From October 8 to 11, the island of Rhodes (Greece) hosted the Seventh Annual Session of the World Public Forum ‘Dialogue of Civilizations’ (www.wpfdc.org), with over 500 participants from Russia, India, Iran, Lebanon, Italy, Germany, Spain, Greece, the United States, Turkey and many other countries. The Forum was founded in 2002 thanks to the joint efforts of Russia, Greece and India and brings together on a single platform various national and international non-governmental organisations, representatives of national and regional public institutions, members of religious associations and groups and representatives from the academic, political, spiritual, economic and media spheres of various countries and cultures. The participants in the Forum share a belief in the principles of reciprocal openness, accessibility and respect, which are the basis for dialogue among cultures in the contemporary era.
The World Center of Humanist Studies was invited to take part in the session on Cultures, and their Italian representative, Fulvio De Vita, contributed with a report on the theme of nonviolence as the only way out of the current crisis, presenting the World March for Peace and Nonviolence to the large number of participants present.
The talks at the Forum centred on the current situation and the need to preserve the structural integrity of the global community in the development of the world following the crisis. The specific themes discussed in the Forum included dialogue and alternative models for global politics, the identity of civilization in modern culture, interconfessional dialogue and cooperation, education and youth.
On the evening of the 8th, the opening ceremony took place at Rhodes’ medieval castle with concerts of classical, Indian and Armenian music. The next day, the Forum began with talks from the organiser Mr. V. Yakunin (Russia), Mr. S. Talbott (USA), Yu Zhenqi (China) and representatives of various cultures. There was time at the end for the many questions that were asked. In the afternoon the Forum continued with panels discussing various topics and the round tables. It was in the Culture panel on the 9th that the World March for Peace and Nonviolence was presented. The closing session took place on Sunday 12.
*(Translated by Simon Bruni, www.simonbruni.com)*