UN Tourism Calls for Cross-Cultural Dialogue and Climate Actions in Tourism

UN Tourism Calls for Cross-Cultural Dialogue and Climate Actions in Tourism

UN Tourism has joined leading international organizations and government leaders at the World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, held in Baku around the theme of "Dialogue for Peace and Global Security: Cooperation and Interconnectivity."

The sixth edition of the Forum forms part of the "Baku Process", launched by President Ilham Aliyev in 2008, brought together more than 700 participants from 107 countries, including 60 Ministers of Culture. Serving as the sector’s voice, UN Tourism held a special session on the sector’s role in fostering connections in post-conflict societies, with reference to Bosnia & Herzegovina, Colombia, and Rwanda.  

Opening the main high-level forum, UN Tourism Executive Director Zoritsa Urosevic said: “At UN Tourism, we have a duty to foster people’s desires to discover the world, making the unknown more inviting and building new connections between strangers, and also to give back to tourism the power to build bridges, because Tourism Opens Minds.” 

Participating in the 3rd High-Level Meeting of International Organizations on Sustainable Pathways for a Greener Future, Ms. Urosevic highlighted UN Tourism’s commitment towards transforming the sector. She concluded: “As we look ahead to COP29 in Baku and future collaborations, I encourage all stakeholders to join us in the transformation of the tourism sector for a greener future. Our value chain cuts across various sectors, offering numerous opportunities to catalyze change for a more sustainable future.” 

Top forum for international cooperation 

The primary objective of the World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue is to explore the critical intersections between dialogue facilitation, cooperative frameworks, leadership efficacy, and the complex dynamics of interconnectedness, all in the service of advancing global peace and security imperatives. Over three days, a series of plenary sessions and panel discussions brought together a diverse range of stakeholders, including government officials, representatives from international organizations, eminent cultural figures, journalists, civil society actors, and intellectuals from across the globe, to deliberate upon pressing global challenges. Joining UN Tourism partnership in Baku were representatives of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), UNESCO, and the Islamic World Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ICESCO). 

Tourism and the Baku Process  

Building upon the legacy of previous iterations of the forum held in 2011, 2013, 2015, 2017, and 2019, which collectively comprised more than 250 events and attracted nearly 10,000 participants from 180 countries and 30 international organizations, the 6th edition of the World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue aimed to further solidify the "Baku Process" as a preeminent international platform for fostering intercultural collaboration and dialogue. 

The significance of the "Baku Process" has been duly acknowledged by major international bodies, with the United Nations Secretary-General's Annual Report of 2017 to the United Nations General Assembly on intercultural and interreligious dialogue recognizing it as a pioneering initiative in advocating for dialogue among cultures. Subsequently, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted a resolution acknowledging the "Baku Process" as a pivotal global mechanism for promoting intercultural dialogue. Furthermore, at its 215th session, the Executive Board of UNESCO passed a resolution voicing robust support for the "Baku Process" and urging all member states and major international organizations to actively engage with it. 

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