Symposium on Cultural Diplomacy & Human Rights

"Towards a Global Human Rights Culture: The Need for a Collective Alliance in the Protection & Promotion of Human Rights"

(Berlin; May 27th - June 1st, 2013)

Symposium Welcome Message

By Mark C. Donfried

Institute for Cultural Diplomacy

For the last 5 years, since the 20th Anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in 2009, the ICD has been engaged in human rights promotion and promoting the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities. Our activities range from research to conferences and focus primarily on creating alliances between different players in order to increase the cooperation and collaboration. At the same time, we try to highlight and improve the level of understanding and information about human rights violations and mass atrocities that are taking place and the challenges in preventing them.

The important duties of promoting human rights and the prevention of genocide and mass atrocities are crucially dependent on many political, economic and social factors as well as different players coming from all sectors of society and therefore are very sensitive and complicated. These tasks create a greater need for more organized and coordinated cooperation and collaboration by all players.

The ICD recognized this need and uses the application of cultural diplomacy practices in order to foster and to enable greater cooperation. We are delighted and motivated by receiving the support from the public and private sectors as well as civil society to our efforts and will continue to do so with the hope that one day, hopefully in our lifetimes, we will be able to live in a world based on the legal foundations where human rights and dignity are both fully respected and protected.

Last December of 2012, the ICD hosted a meeting in Berlin with other NGOs and human rights activists from around the world, and in the framework of this meeting, we expressed our desire to see a greater international cooperation between NGOs, governments and other players in the field of human rights.

In this meeting we decided together to hold a major civil society Symposium for human rights between May 27th-June 1st, 2013 in Berlin, where NGOs and civil society activists from all 5 continents will come to a Symposium dedicated to the issues of genocide and mass atrocities in order to laying sustainable foundations for a greater global alliance in the field of human rights.