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WOCMES-3: continuation of dialogue of civilizations



WOCMES-3: Continuation of dialogue of civilizations

A.V. Fedorchenko

Events became on September 11, 2001 some kind of catalyst of many processes in life of the international community. In conditions when conflictness level between various parts of the world significantly increased, need of mutual understanding between the people became especially imperative. And future one of the most restless regions of our planet — the Middle East the third World congress of Middle Eastern researches (WOCMES) which is carried out from July 18 to July 24, 2010 in the capital of Catalonia — Barcelona (Spain) was devoted to overcoming the aggravated intercivilization contradictions, judgment of the past, present.

Obviously, it makes sense to stop briefly on background of holding this forum. Need of global coordination of Middle Eastern researches and significant expansion of scientific dialogue for this sphere was realized rather recently. The first world congress of Middle Eastern researches was carried out in September, 2002 in Germany, in the city of Mainz — the capital of the earth Rhine-land-Pfalts. The North American association of Middle Eastern researches (MESA) acted as the initiator of carrying out the congress, and also European association of Middle Eastern researches (EURAMES), the French association of studying the Arab and Muslim world (AFEMAM), Society of Middle Eastern researches of Great Britain (BRISMES) and the German association of Middle Eastern researches (DAVO) participated in its preparation. Considerable support to organizers of the congress was given by the government of Germany, the government of the State of Rheinland-Pfalts, the authorities of Mainz, the University of I. Gutenberg in which there took place meetings of the congress.

The second congress took place in June, 2006 in the capital of Jordan Amman and passed under patronage of the Jordanian king Abdullah II.

WOCMES — the meeting of researchers of the Middle East which is not simply held every four years from around the world. Since the first congress, it undertook functions of a link between National -

ny and regional associations of specialists in this region and also coordinator of scientific projects. The secretariat and members of the International advisory board carry out preparation of the next congress, select reports, conduct negotiations with the countries applying for holding this meeting in the territory, are engaged in PR, choose candidates for receiving awards and honorary titles, etc. The author of these lines, since the first congress, represents Russia in governing body of this scientific forum — the International advisory board WOCMES (ISS).

Barcelona was chosen as the venue of this international meeting not accidentally. Fifteen years ago here the so-called Barcelonian process which crowned establishment in 2010 of the headquarters of the Mediterranean union in this city began. The leadership of Catalonia — one of the most economically developed autonomous communities of Spain and the city authorities of Barcelona do a lot of things for transformation of the city into the informal capital of the Mediterranean region, the center of coordination of integration processes between the EU and the countries of the southern and east coast of the Mediterranean Sea. The European institute of the countries of the Mediterranean (EIS), close to the Spanish official circles, acted as the main organizer. Considerable support in carrying out the congress was given by the government of Catalonia, the authorities of Barcelona, the Autonomous University of Barcelona (one of the leading higher educational institutions not only Spain, but also Europe within the walls of which there took place meetings of the congress), and many ordinary citizens, banks, industrial corporations. Especially it would be desirable to note EIS role. This scientific institution, unusual on the status, is the joint scientific project of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Spain, the government of Catalonia and city council of Barcelona. It from the moment of the foundation in 1989 is the powerful "think-tank" specializing in the cross-disciplinary researches connected with the countries of the basin of the Mediterranean Sea.

Andrey Vasilyevich Fedorchenko is a Doctor of Economics, professor, the director of Center of Middle Eastern Researches of MGIMO (U) the MFA of Russia; e-mail: www.mgimo@vestnik.ru

Scientific life

The Prime Minister of Catalonia José Montilla handled a greeting to participants and guests of a forum. The president of the ISS Günter Meer, the rector of the Autonomous University of Barcelona Anna Ripoll, the president of WOCMES-3 Senen Florentsa (CEO of EIS), the Deputy Prime Minister of the government of Catalonia José-Luís Karod-Rovira made a speech at a ceremony of official opening with greetings. Then the Crowned Prinze of Jordan El Hassan bin Ta-lal presiding over the previous congress in Amman (2006) gave the introduction lecture "Road of the Ideas". In the performance this famous state and public figure, the president of the Roman club urged to pave the ideological way connecting the people is similar to the Great silk way, the Road of spices and other most ancient trade routes.

