International Conference “Which Values Unite Us Today?”

International Conference “Which Values Unite Us Today?”

On March 11-12, 2016 in Sofia, the Bulgarian Public Policy Institute Foundation and the Swiss Geneva Spiritual Appeal Association organized and implemented International Conference under the patronage of the Director General of UNESCO “Which Values Unite Us Today?”. The Conference brought together spiritual leaders, intellectuals, politicians, academicians, diplomats from Europe, Asia, Africa, America, representatives of different cultures, social systems, religions, ideologies, historical traditions. The main aim of the Conference was to create favourable conditions for a heart-to-heart talks between the participants by which to become conscious of the issues and problems of the values in the contemporary world – which values unite us and which values divide us; values or only material interests define human behaviour; is it possible the shared values to solve the crises of our life – economic, financial, ecological, political, security, humanitarian; do the institutions of education, culture and media contribute to the understanding, protection and distribution of values; what is the role of religions for the safeguarding  peace and development.

The Conference outlined a peculiar agenda and charter of the values in 21 century, and the organizers and participants consolidated themselves around the idea to transform this unique conference into a permanent and regular.

Participants

  • Dr Hafid Abbas, Vice-Chairman, Commission on Human Rights. Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Alain Dick, Board Member, Operation Smile Foundation, Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation. Geneva, Switzerland
  • Rev. Dr William McComish, Hon. President, Geneva Spiritual Appeal. Switzerland
  • Dr Olga Zinovieva, Head of International Alexandre Zinoviev Research Center, Lomonossow, Moscow State University
  • HE Dr Anies Baswedan Minister of Education and Culture, Republic of Indonesia
  • His Imperial Highness Georg von Habsburg, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Adviser to the Prime Minister of Hungary
  • Prof. Dr Mohammed Shahrour, Scientist, Writer and Philosopher. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • Dr Jeffrey Newman, Emeritus Rabbi, Finchley Reform Synagogue. London, United Kingdom
  • Hermien Kleden, Chief-Editor, Tempo English. Jakarta, Indonesia
  • Prof. Nicolas Offenstadt, University Paris I La Sorbonne
  • Prof. Antony Todorov, Professor of Political Sciences, New Bulgarian University
  • Prof. Dr Anastas Gerdjikov, Rector of Sofia University “St Kliment of Ohrid”
  • Dr.rer.pol.,Dr.h.c Horst Mahr, Chairman, Gesellschaft für Aussenpolitik. Munich, Germany

Agenda

Thursday, March 10, 2016
 
12:00 – 22:00 Arrival  

  • Arrival of participants
  • Bilateral meetings  
  • Interviews with media

Friday, March 11, 2016  
Sofia Hotel Balkan. Bulgaria

 
09:00 - 09:30 Registration
09:30 - 10:15 Opening Addresses

  • HE Dr Irina Bokova, Director-General, UNESCO, Patron of the Conference  
  • HE Rosen Plevneliev, The President of the Republic of Bulgaria  
  • HE Mrs Tsetska Tsacheva, President of the National Assembly. Sofia, Bulgaria
  • HE Boyko Borisov, Prime Minister of the Republic of Bulgaria  
  • HE Maya Manolova, National Ombudsman of the Republic of Bulgaria  
  • Prof. Dr Anastas Gerdjikov, Rector of Sofia University “St Kliment of Ohrid”. Bulgaria
  • Rev. Dr William McComish, Hon. President, Geneva Spiritual Appeal. Geneva
  • HE  Dr Jose Ramos-Horta, Nobel Peace Prize 1996, Former President & PrimeMinister of Timor Leste.  Dili, Timor Leste (recorded address)


10:15 - 10:30  Values With Music
Choir of the Cathedral “Alexander Nevsky”. Sofia, Bulgaria
 
10:30 - 11:30   Keynote Address

  • HE Dr  Anies Baswedan, Minister of Education and Culture, Republic of Indonesia

