The founder and president of the New York-based International Institute for Peace Through Tourism (IIPT), Louis D’Amore is urging the United States and Iran to take the opportunity and opened this narrow window. It could help to avoid an increasing escalation in the USA – Iran conflict peacefully.
This comes at the same time when world leaders including the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and British PM Boris Johnson issued a joint statement Monday morning. Pope Francis called on Sunday for dialogue: “I call on all sides to keep the flame of dialogue and self-restraint alight and ward off the shadow of hostility. War only brings death and destruction.”
The fact that dialogue among civilizations stands in opposition to the clash of civilizations has been a topic of debate. The idea that clashes among cultures and civilizations will replace political and military confrontations, as part of man’s destiny, was further complemented by the “End of History” theory. One can say that dialogue among civilizations has been one of the few initiatives able to create such a considerable, if not the greatest, wave during the past decade.
Every traveler is potentially an Ambassador for Peace.
The IIPT President urges leaders of Iran and the U.S. to re-visit the 2001 U.N. International Year for a Dialogue Among Civilizations as proposed by the former President of Iran Khatami.
Twelve years ago, IIPT Founder and President, Louis D’Amore had the opportunity – together with Juergen Steinmetz, publisher of eTurbo News – to give an address to Iranian leaders in the Islamic Hall of the People in Tehran. The topic of D’Amore’s address was Peace through Tourism.
D’Amore began his talk by noting that Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest continuous civilizations, with historical and urban settlements dating back to 4000 BC. It is a land rich in history – rich in science and technology – the arts, literature and culture – and land where more than two-thirds of the population is under 25 – and therefore a land with a great future.
He also noted that in 1998, during the month of Ramadan, Iranian President Mohammad Khatami proposed to the UN General Assembly that 2001 be declared the UN International Year of Dialogue Among Civilizations – which in turn was adopted.
Former President Khatami’s proposal was based on his genuine vision of how to construct a more peaceful and just world order from an ethical perspective – a new paradigm based on empathy and compassion. It was incumbent upon all to call governments and the people of the world to follow a new paradigm and to learn from past experiences. He specifically called for deliberate dialogue among scholars, artists, and philosophers. President Khatami himself worked towards building interfaith dialogue and communication during the year.
Seyyed Mohammad Khatami served as the fifth President of Iran from 3 August 1997 to 3 August 2005. He also served as Iran’s Minister of Culture from 1982 to 1992. He was a critic of former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s government
It was proposed at the close of the 20th century with the aim of leaving behind a century full of inequality, violence, and conflict – it was proposed with the intent of benefitting from the achievements and experiences of all civilizations – and with a prayer that we begin a new century of humanity, understanding, and durable peace so that all humanity would enjoy the blessings of life.
During its 34 year history, the International Institute for Peace through Tourism (IIPT) has encouraged dialogue among cultures and civilizations at the grassroots level with the belief that “Every traveler is potentially an Ambassador for Peace” and as well with industry and government leaders.
The 2017 UN International Year of Tourism for Sustainable Development and Peace to a large extent had its foundations rooted in the work of IIPT since its founding in 1986 – the UN International Year of Peace.
The IIPT First Global Conference, Vancouver 1988, first introduced the concept of sustainable tourism – and a new Paradigm for a Higher Purpose of Tourism that gives emphasis to the key role of tourism in:
- Promoting international understanding
- Collaboration among nations
- Protecting the environment and preserving biodiversity
- Enhancing cultures and valuing heritage
- Sustainable development
- Poverty reduction and
- Healing wounds of conflict
As reported on Trave Wire News earlier this year, Iran tourism officials said that tourism will be replacing oil revenues. This was referenced according to Iranian Vice President Ali Asghar Mounesan, formerly Head of Cultural Heritage, Handcrafts and Tourism Organization, “Americans are welcome to Iran.”
This was echoed in many Facebook messages, press-releases and email campaigns by Iranian tour operators. looking for American and European business.
D’Amore suggested in his 2008 address that we have an opportunity with this first ITOA conference – to begin the dialogue among civilizations anew – with travel and tourism playing a key role in its fulfillment.
More recently, through the efforts of Dr. Fabio Carbone, Associate researcher of the Centre for Trust, Peace, and Social Relations, Cambridge University, and IIPT Global Ambassador, an IIPT Iran Chapter has been established in Iran.
Italian native Dr. Carbone has conducted numerous seminars and workshops at the invitation of universities, government agencies and tourism organizations attracting more than 200 enthusiastic persons to several of these events.
Louis D’Amore concluded: “As I personally experienced in 2008, Iranians are among the most welcoming, hospitable and peace-loving people in the world.”
IIPT remains eager to re-visit President Khatami’s vision of a more peaceful and just world order based on empathy and compassion and the role that “Peace through Tourism” can play towards this end.
IIPT Credo of the Peaceful Traveler
Grateful for the opportunity to travel and experience the world and because peace begins with the individual, I affirm my personal responsibility and commitment to:
- Journey with an open mind and gentle heart
- Accept with grace and gratitude the diversity I encounter
- Revere and protect the natural environment which sustains all life
- Appreciate all cultures I discover
- Respect and thank my hosts for their welcome
- Offer my hand in friendship to everyone I meet
- Support travel services that share these views and act upon them and,