MOSCOW, October 6 (Itar-Tass) —— Possible scenarios for the future at a time of global changes will be discussed by the participants in the 9th annual session of the Dialogue of Civilisations to begin on Rhodes, Greece, on Thursday, October 6.
Representatives from more than 50 countries will attend the forum.
The tragic fragility of human life in the face of current political and natural catastrophes necessitates in-depth analysis of the results of the ten-year dialogue of civilisations and cultures, the forum organising committee said.
In 2008, the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilisations” convened a group of researchers and statesmen in Vienna to take stock of major global challenges. The magnitude of the global financial crisis was only just becoming clear, but the neoliberalism and market fundamentalism of the post-Cold War years had already taken a toll of their own.
Austrian Federal Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer opened the meeting with a call to make sure the urgent attention the financial crisis demanded was not just short-term and superficial but included consideration of deeper geopolitical issues and governance challenges facing the global community.
In this spirit, several of the researchers present envisioned a project to bring together the analyses of leading scholars from a range of different countries, assessing not only the financial crisis but shifts in relations among major powers, trends in political economy, and the possible futures these opened. The group sought insight into emerging issues; it did not indulge the fantasy that the future could be predicted in detail.
The World Public Forum, created to facilitate a dialogue of civilizations rather than a clash, saw value in bringing high quality research to bear on public issues and possible futures. It provided financial support to the project including opportunities for many of the researchers to gather at its annual meetings on the island of Rhodes. This initial support was crucial to inaugurating the present important series of books.
By tradition, the forum will be opened by its President and founder, Russian Railways Company CEO Vladimir Yakunin.
According to Yakunin, the World Public Forum was constantly working in an international atmosphere of events that seemingly proved quite the opposite. But meeting at the forum’s events the representatives of different civilisations have reaffirmed each time that beyond political sphere a dialogue on the level of civil society is not only desirable and necessary, but it is also practically possible. “Now the logic of Forum’s development has led us to the need of making this dialogue more substantial; in a way that would generate the functioning structures of a dialogue. Dialogue of Civilisations is called upon to develop a new culture of international partnership, co-operation and interaction, it has to foster new values and bring in new goals to the international community,” he said.
Every autumn since 2003 the ancient Greek island of Rhodes hosts a session of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilisations” called the Rhodes Forum that brings together public figures and statesmen, academics, religious figures and representatives of the arts, mass media and business spheres from all over the world. The sessions of the WPF “Dialogue of Civilisations” proved the urgency and efficacy of the Forum by brining the focus of world public opinion to the problems of intercultural dialogue and the need to work out instruments to make interaction among cultures and civilisations possible. The results achieved by the Forum give a hope for further harmonisation of international relations and strengthening of stability in the world.
This time the participants in the forum will focus on the situation in the Middle East, family values, economy, youth movements, and the role of the media community ion the modern world.