World Conference on Dialogue among Religions and Civilizations. 6-9 May 2010. Ohrid, The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
The Second World Conference on Inter-Religious and Inter-Civilization Dialogue : “Religion and Culture – Unbreakable Chain Among Nations” is organized by the Ministry of Culture of the country in co-operation with the Commission for Relations with Religious Communities.
It is supported by the Government of the country and UNESCO as a part of the MDG-F UN Joint Programme “Enhancing Inter-ethnic Community Dialogue and Collaboration” funded by a generous donation from the Spanish Government. The Conference will be held in the framework of the UN International Decade for the Culture of Peace and the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures. Hundreds of politicians, scientific and cultural experts on intercultural dialogue and representatives from diverse religions worldwide are expected to attend the event.
Background The Second World Conference is a continuation of the First World Conference on Interreligious and Inter-Civilization Dialogue : “Contribution of Religion and Culture to Peace, Mutual Respect and Co-Existence” held in Ohrid in 2007 with the support of the Government, UNESCO and, the Centre for International Cooperation and the World Conference of Religions for Peace, as partners. Participation in the first Conference was high with a share of two third (200) of foreign participants from 50 countries worldwide and one third (100) from the country. Local, national and international media made a wide coverage of the event. A joint Declaration was adopted at the Conference and an International Committee established in charge of organizing this Second World Conference in the course of 2010. A new joint Declaration is now under discussion and will be adopted at the end of the Conference.
Objectives The main objectives of the Conference are : discussing the role of religion and culture in the transformation of society and the impact by the globalization processes; emphasizing the impact of cultural heritage on the promotion of mutual confidence and respect; considering the issue of strengthening and further fostering of dialogue for the purpose of increasing mutual confidence among members of different religions and preventing any occurrence of conflicts; and, discussing/opening a discussion about the contribution of media to the promotion of peace, security and raising mutual religious tolerance.
Expected Outcomes The holding of the Conference, by exchanging opinions and experiences among the representatives of different religions and cultures, is expected to contribute to the promotion of religion and culture as factors of peace and respect for religious rights and cultural diversity as the foundations of peace and prosperity. The conference will not only underline the role of religion and culture in transformation of society, but also acknowledge and reaffirm the fact that culture may play a key role in surpassing religious and racial prejudices and international intolerances, by cherishing and nurturing century-old traditional understanding in multiethnic relations. The restoration of mutual confidence and establishment of inter-religious and inter-civilization dialogue are to liberate the world from past prejudices and delusions.
Parallel programme In order to promote and reinforce the Conference’s ideas and messages in the country, in co-operation with UNESCO Clubs, ASPnet schools, universities, the Ministry of Culture and the Ministry of Education and Science, and other related governmental and non-governmental partners, UNESCO will implement a series of youth-focused grassroots activities around the country. Partner organizations in 10 or more municipalities will organize topical events with youth and other local constituents. At a Youth Conference in Skopje on next 15-16 May, young people from around the country will gather to discuss the topic and prepare for future related activities in their communities. A photography/digital art competition titled “Shared Visions – What We Have in Common” (http://zaednickivizii.org/konkurs) will encourage youth to think about the value of diversity, what it is that they have in common across ethnic lines and the vision they share for a good future together. The creative work from the competition will be shared with the public during a multimedia youth event the night between the two days of the Youth Conference, at the gallery Chifte Amam or another cultural monument location. Select works will then tour the country in the upcoming months.
Organisers & Sponsors Key organizing partners are the MDG-F UN Joint Program on “Enhancing Inter-Ethnic Community Dialogue and Collaboration”, the Government with the Ministry of Culture as the lead in cooperation with the Commission for Relations with Religious Communities of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Another co-sponsor of the Conference is the Holocaust Foundation.
Conference website : http://www.worldconferenceohrid.kultura.gov.mk/index.php?lang=en
Online documents : Programme Concept document Application Contact International Comitee List of confirmed participants
UNESCO Contact :
Anthony Krause at a.krause(at)unesco.org
Zojka Naskova at z.naskova(at)unesco.org
Related : First World Conference on Inter-Religious and Inter-Civilization Dialogue - Ohrid 2007
Additional links : UN in FYR Macedonia - MDGs