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Herculean Hopes

Kotzias is firmly convinced that the would-be 10-nation group can provide a moral and cultural compass to the rest of the world
By The News · 28 of March 2017 09:09:38
Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias leaves following a meeting with Cypriot President Anastasiades at the presidential palace in Nicosia, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias leaves following a meeting with Cypriot President Nicos Anastasiades at the presidential palace in Nicosia, Cyprus March 27, 2017. REUTERS/Yiannis Kourtoglou, photo: Reuters/Yiannis Kourtoglou

In today’s constantly evolving global geopolitical landscape, there are international trade blocs, strategic governmental blocs and regional development blocs.

But Greece’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Kotzias, is looking to create a brand new type of integrated transnational union, a confederation of nations that boast the world’s most ancient civilizations that have dramatically reshaped human history and positively advanced mankind’s social and moral progression.

Kotzias, who first floated his Group of Civilizatons-10 (GC-10) proposal in Athens late last year and who is slated to formally present the scheme during a multinational ministerial conference in the Greek capital at the end of April, is firmly convinced that the would-be 10-nation group can provide a moral and cultural compass to the rest of the world in a time of turbulent social dissimilation and moral decay through the fundamental wisdom and cultural wealth of its member countries.

In other words, the GC-10 would serve as a humanitarian beacon for a universal global culture based on the collective values of great ancient civilizations.

In addition to Greece, the GC-10 would include China, India, Iran, Egypt, Italy, Mexico, Bolivia and Peru, and would meet regularly to promote international religious and cultural plurality and peaceful coexistence.

Greek Ambassador to Mexico Petros Panayotopoulos, who spoke about the GC-10 proposal during his national day reception last week, said that the group could serve as an ethical counterweight in a modern global community “destabilized by technocratic tempests and the inhumane subjugation of oppressed and marginalized societies and economies.”

Panayotopoulos explained that the GC-10 could provide a form of cultural diplomacy for humanity, helping disarm hatred and xenophobic divides through the teaching and promoting of altruistic values and ideals that have been at the core of Greek and other ancient societies for millenniums.

Kotzias’ proposal is novel, but it could prove to be a palatable alternative to the far more aggressive gunboat diplomacy that seems to be dominating the global scenario today.

Culture has and always will be a fundamental part of fostering bilateral and multilateral understanding, while broadening external relations in a humanitarian climate that nurtures dialogue, diversity and sustainability.

If Kotzias’ GC-10 project does come to fruition, it could indeed help promote tolerance and peace through culture, and serve as a catalyst for socio-economic development and international cooperation.

We will have to wait to hear exactly how Kotzias hopes to implement his plan, since so far he and his government have been extremely Delphic as to the how the new civilization bloc will go about the task of re-enlightening the world.

But one thing is certain.

Given the current state of world affairs, a little bit of cultural goodwill and civilized humanitarianism certainly can’t hurt.

Thérèse Margolis can be reached at therese.margolis@gmail.com.