In his keynote speech Dr. Hans Köchler stated that, in the era of globalization, only a multipolar world order is compatible with peaceful co-existende among a multitude of cultures and civilizations. Sovereign equality of states should be complemented by sovereign equality of cultures and civilizations if “culture wars” – that always in history have carried the risk of “perpetual” conflict – are to be avoided. He further explained that the principle of equality cannot be defined, and practiced, without mutuality (mutual respect) and that there can be no tolerance vis-à-vis those who reject it. This is the dilemma, he said, the world is faced with when cultural paradigms exclude each other in the name of universality.
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