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Annual Forum 2000 conference of thinkers ends in Prague

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Prague, Sept 16 (CTK) – The 19th Forum 2000 international conference of personalities and thinkers that annually deals with human rights issues and that focused on the role of education in the promotion of democracy this year ended in Prague yesterday.
The conference started on Sunday and was attended by about 3000 people in Prague and several other towns, including Bavaria’s Munich and Slovak Zilina.
The participants discussed human rights, the danger of Islamic terrorism, the migration crisis in Europe and other issues with more than 150 delegates from all over the world.
The personalities commenting on the refugee crisis include Frederik Willem de Klerk, the Nobel Peace Prize winner and former South African president, who said Europe should view the influx of refugees as a chance to gain the necessary workforce.
A French expert in Islam, Gilles Kepel, called for refugees not to be a priori approached as dangerous foreigners.
The late IT guru Steve Jobs, too, was the son of a Syrian father and a U.S. mother of German origin, Kepel pointed out.
Some delegates, including Cuban dissident Manuel Cuesta Morua and Belarusian Ales Bialiacki, informed the conference about human rights violations in their respective countries.
Some of the invited guests could not come to Prague because of repressions they faced at home.
One of them was Antonio Ledezma, mayor of Caracas, who has been accused in Venezuela of a conspiracy against the authoritarian President Nicolas Maduro. Ledezma’s wife attended Forum 2000 on his behalf.
The conference was closed yesterday by a panel discussion in Prague, entitled European identity from the viewpoint of Vaclav Havel.
Havel (1936-2011), the late former Czech president, co-initiated Forum 2000 in 1997 together with writer Elie Wiesel and Japanese philanthropist Yohei Sasakawa.
Almost 1000 personalities have taken part in the annual conference since, including the Tibetan Dalai Lama, Burmese dissident leader Aung San Suu Kyi and former U.S. president Bill Clinton.

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