Christine Vollmer to Moderate Plenary on Values
October 3-8, 2012

Each autumn for the past decade, more than 500 of the world’s leading scholars, researchers, authors, business people, communicators and officeholders, from over 30 countries, have gathered on the historic Greek Island of Rhodes in an effort to find common ground for solving the interrelated problems of an increasingly complex world.

Sponsored by the World Public Forum and called the Dialogue of Civilizations, the conference is informally known as The Rhodes Forum. This year marks the 10th Anniversary of The Rhodes Forum, which will be held October 3-8, with the theme “Global Peace and Justice.”


World Congress of Families leaders have played an increasingly important part in the Rhodes Forum for the past three years, often leading or participating in roundtables and break-out sessions. For the first time this year, an entire plenary session will be devoted to “The Family in a Changing World and Demographic Perspectives for Humanity.”

Discussion will focus on:


  • The current crisis of the family (ethical, and social aspects of values, the impact of modern biotechnology)
  • The role of family in the spiritual and moral education of children and young people, and the continuity of the dialogue of generations
  • How to promote traditional family values in the media
  • The role of social and religious organizations to strengthen and promote family values
  • National population policies and measures taken by the state to increase fertility, and strengthen the family and family values
  • Looking to the future – Overpopulation or Global Depopulation?


The session will be moderated by: (1) Natalya Yakunina, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, “Sanctity of Motherhood” Program, vice-president of St. Andrew the First-called Foundation and wife of Vladimir Yakunin, founder and president of the World Public Forum, (2) Larry Jacobs, World Congress of Families Managing Director and Vice President of The Howard Center for Family, Religion & Society, and (3) Christine Vollmer, member of the WCF Management Committee, representative of the Pontifical Council for the Family and President and Founder of the Latin American Alliance for the Family (ALAFA).


Many World Congress of Families leaders will participate in this session, including WCF Communications Director Don Feder who will speak on “The Cultural Roots of Demographic Winter.”


Jacobs observed: “Much credit for the vision and success of the World Public Forum is due to the wisdom, sacrifice, and kindness of Vladimir Yakunin, who has invested his time and resources for the betterment of world civilizations.  Vladimir has founded a unique organization that transcends the typical international conflicts on global issues and brings together people of good will from East and West to dialogue, listen, and learn about the fundamental values and principles on which a society must be based.” 


The World Public Forum promotes an open and respectful multi-polar dialogue paradigm with discussion and social cooperation among the world’s civilizations (with a special emphasis on Russia, India and Greece) as an alternative to the United Nations model of international governmental cooperation.  It was founded by Vladimir Yakunin (CEO of the Russian National Railway), Nicholas Papanicolaou (a Greek businessman and former CEO of the Aston Martin Company) and the late Yagdish Chandra Kapur, an Indian scientist, philosopher and businessman.


The main goals of the forum are to unite the efforts of the global community to protect the spiritual and cultural values of humankind and to create a space for constructive dialogue among the major civilizations of the modern world.  The work of the forum is aimed at defining, developing and promoting dialogue, and introducing the spirit of cooperation and understanding into everyday life.


Click here for more information on the Rhodes Forum:


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