Commencement of the Aristotle–Confucius Symposium on Ethics for the 21st Century

The “Aristotle–Confucius Symposium on Ethics for the 21st Century” commenced yesterday at the prestigious Academy of Athens, sparking profound intellectual conversations and igniting the flame of global change!

Professor Christos Zerefos, the General Secretary of the Academy, delivered captivating opening remarks that set the tone for this remarkable event. Professor Phoebe Koundouri warmly welcomed the esteemed participants and highlighted that this symposium is being organized for the third time by the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (UN SDSN), led by Prof. Jeffrey Sachs in collaboration with the Greek and European SDSN Hubs, co-chaired by Prof. Koundouri.

The opening session was graced by enlightening speeches from distinguished individuals, each offering valuable insights: Vasileios Foivos Axiotis, Vice Mayor of Urban & Building Infrastructure and City Planning, City of Athens; Junzheng Xiao, the Ambassador of China to Greece; Chengyan Guo, Vice Chairman and Secretary-General of the Confucius Foundation/Nishan World Center for Confucian Studies; Dimitris Bourantonis, Rector of Athens University of Economic and Business; Ioannis Emiris, President and General Director of the ATHENA Research Center; and Eleni Andreadis, ESG Executive Director of the Sani/Ikos Group.

The symposium’s central objective is to explore a new global ethic, drawing inspiration from the timeless wisdom of Greece and China and embracing the teachings of Aristotle and Confucius. In the face of today’s complex world, it aims to address pressing global challenges such as climate change, the digital revolution, and financing development. By fostering the convergence of diverse perspectives and interdisciplinary expertise, the symposium aspires to cultivate innovative solutions and pave the way for a more sustainable future.

One remarkable highlight of this gathering was the momentous signing of a Cooperative Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). Spearheaded by the Chinese Embassy of the Hellenic Republic, this collaborative initiative brought together the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, the Confucius Foundation of China, the Academy of Athens, the Athens University of Economics, the “ATHENA” Research Center, and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. This MoU signifies a shared commitment to working together, transcending borders, and forging strong international partnerships in pursuit of common goals.

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