BERLIN, October 13, 2016 /PRNewswire/ --
The Rhodes Forum, the annual public showcase event of the DOC Research Institute, an independent think tank headquartered in Berlin, renewed its appeal for dialogue to address key global issues, including the future of Europe, security and the fight against terrorism, and new models for economic development.
DOC co-founders Dr. Vladimir Yakunin, Dr. Walter Schwimmer and Prof. Peter Schulze said in a joint statement:
"We are today facing bigger and more complex challenges than at any time in our history, and these can only be solved through more effective and sustained dialogue between the world's major powers. The with-us-or-against-us approach to international policy is getting us nowhere. Mutually respectful dialogue needs to be reinstated if we are to get to the root of increasingly complex issues and possible solutions that the expert community can suggest to policy-makers, academia and opinion leaders."
"We were particularly pleased to welcome Czech President Milos Zeman and his predecessor Vaclav Klaus as keynote speakers at the Forum, as well as prominent officials from the EU and UN. Engagement at this level highlights the acute importance of events such as the Rhodes Forum, which provide a vital platform for wide-ranging, objective and unscripted discussion of the pressing issues the international community must come together to address."
The future of the EU and Europe was a hotly contested issue throughout the forum, with a range of viewpoints put forward.
President Klaus delivered a customarily combative assessment of the state of Europe today: "Europe is not in crisis. It is a crisis! The EU has created all these crises [we are facing today]. Of course, there are other factors involved, but if there was no monetary union, there would have been no sovereign debt crisis."
Former Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer also spoke candidly, noting: "I would like to see the United States of Europe, but at the same time I know that it is completely unrealistic at the very moment. This is why, I think, we have to go away from copying another political system and have to find new ways how the European people can come closer."
Dimitris Psarrakis, Economic & Monetary Policy Advisor at the European Parliament, urged people to be positive. "The European Union faces now the perfect storm. We are facing, at the same time, an economic crisis, political questions on the future of the migration in the EU and the migration issue. But the EU in the course of its history has always found its way out of a problem and became stronger and stronger. This time we are going to be strong again, but this is not a task to accomplish alone, but with all our good friends from West and East."
His Excellency Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) High Representative, added a global perspective: "The future will depend on how to live peacefully with others - how to manage diversity and turn it into progress, peace and security locally, nationally and internationally."
Participants linked the future prosperity of Europe and the world to finding effective ways to support those displaced by conflict in the Middle East. DOC co-founder Vladimir Yakunin proposed the creation of a new global fund under the auspices of the G20 to support victims of terrorism around the world.
"Fighting terrorism is a very important, very sensitive political and geopolitical issue. But what to do with 20 million displaced people?" Vladimir Yakunin said. "I am not in favour of bureaucratic structures. But I am in favour of G20 countries voluntarily delivering to a special fund some proportion of GDP to restore the emptied lands, destroyed villages and destroyed cities."
During the Forum the DOC debuted DOC TV to broadcast video interviews with Forum speakers and participants. News, views and DOC TV interviews from the Forum can be found on the DOC's dedicated YouTube channel, Facebook page and Twitter account, and under the hashtag #RhodesForum.
About the Rhodes Forum:
The Rhodes Forum is an annual event convened by the DOC Research Institute ("DOC"), an independent think tank headquartered in Berlin. It brings together leading experts from government, business and academia to discuss pressing global issues.
Held each year since 2002 on the Greek island of Rhodes, the Forum has consistently attracted high-ranking participants from over 70 countries. Every year, key guests and speakers include acting and former presidents and senior officials, members of the international academic community and business elite, representatives of international NGOs, diplomats and the media. This year's Forum, titled "The Chaos of Multiplicity: an Urgent Call for Dialogue", took place on 30 September and 1 October 2016.
In previous years the Forum has been organised by the World Public Forum Dialogue of Civilizations (headquartered in Vienna). Now, as part of the WPF's transformation into the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute this long-standing event will be organised by the Berlin-based DOC RI (headquartered in Berlin).
About the DOC:
Rooted in a tradition of seeking dialogue-based solutions to humankind's most pressing issues, Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute builds on the work and achievements of its predecessor organization, the World Public Forum Dialogue of Civilizations, bringing together global thought leaders from academia, public policy, business and civil society to debate and develop practice-based policy advice.
The roots of the organization date back to 9 November 2001, following an initiative by Iranian leader Mohammad Khatami, when UNESCO Member States unanimously adopted the 'UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity' and the UN General Assembly presented its Global Agenda for Dialogue Among Civilisations, setting out the principles of intercultural dialogue to be defended and objectives to be achieved. The World Public Forum Dialogue of Civilizations emerged as a practical endeavour to implement this initiative, and has since evolved into what is today Dialogue of Civilisations Research Institute.
SOURCE DOC Research Institute