RHODES, Greece, Oct. 4 (Xinhua) -- Chinese academics on Thursday participated in the 10th World Public Forum "Dialogue of Civilizations" for the first time as a delegation.
The Chinese delegation, organized by Soong Ching Ling Foundation, is composed of philosophers, sociologists, economists and experts from other fields.
Li Ning, secretary-general of Soong Ching Ling Foundation and the head of the delegation, told Xinhua that the participation of the Chinese delegation helps the international community know more about China and Chinese civilization.
Li said the participation indicates the rising status of Chinese non-governmental organizations (NGOs) domestically and internationally.
He said the forum is also a platform for China's academics to share their views with more than 500 delegates from around 80 countries and regions on a series of important issues.
At this year's forum, China's academics are expected to take part in the plenary sessions of Global Peace and Justice, Building Solidarity Economies, The Family in a Changing World and demographic perspectives for humanity, among others.
The keynote speaker of Thursday's opening plenary session of the forum was Russian politician-cum-businessman Vladimir Yakunin, the founding president of international NGO which was registered in Vienna, Austria.
Yakunin, who is also the president of the Russian Railways, told the session that "only a broad public movement will be capable of making practical progress toward the objective of broadening the domain of dialogue and transforming it into an effective international process."
He reiterated that the dialogue of civilizations relies in its work toward achieving consistent and peaceful intercultural interaction among different nation-states and societies.
The forum was co-founded by Yakunin with C. Kapur of India and N. Papanikolao from Greece/United States.
It unites various nongovernmental organizations, representatives of public and state institutions, civil society organizations and faith-based groups, academics, members of diverse civilizations and cultural traditions, and individuals.
The main goals of the forum are 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 first annual session of the forum took place in September 2003 on the Greek island of Rhodes, about 430 km southeast of the capital Athens.