Paris Peace Forum instituted as a way of commemorating the centennial of the end of World War One
On 11 November 2018, one hundred years will have passed since the end of the first world armed conflict, World War One. As a way of commemorating this monumentally important anniversary, and with the aim of building cooperation between as many public institutions, social organisations and civil associations as possible necessary for responding to current global challenges and the preservation of world peace, the Paris Peace Forum has been instituted.
Paris Peace Forum, whose first edition will be held from 11 to 13 November 2018, was established at the initiative of the French President Emmanuel Macron, for the purpose of achieving and maintaining international cooperation as a key factor in tackling the challenges of today and ensuring lasting world peace. It will be taking place annually and will try to bring together the representatives of as many national governments, local government administrations, nongovernmental organisations, foundations and companies as possible, together with experts of different profiles, journalists, the representatives of trade unions and other types of workers’ associations, religious groups, etc. The Forum will also act as a platform for the promotion and launching of various projects focusing on finding solutions to pressing issues related to peace and security, environment, development, new technologies and inclusive economy. Considering their social role and vital position in local communities, libraries represent important partners in the promotion and realisation of the objectives of the Forum, whose fundamental principles are in accordance with those of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which includes the participation of libraries.
In 2014, Europeana, a digital library, museum and archive of European cultural heritage, set up Europeana 1914-1918, a special website marking the centenary of the beginning of World War One. The website was a result of an extensive three-year project that united the efforts of many European libraries and other heritage institutions, such as the British Library, which set up its own World War One website, Berlin State Library, National Library of France, Royal Library of Denmark (National Library and Copenhagen University Library), Austrian National Library, National Library of Serbia, and many others. In 2017, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York marked this anniversary by putting on the World War I and the Visual Arts exhibition, which presented the Great War with regard to its impact on various forms of visual art.
Also in 2014, the National and University Library in Zagreb organised the World War One in the NSK Collections: In Images and Words exhibition and set up a virtual exhibition featuring the everyday life in the historic 1914 as documented in Croatian newspapers of that time (Svakodnevica 1914. u starim hrvatskim novinama). The Croatian State Archives hosted the 2014 Commemorating 1914: Exploring the War’s Legacy international symposium, organised by the EU National Institutes for Culture (EUNIC) Croatia. This year, the Croatian History Museum organises a special exhibition marking the centenary of the end of World War One, 1918 – A Turning Point for Croatia, which symbolically opened on 11 November and will remain on view until 19 May 2019.
With the aim of announcing the Paris Peace Forum, the Zagreb Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences co-organised and hosted the Centennial of the end of World War One: from the first global conflict to dialogue and reconciliation commemorative conference on 8 November 2018. Acting as panellists at the conference were Ambassador Corinne Meunier (France), Ambassador Adriano Chiodi Cianfarani (Italy), Ambassador Daniel Henry Andrew Maksymiuk (Canada), Ambassador Andreas Wiedenhoff (Austria), Ambassador Andrew Stuart Dalgleish (United Kingdom), and Chargé d’affaires ad interim from the Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Republic of Croatia Mr. Günther Harald Seibel. Also present at the conference were the representatives of the embassies to Croatia of Portugal, Slovenia, Serbia and Sweden. Emphasising the importance of the global society dealing with its issues on the principles of multilateralism and concluding that the preservation of world peace requires constant united efforts on all levels, the panellists announced the holding of the Paris Peace Forum as an efficient platform for the advancement of international dialogue.