The Saint-Petersburg Branch of the Russian Institute of Cultural Research
UNESCO Moscow Office for Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Republic of Moldova and Russian Federation


Русская версия

UNESCO launched the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme in 1991 as an international action plan for academic solidarity to strengthen inter-university co-operation with particular emphasis on support to higher education in the developing countries.
The programme works towards establishing and reinforcing strong and durable linkages amongst higher education and scientific institutions worldwide and at facilitating the transfer of knowledge while combating the brain drain. Special attention is paid to providing assistance through inter-regional and (sub)regional linkages.
The UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme encompasses a broad spectrum of activities requiring very flexible modes of action. It is based on genuine, equal partnership among the higher education institutions which initiate various projects within its framework.
Two types of closely interrelated and interdependent activities have emerged as the base for the major strategies for implementing the Programme: inter-university networks and international UNESCO Chairs. While individual chairs responding to specific needs are possible, the programme endeavours to create the proper conditions to allow each chair to be a focal point of a network or to be a part of a network.

The UNITWIN network on Interreligious studies


The international scientific conference “Russia – Mongolia: cultural contacts and originality of cultures”, 25–28 June, 2013.

The international scientific conference “Russia – Mongolia: cultural contacts and originality of cultures” will be held on 25–28 June, 2013, in Biysk (Altai Krai, Russia).
The history of cultural interaction between the Russian and Mongolian peoples is full of important facts and has many aspects. Besides the debatable question about the influence of the Turan people on the Slavs in the period of forming their Russian identity, it is very useful to analyze some other aspects of the interaction which prove cultural and lin-guistic similarity of our nations. Nowadays in Russia there are some Mongolian-speaking peoples like Buryats and Kalmyks whose culture is very similar to the Mongolian one. Moreover, there are Turkic-speaking peoples like the Altaic and Tuva ones whose cultural traditions are also very close to the Mongolian ones. Either in the Russian Federation or in Mongolia there is no homogeneous ethnic room, instead of which there are different ethnic groups (the Uriankhai, Khoton peoples etc.). Due to the historical evolution certain typical features of each ethnos appeared and now they determine the peculiarities of the cultures. Studying the origins of the existing similarity, on the one hand, and the specific features of the cultures, on the other, is of great interest and importance for researchers as it helps them to extrapolate the similarity and distinctions to the contemporary level of cultural interaction. Analyzing both positive and negative experience of the dialogue between the peoples as well as exploring the problem of forming their civil identities (e.g. Russian, Mongol) could be an inestimable contribution to elaborating the theory of cultural interaction. This theory is especially necessary today when a lot of national, confessional, and ethnical conflicts are still taking place throughout the world. It will help to get mutual understanding between peoples and to strengthen their intercultural contacts.
The conference will be devoted to discussing the following questions: history of intercultural contacts; originality and identity of cultures; international cultural connections; ways of saving cultural heritage; influence of globalization on cultures; perspectives of cultural interaction.
For further information e-mail to: v_dianova@mail.ru (Valentina Dianova).

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UNESCO Chair in Comparative Religious Studies (592), established in 2002 at Saint-Joseph University, (Lebanon)


College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Oregon. Oregon Humanities Center

Center Leo Apostel (CLEA), Brussels Free University
(Brussels, Belgium)

Center for XX Century Studies, Milwaukee University, Milwaukee
(Wisconsin, USA)

European Society for Study of Science and Theology (ESSSAT) - Lund university, Department of Theology and Religious Studies
(Lund, Sweden)

The Elijah School for the Study of the Wisdom of the World Religions
(Jerusalem, Izrael)