Dialogues to build Peace - an interview with the Chairman of the International Peace Foundation

Ha Noi Moi (the New Ha Noi) on the 9th of August 2012.

In the past few years, the event series "Bridges - Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace", which were organized by International Peace Foundation (IPF), has become a socio-culture phenomenon in many countries in Southeast Asia. From November 2012 to April 2013, the event series will be continuously held in Vietnam. Mr Uwe Morewetz, Chairman of IPF, which head quarter is based in Vienna (Austria), had a chance to discuss with New Ha Noi newspaper reporter about this program.

In your opinion, what are the reasons that IPF choose Vietnam to host the 4th "Bridges - Dialogues Towards a Culture of Peace" program?

Since 2003, the events were hosted in the Philippines, Malaysia and Cambodia with the participation of 38 Nobel Laureates, 18 other keynote speakers and many other famous artists. There were about 450 events being held. These event series has achieved great success, which created positive impacts on the public.

So we have since then been invited by other ASEAN countries to build further bridges towards peace and international understanding between the countries in the region. Our representatives first arrived in Vietnam in 2006 and since then, we decided to choose Vietnam to be the destination to hold the 4th event series. We believe in the success of the program, especially when HE Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung has accepted to be Honorary Chairman for the "Bridges" program in Vietnam.

In comparison with the program that were previously hold in other ASEAN countries, are there any differences with the "Bridges" program in Vietnam this year?

In general, the "Bridges" program will be of the same format and similar content. It is align with the aim of IPF to facilitate and strengthen dialogue and communication between societies in Southeast Asia with their multiple cultures and faiths with people in other parts of the world to promote understanding and trust.

However, in each event, we will choose relevant topics and suitable spokesperson to achieve best result. In Vietnam, with the support of Ministry of Education and Training, the series of 50 events of the "Bridges" program will attract mass attention from the public. The 6 Nobel Laureates in Economics, Peace, Physics, Chemistry and Medicine as well as other eminent keynote speakers will visit the country not all at once, but separately to conduct seminars, workshops and dialogues hosted by local institutions and universities. These are open events that we encourage the students
and people who are interested to participate. I believe that this is a good opportunity for Vietnamese to discuss with the world's Nobel Laureates to encourage further interest and understand about Vietnam and its people.

Can you tell me the key message that IPF want to deliver through the "Bridges" program in Vietnam?

It is "building a culture of peace and development in a globalized world". We believe that dialogues and the will to learn about one another are the foundation to build and strengthen peace. Sharing the same point of view on wide spectrum of areas will help nations to come together in trust and peace. Hence, we highly value the interaction of the event series "Bridges" program in Vietnam. The spokesperson not only conduct lecture but also listen to the participants' opinions. This is the platform to create a long-term relationship in term of education and science development; the key to a better cooperation for the advancement of peace, freedom and security.

Thank you very much!