Preventing World War Through Global Solidarity: 100 Years on

Rhodes Forum Opening PlenaryEvery 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.

Rhodes Forum 2014

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World Affairs. The Journal of International Issues

In 1996 “World Affairs. The Journal of International Issues” was started by Jagdish Kapur and Chanda Singh. Today it is published in partnership with the WPF “Dialogue of Civilizations.”

World Affairs is a leading journal, printed and published in India. The journal seeks to provide the much needed Asian and the developing world’s perspective on issues of global significance. It stimulates interaction and debate between developed and developing nations.

The journal addresses a wide range of readers and reaches out to world leaders, politicians, industrialists, academics, students, and the general public while focusing on the changing socio-politico-economic situation and equations in the world today.

The increasing complexity of the international environment, beset by multiplying global crises requires serious analysis, debate and understanding. And this is what World Affairs is striving to bring about. In a world of growing violence and shrinking moral and ethical values it seeks to address this pressing need.

The latest issue of the Journal is devoted to recent developments in India, its domestic and foreign policy.

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Extortion in Argentina: Odious Debt is Pillaging the Nation into Bankruptcy

An Article by Ellen Brown published at OCCUPY.com on August 18, 2014

Argentina was the richest country in Latin America before decades of neoliberal and IMF-imposed economic policies drowned it in debt. A severe crisis in 2001 plunged it into the largest sovereign debt default in history. In 2005, it renegotiated its debt with most of its creditors at a 70% “haircut.” But the opportunist “vulture funds,” which had bought Argentine debt at distressed prices, held out for 100 cents on the dollar.

Paul Singer’s Elliott Management has spent over a decade aggressively trying to force Argentina to pay down nearly $1.3 billion in sovereign debt. Elliott would get about $300 million for bonds that Argentina claims it picked up for $48 million. Where most creditors have accepted payment at a 70% loss, Elliott Management would thus get a 600% return.

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Islam and the West: another Form of Coexistence is Possible

History Allows to Understand Why

A Paper by Dr. Beatriz Bissio, Head of the Department of Political Science, Coordinator of the NIEAAS, Center for Interdisciplinary Studies of Africa, Asia and South-South Relations, IFCS / Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, submitted for the Rhodes Forum Scientific Marathon - 2014

Understanding a particular culture is diving into its values, deciphering its codes, studying its symbols, submerging in its history.

In a time when certain groups representing specific interests of the West chose Islam (and particularly Arab Muslims) as an enemy to be fought it is important to rescue some aspects of the history of Arab and Islamic civilization to understand how this view is misguided and biased. The study of the history of Islam leads us to understand that the Muslim world is not that "other" with which the Western world can only come into confrontation. Rather, it enables us to understand how this civilization has contributed to the cultural development of humanity, and of course, of the West!

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Terror against Christians in Iraq

Statement by the Communication Service of the Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Church Relations, August 14, 2014

The tragic events caused by the unprecedented terror employed by militants against Christians in Iraq urge the Russian Orthodox Church again to raise her voice in their defence.

About 1,5 million Christians lived in Iraq before 2003. Religious radicalism, banditry, continued terror attacks, killings and discrimination against Christians, which began spreading as far back as ten years ago, have led to a situation in which most Christians have had to leave the country.

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Modi Rewrites India’s Tryst with Destiny (II)

By Melkulangara Bhadrakumar, Strategic Culture Foundation, August 8, 2014

During his visit to New Delhi last week, United States Secretary of State John Kerry was asked at a media interaction where India would stand in Washington’s scheme of things as regards its recent sanctions against Russia.

Kerry accepted that he was disappointed but appeared resigned to India’s stance. “We would obviously welcome India joining in with us with respect to that [sanctions]. But it is up to them. It is India’s choice.”

It does not need much ingenuity to figure out that the SCO is taking the decision to admit India at a defining moment in the post-cold war era politics.

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Commonwealth and Covenant: from Liberal ‘Dialogue’ and Unilateral Sanctions to the Cooperation among Civilisations

Dr Adrian Pabst, Senior Lecturer in Politics, School of Politics and IR, University of Kent; Visiting Professor, Institut d'Etudes Politiques de Lille (Sciences Po), specially for wpfdc.org

1. Introduction

In my previous essay, I argued that liberal ‘dialogue’ fails to promote peace, tolerance and mutual understanding and can even foment both conflict and war. I also discussed the difference of genuine, robust debate and the need to recover the best traditions that grew out of the Axial Age – the strangely coincident fusion around the second century BC of philosophy with theology that centred on a theoretical and practical critique of predominant norms of absolutist power and its foundation upon an irreducible polytheism. Arguably, the advent of critical thought and political resistance was from the outset inextricably intertwined with an appeal to (highly diverse forms of) plural unity connected with religious transcendence – whether in Plato, Buddha or Confucius.

In this essay, I want to show how the notions of commonwealth and covenant can help us re-envision proper cooperation among civilisations whilst preserving their own integrity and irreducible diversity. My argument is that the concept of commonwealth describes multi-national forms of associations that share risks, rewards and resources and that are bound together by substantive ties rather than merely formal, abstract standards (as for liberalism). I also suggest that the concept of covenant is key as it indicates a fundamental concord among the people, often inspired by religious traditions of covenantal ties between God and creation.

Before I can make this case, I will briefly focus on the way in which liberal ‘dialogue’ is inextricably intertwined with a punitive regime of unilateral sanctions that perpetuates conflict and is therefore wholly at odds with the purported liberal commitment to de-escalation and the resumption of cooperation.

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Putting the Dollar in Jeopardy

An Article by Flynt Leverett and Hillary Mann Leverett published at Consortiumnews.com on August 1, 2014

For 70 years, a key element of American power has been the dollar’s standing as the world’s premier currency. But Washington’s repeated use of economic sanctions as a foreign policy weapon has encouraged China and other powers to consider financial alternatives.

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