Dr Iravani, was invited by Dr. Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, to address the fourth edition of the World Forum for Democracy which took place from 18 to 20 November at the Council of Europe and other venues in Strasbourg, France.
After the dramatic events earlier this year in Europe, the rise of extremism and terrorism in the world, and in the context of the global debate on surveillance, the organizers decided that the theme of this year’s Forum will focus on the tensions which democracies face and to examine the threats to freedom or “Freedom vs control: for a democratic response.”
This year, the Forum was a unique platform for dialogue on institutional and community solutions and innovative ideas to understand the security measures to be implemented today without compromising freedom and democratic stability.
The tragic event of Paris which was right before the opening of the forum gave more importance to the meeting and create an opportunity to look at the problem more seriously.
As the president of the Center for the Study of Islam and the Middle East, which is committed to promoting mutual understanding between people of different faiths and cultures through research and education, Dr. Iravani had a chance to share his ideas and concerns regarding how to build trust and resilience among divers societies and how to contribute to peaceful intercultural relations.
Over 1500 participants from a wide range of backgrounds – politicians, academics, activists, media and business professionals from around the world – attended the Forum and thousands more followed the live sessions on the internet.