In today's World, globalization is creating new opportunities and new challenges for intercultural dialogue. Societies are more connected than ever before. Ideas and people travel at rising speed within and across national borders. These circumstances have multiplied openingsfor mutual understanding between people everywhere in the world. They have also given rise to new difficulties, to misunderstandings and mistrust that have fuelled tensions between nations and societies, especially between the Occident and Orient.
With the launch of the UNESCO Chair in Cultural Diplomacy, Governance andEducation, Istanbul Aydin University isjoining today a vibrant network of highereducation institutions. All these institutionsare working ogether to realize UNESCO'smission to "contribute to the building ofa culture of peace, the eradication ofpoverty, sustainable development andintercultural dialogue, education, science,culture, communication and information".
The dialogue of cultures raises vital questions for peace and sustainable development today and in the century ahead. The universities have a major role to play in fostering the culture of dialogueand understanding.
Dr. Mustafa AYDIN
President of theBoard the Trustees