We, more than 450 participants from 57 countries meeting for the 8th Rhodes Forum “Dialogue of Civilizations” from Oct. 7 to 11, 2010, to discuss timely problems related to the formation of a world order in the emerging conditions of a multilateral world, declare:
Rhodes Declaration 2010
In the short historical timeframe of 20 years the world community has witnessed a consecutive disintegration of two systems of global management – a bipolar equilibrium and a unipolar hegemony. Now the world is going through a multidimensional systemic global crisis that is determined by an antagonism between finance and the “real” economy. The financial economy does not only produce goods and services but besides the notorious bubbles it also contributes to the so-called “grey capitalism” where immense profits escape from taxation (and therefore from the contribution to the common good), from state control and even jurisdiction. The collapse of the financial economy occurred because it is totally inadequate to a world order in which the intrinsic values of human life, society and nature should be present in equal measure.
The inadequate and painful rise and fall of the financial economy has had a negative impact on the development of the world economy. In particular the gap between rich and poor has not only failed to narrow; on the contrary, it has increased, and this is accompanied by an overall drop in the level of social support in many developed countries. In addition, humanity has been confronting the consequences of man-made global warming. New tensions in geopolitics may be the result unless a new culture of dialogue will prevail.
So we emphasize the challenges of global climate change and the social challenges of the world community that has historically been constituted on the basis of mutually augmenting values of different civilizations.
A sustainable and prosperous global economy needs to pursue the common good, in which profit making is compatible with a fair society and a sustainable environment. We cannot rescue and reform national economies or the world economic system without the participation of governments and parliaments. By contrast with neo-liberal market fundamentalism, what is required is a new civic covenant between states, markets and civil society.
The failure of markets, institutions and morality during the current financial crisis highlights the need for an ethical, moral and spiritual framework. Strengthening the role of the family will help address problems related to demographic decline, family break-up and the closely connected disintegration of human society.
The independent Rhodes Youth Forum that preceded our conference was freely organized by the young people themselves in a spirit of dialogue. It showed the importance of shared values such as solidarity, family, morality and responsibility for a fairer and more peaceful society.
The world does not need any new ideologies that purport to possess absolute truth. Mankind needs plurality, mutual respect for diversity and fruitful co-operation among equals.
As usual, we the Forum invite all those who consider themselves capable of supporting our efforts in discussing and building the future of the world to participate in the Forum’s agenda and to be active members of the dialogue network community.