To the Director General of UNESCO
Her Excellency Irina Bokova
We have recently learned that Iran is the candidate country for the 2010 World Philosophy Day, usually held in the month on November. This annual event is a worthy initiative that each year allows an intense dialogue at a global level and involves philosophers and students in ways that are new to the usual academic circuits. We have experienced this on successful occasions, when our Association, Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations, has had the honour to cooperate with UNESCO’s philosophical sector, such as in Morocco in 2006 and in Turkey in 2007.
We believe that Iran’s candidature for the coming edition should not be considered as a normal rotation of location, since we are sadly aware, due to a very close experience, how one can be imprisoned and risk one’s life in Iran because of one’s ideas. The young woman who last June became a symbol of protest after the elections, Neda Agha Soltan, held degrees in theological studies and in secular philosophy. It is certain that under current conditions a World Philosophy Day could not be held in “normal” conditions in Iran and that many philosophers would not be able to attend freely.
We are aware that a final decision has not yet been taken on Teheran’s candidature by UNESCO’s main bodies and therefore we hope that a decision will make possible that this event will take place in another country. We are certain that we are not the alone in our concern in presenting such a alarmed request and invite philosophers and intellectuals from all over the world to join us in this by sending a message of support to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Giuliano Amato, president of the Scientific Committee of Reset-Dialogues
Giancarlo Bosetti, editor in chief of Reset magazine
Ramin Jahanbegloo, Iranian philosopher, author of “Reading Gandhi in Tehran”