11:30 - 13:30  Panel 1:  Values and Crises

  • His Imperial Highness Georg von Habsburg, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary, Adviser to the Prime Minister of Hungary. Budapest, Hungary
  • Prof. Dr Mohammed Shahrour, Scientist, Writer and Philosopher. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
  • Dr Olga Zinovieva, Head of International Alexandre Zinoviev Research Center, Lomonossow, Moscow State University, Co-Chair of Zinoviev Club IIA "Rossia Segodnya."  Moscow, Russia. “The Values we are losing”.
  • Dr.rer.pol.,Dr.h.c Horst Mahr, Chairman, Gesellschaft für Aussenpolitik. Munich, Germany, “European Values Endangered”

Moderator: Dr Zdravko Popov, President, Public Policy Institute. Sofia, Bulgaria
 
13:30 - 14:30  Lunch
14:30 - 16:15  Panel 2:  Values and Society
Developing and Integrating Values in Society Today: the role of education, media, communities, culture and religion  

  • Hermien Kleden, Chief-Editor, Tempo English. Jakarta, Indonesia. “Civil society and independent media in reforming political systems”
  • Prof. Nicolas Offenstadt, University Paris I La Sorbonne. Paris, France
  • Alain Dick, Board Member, Operation Smile Foundation, Sergio Vieira de Mello Foundation. Geneva, Switzerland. “Foundations for a sustainable value-based society”
  • Prof. Antony Todorov, Professor of Political Sciences, New Bulgarian University. Sofia Bulgaria. “Universal and Particular Values”

Moderator: Ventzeslav Sabev, Vice-President, Geneva Spiritual Appeal. Geneva, Switzerland
 
16:15 - 16:30 Coffee break
16:30 - 18:00  Panel 3:  Freedom and Security
The tension and the harmony between Freedom and Security. Freedom as a prerequisite for prosperity and sustainable development?    
 

  • Dr Hafid Abbas, Vice-Chairman, Commission on Human Rights. Jakarta, Indonesia. “Values as building blocks on the road to democracy: examples of transformation in postSohearto Indonesia.”  
  • Dr Jeffrey Newman, Emeritus Rabbi, Finchley Reform Synagogue. London, United Kingdom
  • Prof. Michel Veuthey, Vice-President, International Institute of Humanitarian Law, Deputy Permanent Observer of the Sovereign Order of Malta to the United Nations. Geneva, Switzerland. “From Solferino to Aleppo: the need to protect every human being in every situation”

Moderator: Dr Elena Mustakova-Possard, educator, social scientist, professor in adult developmental psychology. Virginia, USA
 
Saturday, March 12, 2016 Panel 4:  Values and Religions
 
09:00 - 09:30 Registration
09:30 - 10:00 Welcome addresses

  • Prof. Dr Ivan Jelev, Lecturer, Faculty of Theology, Sofia University “St Kliment Ohridski”. Bulgaria
  • Dr Birali Birali, Deputy Grand-Mufti, Sofia, Bulgaria  
  • Dr Rupen Krikorian, President, National Council of Religious Communities in Bulgaria.
  • Dr Olav Fykse Tveit, General-Secretary, World Council of Churches, Geneva, Switzerland (written address)

10:00 - 11:45 Keynote Presentations:  

  • Prof. Dr Mohammed Shahrour, Scientist, Writer and Philosopher. Abu Dhabi, UAE “Values Against Violence and Radicalization”
  • Prof. Dr Nicolas Offenstadt, University Paris I La Sorbonne. Paris, France “Values, Narratives, and Power through history”

11:45 - 13:30 Round-Table Discussion:  

  • Rev. Dr William McComish, Hon. President, Geneva Spiritual Appeal. Switzerland
  • Dr Jeffrey Newman, Emeritus Rabbi, Finchley Reform Synagogue. London, UK
  • Dr Mahmud Samandari, Secretary-General EBBF (Ethical Business Building the Future). Geneva, Switzerland
  • Dr Theodora Dimova, Writer and playwright. Sofia, Bulgaria
  • Prof. Dr Alexander Omarchevski, Dean, Faculty of Theology, Sofia University “St Kliment Ohridski”. Bulgaria
  • Assoc. Prof. Dr Todor Todorov, Lecturer, Chair of Arabic Studies, Sofia University “St Kliment Ohridski”. Bulgaria
  • Moderator: Prof. Dr Ivan Jelev, Lecturer, Faculty of Theology, Sofia University “St Kliment Ohridski”. Bulgaria