Vladimir Yakunin, Founding President of the World Public Forum ”Dialogue of Civilizations”, together with the Minister for Development and Infrastructure of Greece, Kostis Hatzidakis, welcomed over 500 participants from more than 60 countries.
President Yakunin asserted “With the wisdom of the past decade’s experience the World Public Forum will strive to quench the flames of the “hot war” through dialogue within the next 10 years”, while both stressed the need for dialogue in times of economic and social turbulence.
On 4th October Mr. Yakunin, at the opening plenary session, gave an overview of the issues, including cultural diversity as a factor of peace, the apparent polarisation of international relations which also highlighted the paramount need for constructive dialogue.
Noam Chomsky, from the USA, who has been described as "father of modern linguistics”, gave an impassioned video address stressing the need of peaceful conflict resolution. He particularly emphasised the challenges in the apparent, escalating tensions in the Middle East.
Panagiotis Michalos, General Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Greece and Mr Alfred Gusenbauer, former Chancellor of Austria, highlighted the role of the European Union as a model of political dialogue. Although both agreed that this model has much room for improvement.
Other influential public figures, including statesmen, academics, religious leaders, business people and media experts are discussing this year´s basic theme "Global Peace and Justice".
The results achieved by the Forum confirm that there is a vital need for dialogue to further international harmony and the achievement of global stability.