The Bundestag - The national Parliament of the Republic of Germany in Berlin. Photo credit: Tommy Falgout
18 December 2017 | BERLIN—In today’s globalized world, cultural diplomacy has become an increasingly important tool to support intercultural relations, global peace and stability. On 19–22 December, the Institute of Cultural Diplomacy (ICD) will host its 2017 Annual Conference in Berlin, with the theme “Promoting Global Collaboration, Unity and Peace through Cultural Diplomacy”.
Current political and security climates around the world highlight the growing need for intercultural dialogue, trust and cooperation. To support this, the 2017 Annual Conference will present the best practices in conflict resolution and peace building that cultural diplomacy has to offer.
Keynote addresses will be delivered by International IDEA Secretary-General and former Prime Minister of Belgium Yves Leterme; former President of Albania Bujar Nishani; and former President of Finland Tarja Halonen, among other ICD Honorable Members. The conference will bring together more than 150 speakers and delegates—politicians, religious leaders, senior academics, artists and representatives from areas of conflict.
In his keynote speech, Leterme will discuss current challenges to democracy, in Germany and worldwide, and the role cultural diplomacy can play in addressing these. “Today we see that democracy is being challenged on several fronts. People are losing trust in the traditional institutions of democracy, disengaging and taking recourse to populist alternatives”, says Leterme. “Democracy cannot be taken for granted and rests on citizens’ support. Cultural diplomacy is essential in establishing and securing the mutual understanding, and the trust, that must underpin this support.”
Programme Officer for Democracy Assessment, Analysis and Advisory, Adina Trunk will present the main findings of International IDEA’s flagship publication, The Global State of Democracy: Exploring Democracy's Resilience. Based on a new set of indices that collect data on key attributes of democracy across 155 countries from 1975 to 2015, the publication finds that global democracy is at a crossroads and continuous actions must be taken to safeguard and protect it.
The Annual Conference on Cultural Diplomacy is the world’s leading event in the field and is organized by ICD and its partner institutions each year. This year, it will be held in Berlin at the ICD House of Arts and Culture, the German Parliament and several hotels.