The World Public Forum "Dialogue of Civilizations" met for the second time in Rhodes (Greece), 29 September – 2 October 2004, gathering several hundreds intellectuals, practitioners, public figures, NGO’s activists, religious authorities, representatives of means of communications, business leaders from over 40 countries.
In these times characterized by a spreading of a cult of violence, when we have an overemphasis on war talks and a deficit of peace and justice talks, the Forum reaffirms the commitment to dialogue among civilizations as an antidote to the looming clash of civilizations.
The dialogue involves the recognition of the dignity and integrity of different cultures and human identities, and opposes any form of hegemonic domination and cultural standardization.
The dialogue recognizes the values of different traditional religious and cultural traditions and condemns the abuse of these values for power political purposes.
In an effort to strengthen these commitments the Forum concentrated on the following themes: globalization and the need for humane global governance; culture and identity in world politics; the new generation in search of values; and the role of religions within the dialogue of civilizations.
On the theme of globalization, the discussions concentrated on the need to develop a plural and democratic form of global governance as a counterweight to unilateral domination and the unregulated rule of market forces.
On theme of culture and identity, the focus of the discussion was on both preserving the integrity and multiplicity of cultural traditions and preventing the decline into extremisms and militant confrontations.
On the theme of the new generation in search for values, the participants recognized the need to bridge the gulf between tradition and modernity and to encourage dialogue between generations.
On the role of religions within dialogue of civilizations, the discussions concentrated on the need to strengthen interfaith encounters and contribute to the consolidation of ongoing inter-religious dialogues.
The Forum believes that in pursuing these goals we can advance the positive role that public opinion movements can make to global peace and progress.
The Forum also recognizes the need for broad information support to disseminate the dialogue of civilizations and to influence the current political systems in recognizing the value of dialogue as opposed to hegemonic oppression and terrorism.