Monday, March 08, 2010

2010, International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures launched at UNESCO

The Director-General of UNESCO Irina Bokova launched the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures with the establishment of the High Panel on Peace and Dialogue among Cultures.* Meeting for the first time in Paris, the international panel comprised of prominent political, intellectual and religious personalities from all regions of the world was asked to reflect on and reinvent the construction of peace founded on justice, respect for human rights, gender equality and solidarity in the context of globalization, and the challenges its poses, such as climate change, management of resources and ethical and economic issues, to which we must respond by consistently using the strength and impact of dialogue.

Members of the High Level Panel on Peace and Dialogue among Cultures present at the meeting:

  • Kjell Magne Bondevik (Norway), Former Prime Minister of Norway, Founder and President of the Oslo Center for Peace and Human Rights;
  • Lydia Cacho (Mexico), journalist, World Press Freedom Laureate 2008;
  • Mustafa Ceric (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Grand Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina;
  • May Chidiac (Lebanon), journalist, World Press Freedom Laureate 2006;
  • Souleymane Cissé (Mali), film-maker;
  • Esther Coopersmith (USA), United Nations Peace Prize Laureate (1984) and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue (2009);
  • Vigdís Finnbogadóttir (Iceland), Former President of Iceland and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador (1998);
  • Monsignor Francesco Follo, representing Monsignor Gianfranco Ravasi (Vatican), President of the Pontifical Council for Culture;
  • Mohamed Ibrahim (Sudan), Founder and Chair, Mo Ibrahim Foundation;
  • Attiyah Inayatullah (Pakistan), Member of the National Assembly of Pakistan and former Minister for Women Development Social Welfare of Pakistan;
  • Marc Ladreit de Lacharrière (France), President of the Foundation Culture and Diversity, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador (2009);
  • Monsignor Laurent Monsengwo Pasinya (Democratic Republic of Congo), Archbishop of Kinshasa;
  • Ilber Ortayli (Turkey), President, Topkapi Palace Museum;
  • Tavivat Puntarigvavat (Thailand), Director, Institute of Research and Development at the World Buddhist University;
  • Hegumen Philip Riabykh (Russian Federation), Vice-Chairman, Moscow Patriarchate Department for External Relations;
  • Yazid Sabeg (France), French Commissioner for Diversity and Equal Opportunities, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador (2010);
  • Wole Soyinka (Nigeria), writer, Nobel Laureate for Literature (1986);
  • Simone Veil (France), Former President of the European Parliament, Honorary President of the Foundation for the memory of the Shoah.


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Pres said...

Wonderful article!
The more we look into one another's cultures, the closer we come to world peace.