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An international celebration of World Philosophy Day 2009
The international celebration of World Philosophy Day 2009 took place in Moscow and Saint Petersburg from 16 to 19 November 2009. A country with a long tradition in philosophy and a true passion for thought and word, this year the Russian Federation took the place of honour, as organizer and host of this international event.
For the 2009 edition of World Philosophy Day, celebrated since 2005, the Russian Federation hosted this international event, co-organized by UNESCO, the Institute of Philosophy at the Russian Academy of Sciences in cooperation with the National Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO and the Permanent Delegation of the Russian Federation to UNESCO. Various other activities also took place at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris and in numerous countries around the world.

Philosophers, students, journalists, academics, diplomats and other philosophy enthusiasts gathered in Moscow and Saint Petersburg to discuss the theme “Philosophy in the Dialogue of Cultures” – a subject selected in an effort to foster the dissemination of philosophy in all its traditions.

Activities were inaugurated by Pierre Sané, Assistant Director-General for UNESCO’s Sector of Social and Human Sciences, and by Sergey M. Mironov, Chairman of the Council of Federation of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation; Sergey V. Lavrov, Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Russian Federation, President of the Commission of the Russian Federation for UNESCO; Yury S. Osipo, President of the Russian Academy of Sciences; Vladimir P. Lukin, Human Rights Ombudsman for the Russian Federation; Yury M. Luzhkov, Mayor of Moscow; Abdusalam A. Guseinov, Director of the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

This celebration preceeds the commemoration of the 2010 International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures proclaimed by the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Several parallel round tables, all of which were held at the Institute of Philosophy of the Russian Academy of Sciences, focused on the following topics:
  • Getting free of the historic stereotypes of philosophy;
  • Dialogue of rationalities;
  • Cultural self-consciousness in the era of globalization;
  • Philosophical images of the human being;
  • XXIst century’s technological challenges;
  • Values and dialogue of cultures;
  • Philosophy for children;
  • Common cultural grounds of the national self-consciousness of the nations of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and Baltic states;
  • Teaching philosophy in a multicultural context.
Ever since its inauguration as a “Philosophy Day at UNESCO” in 2002 and particularly since its institutionalization in 2005 as a “World Philosophy Day”, this celebration of philosophy has inspired much enthusiasm. With its aim to bring philosophy closer to everyone, academics, students and the general public alike have all shown great interest in this activity that offers new opportunities and space for philosophical reflection, critical thinking and debate.

Several activities were also organized at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris, namely:Finally, in UNESCO’s Member States, a variety of activities organized by different partners, including National Commissions, UNESCO Field Offices, universities, associations, research centres, specialized NGOs and institutes, brought together numerous philosophy enthusiasts, namely philosophy students, teachers, professors and researchers.

Other events relating to UNESCO’s Social and Human Sciences programme in November 2009:
  • 2 November: Anatolian Bioethics Days. Eirne, Turkey.
  • 4-6 November: Regional meeting on Best Practices in Youth Policies and Programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean. Colima, Mexico.
  • 7-10 November: Series of Events on the Greater Horn Horizon Forum. Djibouti, Djibouti.
  • 9-10 November: World Science Day for Peace and Development. Pathumthani, Thailand.
  • 16 November: International Day of Tolerance / Award Ceremony of the UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence. Paris, France.
  • 16-18 November: Training on Working Methods for National Bioethics Committees. Nairobi, Kenya.
  • 16-20 November: Technical-Legal Meeting for the Finalization/Validation of Legal Documents for the Regional Research and Documentation Centre for Women Gender and Peace Building for the Great Lakes Region and Terms of Reference of National Associated Centres based in Democratic Republic of the Congo. Zanzibar, United Republic of Tanzania.
  • 19-20 November: 3rd General Conference of the European Coalition of Cities against Racism. Toulouse, France.
  • 20 November: 1st Meeting of the Caribbean Forum of Ministers of Social Development. Kingston, Jamaica.
  • 23-25 November: 16th Session of the International Bioethics Committee (IBC). Mexico City, Mexico.
  • 26-28 November: European Commission-UNESCO, Conference: Joint Action for Capacity-building in Bioethics (JACOB). Mexico City, Mexico.
  • 27-28 November: Forum Iberoamericana. Estoril, Portugal.
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Author(s) UNESCO - Sector for Social and Human Sciences
Publication Date 09-11-2009
Source SHS e-News 44 / November 2009

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