Civilizational forum aims to be ‘exchange platform’
World needs different models: Rousseff
Published: Nov 08, 2023 10:08 PM
Photo: Bi Mengying/GT

Photo: Bi Mengying/GT

The Inter-Civilizational Communication and Global Development Forum kicked off in Beijing on Tuesday, attracting around 150 experts from more than 30 countries. 

The three-day event, hosted by the Party School of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC), takes "tradition of civilization and paths to modernization" as its theme. Politicians, entrepreneurs, think tank experts, scholars, cultural ambassadors and diplomatic envoys from China and abroad have gathered together to discuss issues concerning communication among civilizations and global development.

 "The purpose of hosting this forum is to establish an international exchange platform for various parties to participate and converse with each other, contributing wisdom and strength to promote the exchange and mutual learning of civilizations among nations and to build a community with shared future for humanity," said Xie Chuntao, vice president of the Party School of the Central Committee of the CPC.

Dilma Rousseff, president of the New Development Bank gave a speech at the opening ceremony, noting that frank and respectful dialogue between different civilizations and countries will promote consensus and cooperation. She added that it is a guiding principle that the world needs to systematically follow.

 "The rich diversity of human civilizations can no longer be dismissive. The different objectives and development models followed by different nations cannot be ignored. It is not possible for a multicultural world to be forced to choose a single path. Often, they are looking with a single view of democracy, which actually leads to the weakening of democracies in many countries," she said, commenting on the significance of the forum.

Herta Daubler-Gmelin, former German justice minister, pointed out that besides cooperation in the economic and political fields, people-to-people cooperation in academic field is also very crucial.

 "We can do more. We can do better. This means information, as well as transparency in communication. And the recognition that every civilization contains dynamic elements. It's not frozen. It can open itself to converse with others," she said.

China's State Council Information Office released a white paper titled A Global Community of Shared Future: China's Proposals and Actions in September. John L. Thornton, chair emeritus of the Brookings Institution and co-chair of the Asia Society, quoted the white paper, pointing out that the most pressing task is to find a guiding beacon for the sustainable development of human civilization.

"There is no more important topic than the one we will be discussing this morning. I think of it as discussing the world we wish to be in, the world we wish to create for ourselves, our children, our grandchildren, and all future generations," said Thornton.

He also applauded for the Global Civilization Initiative and Global Initiative. "The aspiration China has is admirable. If it can be achieved, it will be a step forward for mankind, for the world," Thornton told the Global Times.

Three sub-forums on civilizational communication between China and Europe, China-Central Asia modernization development and leadership building, and China-Arab civilization exchange and modernization development, as well as a round-table discussion, will be held during this forum.