Expert Colloquy – Dialogue serving intercultural and inter-religious communication – Strasbourg, 7 to 9 October 2002

The conference in pictures


Conflict prevention : A colloquy on interreligious dialogue

Enhancing dialogue between different cultures and religions is the aim of a colloquy held in the Council of Europe from 7 to 9 October 2002. This meeting brought together representatives of major world religions and international specialists in peace studies, conflict resolution, human rights and leading NGOs working to re-establish intercultural dialogue. One of the aims of the colloquy was to lay the foundations for redefining the governmental role of Culture Ministers, with regard to conflict prevention.


Working sessions themes

- The meaning of cultural conflict

- Building bridges between religious communities

- The challenge of cultural diversity




Presentation of the Colloquy

Conclusions and debats analysis

Biographies and presentation of the contributions

Intercultural Dialogue and Conflict prevention site

In Europe, Islam is going to be able to undertake its ''Aggiornamento''

Bruno Etienne, Political Science Professor at the Aix-Marseille University, recognises that the tragedy of September 11 has boosted a debate on relations with Islam



''Europe must be a multicultural place, otherwise it cannot survive''

Vjeran Katunaric of Zagreb University is strongly opposed to any culture controlled by the free market alone, and protests against globalisation which just makes of the society a self-perpetuated system of production and exchange irrespective to the human life.



Johan Galtung: with a bit of creativity, there is no conflict without solution

Conflict resolution lies not in compromise but in transcending the asked question, according to Professor Johan Galtung, founder of the International Peace Research Institute.



Walter Schwimmer calls for a stable, open and shared Europe thanks to dialogue

''Intercultural dialogue, including the religious dimension, is a key factor in conflict prevention and in post-conflict reconciliation'', according to Council of Europe Secretary General Walter Schwimmer, speaking as the colloquy on intercultural dialogue got under way.

Full speech


Gerard Philipps : culture is what can really foster the cohesion and development of our societies

The Chairman of the Ministers’ Deputies, said that the Foreign Affairs Ministers of the Council of Europe, after 11 September, expressed their determination to further wide-ranging multicultural and inter-faith dialogue enabling our societies to attain greater cohesion and lessen the risks of misunderstanding.

Full speech


Hidekazu Yamaguchi: ''In Japan, all religions co-exist without clashes''

''There is no cultural or religious conflict in Japan, but we want to give the participants in this colloquy on intercultural dialogue and conflict prevention the benefit of our own experience of mixed society,'' Hidekazu Yamaguchi, the Japanese Consul General, stated.

Full speech



Opening session

Necil Nedimoglu, General Rapporteur

Working session 1 – “the meaning of cultural conflict”

Hassan Hanafi

Working session 2 – “building bridges between religious communities”

Bruno Etienne

Masanori Naito

Working session 3 – « the challenge of cultural diversity »

France Lebon

Geza Tessenyi