Rhodes Forum 2011 Declaration


Rhodes Forum 2011 Declaration

We, more than 600 participants from about 70 countries meeting for the 9th annual session of the WPF “Dialogue of civilizations”, declare:

Rhodes declaration 2011

We have met in a year of key landmarks: 10 years after the declaration of the international decade of dialogue of civilizations and cultures, 10 years after the barbarism of 9/11 and the challenge to all civilizations, 20 years after the end of the confrontation between East and West and 50 years after the first manned space flight that provided a unique window on our shared globe:

We met for the first time without our co-founder, the Indian humanist and futurist J.C. Kapur, who guided our work with his thoughts, summarized in the following quote:

“The political structure of the future will be substantially different from that of today. It will be more decentralized, multi-cultural and multi-faith, which has been frequently mentioned during our forum for 9 years. The main conflict is emerging and will keep emerging in the field of religion. The path of humanism, self-realization and religious faith based on millennia-old revelations, confront the technocratic paradigm and the progress of human thinking. This will be the essential conflict of this century”.

The ninth session of the World Public Forum was dedicated to the following questions of global development: the modern economy, the role of international political institutions, the values of education, the preservation of family in the 21st century as a key to resolving the main problems of humankind and as the natural source for human revival, the role of mass media in today’s world and youth movements.

The discussion also focused on such burning issues as the recent changes in the Arab world, the role of civil society in overcoming the consequences of the crisis, the prospects of various integration projects, cultural aspects of the inter-civilization dialogue with the example of such civilizations as the nomads of Central Asia, the African continent and the Russian world.

We reaffirm our commitment to the previous Rhodes declarations and confirm our quest for maintaining plurality for mankind, mutual respect for diversity and fruitful cooperation among equals in dignity.

The current crisis highlights the limits of the neo-liberal model of “globalization”. A sustainable and prosperous global economy needs to pursue common good, in which profit making is compatible with a fair society and sustainable environment, in particular on the national and regional level.

The Rhodes community can raise and address new questions that are to be discussed internationally. In this dialogical manner, it is ready to serve as a public laboratory of ideas and good practices for shaping the future. In this light, the WPF makes the following concrete proposals:

  1. It commemorates the memory of the prominent Indian public thinker J.C. Kapur and supports the annual Kapur international lecture on the most important issues of the dialogical community
  2. It calls on UNESCO and other leading international organizations to continue their support for international programs in the field of dialogue among civilizations and cultures
  3. It appeals to the people and the authorities of Syria to organize a open public dialogue between the representatives of different groups of society without the use of force, extremism and undue external interference
  4. It suggests that the lack of responsible global strategic thinking and comprehensive research in the social and political sciences as well as the degradation of education systems everywhere requires a larger scale of research and expertise in the process of modeling and constructing the future
  5. It emphasizes the role of the media to foster the dialogical culture and to refrain from any manipulation.