To mark the 22nd anniversary of its establishment, the International Institute for Central Asian Studies (IICAS) organized a conference on “Civilizations of the Great Silk Roads from the past to the future: perspective from Natural, Social and Human Sciences” in Samarkand, Uzbekistan from 28 to 29 September 2017.

The conference brought together around forty experts from a wide range of countries to share their expertise on the issues at stake. The participants discussed the status of exchanges along the Silk Roads and other trade routes especially in the fields of linguistics, poetry, music, sciences, archeology, architecture, textiles, faith and religions.

The participants © UNESCO
They also addressed more contemporary issues related to the Silk Roads such as the contribution of the Silk Roads common heritage to the Global Citizenship Education and the opportunity of cooperation offered by the New Silk Roads initiative. The scientific papers presented during the conference will be soon available through the Knowledge Bank of the Silk Roads Online Platform.

In their opening speeches the Vice-Governor of Samarkand on behalf of the Governor of Samarkand Mr Djuraev Turabjon Ikramovich, as well as Director of IICAS, Mr. Pilho Park and the Director of UNESCO cluster office in Almaty, Ms. Christa Pikkat, stressed the valuable participation of IICAS in the study of the Silk Roads, the importance of the cross-fertilization of cultures along the Silk Roads, and their contribution to the cultural diversity in the countries along the Silk Roads.

The International Institute for Central Asian Studies was established in August 1995 in Samarkand (Uzbekistan) in the framework of UNESCO’s “Integral Study of the Silk Roads, Roads of Dialogue” and as a direct outcome of the Steppe Routes Expeditions. Since its establishment in 1995, UNESCO and IICAS have engaged a fruitful cooperation towards the promotion of studies on the status of the Silk Roads in Central Asia strengthening the collaboration between local scholars and their colleagues abroad through a multidisciplinary research.