UNESCO seminar on great moments of dialogue in human history, Samarkand, 29-30 August

22 August 2017

Thirty experts from some 20 countries will meet to examine examples of cultural cross-fertilization identified in UNESCO’s monumental General and Regional Histories and Routes of Dialogue projects to determine ways to boost intercultural dialogue today. The meeting, an international seminar entitled The Great Moments of Dialogue in Human History: Assessment, Lessons, and Prospects, will take place in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, on 29 and 30 August.

The seminar will serve to identify the great periods of dialogue in human history and highlight the main markers of these cultural interactions in different regions of the world so as to improve our understanding of the processes whereby cultures influence one another.

Participants will also explore the potential of today’s digital networks and the development of tools to disseminate existing knowledge in this area. They will finally propose concrete guidelines to develop educational materials and tools using ICTs to promote mutual understanding, dialogue and reconciliation.

The seminar is part of the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022), of which UNESCO is the lead agency.

In recent years, worsening of tensions, conflicts and terrorism in different parts of the world have once again given currency to long discredited ideas according to which clashes between civilizations and confrontations between peoples and nations are inevitable. Current tensions have also revived racial and cultural prejudices inspired by unscientific theories about a supposed hierarchy of races, cultures and religions. The fact that such ideas have gained ground in recent years has made new reflection on the common heritage and shared values of humanity topical and necessary.

The international seminar will be preceded on 28 August by an international conference on “Central Asian Renaissance in the History of World Civilization” organized by the Government of Uzbekistan, with support of UNESCO, on the occasion of the Sharq Taronalari (Melodies of the East) music festival, which is held biennially in Samarkand. Shavkat Mirziyoyev, President of the Republic of Uzbekistan, will open the conference.

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Contact: Natalia Wagner, n.wagner@unesco.org

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