On the 20th of February 2014, in view of the global mobilization for the formulation of the new Millennium Development Goals after 2015, held in Athens international preparatory meeting on the initiative of the “Club de Madrid” and the “International Centre Nizami Ganjavi”.
This Meeting is an intermediate stage between the first forum on ‘inclusive society’ which was held a few months ago in Baku, capital of Azerbaijan, and the second forum on the same topic, which will be held again in Baku in next April.
The meeting was held in the auditorium of the Museum of the Acropolis under the auspices of the Foundation “Marianna V. Vardinogiannis.”
The Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO Mrs. Marianna V. Vardinogiannis , opened the event with a short speech:
“… Today we have the opportunity to strengthen our partnership and to realize how important is the concept of inclusive society where every citizen has a role and equal opportunities. Above all universal requirements, respect for human rights and diversity, are critical in order to move forward, to ensure the equality of all people , children or adults , men or women , local or foreign … As an area of our meeting we chose the Acropolis Museum , in the heart of Athens , the birthplace of democracy, in order to join forces and to send a strong message of hope and mobilization for strengthening democracy in our troubled times … In all societies there is evidence connecting people and information that separate them . Understanding these challenges help , organizations like ours , to find ways in which their contributions will give a positive impetus to the building of peace in the societies of the future … The continuous efforts of the two organizations, the “Club de Madrid” and the “International Centre Nizami Ganjavi”, especially in the field of dialogue and cooperation between charismatic leaders and representatives of civil society , creates high expectations … Our foundation would like to emphasize the importance of education to all social procedures. The close collaboration of our foundation with UNESCO and the fact that our actions are always based on the priorities of UNESCO, guide us to identify problems and recommend solutions . According to the “Education for all Global Monitoring Report” we should emphasize the existence of equal opportunities for access to education and schools for children and young people. Specifically, as the economic crisis has strongly influenced the unemployment , the welfare of young people is more dependent than ever on the skills that we will provide them with education and training. The UNESCO points out that education is not just about children’s access to schools, but also to prepare young people for life, giving them opportunities to find decent work and help their communities to grow. Therefore and for many other reasons we are willing to help the work of the “Club de Madrid” and the “International Centre Nizami Ganjavi”, bringing reports of UNESCO in the heart of the dialogue , in the coming months … “.
Brief introductions to the meeting addressed by the Minister of Culture , Mr. Panos Panagiotopoulos , the Tourism Minister , Mrs Olga Kefalogianni, the President on Political Affairs and Democracy of the Council of Europe , Mrs Dora Bakoyannis, and the President of Acropolis Museum , Professor Dimitris Pantermalis , who between others expressed the wish that the humanistic values ??and ideals of democracy born in this place , under the Acropolis , be bright beacon to societies of the future.
Then took the floor the main speakers of the meeting , the President of “Club de Madrid”, former President of Latvia , Dr. Vaira Vike-Freiberga, and Dr. . Ismail Serageldin, Chairman of the ” International Centre Nizami Ganjavi” and Director of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina.
Both speakers stressed that the aim of their efforts through the activities of the institutions to which they preside are finding new ways of developing future societies, since the flood changes taking place internationally affects everyone and requires adjustment and adaptation to the new circumstances . Particular emphasis is given to the type of development that require new times , a development that primarily invests in human capital and education , with the aim of creating :
Societies where all citizens have equal opportunities to participate in public affairs, the same opportunities for access to education , health services , justice.
Society based on universal values such as the respect for human life, the dignity, the equality among citizens, among men and women, among children, youth and adult, the respect and the protection of the environment, the culture and the education, the solidarity and the cooperation.
Communities with inclusive growth and safeguarding jobs.
Societies with flexible institutions based on transparency , dialogue and understanding.
Dr. . Vaira Vike-Freiberga, speaking about “Club de Madrid”, explained that consists of former Presidents and Prime Ministers , who, as they no longer links and commitments by parties , can act more freely promoting dialogue between the Presidents , Prime Ministers , Ministers , prestigious personalities , representatives of civil society , etc. The main objective of this dialogue is to raise awareness on the basic principles of democracy so as to apply to societies in order none to be left behind, in order to enable everyone to develop as he wants. In particular Dr . Freiberga reported to equality among citizens stated : “I do not say that everyone should be the same , nor that people and countries must be put in the bed of Procrustes and follow the same model . We say that we must apply the basic principles , namely the right to life and human dignity , freedom of speech , freedom of the ‘ assembly ‘ and equal opportunities in what we in the “Club de Madrid” we call participatory society”.
The coordination of the meeting did Mrs Rodi Kratsa , member of the European Parliament.
Apart from the open to the public event held at the Museum of Acropolis the President of “Club de Madrid”, Dr . Vaira Vike-Freiberga, and Dr. . Ismail Serageldin, Chairman of the ” International Centre Nizami Ganjavi” have met with members of the two organizations and gave a press conference.
Among the celebrities who came to Athens on this occasion were: former President of Albania , Rexher Meidani, o former President of Bulgaria , Petar Stoyanov, former President of Romania , Emil Constantinescu, President of the University of Georgia , Giuli Alasania, the President of the Libyan Civil Forum, Farida Allaghi, o President of Global Ethics. Net, o President of the World Academy of Art and Science , Ivo Slaus, o director of the Institute of Islamic Studies , Ahmad Naseem Shah, the director of the “Society for Interantional Development”, Stefano Prato, Ambassador Walter Fust, director of the ‘Club de Madrid “, Maria-Elena Ayuero, etc.
* The “Club de Madrid” was founded in 2001 in Madrid. It is an independent, non-profit organization consisting of 96 former Presidents and Prime Ministers of State from 63 different countries , and is the largest forum former heads of state gathered to meet the growing need for support among leaders in two key areas : democratic leadership and Crisis .
* The “International Center Nizami Ganjavi» has been devoted to the study of Azerbaijani poet Nizami Ganjavi, who was born and worked in the 12th century . The projection of values ??and demonstrating his work, and to promote intercultural dialogue and understanding between peoples is the main objective of the center.