United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Strategy     |     References     |      Links     |     Contact

Activities by the
National Commissions

Actions undertaken within Member States of UNESCO and/or by National Commissions
for the promotion of a Dialogue among Civilizations

Andorra  Austria  |  Canada  |  Costa Rica  |  Cuba  |  Egypt  Germany  |   Israel  |  Jordan  Korea  |  Kyrgyz Republic  |  Latvia  FYR of Macedonia  |  Mali  |  Philippines  Poland  |  Portugal  Saudi Arabia  |  Switzerland | The United Kingdom

Click here for more information about UNESCO National Commissions



Austrian Commission for UNESCO >>>


  • Dialogues with China, Autumn 2001
    Initiated by the  Quebec office of the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada, this activity includes a number of events:
    - the official launch of "Dialogues with China";
    - Dialogues with China for business people;
    - Dialogues with China for the general public these events will be sources of an economic, commercial, touristic, cultural and artistic nature. In particular, events will include animated stands, a cultural evening and a mini film festival organized jointly by Ciné-Asie and the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema, Concordia University (Montreal).
    - Dialogues with China on the sciences;
    - Dialogues with China in primary and secondary schools and universities.  Mainly, these events include revolving workshops in secondary schools on various subjects connected to the Chinese culture; conferences in the CÉGEPS, and a university-level conference at the East Asia Studies in collaboration with the Asie-Québec Consortium.
    A number of parallel events in relation with the Chinese culture will occur within the framework of the celebrations of the United Nations Year for Dialogue among Civilizations, notably, the " Québec Xi'An Changchun Economic Forum" (3-5 December 2001) and an exhibition entitled "Eternal Xi'An" (from 5th December 2001 to 2nd September 2002).
    For more information concerning the Dialogues with China programme, please visit the following address:  www.cyberport.uqam.ca

  • Dialogue among Civilizations, Routes of Dialogue
    (from 1st November 2001 to 28th February 2002)
    Initiated by the City of Montreal (Quebec, Canada), this activity, under the patronage of UNESCO, includes a number of multidisciplinary events which combine exhibitions, dance, theatre, music, poetry, conferences, colloquia and round tables.  It will provide to Montrealers and visitors alike a unique opportunity for privileged meetings and an invitation to reflect on the dynamics of the interactions between cultures.  This invitation towards a better understanding of the memory and processes of influence which have marked the civilizations of the world will clarify the role of exchanges and borrowings in the development of civilizations.  The projects, inscribed within the framework of the Routes of Dialogue project, emphasize the concept of convergence between cultures by the discovery of a common inheritance and shared values.
    The activities, of a strongly intercultural dimension, are conceived as a process of opening up towards others.  Placed at the confluence of dialogues nourished by multiple influences, they favour the encounter with Otherness in a spirit of openness, tolerance, peace and friendship.  Gathered around sets of themes connected to UNESCO’s Silk Roads and Slave Route projects, these activities reveal the richness of crossbreedings at the dawn of the XXIst century as well as their importance in our own cultural development.  The Roads of Dialogue, (five in total), around which artists developed their projects, weave links between the Cultures from all four corners of the world – the East and the West, North and the South – across all borders and barriers be they linguistic, racial or religious.

  • Dialogue and Declaration of Indigenous Civilizations. Towards Postcolonial Standards of Civilization.
    (22-24 November 2001, Saskatoon, SK)
    Initiated by the Native Law Centre of Canada and Indian and Northern Education Programme at the University of Saskatchewan for the celebrations of the United Nations Year for the Dialogue among Civilizations, the project aims to bring up to fourteen Indigenous scholars, Elders, educators and Indigenous language experts and invited guests from Canada, USA, New Zealand, and other countries (where feasible) with the aim of examining the UN resolution on the Dialogue among Civilisations and creating an Indigenous declaration concerning postcolonial standards of civilisations. It will explore the dilemmas within the intellectual traditions of Indigenous civilisations and the dilemmas inherent in cultural racism and colonialism. It will seriously consider the empowerment of Indigenous peoples as the highest priority for the Decade of Indigenous Peoples and the UN Year of Dialogue among Civilizations.
    Specifically, the project is designed : (1) to move beyond the concept of reciprocal knowledge to the concept that dialogical interactions between peoples and civilizations as a necessary precondition for production change and celebration of difference and diversity; (2) to allow Indigenous scholars and invited guests to reflect on the meaning and standards of civilisation and culture within the Indigenous languages and traditions and share their understanding with other civilisations; (3) to allow Indigenous participants to sit together in Indigenous traditions of exchange and a Bohmian theory of dialogue to discuss the processes and way that Indigenous peoples should participate in and engage in the UN Year of Dialogue among Civilisations.
    (For further informations, please visit www.usask.ca/nativelaw/. ).

Costa Rica    

  • Contact with the National Commissions at regional and especially at the sub-regional level to fortify the work of the National Commissions and Associates Schools.

  • The MAB Committee organized a conference at the Latin American level to coordinate actions for the conservation of the natural surroundings.  The activity was entitled:  "Fertile Mother Our Earth”.

  • The Education Committee made on-going activities for the rescue and promotion of traditional native (indigenous) languages.

  • Diverse Working Committees prepared projects for the benefit of immigrant communities in Costa Rica.

  • The Costa Rican Commission for Cooperation with UNESCO cooperated and helped strengthen the Festival of Nations that is celebrated annually on the occasion of the Anniversary of the United Nations.

  • During the year two exchanges with Japanese students have been made at the Commission’s headquarters.  Costa Rican students were able to exchange with Japanese students to draw common conclusions between each.

  • Young people from middle schools, associated with UNESCO, were present at the Fraternity Meeting held in France between 12 - 17 June.

