Tbilisi Appeal for a Dialogue among Civilizations
Tbilisi, 2 October 2004/P/RE/18866c-is
In an Appeal unanimously adopted upon the conclusion of their deliberations in Tbilisi (Republic of Georgia), the participants of the International Forum on "Globalization and Dialogue between Civilizations" expressed their alarm over the fact that aggressiveness and violence extends to ever new regions of the world, giving rise to fanaticism, inter-ethnic and inter-religious conflicts, and civil wars. The delegates called upon heads of state and government as well as the United Nations and other international organizations to support all initiatives and measures aimed at a genuine dialogue of civilizations as basis for lasting peace at the global level.
The International Forum took place at the initiative of His Beatitude, the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia, Ilia II. It was held under the auspices of the President of the Republic of Georgia, Mikheil Saakashvili. The Forum was co-sponsored by the Georgian National Commission for UNESCO, the International Black Sea University, the Georgian Academy of Sciences, and the Intercultural Dialogue Platform.
Religious leaders, philosophers and politicians from Asia, Europe and America participated in the two-day deliberations aimed at outlining the framework of a sustainable civilizational dialogue under the conditions of globalization. Among the speakers were the President of the Republic of Georgia; the Catholicos-Patriarch of All Georgia; the Chairman of the Administration of Caucasian Muslims, Sheikh ul-Islam Alahshukur Pashazade (Azerbaijan); representatives of Patriarch Karekin II of Armenia, World Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, and Aleksei II, Patriarch of All Russia; the Head of the Trustee Committee of the International Black Sea University, Mr. Mesut Bozkir; and the President of the International Center for Dialogue between Civilizations (Tehran, Islamic Republic of Iran), Dr. Mahmood Broujerdi.
Dr. Hans Koechler, President of the International Progress Organization, delivered a lecture on "The 'Clash of Civilizations': Perception and Reality in the Context of Globalization and International Power Politics." He said that, if practiced in a consistent and sustainable manner, the dialogue among civilizations "may expose the political agenda behind supposed cultural and civilizational conflicts and prevent a hitherto unseen perpetual confrontation between peoples, nations, and groups of nations in the name of civilization."
In the final document of the meeting, the participants launched an appeal to the President of the Republic of Georgia, the Secretary-General of the United Nations and the Director-General of UNESCO to support the establishment of an International Caucasian Center for Dialogue of Civilizations in Tbilisi. The delegates expressed the view that such an initiative will have a positive impact on building a just and humane order of peace in the Caucasus region.
The papers delivered at the International Forum will be published in a comprehensive volume.