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CATALONIA: “Universal Forum of Cultures” slated for 2004 in Barcelona

Barcelona's city council, the indigenous Catalan autonomous government, and the Spanish government are coordinating a unique forum - entitled the “Universal Forum of Cultures” - to be held in Barcelona from May 9, 2004 until September 26, based on the “Universal Declaration of Human Rights” and the “Working Principles of the United Nations”. The professed goal of the forum is to renew dialogue and encourage fresh attitudes regarding moving towards a conflict-free world. Five million people are expected to visit the forum, which will be run by 20,000 volunteers, 20 international congresses, with 400 local and international institutions expected to participate. The forum will last 141 days, and its dates coincide with the local patron saint festivities of La Merce.