Eurasia in the 21st Century - Dialogue of Cultures or Conflict of Civilizations?"A high-level conference on the Dialogue among Civilizations will take place on June 10 and 11 in Issyk Kul, Kyrgyzstan, under the joint auspices of the President of Kyrgyzstan, Askar Akayev, and UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura.
"Eurasia in the 21st Century - Dialogue of Cultures or Conflict of Civilizations?" will be the central theme of this conference, which will bring together - along with Askar Akayev and the President of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmonov - the representatives of the heads of state of Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Kazakhstan, Pakistan, Russia, Turkey and Turkmenistan. Former Finnish president Martti Ahtisaari will also be in attendance.
International experts including Rein Mullerson of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Remi d'Or of the French Institute for Central Asian Studies (IFEAC), Amaitai Etzioni of the Russian Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies, Hongfei Zhou of the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Sergei Kapitza of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences will debate three topics: shared values and ethical principles; intercultural dialogue, cultural diversity and heritage from the Eurasian perspective; and water, sustainable development and human security. At the close of discussions, they are expected to adopt the Issyk Kul Declaration.
The promotion of dialogue among civilizations and cultures is a key component of UNESCO's mission and activities. It falls within the framework of the UN Global Agenda for Dialogue among Civilizations, adopted in November 2001 by the United Nations General Assembly.
Tasked with pursuing and deepening UNESCO's efforts in favor of dialogue, the Issyk Kul conference is the latest in a series of meetings on the theme of dialogue among civilizations. Earlier meetings took place in New York (September 2000), Vilnius (April 2001), Islamabad (April 2001), Kyoto (July 2001), Paris (December 2001 and January 2003), New Delhi (July 2003), Ohrid (August 2003), Libreville (November 2003), Abuja (January 2004) and Sanaa (February 2004).