The Third Academic Forum of UNESCO Chairs working in the field of intercultural and interreligious dialogue will be convened in Tunis from 12 to 13 December 2018. It will take place just two days after UNESCO and the world engage in commemorating and celebrating  the 70th anniversary of the Declaration of Human Rights. The timing and context for this Forum could not have been more relevant in terms of place and history: Tunisia being the only country to have thus far negotiated successfully the political transition within the Arab Spring towards a fully functional democracy; this Forum will convene a few days after this important landmark celebration.

This forum will take place in close partnership with the Tunisian Ministry for Culture and will be held at the recently inaugurated purpose-built City of Culture in the capital Tunis.

In terms of specific focus, the Forum will have two interlinked aims:
Firstly, it aims to offer an opportunity for UNESCO Chairs of the UNITWIN Network (IDIU) to come together and discuss their respective Chairs’ work as part of the broader UNESCO mandate and agenda. In particular, discussions will revisit collective work that began during the Second Academic Forum in Baku (May 2017) and will provide opportunities for discussing progress and achievements. The working session for the UNITWIN Network (IDIU) will allow its Chairs and UNESCO more broadly to review and discuss progress towards projects initiated at the Second Academic Forum. Discussions will also include current ongoing projects and activities within the Network and the commitment of the Chairs to a reinvigorated joint action plan in light of emerging international challenges to the ICD agenda.

Secondly, the Forum will have a particular thematic focus of relevance to both UNESCO and the host country Tunisia as it navigates the post-revolution transition process. Tunisia’s relative success in ensuring a peaceful democratic transition has been attributed partially to its vibrant civil society and the capacity of its political leaders to engage in consensus politics and inclusive dialogue. This achievement, of having successful national dialogue initiatives lead by a collation of civil society organisations and unions, culminated in the country’s award of the 2015 Nobel Peace prize. The Tunis Academic will be seeking presentations that cover strategic/intercultural dialogue initiatives involving youth and civil society and focusing in particular on the following areas:

  • Youth, new identities and citizenship within emerging socio-political transformations;
  • Civil society, human rights and the prevention of radicalism and violent extremism;
  • The role of intercultural (strategic) dialogue in building social inclusion;
  • Religion and politics in multi-cultural, multi-faith societies; and
  • The ethics and politics of super-diversity for global community solidarity.

All expressions of interest in attending this forum and abstracts for presentations should be emailed to:

  • Deadline for confirming attendance is: Monday 1 October 2018;
  • Deadline for sending individual presentation title/abstract is: 12 October 2018.