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Barcelona , 23-25th November 2023

Barcelona, a world reference for peace

A Catalan, Josep Fèlix Bentz, chairs the World Peace Forum for the first time Barcelona to host an international meeting in 2023.

Laia Bruguera, El Punt d’Avui, 4 July 2022

A Catalan, Josep Fèlix Bentz, chairs the World Peace Forum for the first time Barcelona to host an international meeting in 2023.

Josep Fèlix Bentz, President of the Real Círculo Artístico de Barcelona, is since last month the first Catalan to preside over a worldwide organisation that promotes and watches over peace, the World Peace Forum. This association, with its headquarters in Luxembourg, holds an international meeting every year to debate the main challenges to peace in the world and to recognise the people and entities that work to achieve a better world, and Barcelona has been designated as the city to host the event in 2023. Those who have promoted the candidacy of the Catalan capital, with Bentz at the head, want the holding of the World Peace Forum in Barcelona to be the opportunity to turn the city and Catalonia, “permanently”, into an “international benchmark for peace”.

As Josep Fèlix Bentz explains, the holding of this meeting, which for the first time is being hosted by a Spanish city, will be “an excellent showcase for all the city projects we have”. He is also the driving force behind the Pau Barcelona 2025 Association, which promotes multiple initiatives, including the one that has just received the Luxembourg Peace Prizes award for the best public contribution to the end of wars: the Peace Walk-Path. It wants to pay tribute to the people who have fought for a better world, and it is hoped that the prize will help them to make it a reality.


Africa, the great forgotten

One of the objectives of the World Peace Forum to be held in Barcelona in two years’ time is for as many countries as possible to be represented. The president of the association explains: “Africa is one of the great omissions in the news, and at the moment there are multiple wars on its territory and it is not talked about, so we would like this continent to be very present in the talks, debates and workshops”.


The drama of the Mediterranean

The project that has won one of the Luxembourg Peace Prizes is a route that would run parallel to the Mediterranean, from Barcelona to Badalona, and would combine physical and virtual installations with the aim of offering information about the struggle for peace of hundreds of people. Its promoters have been giving it shape and obtaining the necessary support for seven years. The pandemic has not helped, but now that the health crisis is easing and with the international recognition they have received, Josep Fèlix Bentz hopes it can go ahead. “We have spoken not only with the authorities but also with organisations such as Caritas, the Red Cross, the Artistic Circle and the Liceu Conservatory; anyone who wants to is invited to participate.

The project includes the installation of a sculpture in Badalona to symbolise the indifference of Europeans towards immigrants who lose their lives in Mediterranean waters.


Text translated by Deepl.com/Translator

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