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The historic day of November 9th 2014, which marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the summer of 2015 which will mark the 70th anniversary of the end of the last world war and the establishment of the UN, represent the major transitions that have taken place globally in the development of global human rights towards a more peaceful, prosperous, equal and protected society.
As we celebrate these historic occasions together throughout the world, and in particular, at a time when new forms of violence are currently on the rise, we must remember and learn from the global cooperation and diverse initiatives of that time, which have allowed us the privilege to no longer live in a region of peoples divided, cultures suppressed and voices oppressed.
The Commonwealth covers almost a quarter of the world’s entire land area (29,958,050 km2), spans all the continents, consists of nearly a third of the world population (estimated population of 2.328 billion, and produces a nominal gross domestic product (GDP) representing 17% of the gross world product (in 2014: $10.45 trillion, when measured in purchasing power parity (PPP). The Commonwealth, therefore, serves as an influential regional player in global political, economic and cultural affairs and it has a rich and diverse experience of best practices in cultural diplomacy. In addition, the Commonwealth constitutes a global community where all members have an equal voice regardless of size and population. Such a community, with its shared values and history, is the ideal forum for fostering mutual understanding and cooperation through cultural exchange and open dialogue.
The Institute for Cultural Diplomacy has therefore created the International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy in the Commonwealth 2015 in order to build on this past experience and to formulate new initiatives, which will strengthen international relations and encourage cooperation between diverse communities based upon values of peace, democracy, human rights and the rule of law within the Commonwealth of Nations.
The International Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy in the Commonwealth 2015 will analyze the relations between the UN and the Commonwealth and how the UN has historically supported positive developments in the Commonwealth over the past decades as well as how the UN can further support the development of the Commonwealth, which serves as a major organ within the UN. In addition, best practices and successful experiences from the Commonwealth will be analyzed in order to implement them globally.
The Symposium will include keynote addresses, lectures, and interactive panel discussions and debates in order to create a platform for new initiatives to be created and proposed.