Guido Westerwelle to Address this Year′s Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum | Program | DW | 21.05.2013
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Guido Westerwelle to Address this Year's Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum

Germany's minister of foreign affairs, Guido Westerwelle, will attend the annual Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum from 17 to 19 June. Its theme this year is "The Future of Growth - Economic Values and the Media".

Following his speech on Tuesday, 18 June, Westerwelle will take part in an open plenary discussion. The three-day conference in Bonn is the sixth in a series that has earned a "fixed spot in the calendar of international media conferences", according to the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom.

Past conferences have dealt with the media's role in conflict prevention, peace building, climate change, human rights and education. Sub-topics to major global issues are discussed in some 50 workshops and specialized events. Attendance has steadily grown year on year, making the Forum an important meeting point for people from all around the world and from many fields. More than 2,000 participants from 100 nations attended in 2012, including some 500 media professionals.

In his well-received keynote speech last year, Westerwelle said he believed that "the contest of education systems will determine globalization". He added that "the most important natural resource is no longer to be found under our feet, but in our heads". The "commodity of ideas" is also at the heart of this year's meeting about economic growth. The world economy faces enormous challenges. Pressed to deal with climate change and diminishing resources, it must also respond to increasing social, political and cultural tensions exacerbated by inequality of wealth and living standards. Paradigms are shifting as underlying economic values change fundamentally.Concepts such as energy turnaround, the green economy, social justice and environmental responsibility are driving the debate about the economic future.

World-renowned linguist and political critic Noam Chomsky will share his thoughts on the topic on Monday, 17 June. The outspoken critic of globalization is widely regarded as the intellectual father of the Occupy movement.

Vandana Shiva, an Indian physicist and Right Livelihood Award laureate, and Klaus Töpfer, formerly the executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme, will speak on Wednesday, 19 June. Shiva calls the Deutsche Welle Media Forum an "ideal meeting ground" and this year's focus "extremely relevant". She says, "The globalization of trade has led to divergence and magnified the gap between rich and poor."

Find out more about the conference at www.dw-gmf.de.

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