New Delhi 10-11-12 October 2013.Click here to download the program of this year's conference:
Dialogue of Cultures
The Government of Azerbaijan has recently hosted one of this year's main intercultural events: the 2nd World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, co-organized by UNESCO, the UN Alliance of Civilizations, the UN World Tourism Organization, ISESCO and the Council of Europe. The initiative, which took place from May 29th to June 1st in Baku, conveyed 534 participants from 85 countries, in order to address the issue of “Living together peacefully in a diverse world”. The Forum, aiming at raising global awareness about the importance of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue, has been divided into 3 plenary sessions, 9 workshops, a ministerial meeting and the UNAOC Fellowship Alumni Meeting.
The road towards an Euro-Mediterranean political partnership is currently facing a huge credibility problem, lying on the lack of a common regional stand up regarding the Israeli-Palestinian and the Syrian crises. While governments and regional organizations are facing an impasse, what has been first conceived as a corollary of the process has actually taken the initiative: civil society, in its non-for-profit, professional and academic constituents from all over the region, recently gathered in Marseille in order to identify and discuss possible solutions for the common challenges.
On March 14 Recep Tayyip Erdogan passed the ten-year mark of his premiership. He would have reached it in November but for the fact that at the precise moment in which Turks assigned the Akp the duty to govern their country in November 2002, our man was still serving a sentence banning him from public office. This was triggered by his now celebrated 1997 speech: “Mosques are our barracks, domes our helmets, minarets our bayonets and believers, our soldiers” – he stated while serving as Mayor of Istanbul, protesting against the military’s decision to outlaw the Welfare Party a few months earlier, to which the then first-citizen of the metropolis was affiliated.
Several days following the September 28, 1982 massacre of Sabra and Shatila, the Israel Council of Ministers decided to establish an investigative inquiry commission to probe and to establish Israel’s responsibilities for the events in the Palestinian refugee camps of Beirut. The report of the Commission chaired by Yitzhak Kahan, former head of the Supreme Court, together with Aharon Barak, Supreme Court Justice, and General Yona Efrat, was complete on February 8, 1983. Thirty years later, the Israeli State archives have published the report in full.
Stop and go is a continuous scenario in the relations between Turkey and Europe. For every step forward there is another one back. Doors wide open, then an impasse once again. Now we have reached a point in which the rope can no longer be pulled. Perhaps! Fifty years after taking the first step towards European integration Ankara could be prepared to let everything go up in smoke. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was the first to break this taboo by stating that entry into the European Union is no longer an essential objective for Turkey.
“An act of bravery” is the most appropriate definition of a gesture, the resignation of Benedict XVI, which has left everyone speechless, although there have been a few clues in the past that never, however, became more than faint rumours about a remote possibility, just one of many rumours in circulation, almost fiction. This is instead a real “act of bravery” as one should describe all gestures challenging tradition within a religious denomination, all the more so if this “within” is at the very top and the decision concerns the head of that tradition and of its liturgy. This was a challenge that in a vain attempt to search for precedents harked back to the end of the 13th century and the resignation of Pope Celestine V.
Krzysztof Michalski, who died at the age of 64, was the promoter of one of the most dynamic cultural centers in Europe. A native of Warsaw, Poland, his real center of gravity was in Vienna, at the Institute of Human Sciences, which he founded and was also the dean of. He divided his life between these two cities and Boston, where he was a professor of philosophy. Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations has lost a great friend, an authoritative member and a precious advisor in our scientific committee.
Sheikha Mozah, second wife of the emir of Qatar, appears to have embarked on an ambitious project with an uncertain outcome, involving teaching her citizens to play a leading role in the country’s life and not just that of privileged spectators. There are only 300,000 Qataris out of about 1.8 million inhabitants and they form a wealthy minority, the wealthiest in the world, but one that does not contribute to Qatar’s economic life. The intelligent sheika’s ultimate objective is to ensure that the emirate’s economy does not continue to rely only on its enormous reserves of gas but also on know-how.
The ‘mirror game’ with a finger pointed at differences, those reciprocally intensifying conflict between the East and the West, mainly concerns freedom. There are reasonable people in the United States who, after the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre, not only rightly reacted with indignation, demanding restrictions be imposed on the sale of automatic weapons as well as on the power of the lobbies supporting this traffic, but who also went a step further, moving the issue – as explained here by Jim Sleeper – from the American Constitution’s Second Amendment (the one guaranteeing the right of the people to keep and bear arms) to the First Amendment, which addresses fundamental freedoms such as religion, politics, the press and assembly, as well as freedom of speech in general.
New revelations about reckless gunfire in Newtown, CT over the past two years have blown a .357 magnum-size hole in the town's reputation as a peaceful, close-knit community. The astonishing "new normal" of heavy gunfire that took hold in Newtown long before last week's massacre only reinforces the parallel I drew here last week between today's gun enthusiasts and yesterday's racial segregationists.
On Friday, December 14th, President Obama addressed the nation in the wake of the tragedy at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, Conn. as a parent. Here is the speech I believe he needs to give to Americans now as president: