On February 2013, to begin the day of 5th Global Forum at United Nations Alliance of Civilizations in Vienna, Austria, Prof. TU Weiming, the founding dean of Institute of Advanced Humanistic Studies at Peking University delivered a keynote speech.
Prof. TU Weiming has called for a more pragmatic approach by governments and civil society organizations in reaching out to build a more diverse and tolerant world. He highlighted China’s desire to create a dialogue based on diversity. He also suggested that China ought to learn to understand its own history with a view to the future as an integral part of the global community. China has been not only a dialogical civilization, a learning civilization, a tolerant civilization, but very ecumenical, very early on. As an example, he explained that before the time of Confucius existed the idea of tianxia ( 天下), which means “all under heaven.”
Prof. Tu stated that human rights without responsibility, without a sense of decency, a sense of compassion, is not good enough for a society to flourish. We need to broaden our scope from the legalistic language to the language of the heart, as well. Therefore Prof. Tu called on all societies to cultivate not only the great Enlightenment values of liberty, rationality, due process of law, human rights, dignity of the individual, equality, but also the language of the heart, of the great spiritual traditions of justice, of compassion, of love, of care, and the idea of a harmonious society.
The speech was received with a great applause by the attendees.