The Baku Process – Interfaith and Intercultural dialogue

SHAFAQNA – UNESCO director general highlighted the importance of the World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, saying Baku Process teaches dialogue and interaction to young people.

Irina Bokova made the remarks during the 3rd World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, which kicked off in Baku on May 18.

“Baku Process kicked off in 2008 and every day, we see the results of this initiative put forward by Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev. I see that the First Lady of Azerbaijan, Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO, Mehriban Aliyeva is also committed to this initiative,” Bokova said.

“Our mission has never been so important,” she added.

Furthermore, Bokova said conflicts throughout the world mostly affect civilians, stressing that this new wave of racism, extremism and ethic cleansing is rising.

“We see how mosques and churches are destroyed. Education is under threat, the freedom of journalists, and freedom of expression have been restricted,” she added.

Bokova stressed that today the people need more freedom of expression. “It is necessary to show the power of the peoples’ cultural heritage regardless of their differences and to render more support to the youth.”

Speaking at the forum, Othman Altwaijri, ISESCO director general said multiculturalism is what the world should seek today.

“The time in which we live in is critically important and requires the courage to hold a dialogue. This dialogue can ultimately lead to mutual understanding and respect. Multiculturalism is something that the world should seek today,” Altwaijri said.

He added that the enmity which is observed today in different parts of the world, contributes to spreading terrorism and continues to extend.

Conflicts in the world today serve to advance some powers’s profits, noted Altwaijri.

The 3rd World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue is being held under the patronage of President Aliyev. The forum’s partners are UNESCO and the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations.

The following events will be held as part of the forum: plenary and working sessions dedicated to the role of education, the youth, arts, tourism in the rapprochement of cultures and their dialogue, “Dialogue of Culture Capitals” meeting, 2nd World Conference of Ministers of Culture and Tourism, and so on.

The World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, also known as the “Baku Process”, was initiated in 2008. Two previous editions were held in 2011 and in 2013. It has become a global platform for exchange and

discussion on major contemporary challenges pertaining to intercultural dialogue and the sharing of related universal values, which have become pressing issues to address in our globalized and more and more diverse societies.

This open forum aims to reaffirm the imperative need to consolidate and intensify dialogue among peoples from different cultures, religions or beliefs, in order to create, at the national, regional and global levels, an environment conducive to respect for cultural diversity, human rights and mutual understanding.

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