Ex-President Jonathan puts Africa in spotlight at Rhodes Forum in Greece
Berlin – The Rhodes Forum opens this week with a strong African presence led by former Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan headlining a diverse array of high-profile international speakers to discuss and seek practical solutions to major global challenges being faced today.
A statement issued by Rhodes Forum’s press officer Agnieszka Rzepka stated that Presidents Goodluck Jonathan (Nigeria, 2010-15) and Dioncounda Traore (Mali, 2012-13) will address the opening plenary session on 6 October alongside Oxford University’s Professor of Globalisation and Development, Ian Goldin, a former adviser to Nelson Mandela; Dominique de Villepin, Prime Minister of France (2005-07); and Vladimir Yakunin, co-founder and Chairman of the DOC Research Institute, the independent international think tank that organises the Forum.
Speaking in Abuja ahead of the Forum, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan said:
“The challenges facing the world today – whether financial crises, armed conflicts, increasing terrorist threat and immigration on an unprecedented scale – cannot be tackled by countries or even continents in isolation. They demand profound global thinking and willingness to seek solutions through dialogue, mutual respect and open-mindedness.
“African voices must be heard in this search for common solutions that benefit the whole of mankind, and international gatherings such as the Rhodes Forum provide an essential platform for this to happen. I am looking forward to this opportunity to make substantive contributions towards solving some of the most pressing problems facing humanity today.”
First convened in 2003, the Rhodes Forum brings together concerned members of the international political, business, civil society and academic communities in a spirit of dialogue and inclusivity. Every year, hundreds of participants from more than 70 countries explore the major challenges facing the world and seek concrete, applicable solutions rooted in shared values of equality, mutual respect and compassion.
Taking as its theme “Multipolarity and Dialogue in Regional and Global Developments: Imagining Possible Futures”, this year’s 15th Anniversary Rhodes Forum also hosts two focal events: a Summit on Globalisation, Dialogue, and the Future of Democracy; and a Summit on Global Infrastructure Development Scenarios.
About the DOC
The Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute is an international think tank that researches and develops proposals to address key challenges faced by the international community today.
Committed to seeking dialogue-based solutions to humankind’s most pressing issues, the DOC builds on the legacy and expertise of the World Public Forum Dialogue of Civilizations. We bring together global thought leaders from academia, public policy, business, and civil society in order to foster debate, share experiences, and develop sound policy recommendations.
The idea of a public forum that would promote dialogue as a means of easing and preventing conflicts, contrary to the theory of an imminent clash of civilizations, followed the adoption of key documents by the UN. On 9 November 2001, UNESCO Member States unanimously adopted the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity, and the UN General Assembly presented its Global Agenda for Dialogue Among Civilizations. These resolutions laid out principles of intercultural dialogue and laid the basis of the DOC.
The World Public Forum Dialogue of Civilizations (WPF), the predecessor of DOC, was founded to advocate for this initiative and help implement its objectives. The WPF was founded in 2002 by Indian entrepreneur and visionary the late Jagdish Kapur, business leader and philanthropist Dr. Vladimir Yakunin, and the businessman Nicholas F.S. Papanicolaou. The WPF has enjoyed UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Special Consultative Status and regularly collaborates with UNESCO.
The DOC is an independent, non-partisan think tank, and receives no government funding.