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Rabat Commitment and follow up

Rabat Conference on Fostering Dialogue among Cultures and Civilizations through Concrete and Sustained Initiatives, Morocco, 14 - 16 June 2005

Rabat Commitment and follow up

    The Rabat Conference, was convened by six co-sponsoring organisations - UNESCO, OIC, ISESCO, ALECSO, the Danish Centre for Culture and Development and the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures - and with the participation of the Council of Europe as observer.

    The conference aimed to move away from the declarative approach to dialogue among cultures, towards a more proactive definition of concrete, results oriented actions. “Rabat Commitment”

    A major step forward was taken during this Conference where all leaders agreed on list of recommendations to be implemented within a given time frame in the areas of:

    • Education,
    • Culture
    • Communication

    Number of projects and concrete actions as well as involvement of different stakeholders in follow up process, towards the implementation of Rabat Commitment, proved the success of the Conference.

    The next conference on "Dialogue Among Civilizations" will take place in October 2008 in Copenhagen.

    Recomendations of Rabat Commitment


    • Intercultural dialogue must be based on universally shared values and the principles of peace, human rights, tolerance, and democratic citizenship, forming an integral part of quality education. It must therefore fully be taken into account in curriculum renewal and improvements in content, methodology, teacher education and the learning process, also involving parents and communities. Such dialogue plays an equally important role for the revision of textbooks, the production of new educational materials and the effective use of information and communication technologies (ICTs).

    • In curricula renewal, care should be taken to avoid oversimplifications and to raise awareness about cultural heterogeneity, its multiple dimensions and different sources and contributions.

    • More emphasis should be given to integrating intercultural learning in pre-school education and basic education, whilst pursuing it at secondary school level, in higher and continuing adult education in a life-long learning perspective.

    • Due attention should be paid to integrating dimensions of intercultural dialogue into non-formal education, literacy campaigns and to extra-curricular activities, such as youth exchanges and encounters.

    • Intercultural education should also be situated in relation to the phenomena of school and community violence, the need to respect differences and to address them in participatory and empowering ways.

    • Educational programmes should provide sufficient information, especially for young citizens, on the major religions and highlight their shared values and ethical concerns, drawing also on history, philosophy, literature and the arts.

    • Broader access to existing educational networks and initiatives, managed by international and regional organisations, and a much fuller and more creative use of their potential for intercultural dialogue should be pursued as a matter of priority.


    • Key concepts pertaining to the dialogue among civilisations, especially those relating to the construct of culture, civilization and religions need to be revisited by competent organisations and academic scholars in order arrive at definitions that can genuinely form a basis to further the dialogue. Consideration should be given to place culture as a frame for local belonging whereas civilization denotes a more universal phenomenon conferring a sense of recognition. Particular focus should be on commonalities rather than on differences.

    • Creating the new space of a common educational platform is of considerable importance, so that cultural handicaps between teachers and students and gaps in knowledge and educational opportunities can be reduced. There is a particular urgency to tackle and ultimately eliminate ignorances, stereotypes and rejection of the Other,


    • There should be full recognition that education requires communication, and communication always contains educative elements.

    • The educational system and the media have a role to play in order to avoid parochialism and contribute to the creation of conditions for intercultural dialogue.

    • There is a need to set up educational and media projects focussing on mutual information and the fighting of ignorance between the West and the Islamic world.

    • Face-to-face dialogue plays an important role for the creation of mutual confidence and trust.

    • Approaches must be developed to endow media professionals with the capacity to tackle intercultural issues within multicultural societies, especially in the Western world.

    • In the Arab world, media should be encouraged to mirror truly the rich diversities in the region and serving all segments of population.

    • A discussion should be conducted among media professionals about ethics and professional standards.
    • Measures should be taken to exploit fully the potential of the Internet for decentralized and diversified information flows and to enhance the opportunity for easy communications with members of other cultural and social groups irrespective of national or other boundaries.

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