Paris Hosts First Conference on Int’l Decade of Rapprochement of Cultures

Paris hosted the first international conference March 24-25 dedicated to implementing the action plan of the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (IDRC) (2013 – 2022). The designation, adopted by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation’s (UNESCO) Executive Board in April 2014, was subsequently approved by the UN General Assembly in December.

Flag of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

Flag of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

The conference was held in UNESCO headquarters with the participation of leading experts, scientists and representatives of a number of UN specialised agencies. The results of the meetings will be included in the road map for building priorities to execute the IDRC action plan from 2015-2017.

As the lead agency of the UN system for the decade, UNESCO will be called upon to mobilise different individuals to set the basis for promoting mutual understanding conducive to the harmonious coexistence between peoples and countries.

The opening of the event included speeches by UNESCO Assistant Director- General for Social and Human Sciences Nada Al-Nashif and Kazakhstan’s Ambassador and Permanent Representative to UNESCO Nurlan Danenov.

Al-Nashif underlined Kazakhstan’s special role and support in promoting the global initiative. The official inauguration of the 10-year programme took place in August 2013 in Astana with the participation of UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and the High Representative of the UN Secretary General for the Alliance of Civilisations Nassir Abdul Aziz Al-Nasser.

In his speech, Danenov informed participants about the measures being taken at the national level, as well as efforts by President Nursultan Nazarbayev aimed at maintaining intercultural and interreligious dialogue and an atmosphere of respect, tolerance and stability in Kazakhstan’s society. He also drew attention to the forthcoming Fifth Congress of the Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, to be held June 10-11 and considered to be a practical contribution to implementing the IDRC action plan.

The conference emphasised that a key success factor of the IDRC is the direct participation of countries to implement various projects at the national, regional and international levels. President of the Culture Foundation and Kazakhstan’s famous poet Olzhas Suleimenov presented “The Great Migrations of Peoples,” the Kazakhstan-initiated project realised under the auspices of UNESCO.

The results of the 10-year undertaking may make an important contribution to the complex process of rapprochement of cultures and peoples in consideration of peace and sustainable development.

The history of European migration and settlement was in the limelight at The Great Migrations: The Colonisation of Europe, the international conference held at Spain’s University of Granada Dec. 11 through the initiative of Kazakh scholars. The event, organised by the Kazakh embassy in Madrid in cooperation with the university and UNESCO, brought together leading experts and scientists in the fields of migration, palaeontology and archaeology.

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