12th Rhodes Forum. Concluding Remarks

Concluding remarks of the Presidency of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” on the occasion of the 12th Annual Rhodes Forum (Rhodes, Greece, 25-29 September 2014)

The Presidency of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” is deeply concerned about the recent deterioration in global affairs and about structural trends that jeopardise both humanity and nature. Of even greater concern is the unprecedented and utterly irresponsible reaction to this development by the global financial oligarchy, which seems to be the only beneficiary of the crisis and the current onslaught.

The Presidency of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” strongly opposes the aggression against sovereign nations and peoples, the mass killing of innocent civilians, indiscriminate sanctions against the citizens of other countries, the intellectual and moral suppression of natural forms of human behaviour, mass surveillance programmes as well as the wholesale destruction of humanity’s social ecology, which has been elevated into the new norm.

In our view:

- the systemic crisis that proves that even the analytical value of the neo-liberal globalization paradigm has exhausted itself, not to mention its predictive power. The rise of inequality above any reasonable limits in so many developed and developing countries is a compelling example of its inadequacy;

- the extreme increase in the scope and intensity of injustice in the world, which is especially evident on such diverse continents as Europe and Africa;

- the contradictions on the Eurasian continent remain unresolved in the current global crisis. They have contributed significantly to dramatic events in recent years, most tragically in Ukraine where the disruptive effects for the wider Europe and the world are most evident;

- the global financial oligarchy is trying to establish a new transnational class to secure its own geo-economic and geo-political domination within the framework of a New World Order, which is portrayed as necessary, normative and inevitable.

Faced with this situation, the Presidency of the World Public Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” sees no other alternative than to use all its powers and resources more pro-actively in order to support public efforts against the threat of global confrontation or even war and to work out new, sustainable socio-economic models. These models, which put the interests of humanity centre-stage, will inform the emerging theories and practices aimed at transforming the world.

We think that the "dialogue of civilizations", underpinned by a rigorous conceptual basis, is the only way to achieve the goal we set 15 years ago, namely to enable us to assess the risks and threats to human civilization and thereby to establish a world order that will ensure the survival of society, mankind and future generations.

As an international Non-Governmental Organisation, we will set up several WPF programmes and initiatives, and encourage by all possible means the practical and responsible participation of the members of the Rhodes Forum and the Dialogue Family in the following activities.

1. The project on the Schools of Intercultural Dialogue developed by the WPF should become a visible reality for more countries and nations. The WPF will support its expansion both geographically and generationally, and it seeks to apply the project’s principles and standards to existing educational systems.

2. The WPF – sharing the view that adult responsibility exists in any civilized social system – will work out its policy towards the youth in order to ensure their right to access to education and best practices of “dialogue of civilizations”.  The existing programme of digital courses of dialogue of civilizations that has been implemented for three consecutive years will get significant support from the WPF in order to foster cooperation with leading universities.

3. The WPF will seek to translate the concept of “dialogue of civilizations” into plausible public policies by instituting a dedicated WPF Dialogue of Civilizations think-tank, which could also serve as a global hub for the theory of dialogue. Its main task will be to ensure intellectually that the dialogue of civilizations is not hijacked by manipulative forces.

4. The WPF will support all responsible efforts to oppose the violation of humanity’s social ecology as well as to defend traditional practices and ways of life.