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Vienna launches 5th Global Forum at United Nations Alliance of Civilizations

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Confucian scholar and ethicist TU Weiming calls for a more pragmatic approach by governments and civil society organizations in reaching out to build a more diverse and tolerant world.

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Vienna launches 5th Global Forum at United Nations Alliance of Civilizations

Feb 28, 2013: Professor TU Weiming delivers keynote speech entitled "Making Sense of Intercultural Dialogue in our Age' at the main hall, Festsaal, of the Hofburg Emperor Palace. Please click here for the official agenda of the Vienna meeting.

"Before the time of Confucius existed the idea of tianxia (天下), which means "all under heaven"." --TU Weiming

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VIENNA-- The 5th Global Forum at United Nations Alliance of Civilizations in Vienna, Austria, began with Prof. TU Weiming, the founding Dean of The Institute for Advanced Humanistic Studies (IAHS) and Director of The World Ethics Institute Beijing (WEIB) at Peking University, delivering a keynote speech.

Prof. TU Weiming calls for a more pragmatic approach by governments and civil society organizations in reaching out to build a more diverse and tolerant world.

He highlights China's desire to create a dialogue based on diversity. He also suggests that China ought to learn to understand its own history with a view to the future as an integral part of the global community: "China has been not only a dialogical civilization, a learning civilization, a tolerant civilization, but very ecumenical, very early on." As an example, he explains that before the time of Confucius existed the idea of tianxia (天下), which means "all under heaven."

Prof. Tu reminds us that "human rights without responsibility, without a sense of decency, a sense of compassion, is not good enough for a society to flourish," and continues: "We need to broaden our scope from the legalistic language to the language of the heart, as well."

Therefore, in joining the cause of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, Prof. Tu calls on all societies to cultivate not only the great Enlightenment values of liberty, rationality, due process of law, human rights, dignity of the individual, equality, but also the language of the heart, of the great spiritual traditions of justice, of compassion, of love, of care, and the idea of a harmonious society.

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Dr. Thorsten J. Pattberg (裴德思 Pei Desi) is a German philosopher and cultural critic.
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