Reflections on the Journey of the 6th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue
Baku, Azerbaijan 1-3 May 2024

As the Chairman and CEO of Global Dialogue Foundation, I am thrilled to share my reflections on the 6th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue.

This year’s forum, held under the theme “Dialogue for Peace and Global Security: Cooperation and Interconnectivity”, was not only a gathering of minds but also a celebration of diversity, inclusivity, and collaboration.

Throughout the event, we engaged in rich discussions that spanned various critical aspects of intercultural dialogue. We explored how fostering mutual understanding among cultures is more crucial than ever in our interconnected world. The sessions included insightful contributions from global leaders, policymakers, academics, and practitioners, each bringing unique perspectives on promoting peace and sustainable development through dialogue.

One of the highlights of the forum was the emphasis on youth involvement. It was inspiring to see young leaders stepping forward with innovative ideas for building bridges across cultural divides. Their energy and commitment to change reassure us that the future of intercultural dialogue is in capable hands.

Another significant aspect of the forum was the focus on technology’s role in promoting dialogue. We delved into discussions about how digital platforms can be harnessed to foster understanding and cooperation across borders. Technology will be a pivotal tool in advancing our mission of global dialogue.

 

I presented in the session on Migration and responded to the question; “What role can intercultural dialogue play in fostering understanding and cooperation between migrants and host communities and preventing the security risks associated with irregular migration.”

I shared experiences from GDF events in communities using intercultural dialogue and highlighted the following key points:

Key Point #1 – Empowering Cultural Identity through Intercultural Dialogue:Intercultural dialogue is a powerful tool that supports individuals and groups in preserving their cultural identities and heritage while integrating into new societies. This approach avoids the pitfalls of assimilation, allowing newcomers to retain their unique cultural perspectives and contribute meaningfully to sustainable societal growth. Such inclusivity enriches the social fabric and mitigates potential security risks by fostering a sense of belonging and acceptance.

Key Point #2 – Successful Integration through Community Associations: Our experience has shown that encouraging migrants to register their cultural or ethnic groups as community associations with local authorities is tremendously beneficial. This formal recognition helps lay a solid foundation for their positive contribution to society. It enhances their access to vital support and resources and provides a ready community network for future newcomers. Such a structured integration process ensures migrants can find their place and thrive in their new homeland.

Key Point #3 – Creating Platforms for Ongoing Intercultural Dialogue:Establishing regular platforms for ongoing dialogue, such as monthly meetings that include all cultural and ethnic groups within a region, in collaboration with local governments, offers significant opportunities for building inclusive and compassionate societies. Initiatives like the Whittlesea Community Leadership Network in Victoria, Australia, exemplify how such platforms can foster understanding, cooperation, and community spirit among diverse populations. These ongoing interactions are essential for nurturing inclusive, resilient, and harmonious communities.

Due to time constraints and the interactive format of the panel session, I presented parts of my speech. To download my complete version, click here

To download my overhead presentation with images, click here.

The partnerships and networks strengthened during this forum have laid a robust foundation for our ongoing efforts. We left the event with renewed commitment and actionable insights that will drive our initiatives forward.

I extend my heartfelt thanks to all the participants, speakers, and organisers who made the 6th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue a success. The enthusiasm and collaborative spirit have once again proven that when we come together in dialogue, the possibilities are limitless.

Let us carry the momentum from this forum into our communities and workplaces, continuing to advocate for a world where dialogue leads the way to peace and prosperity.

Together, we are making a difference.

Peter (Pece) Gorgievski,
Chairman & CEO,
Global Dialogue Foundation

Feel free to connect and continue the conversation on how we can collectively enhance intercultural dialogue in our respective spheres. Let’s keep the dialogue going!