  • The Commission continues with the Slave Route project.  Currently the Commission is working on a publication under the direction of Dra. Rina Cáceres.



6-12 FEBRUARY 2002

An International Conference entitled "World Heritage in Young Hands-  Dialogue amongst Civilizations", was held in Aswan and Cairo, Egypt from 6 to 12 February 2002. Organized by the Egyptian National Commission for UNESCO in close collaboration with UNESCO headquarters, the meeting brought together some 80 heritage and education experts from 20 countries. The main outcome of the conference was the commitment of participating countries to enhance World Heritage Education in their own countries and to develop guidelines for educational multimedia packages on World Heritage sites. Follow-up activities on World Heritage Education will be the development of the Intercultural Dialogue routes project on three themes: the Silk Road, the Mediterranean Basin and Trans-Ocean routes.

and also, in 2001


German Commission for UNESCO web site >>>


The Israel National Commission for UNESCO has sponsored the following programs during 2000-01 as part of the Dialogue among Civilization Program:






Publications (translation to Hebrew)



Kyrgyz Republic    

The Kyrgyz Republic for UNESCO has chosen Dialogue among Civilizations as a strategic direction of its activities with the objective to develop intercultural dialogue and cultural pluralism and to enhance constructive dialogue under conditions of political and social tension.

The ideology and the work of the Kyrgyz National Commission for UNESCO is based on the principle that the ideas of dialogue among cultures and civilizations, culture of peace and tolerance must have a leading role in the region of Central Asia which is of a multi-ethnic, multi-faith and multicultural environment. Under these conditions, it is necessary to go beyond the traditional approach to intercultural dialogue concentrating only on common knowledge of cultures and civilizations. It is necessary to make analysis of both historical and contemporary processes enhancing positive interaction, mutual understanding and compromise between various cultures through identification of common values and shared ethical norms.

Activities include:

  • actively involved in implementation of the UNESCO projects “East-West Intercultural Dialogue in Central Asia” and “Spiritual Convergence and Intercultural Dialogue”. Under these project the Kyrgyz National Commission for UNESCO organized a number of international conferences

  • UNESCO International Forum “Culture and Religion in Central Asia” (Kyrgyzstan, September 1999)

  • Roundtable meeting “Civil Peace and Harmony in Kyrgyzstan” ( Bishkek, February 2000)

  • UNESCO International Roundtable Meeting “Intercultural and inter-religious dialogue as part of dialogue among civilizations” (Bishkek, June 2001) within the framework of which a sociological research was carried out on the theme “Inter-religious and intercultural dialogue and perspectives of civil society development in Kyrgyzstan”

  • Regional Roundtable meeting “Kyrgyz-Uzbek intercultural dialogue” (Osh, November 2002).


International Youth Conference “Dialogue Among Civilizations within the Frame of Culture of Peace” held in 21-25 may, 2001,  Rezekne (Latvia). The main topic of the conference was the ethnical and national identity and in a globalised society, focusing in particular on the culture of peace, non-violence, respect for the human rights and rights of minorities, un understanding, of the other cultures and traditions. The international conference bring together more than hundred participants from Norway, France, Czech Republic, Italy, Portugal, Poland, Lithuania and Latvia.

Macedonia (FYR of)    




A national Committee within the framework of the United Nations Year for dialogue among Civilizations was created by the Polish Minister of Foreign Affairs.  Members of the Committee include:  The President ot the Polish National Commission for UNESCO (Chair); high-level governmental, civil society and intellectual representatives; a representative of the President of Poland; representatives of the Ministers of Foreign Affairs, National Education, Culture, and Scientific Research; members of the two Houses of Parliament; and, members of churches. It's first meeting was held in February 2001. 

Initiatives include:

This conference falls with the research programmes undertaken by the Institute of Central-Eastern Europe in Lublin, (Poland) on regional history, as well as the United Nations Year of the Dialogue among Civilizations, 2001.
The objective of the conference is to present the traditions of dialogue and coexistence of different cultures (both ethnic and religious) whose traditions are particularly rich in Central-Eastern Europe.  The geographical extent of the area is marked by the borders of what  was referred to as the old Republic of Two Nations (XVIth – XVIIIth Centuries), but the debates will embrace all of the territory of Central-Eastern Europe as it is largely understood.

The first of the two sessions will be devoted to a presentation of the regional historical traditions, seen, inter alia, through the perspective of European emigrants living in Australia and North America.  The second session Round Table will examine the question of traditions of religious dialogue. For centuries, Central-Eastern Europe (especially in XVth – XVIIIth  Centuries.) was the territory for the religious co-existence of different confessions: Christian, Jewish and Islamic.  The round table will undertake the debate on the current state of the interreligious dialogue in Central-Eastern Europe at the threshold of XXIth century
For more information, please contact:

Institut de l’Europe du Centre-Est
Pl. Litewski 2, 20-080 Lublin
tel./fax : (48.81) 532.29.07

e-mail : instesw@platon.man.lublin.pl


Saudi Arabia    

International Symposium "Islam and the Dialogue of Civilizations"
17-20 March 2002
Organized by the King Abdulaziz Public Library


Two Publications:

Three Activities:

The United Kingdom

Wilton Park, in association with the UK National Commission for UNESCO, is organising a major international conference on Dialogue of Civilisations: Key Priority for the Twenty-First Century? from 29 October to 2 November 2001. There will be speakers from UK UNESCO and UNESCO headquarters, and an information display from UK UNESCO.
Wilton Park is one of the UK's leading centres for the discussion of international issues.
For further information, please go to


© Copyright 2003 - UNESCO - dialogue@unesco.org | page updated: 12/11/03