Din Syamsuddin, chairman of the Center for Dialogue and Cooperation Among Civilizations (CDCC) and the president's special envoy for interfaith dialogue and civilization affairs. (Antara Photo/Puspa Perwitasari)
Middle-Path Approach Central Focus of World Peace Forum in Jakarta
AUGUST 13, 2018
Jakarta. Global leaders, policy makers and activists will convene for the seventh World Peace Forum in Jakarta on Tuesday (14/08) to discuss the ongoing civilizational crisis in the world.
"We can say that we are amid a crisis of world civilizations and we need to come up with a new system that upholds a middle path," Din Syamsuddin, chairman of the Center for Dialogue and Cooperation Among Civilizations (CDCC), said during a press conference in Jakarta on Monday.
He said the world is trapped in extremes and that this damages various aspects of society, including culture, politics and the global economy.
Din said this is the result of excessive freedom and an overly anthropocentric focus on existing systems, which must be mended through a more theocentric, spiritual approach.
Din, who was appointed as the president's special envoy for interfaith dialogue and civilization affairs in October last year, said despite the emphasis on God as the central focus of this new approach, conservatism and progressivism both contradict the middle-path concept.
"Conservatism surely would not take civilization forward," he said.
This year's edition of the biennial event, which was established in 2006, is co-organized by the CDCC; the office of the Special Presidential Envoy for Interfaith Dialogue and Civilization Affairs; and Kuala Lumpur-based Cheng Ho Multiculture Education Trust.
Hundreds of participants from around the world, including scholars, activists, religious figures and government officials, will attend the forum.
This includes Micronesian President Peter M. Christian, former East Timorese Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri and Bishop Gunnar Stalsett, who serves in the Norwegian Nobel Committee.
Participants will discuss the feasibility and importance of a middle path as a central idea for new world civilizations, and discuss various religious, ideological, economic, political and cultural perspectives during the three-day event.
The World Peace Forum, which focuses on fostering dialogue among key players in global society, is set to conclude with a message that will promote a centrist approach to address the various crises in the world.
Though the forum lacks a legally binding mechanism, Din said it often leads to productive collaborations, while also serving as a platform to strengthen and expand peacemaking networks around the world.
"In our attempt to resolve the issues facing world civilizations, we have to stick together, across faiths and nationality, because we believe we cannot solve global issues on our own; we must do it together," Din said.