Main Subject: “Globalisation and Orthodoxy”
The 9th Annual General Assembly of the IAO for the year 2002 was realized in Bucharest, with the attendance of the President of the Parliament of Romania Mr Valer Dorneanu, and the presence of His Beatitude Theoktist Patriarch of Romania.
The main subject of the Assembly was: “Globalisation and Orthodoxy”
Photo of the IX IAO annual assembly participants
The President of the General Assembly of the IAO, Mr. Victor Zorkaltsev, deputy of the Russian Duma, presided in the Assembly, while the President of the Parliament of Romania, Mr Valer Dorneanu declared the beginning of the Assembly’s works and in his addressing speech he stressed the following:
“.With the various meanings in a political cultural level, this international meeting, signals a crossroad in the history, as the main subject of the Assembly “Globalization and Orthodoxy” gives us.
I would like to bear to you certain thoughts by underlining the importance which the Parliament of Romania gives to this General Assembly of Orthodoxy, the role of the deputies who participate and the role of the parliaments they represent. There is a tendency to identify Europe with its western section. This does not correspond with truth and history, because the western European culture has Byzantium and the orthodox faith as its foundation that is the Orthodox Church. The Roman Empire has persisted in a lot of countries and we can say that in the experience of the Eastern Christianity we have overcome the difficulties of history and because of the role the Orthodox Church played which maintained the national identity, the unity of the peoples and the spirit of Orthodoxy. The same happened with the Romanian Orthodox Church which was a symbol of national unity even after half of a century of faith refusal by the communistic regime. It is not necessary for us to prove that in the roots of our own European culture Orthodoxy can be found.
The various opinions that speak of certain conflicts between the west and the east part of Europe do not express us. In the present time, Europe advances towards the end of conflict between the western and the Eastern part and in the establishment of respect between all peoples of Europe .”
His Beatitude Theoktist Patriarch t of Romania, while addressing the participants of the Assembly stressed the following in the speech:
“.We, as officials of the Orthodox Church of Romania see in this work, an effort of distribution of values that really are unique in the modern world and which are confirmed by the descent of the Holy Spirit which gave the Apostles, the strength to speak the languages of all nations, thus to give value to the nations, the peoples, the local societies. However, at the same time all the peoples find themselves united in the faith of God. It is a distinguished work, which is appreciated by our Church and using this unique occasion to speak, to greet each one of you, each representative of the Parliament of Orthodoxy I would say because simultaneously each one you, who in a charismatic way represents in this Assembly, your distinctive Churches in a common work, a common effort, in a work of the Holy Spirit which lights up the spirit of the leaders of peoples, of the countries, which lights up the spirit of those who are called by modern history and by the problems of the modern world to contribute in brotherhood. Your Assembly confirms and interprets very beautifully the miracle of the Pentecost, the miracle of the descent of the Holy Spirit, unity in differentiality. Orthodoxy appreciates this cultural value of each country, of each language, of each nation’s art, that respects always according to the speech of the Holy Gospel, the national, historical and cultural identity, but this identity simultaneously wants to introduce the phenomenon of globalisation which cannot bring itself the process of globalisation that will be the main subject of your works. You, the members of this Interparliamentary Assembly speak the languages of the Pentecost. Moreover, for these reasons your thoughts and your will and that of us all, express a unity, a unique truth, that truth of our Saviour Jesus Christ who said: “I am the light of the world”. There cannot exist another light, another truth, another guiding road and this voice of all our Orthodox countries and their residents, our clergy and the peoples is heard for the first time in the world, in the beginning of the 3rd millennium. The world yearns for the truth, this light of Christ which he has a need for..”
The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew represented the Archimandrite Athinagoras Peckstadt. The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, in his message to the Assembly stressed the following:
“.The choice of such a serious subject for examination and extended study is an explicit sample of the responsibility the participants of the Interparliamentary Assembly are dealing with such key subjects, for which a lot are being heard about and conflicting views are being expressed under such serious concerns. We are praying deeply in our hearts for the Holy Spirit to light and guide your thoughts and decisions for the glory of God and building his holy Orthodox Church, the salvation of his Christ-named peoples of God and all of the world, to the ministration of which under the providence and His love you have been promised.”
