First Ministerial Conference of the Ancient Civilizations Forum (Athens, 23-24 April 2017)
The Ministerial Conference of the
Ancient Civilizations Forum is a Greek initiative aiming at building a
"positive agenda" of cooperation in international relations and
promoting the multidimensional role Greece can play in the global
On 24 April, at the invitation of Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, a Ministerial Conference of ten countries is being convened to officially establish the "Ancient Civilizations Forum". This is a significant international event, given that – in addition to Greece and China –Bolivia, Egypt, India, Iran, Iraq, Italy, Mexico and Peru will be at the same table for a major cultural initiative.
Ten modern states that represent major ancient civilizations: the Egyptian, Roman, Persian and Chinese civilizations, those of the Mayans, Incas and Aztecs, and those of Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley. Ten states that represent over 40% of the global population and that are at the epicentre of international political developments in America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
Culture in our day is directly
interwoven with soft power, which, if used correctly, can promote a
country's international image and be an important source of economic
In the relevant invitation they addressed to their counterparts, the Foreign Ministers of Greece and China underscored the vision, shared by all, of utilising cultural heritage as a vehicle for promoting friendship, international cooperation, peace, stability and prosperity today. Because it is a common conviction that the achievements of the past continuously gain in value, not when one rests on them, but when they are used to shape a better today and a more hopeful tomorrow. The "Ancient Civilizations Forum" serves precisely this purpose.
The Forum is yet another important link in the chain of initiatives a "multidimensional" Greek foreign policy has taken over the past two years, including the Conference on Religious Pluralism in the Middle East, the Rhodes Conference for Security and Stability, the Quadrilateral meeting on Cross-border Cooperation, which was held in Thessaloniki, and the Cooperation of the four EU member states of the Balkans.
Information on the Forum's Proceedings
• The Forum's proceedings will be
carried out on 24 April at the Zappeion Megaron, close to the Acropolis,
a timeless symbol of Hellenic culture.
• The High Participants will have the opportunity to express their positions in the framework of the Ministerial Conference and exchange views on how to use culture as a vehicle to promote cooperation.
• The Forum proceedings will conclude with a press conference.
• After the proceedings, the participating delegations will be taken on a tour of the Acropolis Museum, which will be followed by a dinner.
• During the Forum, in parallel with the Ministerial Conference, there will also be an academic conference at which distinguished professors from all of the ACF countries will exchange views on the importance of culture as a source of soft power and on ways to utilise culture as a factor for economic growth.
The Forum logo is a constellation. The
background is the globe, the common home of all cultures. On the globe, a
line links the stars of the ten civilizations, forming a constellation.
All ancient civilizations studied the stars in their striving to understand, measure, foresee and worship. Gazing at the sky, they looked on the future, and the logo, as a symbol of shining cooperation, represents the bridging not only of civilizations, but also of yesterday with today and tomorrow.
Practical information for journalists
• To serve the needs of journalists covering the Forum's proceedings, a Press Center will be set up at the Zappeion Megaron.
• Regarding media accreditation for Greek journalists and those who accompany the official delegations of the participating states, a relevant link that includes the accreditation application form has been posted on the Foreign Ministry's website (www.mfa.gr).
• Once they have completed and sent in the relevant form, interested journalists are asked to contact the Foreign Ministry's Information and Public Diplomacy Department to obtain their accreditation badge. ( or tel. +30 210 3681921 -22).