Bridging Global Gaps
7th Forum 2000 Conference
October 15-17, 2003, Prague
The Forum 2000: Bridging Global Gaps Project builds upon many activities organized by the Forum 2000 Foundation in the past: Roundtable debates, multireligious assemblies and various other associated activities (for details please go to the “Projects” icon above).
The project Forum 2000: Bridging Global Gaps Project was started in 2002, and successfully continues in 2003. This year’s conference will take place on 15–17 October i atthe Municipal House in Prague. (All Forum 2000 activities are held under the auspices of Václav Havel.)
The Forum 2000: Bridging Global Gaps Conference builds upon the meeting of top representatives of the international financial institutions and transnational corporations on one hand, and their critics, respected within global civil society, on the other, organized in 2002 as a part of the Forum 2000: Bridging Global Gaps (BGG) Project. The BGG project was launched by the Forum 2000 Foundation and the President of the Czech Republic, Václav Havel, in 2002 and aims at bringing together people from different backgrounds and holding different viewpoints to jointly discuss and look for solutions to the pressing global issues in a neutral setting.
The first Forum 2000: Bridging Global Gaps Conference was held at the Municipal House in Prague in October 2002. Its participants gathered to address the issues of information and media, transnational corporations, external debt and international trade. Although representing a wide variety of stakeholders and viewpoints, they, among others, jointly concluded that:
- Fundamental reform of the global financial architecture is needed.
- Double standards in international trade and finance must be eradicated and the United Nations must be empowered to ensure compliance with international rules.
- UN-structured framework needs to be established as well as international binding agreements on corporate accountability.
- The debt situation is unsustainable under current scenarios and that not only the debt needs to be addressed differently but also that market access for developing countries has to be strengthened and trade barriers eliminated.
In 2003, the Forum 2000: Bridging Global Gaps Conference will be held under the auspices of Václav Havel on October 15-17, 2003, in Prague. The conference will elaborate on the issues of international trade, issues of corporate accountability and responsibility, debt management and global public goods. The conference will consist of plenary sessions and four expert discussions in workshop format, each addressing one of the above-mentioned aspects of global economy. At the end of each expert discussion, the participants will summarize the key points of their discussions and formulate their proposals about how to tackle some of the dilemmas facing us today.
The Forum 2000: Bridging Global Gaps Project draws upon the tradition of the Forum 2000 Conferences that took place at Prague Castle between 1997 and 2001, and the “Praha – Dialogi Locus” meeting during the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank annual meeting in September 2000. These gatherings, held under the patronage of the President of the Czech Republic Václav Havel, philanthropist Yohei Sasakawa and Nobel Prize laureate Elie Wiesel, attracted to Prague prominent politicians, intellectuals, businessmen, spiritual leaders and dozens of other well- known and highly respected personalities from all over the world. Among the participants of the Forum 2000 conferences were H. H. The Dalai Lama, Bill Clinton, Frederik Willem de Klerk, George Soros, Wole Soyinka, Jostein Gaarder, H.R.H. El Hassan bin Talal, Jeffrey Sachs, Immanuel Wallerstein, Vandana Shiva, Elie Wiesel, Hanna Suchocka and many others.
The Forum 2000 conferences concentrated on different aspects of globalisation, with a special focus on spiritual values and the culture of dialogue. We believe that these conferences have succeeded in establishing an independent and respected platform for discussing the challenges faced by humankind. The core of the Bridging Global Gaps project can be described as a search for global consensus through dialogue conducted on various levels and addressing crucial contemporary world issues.
The project also involved events such as the meeting “The Role and Responsibility of Religions in the Contemporary World”, held at the Prague Castle in July 2002 and attended by world religious representatives. In November 2002, a meeting of representatives and supporters of NATO and its critics took place on the eve of the Prague NATO summit and in May 2003 a discussion “Quo Vadis, Europa?” confronting different viewpoints regarding the future of Europe.