1. The Forum:

The Córdoba Forum gathered 100 ambassadors of convivence

The First Cordoba Forum gathered in this historic city, between May 15 and 17, 2019, about 100 adults and young people from some 50 organizations and 40 countries, with the purpose of inspiring each other with concrete and positive examples of “building convivence” in the face of adversity. Participants were also able to establish an informal network based on the mythical “Spirit of Cordoba” that everyone took home and put into practice in their own specific environment.

The Cordoba Forum or World Convivence Forum is a meeting organized by the Paradigma Córdoba Foundation, which brings together organizations and personalities that share the will to promote a world where peaceful convivence is guaranteed, in the spirit of the International Day of Living Together in Peace  of the UN every May 16.

The Forum was attended by thirty young people, selected for their personal and concrete work in favour of convivence, and who received training from the International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID), at the Palacio del Bailío, in the art of mediation, on May 14 and 15.

The funds for the Forum have been provided by the Cordoba City Council, the Nicolas Puech Foundation (Geneva), the Paradigma Córdoba Foundation, the KAIICID International Dialogue Centre (Vienna) and Salam for Cultural Communication (Riyadh).

The participants worked to foster mutual understanding and social solidarity in many different sectors and regions. The event provided an opportunity to highlight the urgent need for such initiatives in the context of globalization, emigration and social and political polarization, to share successful approaches and initiatives so that a network of likeminded organizations could grow and offer inspiration and mutual, intergenerational support. In addition to the organizers, representatives of local, regional and national governments spoke at the opening ceremony, as well as the High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations, Miguel Angel Moratinos.


2. The Youth Seminar:

Against Backdrop of Globalization, Migration and Social and Political Polarization, Young Peacebuilders at the Cordoba Forum Learnt How to Build Cohesive Societies

The Cordoba Forum Youth Seminar, starting on May 13,2019 in Cordoba, Spain, trained 30 young people from over 20 countries around the world to build peace in their communities through intercultural and interreligious dialogue. The participants, selected on the basis of their contributions to peace in their local communities, were empowered to continue working towards peaceful coexistence using their fresh skills in dialogue and having learned from other young leaders’ experiences.

“The Youth Seminar will be an amazing chance to increase my skills and to bring more knowledge to my local and national community” stated Camilo “Pitu” Ayala Herrera, whose family was one of thousands to suffer as the result of guerrilla warfare in his native Colombia and whose personal project, “Peace through Dialogue”, uses his own story to encourage people to forgive and create avenues for reconciliation.  “I decided to participate in the Youth Seminar because I find it an amazing opportunity to learn more about dialogue, to expand my experiences and use them to keep building peace in my country“.

“The United Nations has called for increased youth participation, as equal and respected partners, in peacebuilding initiatives. At KAICIID we fully appreciate the important role of youth in bringing peace, mutual understanding and the principles of peaceful coexistence to their communities. With this first Cordoba Forum, we are celebrating the role of young people in promoting the spirit of coexistence. Throughout this week, we will equip young leaders with knowledge to build bridges of better understanding, and they will also enrich us with their vision, their innovative thinking and their dream of coexistence,” KAICIID Secretary General, Faisal Bin Muaammar said.

Young people trained at the Seminar gathered a global collection of best practices, challenges and recommendations on  how to achieve peaceful coexistence, and presented them during the Cordoba Forum, held from 15-17 May.  Participants discussed what roles youth in particular can play in building social cohesion and coexistence. They learnt from KAICIID trainers Patrice Brodeur, Katerina Khareyn and Anas Alabaddi the theory and practice of transformative dialogue, dialogue facilitation skills, and intercultural communication. They also had the opportunity to participate in an iftar and to play DialoGo!, a board game that facilitates difficult conversations, developed by the Centre and available in five languages.

The Youth Seminar, organized by the Vienna-based International Dialogue Centre (KAICIID) and taking place from 13-15 May, preceded the Cordoba Forum.

“For KAICIID, and for me personally, it is a source of pride to join this inspiring group of actors.” Mr. Bin Muaammar said. “Because of Cordoba’s history, in which Abrahamic cultures flourished side by side, the city is a powerful symbol of social solidarity and coexistence. The message that we send from this Forum, that the will and capacity to reconcile differences, to learn from one another and to build strong, diverse, thriving societies is strong, will carry through Europe and across the globe.”


3. The Forum in the media:  La hora de Cordoba – 16/05/2019 Minute 56:00 Interview with Jacques Moreillon  La hora de Cordoba – 17/05/2019 Minute 39:35. Interview with Javier Martín