Forthcoming event (3 – 5 November 2016 – Bitola, Republic of Macedonia)

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THE HOLDER OF THE FORUM IS THE UNESCO CHAIR FOR INTERCULTURAL STUDIES AND RESEARCH, FACULTY OF PHILOSOPHY, UNIVERSITY OF SS. CYRIL AND METHODIUS.

 

Participants

 

  • Heads of States and Governments, Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Ministers for Culture, Directors/Presidents of Commissions for Relations with Religious Communities and Groups from the region of South-Eastern Europe;
  • Representatives of international organisations, such as UNESCO, Alliance of Civilisations, Council of Europe, Organisation of the Islamic Conference, Arab League, Council of Churches, International Conference on Religions for Peace, International Organisation of La Francophonie;
  • Distinguished experts and university professors who deal with issues relating to religion and culture; UNESCO Chairs representatives and

 

  • Religious leaders, high representatives of faith communities and organisations;

 

  • Representatives of the youth and non-governmental civil sector. 

 

CONCEPT PAPER ON

 

THE FOURTH WORLD CONFERENCE ON

 

DIALOGUE AMONG RELIGIONS AND CIVILISATIONS

 

“ Migration and the challenge of Integration through dialogue

 

between religions and cultures”

 

 (3 – 5 November 2016 – Bitola, Republic of Macedonia)

 

 

 

Introduction

 

            Republic of Macedonia is a country of rich and ancient history, a country at the cross-road of many cultures, religions and civilisations. Out of this ancient and rich history of the Macedonian people and the ethnic communities who lived and live here a priceless cultural heritage has been created, from which, even today, the young generations draw their sense of identity, love and respect for their roots and traditional values.It is exactly the cultural and religious diversity of Macedonia that constitutes the source of a great creative potential and a bridge to mutual understanding, respect and co-existence.

 

Bearing in mind the universal values and principles contained in any religion, and the fact that diversity of cultures, religions and civilisations represents a positive contribution and a great potential, we are convinced that we all should make a contribution to encouraging the cultural and religious dialogue and cooperation.The Government of the Republic of Macedonia has made its contribution by supporting the organisation of the World Conferences on Dialogue among Religions and Civilisations that have taken place every three years as of 2007, and which is now organised for the fourth time by the Ministry of Culture in cooperation with the Commission for Relations with Religious Communities and Groups in the Republic of Macedonia, as well as the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

 

The organisation of such a significant world conference in the Republic of Macedonia is a form of continuation of the humane vision of the late President of the Republic of Macedonia, Mr Boris Trajkovski, who, on personal initiative and assisted by UNESCO, realised the very first Regional Summit of Heads of States in SEE Dialogue among Civilisations in 2003 in Ohrid.The Ohrid Peace and Cooperation Message made it possible such regional forums of heads of states in the region to take place every year   until 2012, under the auspices of UNESCO.

 

The First World Conference on Dialogue among Religions and Civilisations, entitled Contribution of Faith and Culture to Peace, Mutual Respect and Co-Existence, was successfully realised in Ohrid on 26-28 October 2007. In addition to the funds provided by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia, the conference was financially and logistically supported by UNESCO, the Macedonian Centre for International Cooperation, and the World Conference on Religions for Peace in the capacity of a partner.

 

         The Second World Conference on the Dialogue among Religions and Civilisations, entitled Religion and Culture – Strengthening Links among Nations, was held in Ohrid on 6-8 May 2010.It was financially supported by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia, UNESCO, the Spanish funds for realisation of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals as part of the programme Enhancing Inter-Ethnic Community Dialogue and Collaboration, and the Holocaust Fund of the Jews in the Republic of Macedonia.

 

            The Third World Conference entitled Freedom and Dignity – Fundamental Values in Inter-Human, Inter-Religious and Inter-Cultural Relations,was successfully realised on 10-12 May 2013 in Skopje   financially supported by the Ministry of Culture and UNESCO.

 

All realized conferences saw a great turnout by the invited prominent religious leaders, intellectuals and politicians who deal with the inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue. The three conferences together welcomed some 200 foreign participants from 50-or-so countries in the world and 100 home participants, and were covered by around 100 accredited journalists and reporters from the country and abroad.The Conferences adopted Joint Declarations and established the International Committee for Organisation of the next World Conference.

 

                In the same manner as the previous conferences, the Fourth World Conference entitled “Migration and the challenge of Integration through dialogue between religions and cultures”will be implemented as part of the UN and UNESCO Global Agenda for Dialogue among Civilisations and the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013 – 2022).

 

 

 

With its programme, the Conference will open before the world public the following topics:“The family - a fundamental source and place for human dignity and growth in the faith” and “Use and misuse of modern means of electronic communication and social networks (religious orientation)”.

