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 WWI. 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 “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.