Welcoming message of the President of the Greek Parliament Mr. Apostolos Kaklamanis was read by the representative of the Greek Parliament Mr. Dimitrios Alabanos, which stressed the following:
“. We are called today to approach a big subject, a political social and economic phenomenon. I have the sense that we should approach it through the essence of our Ecumenical Orthodoxy, through the great values of peace, freedom, protection of the peoples and the rights, protection of the environment by showing understanding, solidarity and respect for our fellowmen .”
Respectively, Mr. Vladimir Medvedev, member of the IAO Secretariat, read a message of the President of the State Duma of the Russian Federation, Mr. Gennadiy Seleznev, which stressed among the others:
“. Today the processes of globalisation, showing a course of success in the area of technology, tend to prevail in all countries of world. However, despite the abolition of borders, the unification of the economy systems and informative fields as a result of globalisation, the peoples, unfortunately, have not achieved better levels of prosperity. In this new, inexperienced technological society, the role of ethics is downgraded, the role of humanly traditional values, the values of the good, that of justice and of unselfish ministration. Unfortunately, our world has not become more secure; on the contrary, we observe the appearance of new international and interconfessional conflicts..”
The member of the IAO Secretariat Mr. Vlad George Nadejde, member of the Parliament of Romania in his greeting to the participants of the Assembly, stressed the following:
“…This world that faces the secularisation is dominated by difficult problems, mainly material ones, in the East and the West. The alienation from faith that unifies, that taught the world through the Gospel to minister one another, to respect one another, has alienated the human being from this ministration of the one close by. We, the deputies and politicians with our organisations, have the responsibility for ensuring the co-ordination of the activities of all Orthodox deputies of the world. Our aim is for the work of the Orthodox Churches to be assisted for the unification of the spirit, culture, history of our peoples…”
The Secretary General of the Organisation, Mr. Stylianos-Angelos Papathemelis in his inaugural speech stressed:
“. Orthodoxy is a vision, authentic, ecumenical. Orthodoxy believes in the universality, not only that of humanity but of all God’s dominion. But this voice of Orthodoxy which arises from its truths, which is transmitted through its churches, this voice today perhaps is not heard. We have the privilege to be institutions of this faith, a faith which with her doctrines, the trinity of God for example, gives us the model of human relations, model of equivalent coexistence, with its christological doctrine to offer to us other truths via the Divine Grace and the Common Table, with its eschatology shows us that the person is a continuous subject of history. However, globalisation, as we know it today, dismisses the individuals from being the subject of history, reduces continuously the regulating role of the nation-state, works via the complete hyper-individuality and generally provokes inhuman conditions. ”
Finally, the President of the General Assembly of the IAO, Mr. Victor Zorkaltsev said the following:
“.One of the most important objectives of our Assembly is that we should contribute in the legislative confrontation of problems that arise from globalisation. The existence of rules from the international law, which are mandatory in all countries, develops the ground for the activation of the Parliaments in order to improve legislation. The experience shows that when the necessary legislative infrastructure exists, the countries can face the devastating influences of more powerful “dark” forces more effectively, which are activated today in the globalised world, something that has happened repeatedly in the history of humanity. However, any decisions regarding the status and the role of our countries in international and regional organisms ought to express the will of peoples under the condition that the peoples and the public opinion will be always informed in regard to the core and the consequences of the decisions of the Parliaments. Our influence in the actions of the political leaders should be intellectual and ethical above all. The most important rule of Orthodoxy – ” God is not in the force, but in justice” – should determine all of our efforts for the resolution of the globalisation problems. If we use as our objective the preservation of the values on spirituality and humanism, then the direction in which the globalisation moves in, can still be corrected so that it serves the interests of all humans and all the peoples .”
In the Assembly delegations from 19 Parliaments – members of the IAO participated:
Greece, Russia, Cyprus, Albania, Armenia, Australia, Bulgaria, Georgia, Estonia, Kazakhstan, Belarus, Latvia, Lithuania, Moldova, Holland, Ukraine, Poland, Romania. In addition, delegations from the Parliament of Australia and of Uganda participated as well. We should note the presence for the first time in the IAO Annual General Assembly of a member of the Parliament of Uganda, Mr. Ssekikubo Theodore, as well as, the presence of a delegation from the organisation “SYNDESMOS” of the Orthodox youths.
The works of the Assembly took place in the premises of the Parliament of Romania, with the support, technical and secretarial, of the department of international relations under the responsibility of Ms. Aida Bajanaru.