2.12. "Dialog among civilisations. The key to a safe future"
Press release of the International Conference. 23-26 April, 2003, Warsaw
An international conference on "Dialog among civilisations. The key to a safe future" was held in the "Gromada" Hotel and Congress Centre in Warsaw from April 23 to 26, 2003. This was the third international conference in Poland devoted to these problems, and the largest in terms of attendance.
The conference was organised by the Polish Asia and Pacific Council, the Centre for Studies on East Asia of the Institute of Political Studies at the Polish Academy of Sciences, the Polish UNESCO Committee, and the Centre of Studies on East Asia and the Pacific at Trier University .
Opening the conference, the Polish Prime Minister (who took over sponsorship of the conference) said that Poland aspires to become a centre for international dialog between civilisations, and that Warsaw could serve as a Davos-type site in this respect. He also underscored the role played over the centuries in the development of Europe and Poland by cultures from other parts of the world.
The conference was attended by more than 600 prominent personalities from several dozen countries, representing the world's largest civilisations and cultures.
Members of the Honorary Committee were received by Polish President Aleksander Kwaśniewski and the Polish Foreign Minister Włodzimierz Cimoszewicz.
The conference focussed on dialog among cultures and civilisations, and on its part in generating new instruments of international policy, facilitating international co-operation, and strengthening the world's peaceful development. The conference met in plenary session for two days, and 22 workshops were held to discuss specific economic, political, social, psychological, philosophical and religious issues as well as problems of education, communication and the role of the arts in promoting dialog.
Conference materials will be published in a separate volume.
The scientific debate was accompanied by a wide range of cultural events connected with the main topic of the conference.
A "Music of Dialog" concert was performed after the ceremony by foreign students of the Frederic Chopin Academy of Music in Warsaw.
The "Colours of the Sun" Film Review was another event accompanying the conference, for four evenings at the Warsaw "WARS" cinema. It began with the presentation for the conference participants of "Pan Tadeusz" (a Polish film with English subtitles by Andrzej Wajda, based on a famous epic poem by Poland's Romantic poet, Adam Mickiewicz). Other films shown to the open public were: "Hideous kinky», "Range-e Khoda (The Colour of Paradise) and "Monsoon Wedding".
A Multicultural Evening was held on the third day of the conference in the "Gromada" Centre. Conference participants and guests partook in an evening of joint singing and dancing. Taking part were also the Song and Dance Ensemble of the Warsaw Technical University, as well as members of the Greek, Romany and Vietnamese communities living in Poland.
In a separate development, but connected with the conference, an International Academy of Dialog between Cultures and Civilisations for 'Education for Dialog"was inaugurated on 27 April 2003. The Academy has been set up at the initiative of the Polish Asia and Pacific Council for the pursuit of education and scientific research, aimed at deepening inter-cultural dialogue. The inaugural lecture was delivered by Ahmad Jalali PhD, the President of the General UNESCO Conference (Paris).
Marek Pawłowski, Director of the Conference Office