The government of Azerbaijan hosted the Fourth World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue in coordination with the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural organisation (UNESCO) and others.
One modern issue is the integration of migrants and refugees into large cities. Associated with this is the rise in extremism and how it has turned violent, as well as, the radicalisation of youth via extremist context on the Internet.
It was reported that this will provide an opportunity for the examination of potential effective responses to the various issues surrounding human security, mass migration, and violent extremism.
Numerous government heads and ministers, private sector individuals, policy makers, journalists, civil society activists, intergovernmental organisation representatives, and others gathered at the forum.
It was themed with ‘Advancing Intercultural Dialogue – New avenues for human security, peace and sustainable development.’ The UNESCO assistant director general for social and human sciences, Nadia Al-Nashif, said, “[The forum has a] very strong vision and resonates deeply with UNESCO’s mandate to build peace in the minds of men and women.”
Al-Nashif described the modern world as a complicated place with massive innovations in technology, increased tensions, and a lack of general trust based on insecurity. However, she noted in a UN forum UN dialogue is an important platform.
It allows for global citizens to debate coexistence with regards to the “2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” It is an agenda for acceptance, integration, social inclusion, and tolerance plus empathy.
UNESCO will host 13 sessions at the forum. As an international forum through the UN, it is not simply academic, as noted by Ms. Al-Nashif, but there are cities and local authorities coming too.
UNESCO has been working to help with the increased influx of migrants into major city centres. Many of the products from the forum will be turned into a research publication entitled, “Interculturalism at a crossroads, comparative perspectives on concepts, policies and practices.”
Al-Nashif said, “What the Baku Forum and UNESCO is doing is finding a common access where we continue to engage, to inform scientific evidence for why it doesn’t make sense to be racist, [and] why discrimination hurts socially and economically as well.”