By Nawab Khan
THE HAGUE, Netherlands, June 12 (KUNA) -- Distinguished political leaders, decision makers, scholars and cultural personalities from around the world will gather in the beautiful Dutch city of the Hague on Thursday to give boost to international efforts to promote peace.
"It is amazing that my beautiful country of Holland is able to play such a pivotal role in realizing the Kuwaiti dreams of respect for each other's culture and relentless devotion and love for peace," commented the Dutch ambassador in Kuwait Frans Potuyt.
"Artists, writers, musicians, and scholars: they constitute a global community surpassing national boundaries and mentalities, often taking the lead in guiding us on the way to peace," he wrote in an article published by the news portal "TimesKuwait.com".
The Dutch ambassador noted that the study of the Islamic and Arab culture has flourished in Holland for centuries, as Dutch merchants were sailing the seas and always curious to learn from other cultures.
"So Leiden became the natural partner for the Al-Babtain foundation to enhance the study of the Arab world," said Potuyt.
"Dr. Al-Babtain chose this historic palace as the venue for an international conference to promote education of peace, focused on the protection of cultural heritage in times of war," he added.
The "World Forum for the Culture of Peace" will kick off at the Peace Palace which houses the International Court of Justice and the Permanent Court of Arbitration at the Hague tomorrow.
The one-day international event has been organised by Kuwait's Abdulaziz Saud Al-Babtain Cultural Foundation in partnership with the World Peace Foundation, New York, Leiden University in the Netherlands, the International Committee of the Red Cross and the Carnegie Foundation Peace Palace.
The Forum will "send a humanitarian message to the whole world to establish peace and security," said the chairman of the Foundation of AbdulAziz Saud Al-Babtain.
"We will not only provide suggestions and recommendations, but we will work to put the theories into reality. We have issued seventeen approaches to cultivating a culture of peace from schools to the university," he said in a statement to the Kuwait News Agency (KUNA).
The Forum will open with a keynote address by Maltese President George Vella and statements by Secretary General of the Dutch foreign ministry Mrs. Joke Brandt, Director General of the Peace Palace, Erik de Baedts, Abdulaziz Saud Al-Babtain and Prince Turki Al-Faisal Al-Saud of Saudi Arabia.
The first session titled "Education and the Protection of Cultural heritage," will be chaired by former Bosnian President, Haris Siljadzic and will also addressed by Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation Yousef Al-Othaimeen, among other eminent personalities.
Kuwaiti former deputy premier and Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammad Sabah Al-Salem Al-Sabah will preside over the second session titled "Protecting cultural heritage (Iraq and Yemen).
This session will be addressed among others by the representative of the Iraqi president, Ali Al-Shukri, Yemeni Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research Abdullah Lemles, Shaikha Mai Bint Mohammed Al Khalifa, President of Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities and Minister of Higher Education in Iraq's Kurdistan, Dr. Yusuf Goran.
The third session titled "Promoting the culture of peace through education (Central Republic of Africa) will be chaired by Terje Rod-Larsen, the President of the International Peace Institute, New York.
Speakers include the Kuwaiti Minister of Education Dr. Hamed Al-Azmi, Mrs. Sylvie Baipo Temon, Foreign Minister of Central African Republic among other dignitaries.
The last and closing session titled "Moving Forward: Culture of Peace Manuals" will be chaired by Abdulqawi Ahmed Yusuf, President of the International Court of Justice, and speakers include Marzouq Al-Ghanim, Speaker of the Kuwaiti National Assembly, Abdullah Gul, former President of Turkey as well as other eminent personalities.
Closing remarks will be delivered by the President of the University of Leiden, Carel Stolker.(end) nk.tg