On Sept 27, United Nations Association of China (UNA-China) hosted an online international seminar entitled Promote Exchanges and Mutual Learning Among Civilizations, Build an Open and Inclusive World in parallel to the 51st Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.
Mr. WANG Chao, President of Chinese People’s Institute of Foreign Affairs and President of UNA-China addressed the opening session.
Dr. Paolo Gerbaudo, Director of the Center for Digital Culture at King’s College London,
Mr. Clifford A Kiracofe, President of Washington Institute for Peace and Development, Former Senior Professional Staff Member of the US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations,
Mr. Harvey Dzodin, Senior Researcher of Center for China and Globalization, Former Vice President of ABC News,
Dr. Féilim Ó hAdhmaill,Lecturer of Applied Social Studies, University College Cork, Ireland,
Prof. Tom Zwart, Professor of Cross-cultural Law at Utrecht University, the Netherlands,
Dr. Hassan Njifon Njoya, Lecturer of Department of Political Science and Public Administration, University of Buea, Cameroon,
Prof. Zhang Bo, Vice President of University of Chinese Academy of Social Sciences,
Dr. Su Changhe, Professor and Dean of the School of International Relations and Public Affairs, Fudan University,
Dr. Liu Liangjian, Professor and Dean of the Department of Philosophy at East China Normal University,
attended the seminar and delivered keynote speeches.
Ms. HU Wenli, Vice-President and Director-General of UNA-China chaired the meeting and made concluding remarks.
In his opening speech, President WANG Chao said that the diversity of civilizations has created different races and cultures, each of which has contributed to human progress in its own unique way. The process of human history development is the process of continuous exchanges, integration and innovation of various civilizations. Respecting and protecting human rights is an important achievement of human civilization and progress. Currently, profound changes unseen in a century and the COVID-19 pandemic are intertwined, and the world has entered a turbulent period. Motivated by narrow electoral politics and geopolitical needs, a few politicians in some countries have advocated "clash of civilizations" and "race contest", which has brought negative impact to the international community and is extremely destructive and dangerous. How to live in harmony among different civilizations and promote the sound development of the global human rights cause is a common challenge faced by all countries and a task that the international community must take seriously.
President Wang Chao stressed that, First, mutual respect and equality should be upheld. Different civilizations are equal in value, and we should respect their differences, independence and diversity. Second, we should stick to exchanges and integration to promote mutual progress. Diversity and inclusiveness of civilizations go hand in hand. The integration of diverse civilizations is an important driving force for the development of human civilization. Third, we should adhere to integrity and innovation to keep pace with the times. Only when various civilizations are integrated with the historical and cultural traditions of each nation and adapt to the changes of the times can they fully demonstrate their value. Fourth, we should pursue peace and development through dialogue among civilizations. As long as we uphold the spirit of inclusiveness and actively engage in dialogue, we can achieve harmony among civilizations. President Xi Jinping has put forward the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative, calling on countries to engage in dialogue rather than confrontation, pursue extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and work together to resolve development and security difficulties. Fifth, global human rights governance should be promoted on the basis of respecting differences among civilizations. There is no superior or inferior path to human rights, only its own characteristics. People of all countries have the right to independently choose the path of human rights development suited to their national conditions. Sixth, we need to promote people-to-people exchanges, and civil society should play the role of "lubricant", build a bridge of communication, deepen mutual understanding and promote friendship between the people.
President Wang Chao said that the Chinese nation advocates that different countries should rationally handle their differences with other civilizations, seek common ground while reserving differences, draw on each other's strengths, and refrain from attacking or disparaging other civilizations. The Chinese people have never accepted the logic that a strong country is bound to seek hegemony. Instead, they advocate that all countries, big or small, strong or weak, rich or poor, are equal members of the international community and participate in international affairs on an equal footing. China has provided the international community with public goods such as the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative and the Global Security Initiative. China adheres to the common values of peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom for mankind. China is committed to working with other countries to enrich the diversity of human civilizations and build a community with a shared future for mankind. China's excellent traditional culture has offered abundant resources for China's path of human rights development, which has provided an important impetus for international exchanges and mutual learning on human rights and opportunities for exchanges among various civilizations.
The participants said that the diversity of civilizations is the objective reality of human society, the basic feature of today's world, and an important driving force for human progress. We should respect the diversity of human civilization and oppose the superiority of a single civilization. Countries in the world should uphold the spirit of harmony in diversity, follow the path of exchanges and mutual learning based on equality, dialogue and inclusiveness, constantly discover and expand consensus among civilizations, and promote the development and progress of human civilization through inclusiveness. Diverse civilizations have bred different models of democracy and paths of human rights development. We should pursue equal exchanges and inclusiveness and strive for a community with a shared future for mankind. The younger generation is an important bond and bridge for exchanges between civilizations. We should vigorously promote people-to-people exchanges in education, society, business and other fields, and enhance friendship and mutual trust between people of all countries. China proposed the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, the common values for all mankind and a community with a shared future for mankind, which combine the Chinese civilization with the world other civilizations and provide guidance and impetus for the development of human civilization.