dispute. All donations are allocated to the development of The World Public Forum Dialogue of Civilizations programmes.

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