Mediterranean Intercultural Dialogue

“In a unique demonstration of commitment at the highest level to enhance regional cooperation aimed at strengthening bridges between peoples and communities around and across the Mediterranean by promoting intercultural dialogue, countries of this region will come together under the banner of the UN Alliance of Civilisations to discuss and agree on a Regional Strategy on Intercultural Dialogue and Cooperation for the Mediterranean.

Ministers, secretaries of states of foreign affairs and representatives from governments of around 40 countries, as well as representatives of international and regional organisations – such as UNESCO, the International Organisation of Migration (IOM), the Organisation of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the Council of Europe, the European Union, the League of Arab States and the Anna Lindh Foundation – will meet in Valletta today [November 11, 2010] to agree on an Alliance of Civilisations Regional Strategy on Intercultural Dialogue and Cooperation for the Mediterranean and on its action plan.”

For more information, see the original article in the Malta Independent.

We no longer talk

“A publication We no longer talk, which undertook the project Intercultural Dialogue – Creative Laboratories, has been published. The project Intercultural Dialogue – Creative Laboratories initiated creative activities in multicultural communities, exploring issues of memory, destruction of cultural heritage and the environment, social and ethnic conflict, migration and community building. Over a two year period, the work was structured around creative laboratories, with spaces for interaction and dialogue between different cultural groups using artistic practice. The work is documented at the project’s web site. This project was a partnership between Laundry from the UK, the New Culture Foundation from Bulgaria and the Borderland Foundation from Poland. “

See details at the Lab for Culture website.

Rapprochement of Cultures

2010 was declared to be the International  Year of Rapprochement of Cultures by the United Nations. The following themes were identified:

1. promoting reciprocal knowledge of cultural, ethnic, linguistic and religious diversity;
2. building a framework for commonly shared values;
3.strengthening quality education and the building of intercultural competences; and
4. fostering dialogue for sustainable development.

800 activities have been developed to support these goals.

See the UNESCO website created for the Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures for further details.

Peace and Dialogue Awards

“The Rumi Forum gave its traditional awards of the RUMI Peace and Dialogue at the dinner held at Cannon House Office Building on Capitol Hill. At the ceremony, extraordinary individuals and organizations who have greatly contributed their time, energy, leadership and dedication to the cause of dialogue, peace,  community service and understanding were awarded.”

See details at the Rumi Foundation site.

Call for partners – Azerbaijan April 2011

“Youth Exchange Public Union would like to invite 24 young people from 10 European countries to Baku for 7 day-training about intercultural and inter-religious dialogue…The training is scheduled for 01-07 April 2011 and will be hosted in Baku Azerbaijan Republic. Financial support is under the European Commission’s “Youth in Action” programme granting scheme. If approved, all costs will be covered except for 30% of the international travel and visa costs. Organizations from all 27 EU member countries plus Liechtenstein, Norway, Iceland and Turkey, YOUTH IN ACTION PROGRAMME countries, EECA countries are eligible to be partners. The working language of the Training Course is English.”

The deadline is November 1, 2010. See original posting for full details.

Wageningen University-Intercultural Dialogue in practice

“At Wageningen UR [The Netherlands] the number of foreign students and foreign staff is ever increasing. The university is populated by a richly varied group of people from diverse cultures, which makes studying, working and living exciting but not always easy. It requires trust and respect to meet ‘the other’ and everyone’s recognition that he or she is ‘the other’ too. Dialogue is needed for a constructive process of studying, working and living in an intercultural environment and in order to benefit together from the challenges and chances diversity offers.

For that reason, the Executive Board set up the Intercultural Dialogue Team at the beginning of 2008. The group has been tasked with providing advise – solicited or unsolicited – on intercultural issues in the context of ‘internationalisation at home’. Both staff and students participate in the team. Intercultural dialogue is defined as a process that promotes an open and respectful interaction between individuals and groups from different cultural backgrounds. The Team is busy developing plans to create the conditions for intercultural dialogue and suggest solutions for problems that may occur.

The team is one of the instruments by which the Executive Board is seeking to emphasise the importance of cultural diversity in Wageningen. At the same time it provides a vehicle by which to highlight ‘good practices’ and recognise problems with cultural diversity in the workplace.
It includes representatives from all walks of university life – including students, lecturers, policy-makers and facilitators and has formulated the several priorities:
*Welcoming of foreign students and staff, cultural introduction to Europe and the Netherlands
*Education in intercultural groups
*Week of Intercultural Dialogue
*Opening a hotline during the week of Intercultural Dialogue
*Making an inventory of links between various campus initiatives”
(For more information)