Academic journal article Journal of Development Communication

No East No West

Academic journal article Journal of Development Communication

No East No West

Article excerpt

International Dialogues on Fostering Understanding and Building Bridges Across Cultures Among Young People of Asia and Europe: An International Conference

This International Conference is a follow-up to the "We Are One" Dialogue held in 2006 which seeks to provide a unique opportunity for young people to discuss and understand the different religious, cultural and social priorities and beliefs in their regions thus cultivating a culture of peace and dialogue.

During this 5-day event which took place from 26-30 April 2010 in the city of Melaka, a UNESCO World heritage site, young people from Asia and Europe, religious leaders, politicians and business communities came together towards a common vision of multiculturalism and peace. Delegates had the opportunity to exchange views and experiences based on their respective religion, spiritual and cultural traditions. The International Conference also reflected on how religions can assist in facing critical issues that concern our societies, and tried to discover and create new pathways to peace through intercultural/inter-religious cooperation.

"No East No West" drew on face-to-face interactions in order to catalyse dialogue between young people from diverse cultures. In addition to paper presentations and panel discussions, youth exchanges of ideas, field visit were conducted to major tourist and world heritage sites which was very informative and enriching.

Young people from Asia and Europe came together and got actively involved in constructive engagement about the challenges they face in creating awareness and promoting cultural understanding, how to forge partnerships based on the principle of mutual respect, and to map out their roles as ambassadors of cultures and peace.

Implemented by the World Youth Foundation (WYF) in cooperation with the Ministry of Youth and Sports Malaysia, Malaysian, National Commission for UNESCO and several other agencies the "No East No West" process led to a Plan of Action including recommendations for why and how governments, politicians, religious leaders, the media, non-governmental organisations, and related stakeholders should work in close partnership with youth organisations toward appreciating diverse cultural backgrounds and traditions. …

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