The World Beyond Global Disorder, Rhodes Forum 2015

Every autumn since 2003 the ancient Greek island of Rhodes hosts a session of the World Public Forum "Dialogue of Civilizations" 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 Civilizations" 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 civilizations possible. The results achieved by the Forum give a hope for further harmonization of international relations and strengthening of stability in the world.

The European Migration Crisis, Causes and Solutions

The Results of “The Current Migration Crisis: Causes and Solutions in Europe and Beyond” Workshop held at the 13th Rhodes Forum on October 10, 2015

By Brunson McKinley, Former Director General, International Organization for Migration (1998-2008)

The year 2015 witnessed a sharp increase in the number of migrants seeking to enter the territory of the European Union from the Middle East, South Asia and Africa.  Many of them were asylum seekers, principally Syrians departing their places of refuge in Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan.  Others, from Africa, South Asia or the Balkans had primarily an economic motivation.  Smuggling rings reacted quickly to the new demand, opening new routes from Turkey through Greece, the overburdened point of first entry into the EU, then through non-EU countries to a second EU entry in Hungary, Croatia or Rumania.  Traditional routes via North Africa to Spain, Malta and Italy also operated largely unhindered.

The initial EU response was confused and passive.  In the absence of administrative tools to deal with the increased flows, the EU countries began quarrelling among themselves, while the migrants and the smugglers made the running.  The EU is facing the consequences of its failure to put in place a coherent, comprehensive migration strategy at the time of the establishment of the Schengen free-circulation zone.

There are remedies that can be brought to bear in the immediate crisis, but Europe needs to respond much more fundamentally to the 2015 wake-up call with sweeping changes to manage continuing migration flows, which are likely to remain a constant feature of the European geopolitical landscape.

Remarks of Ambassador Mussie Hailu on the Occasion of Presenting Africa Peace Award to the World Public Forum

Remarks of Ambassador Mussie Hailu, Regional Director of United Religions Initiative - Africa and Special Envoy and Advisor of the Economic, Social, and Cultural council of the African Union on the occasion of Presenting Africa Peace Award to the World Public Forum in Rhodes Forum, Greece, October 9, 2015

Respected Religious Leaders,
Distinguished Participants of the Forum,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
On behalf of the Economic, Social and Cultural Council of the African Union and members of United Religions Initiative (URI) from diverse religions, spiritual expressions, indigenous traditions and cultures in Africa and the rest of the world and that of myself I present you warm greetings of peace.

As we gather this morning for the World Public Forum, I pray for the Almighty God to open our hearts and minds to understand the uniqueness of each one of us and to pour out the spirit of unconditional love, compassion and wisdom and to understand and fully embrace the idea that, though we are people of different faiths, traditions, cultures, tribe, colors, political ideology and countries we all are part of one human family who aspire to live in peaceful world beyond global disorder.

Future of International Development Institutions – Can Their Failures Be Even Bigger?

A Paper by Václav Klaus, President of the Czech Republic (2003–2013), delivered at the 13th Rhodes Forum, October 11, 2015

Many thanks for the invitation, which gave me the first opportunity to visit this beautiful island. Last time, I was in Greece at the end of June, at a conference in Athens, discussing the untenable Greek debt crisis which had developed as a consequence of this country´s voluntary entry (and continuing membership) in the European monetary union. This arrangement became an unbearable constraint, if not a straitjacket for it. The exchange rate and other relevant economic parameters connected with the Eurozone membership have proved to be in discord with the fundamentals of the Greek economy.

The World Beyond Global Disorder

A Paper by Johan Galtung delivered at the 13th Rhodes Forum on October 9, 2015

The strength of this forum is its civilization focus; let us use it for analysis and remedies. Major forms of disorder are violence, and war as state organized violence. The most belligerent states are the United States of America and Israel; both with civilization roots.

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13th Rhodes Forum. Concluding Remarks

Concluding remarks of the Presidency of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” on the occasion of the 13th Annual Rhodes Forum, October 11, 2015

Meeting for the 13th time on the island of Rhodes that is a crossroads of civilizations, this year’s Rhodes Forum gathered once again people from over 60 nations representing a variety of cultures and traditions. All the participants were united in their commitment to search for new ways of overcoming the contemporary global disorder – the immense human suffering as a result of military conflict, economic crisis, social dislocation and environmental destruction. By sharing novel ideas and experience from around the world, the Forum debated alternatives beyond the dominant ideologies and power systems. Key to this is the recognition that current chaos is neither necessary nor normative and that a spiritual humanism can transcend the logic of inequality and violence in the direction of justice and peace.

The WPF Presidency Statement

Rhodes (Greece), October 11, 2015

We call upon all parties concerned to declare immediately the ceasefire between the Syrian government and non-fundamentalist opposition groups to put an end to killing and destruction and sit then together to find the political solution.

We are also deeply concerned about recent events in Turkey where people who demonstrated for peace and reconciliation became the target of terrorist attacks and we express our solidarity and sympathy with the Turkish people.

Condolences of the Rhodes Forum Participants to the Turkish People

Rhodes (Greece), October 11, 2015

Participants of the 13th Rhodes Forum of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” express their most profound condolences to the people of Turkey in the connection with the terrible terrorist attacks in Ankara that took place on October 10, 2015.

Terrorist activity, leading to suffering and death of human beings, cannot be justified by any kind of goals.

Explosions occurred once again demonstrate that terrorism today is a major threat to all the people. And we can overcome this menacing threat only by resolute concerted joint efforts that will show practical solidarity of the international community.

Hybrid Warfare and the Long March through the Institutions

A Paper by John Laughland, Director of Studies, Institute of Democracy and Cooperation (Paris), delivered at the 13th Rhodes Forum on October 10, 2015

Professor Köchler presents us with a considerable challenge in inviting us this year to discuss hybrid warfare. The expression was coined by members of the US military in the middle of the last decade but the definition is very wide indeed. Hybrid war is said to involve “a mix of conventional, irregular, terrorism and criminal means or activities”; it can be deployed by “a combination of state and non-state actors”; it is said to include covert action, “economic blackmail, diplomatic duplicity and media manipulation.” One US military expert says that hybrid wars are “full spectrum wars” which include state building, as we can see in the second underlined part of the quotation on this slide: the phrase “full spectrum” is a presumably deliberate allusion to the “full spectrum dominance” which was the goal proclaimed for the United States in US Department of Defense document “Joint Vision 2020” published in June 2000.

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Contemporary Hybrid Warfare and What to Do?

A Paper by Türkkaya Ataöv, Emeritus Professor of International Relations at Ankara University, Turkey, delivered at the 13th Rhodes Forum on October 10, 2015

The concept of “hybrid warfare” is being debated since it became a part of defence discussions. It was initially described as a band of methods used to counter a conventionally superior enemy. These two words are now accepted as a prevalent term in international and especially in U.S. armed forces literature. Although several definitions have been suggested, it may be utilized to describe some threats, challenges, and armed conflicts of our time, intermingled with irregular forces, terrorism, criminality, and involving primarily non-state actors. Most of the articles on the subject emphasize  that the adjective “hybrid” qualifying threat, conflict, warfare and war does not mean the same thing. But all definitions will agree that it is an apprehension more than a military one. Its adherents are an assortement of true believers, guerillas, terrorists, professional soldiers, and criminal thugs, who combine conventional and nonconventional tactics and resort to immoral acts as well to scare adversaries.

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