 

 

 

SIDE EVENTS

 

 

 

            The realisation of the Fourth World Conference will remark 1100th anniversary of the death of Clement of Ohrid” (830 – 916) which is included within the UNESCOcelebrations/anniversaries for the 2016-2017 biennium.

 

Also, traditionally within the Fourth World Conference will organize a Forum of the UNESCO Chairs in Southeast Europe with a working title: “The views of the UNESCO Chairs from SEE to migration, refugee crises and terrorism as challenges for   intercultural and interreligious dialogue” which is exactly the follow up of the meeting of the UNESCO Chairs organized in the framework of the 3rd World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue in Baku, 2015. The holder of the Forum is the UNESCO Chair for Intercultural Studies and Research, within the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius.

 

 The previous Forums were: “How women are inscribed in religious discourses” - within the Second World Conference and “The Role of Religions in Building a Tolerant Youth “- within the Third.

 

 

 

The Fourth World Conference Objectives

 

            The Conference will serve the further definition and realisation of priorities and common objectives set during the First , the Second and Third World Conferences that took place in Ohrid in 2007, 2010 and in Skopje, 2013.Consequently, the Fourth  World Conference objectives are:

 

  • By way of discussion, to promote the role and the importance of freedom and dignity as universal human rights and fundamental values in inter-human, inter-religious and inter-cultural relations;
  • To discuss the role of religious tolerance in pluralist societies, the collisions in modern times, and the challenges to living together in peace;
  • To emphasise that cultural and religious diversity should be deemed a heritage and advantage, as the different cultural and religious traditions bear great creative potential and are the instrument for mutual understanding and respect;
  • To guarantee and realise the cultural and religious rights, as well as equality of national and ethnic groups in every country as the safeguards of stability and sustainable development in every society;
  • To consider the issue of strengthening and further enhancement of the dialogue underlining the theoretical and historic foundations of the global inter-religious dialogue and the role of the young; and
  • To discuss the contribution of the media in promoting the inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue.

 

 

 

Expected Results

 

By holding this Conference, and with the exchange of opinions and experiences by representatives of various religions and cultures, we expect to promote religion and culture as factors of peace, and the notion that the respect for religious rights and cultural diversity are the foundations of peace and prosperity.

 

The Conference will emphasise the role of religion and culture in transforming societies, promote the role and importance of freedom and dignity as universal human rights and fundamental values in inter-human, inter-religious and inter-cultural relations.The Conference will reaffirm and promote the truth that freedom and dignity of people, regardless of their national, cultural, religious and social affiliation, are rights that have to be respected and nurtured.

 

The Conference will point out the importance and the role of the media and the young in promoting inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue.

 

The restoration of mutual trust, the establishment of inter-religious and inter-civilisation dialogue should help free the world from prejudices and misconceptions of the past.

 

Participants

 

  • Heads of States and Governments, Ministers for Foreign Affairs, Ministers for Culture, Directors/Presidents of Commissions for Relations with Religious Communities and Groups from the region of South-Eastern Europe;
  • Representatives of international organisations, such as UNESCO, Alliance of Civilisations, Council of Europe, Organisation of the Islamic Conference, Arab League, Council of Churches, International Conference on Religions for Peace, International Organisation of La Francophonie;
  • Distinguished experts and university professors who deal with issues relating to religion and culture; and

 

  • Religious leaders, high representatives of faith communities and organisations;

 

  • Representatives of the youth and non-governmental civil sector.

 

 

 

Working Languages:

 

Macedonian and English.

 

Participation Criteria

 

           For the Heads of Delegations and Religious Leaders (plus 2 accompanying persons), mediators and participants who will deliver presentations, and also for the members of the International Committee for Organisation of the Fourth World Conference, all expenses will be fully covered by the organiser.Airline tickets (economic class) shall be provided by the organiser in agreement with the participants.

 

           For all other participants, the organiser shall cover only the hotel accommodation and the daily expenses (meals and cultural activities).

 

Contact Information

 

Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Macedonia

 

ul. Gjuro Gjakovik br.61 – 1000 Skopje

 

Tel.: 00 3892 3240 591, + 3240 594

 

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Forum of the UNESCO Chairs-conclusions


Head, Center for Intercultural Studies and Research:
D-r Lidija Georgieva
E-Mail: georgieva@fzf.ukim.edu.mk
Faculty of Philosophy, UKIM
Bul. Krste Misirkov bb
1000 Skopje, Republic of Macedonia
Tel: +389 (0)2 3116 282
Fax: +389 (0)2 3118 143
web : www.fzf.ukim.edu.mk

 


Assistant:
Aleksandar Pavleski, MA
E-Mail: cisr@fzf.ukim.edu.mk