- ActivitesIslamic Issues
- January 14, 2008
- 5 minutes read
International Conference to Fight Clash of Civilizations
The Spanish city of Madrid witnesses on Tuesday, Jan, 15th, 2008 the first international conference for a dialogue between civilizations. Its importance stems from the fact that it is a beginning for establishing the initiative of the Coalition of Civilizations. Add to this that the conference will include about 500 prominent figures including presidents, thinkers and representatives of international organizations and non governmental organizations.
This conference is held following an initiative launched by Spanish Prime Minister in September 2004, during the UN General Assembly sessions and was supported later by Turkish Prime Minister and former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan in 2005 .
This initiative gained the support of Iran, Egypt, Jordan, the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic conference, plus Costa Rica, Malaysia, Mexico, Thailand and Tanzania among 100 countries that joined this initiative successively.
The initiative moved from being a meetings which were held by a high-ranking group to holding an annual conference for this to “fight the idea of clashing and to promote new methods to bridge the gap between peoples “, according to Jorge Sampaio the former Portuguese president and the higher representative of the coalition of civilizations.
The importance of this conference stems from the fact that it fights the negative concept of the clash of civilizations as it aims to develop new methods to reach an understanding between peoples .
For his part, the Spanish Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero saw that this meeting will set the scene for carrying out the initiative of the dialogue between civilizations with a participation of the countries all over the world without an exception to ensure peace and fair development for every one.
He said also in a statement issued by the coalition of civilizations that the issue of mutual cooperation between the West and the Islamic world has recently become very sensitive specially that the problem facing Europe is how can emigrants from Islamic countries get assimilated in the European life and culture while the Muslim communities in the European countries are developing in a still-unidentified manner.
It is worth mentioning that this high-ranking group has held five meetings before Tuesday”s conference. The first meeting was held in November 2005 in Palma de Mallorca.
The last meeting witnesses offering a final statement that contained many essential principles like the multipolar perspective, the need to reconsolidate the state of the law, the multilateral structure, a complete respect to human rights under any circumstances, the principle of democracy and condemning all forms of terrorism.
The report recognizes the important role played by religion in the relations between the West and between the Arab and Islamic world. It pointed out also that political issues may cause the negative understanding that emerges sometimes in the Islamic world towards the western world, like ” the Palestinian – Israeli conflict, that has got a symbolic nature. Thus, it is difficult to achieve a progress in the development of the targets of the coalition unless a progress is achieved at the same time for a political solution for this decades-long conflict”.
It is worth mentioning that Egyptian Islamic preacher Amr Khaled will take part in the conference and he will be a main lecturer in a session around ” The role of the media in encouraging understanding between cultures” .
Amr has expressed his optimism confirming that the conference of the coalition of civilizations will be a beginning for achieving the dream of improvement for all nations through an effective participation from positive young men who know very well that realizing dreams is possible.
The coalition seeks to achieve a number of objectives the most prominent of which are “Reinforcing a mutual understanding between the various civilizations, trying to resist factors that may cause intolerance and offering recommendations with practical measures that may help in curb the dangers threatening international stability and dangers resulting from extremist trends, and promoting the idea that international cooperation is required for security, stability and development».
The idea of “Coalition of Civilizations” needs more than mere talking. It needs to be applied on the ground in Tuesday”s conference in Madrid where participants will take part in a international body that may encourage cooperation in the developing joint initiatives, to fight any possible snowballing clash among nations and cultures all over the world and to develop new methods of understanding between cultures on the international level .