Despite large number of participants, the congress did not turn into some kind of "house of the people". Right after the plenary session, work on the sections dispersed across the territory of faculty of philosophy and literature of a university campus began. Most of them was organized by scientific centers, associations, certain prominent scientists of various countries. Simple transfer of these section meetings by that (them there were about 500) would occupy not one page. Here researches and on religion, history, philology, jurisprudence, and on domestic and foreign policy, state system, social problems, economy, environmental protection of the Middle Eastern countries were presented. The subject of reports covered the Middle East in his broad geographical understanding: Arab states and territories, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Israel and countries of Central Asia. Many sections devoted the work to consideration of a problem of development of dialogue of civilizations.

One of the central themes of the congress — a new political situation in the region at the beginning of the 21st century. Sources of tension, terrorism, according to acting, consist in suspense of many social economic and political problems of the Middle Eastern countries, in preservation and aggravation of the international conflicts, in lack of equal and mutually beneficial relations between these states and industrially developed world. The countries of the East in the majority are in economic measurement, other, less favorable for life of their citizens, in comparison with the western states which climbed up a step of post-industrial development. In this regard a large number of reports were devoted to the analysis of an internal situation in the countries of the region, the prospects of change of a system of the international relations. Special attention was paid to the current state and forecasts of development of Middle Eastern economy. During the discussions it was noted that sre-

di of the main directions of economic policy of the Middle Eastern countries there have to be an every possible increase in efficiency of use of resources, diversification of national farms, advance of economic reforms in the direction of stimulation of private business and liberalization of the market. At the same time it was recognized that the prospects of economic development of the region after overcoming consequences of global financial and economic crisis will be defined considerably by political processes of settlement in the Middle East during which there can be a new model of the international cooperation probably as the Pacific Rim.

Organizers of the congress managed to give it really planetary scope. About 3 thousand scientists from the countries of North America, Europe, North Africa, the Near and far East, Southeast Asia participated in its work. The MGIMO University having long and strong traditions of studying the Middle East region was the main scientific education center of Russia presented on the congress.

During the congress saturated and fruitful negotiations of the director of the Center of Middle Eastern Researches (CMER) with foreign colleagues and representatives of official circles of Spain took place. At a meeting of the WOCMES advisory board the program of further development of this scientific community was discussed and adopted. Participation of the representative of MGIMO in work of this body will create an opportunity for fuller integration of Middle Eastern researches of the University into world science. At the annual meeting of the European association of Middle Eastern researches (EURAMES) which took place in the same July days the director of CBI was elected the member of council of this organization from Russia, and Center of Middle Eastern Researches of MGIMO recommended as the coordinator of communications between the Russian specialists in the Middle East and EURAMES. During the congress the members of the ISS were admitted in the residence of the government of Catalonia and to the mayor's offices of Barcelona.

The program of the congress was not limited to only purely scientific actions. Besides a book exhibition on which the novelties brought the largest publishing houses specializing in Middle Eastern subject there took place speeches of singers and musicians, a festival of movies about the Middle East, the photo exhibition and other expositions devoted to the past and the present of the people of the Middle East were organized, the awards ceremony of winners of the award WOCMES was held.

In conclusion it would be desirable to pay attention to the involvement of the Russian scientific centers insufficient for the present into work of WOCMES. Without looking

A.V. Fedorchenko

on wide international representative office in Barcelona, it was difficult to find in the list of participants of representatives of our country. Really, the Mediterranean does not treat ours "to near "abroad". However the Arab world is close to us in many directions. Dynamically the relations of Russia with the EU develop — one of bright to that confirmations is creation at MGIMO and successful work of the European educational institute.

Summing up the results of the congress, its participants came to a conclusion that so representative meeting of specialists in the Middle East at the beginning of new to one thousand -

in general passed the anniversaries successfully. These July days many new scientific plans were born, future international projects across the Middle East were seriously discussed. Such meetings are intended to become continuation of extensive intercivilization dialogue in new historical conditions. Whether it will result in positive results? The answer to this question depends not only on efforts of politicians and diplomats, but also on real-life and constructive communication of scientists, cultural figures, the widest population groups of the countries of the East and the West.

Gilbert Doyle
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