26-27 February, 2019 – The Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute (DOC) hosted an evening reception in Brussels to present its work to the EU policy community and announce this year’s Rhodes Forum, which will take place on 11-12 October. The event was attended by MEPs, EU External Service and prominent academics from Vrije Universiteit Brussels (VUB).
The event at the Residence Palais kicked off with a welcome from Professor Richard Higgott of the Institute of European Studies at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB). Professor Higgott then introduced the keynote speech by DOC Chairman Dr. Vladimir Yakunin.
In his speech, Dr. Yakunin said:
“Dialogue of Civilizations was created as a response to Professor Huntington’s theory of Clash of Civilization and was introduced to the UN almost 20 years ago. The DOC’s goal is to contribute to a world where human life, dignity, and respect of peoples and their cultures would be at the heart of an increasingly globalized processes. At first sight this may sound abstract or theoretical. But it is my strong belief when I look around the world today that the ideas that led to our creation are as relevant and applicable now as they have ever been.
“We are an NGO that stands for a society-to-society dialogue. It should support and go in parallel with diplomacy-to-diplomacy dialogue. But it should never promote partisan viewpoints, nor should it foster any state agendas. Diplomats speak on behalf of their country with set positions, while we try to reflect, analyse and represent societal views.”