WPF ICC Meeting in Vienna

WPF Dialogue of Civilizations

WPF International Coordinating Committee Meeting was held in Vienna, Austria, on February 9, 2013

The results of the 10th Anniversary Rhodes Forum Session held on October 3-8, 2012 have been analyzed at the Meeting including the Forum’s structure and content.

In his opening remarks the WPF Founding President Vladimir Yakunin said that today we are facing the challenge of forming of a unipolar world which is fraught with serious risks because any monopoly, any kind of domination leads to stagnation and degeneration. To avoid this prospect we need to provide that the world agenda is formed not only by states, but also by communities and individuals. This is why one of the World Public Forum’s key goals is to stir up the activities of civil societies and groups. This process should be based upon historical, cultural and religious heritage and diversity. And the values shared by different actors of the global society have to be mutual instead of “universal.”

Katerina Stenou, Director, Intersectoral Platform for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence, Bureau of Strategic Planning, UNESCO, and Prof. Marietta Stepanyantz, Vice-President of the World Philosophical Congress, delivered reports on “Schools of Dialogue” project initiated by WPF and UNESCO in several dozen Eurasian schools last year. Key notions of the Project are diversity and dialogue through which young people should learn to differ between the good and the evil and live in diverse environment. The lack of respective institutions capable of changing our daily ethos and behavior prevents achieving this goal. The “Schools of Dialogue” Project is designed to fill this lack. Pupils participating in the Project are going to acquire the knowledge based not on national narratives only, but on horizontal vision acknowledging achievements of different civilizations. In case of success the Project may be spread internationally, said Katerina Stenou.

WPF Executive Director Vladimir Kulikov reported on partnership that has been launched between WPF and the Jean Monnet European Centre of Excellence and the University of Trento (Italy). In the end of 2013 the partnership shall result in forming a joint WPF – Trento University Center for research of the alternative globalization models.

A decision has been made to form the 11th Rhodes Forum’s Steering Committee consisting of WPF Founding President Vladimir Yakunin, WPF Co-Chairman Fred Dallmayr, WPF ICC Chairman Walter Schwimmer and WPF Executive Director Vladimir Kulikov. It has also been announced that Chandra Muzaffar, President of the International Movement for a Just World (JUST), will be Co-President of the World Public Forum’s 11th Session.

It has been arranged at the Meeting that the agenda of the 11th Rhodes Forum will include three major topics: “Alternative Visions of the World” with emphasis on politics and economics, “Religion and Peace” which includes among others the problem of Sunni-Shia Dialogue, and “Family and Education” with special attention to the problem of women’s oppression in different regions of the world.