Rhodes, Greece, 13 October 2015
The 13th Annual Rhodes Forum concluded on Sunday by calling on the United Nations to implement urgent reform of its development institutions and lend money to the real economy and to individuals who either live in abject poverty or struggle to make ends meet. Support for developing countries should be based on practical diagnosis of problems and go beyond economic and environmental issues to cover education and cultural development with a specific emphasis on the needs of women, the Rhodes Forum delegates stated.
Over the last three days, the Rhodes Forum, an annual event organized by the think tank World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” (WPF “DoC”) brought together over 350 delegates from over 50 different countries to debate pressing global issues.
In their closing statement the Presidency of WPF “DoC” concluded that:
- The current state of global chaos is neither necessary nor normative and that a “spiritual humanism” can transcend the logic of inequality and violence.
- “Hybrid warfare” represents the contemporary version of ‘total war’, which aims not only to achieve military victory but also to undo the political and social systems of states and precludes efforts to find diplomatic settlements.
- Wars such as those in North Africa and West Asia created by extremist groups such as Al-Qaeda, ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusra cannot be solved by military means alone but require political settlements that reflect cultural realities.
The WPF “DoC” Presidency also defended the complex diversity of civilizations and supported pluralistic ideas at the service of inter-cultural and inter-civilizational dialogue and expressed concern about policies that have allowed society to create a culture of individualism where people focus only on satisfying themselves, ignoring the needs of others and the fate of the planet at large. The importance of multi-child families as a means of preventing demographic decline in both developed and developing countries was also emphasized.
Running throughout the three day event, held on the Greek island of Rhodes, was WPF “DoC” commitment to achieving a better world governed by justice and peace. The organization and the Rhodes Forum delegates are of the firm belief that disorder and anarchy are not inevitable and that a different response to conflict that looked to solve the roots of destabilisation could charter a road to global harmony.
Vladimir Yakunin, Founding President of WPF “DoC” said:
“The current migration crisis in Europe, civil war in Syria and the rise of religious extremism in the Middle East and North Africa demonstrate how the scale and intensity of sectarian conflict has come to characterize today’s world.
“The fact that the Rhodes Forum, which this year has seen representatives from over 50 different countries and many different religions and ethnic backgrounds, has now gathered for 13 consecutive years, gives me hope that a better future can be achieved through dialogue.
“It is now the responsibility of WPF “DoC” and all of the delegates at this year’s Rhodes Forum to use what we have learnt over the course of this weekend to strive for a more peaceful and harmonious global order.”
On Sunday morning a minute’s silence was held at the Rhodes Forum for the victims of the weekend’s tragic terrorist attack in Ankara. A letter of condolence has since been sent by the WPF, DoC Presidency to the Turkish authorities.
The full Rhodes Forum 2015 Presidency Statement, accepted on Sunday can be found at: http://wpfdc.org/about-us/activities/events/19528-13th-rhodes-forum-concluding-remarks.
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