DIALOGUE between cultures
The United Nations General Assembly met in plenary meetings at its fifty-sixth session to commemorate the United Nations Year of Dialogue among Civilizations 2001 and consider follow-up actions. What does a dialogue among civilizations mean? One could argue that in the world there are two groups of civilizations--one which perceives diversity as a threat and the other which sees it as an opportunity and an integral component for growth. The Year of Dialogue among Civilizations suggests us to revisit diversity and to seek a new system of relations based on inclusion. Hence, the goal of the Year is to nurture a dialogue that is both preventive of conflicts-when possible-and inclusive in nature.
Throughout history, peoples have exchanged cultural experience, ideas, values and goods through art, trade and migrations. Human history is the tale of such journeys. As we cross into the twenty-first century, we too have embarked on a journey – whose destination holds out the promise of justice, well-being and a peaceful existence for all. These encounters, in which individual travellers or communities have conveyed their ideas and customs across whole continents and oceans, are celebrated in a series of UNESCO projects.
The World Faiths Development Dialogue was set up as the result of an inspirational meeting at Lambeth Palace, London, in 1998, jointly chaired by James. D. Wolfensohn, President of the World Bank, and Dr. George Carey, Archbishop of Canterbury (1991-2002). There, leaders from different religions (9) and from development institutions agreed to the need for continued dialogue and action to explore how the interaction between religious and spiritual organisations and development institutions might be enhanced. A missing link in the work of the development agencies has all too often been the role of religions, both as organisations deeply involved with impoverished communities across countries and regions, and as a moral and spiritual voice helping to shape the policy and practice of anti-poverty and human development programmes.
The Centre for World Dialogue is founded on the conviction that all people have the right to engage in the free and open discussion of ideas. The Centre believes that dialogue and the exchange of views have a vital role to play in the prevention and resolution of conflicts. These basic principles underpin the Centre’s commitment to promoting greater understanding and co-operation at all levels through initiating and encouraging discussion on issues of global concern.
The Indigenous Peoples of the Kari-Oca
Conference, have made their Declaration of
intentions for the future: Our Declaration is for ourselves. In the
spirit of our ancestors and in harmony with one another at Kari-Oca, we have signed
the Kari-Oca Declaration. Kari-Oca represents five hundred years of survival
for the Indigenous Peoples of the Americas, Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe and
the Pacific. Our peoples came together to discuss our own agenda in the areas
of Indigenous Spirituality, International Law, Human Rights, Land, Territories,
Environment, Culture and Science, and Intellectual Property.
The Kari-Oca Declaration is in keeping with our spirituality. The Kari-Oca Declaration is a prayer that our ancestors and future generations will help us.
Dedicated to examining the discoveries in science and technology, and the cultures of China and the West, to demonstrate the fundamental moral principles that the two cultures share.
The Centre is an independent and impartial organisation, based in Geneva, Switzerland, dedicated to the promotion of humanitarian principles, the prevention of conflict and the alleviation of its effects through dialogue.
International Centre for Dialogue Among Civilizations (ICDAC)
ICDAC is primarily an organization to promote the concept of a global structure based on mutual understanding and tolerance. To achieve that goal, the Centre sets forth its mission statement as: To promote dialogue among civilizations and cultures on an international scale as a means of advancing the interpretation of the UN Charter and of improving human well-being.