A forum of world capitals opens on Saturday in Rome, which is attended by representatives of city halls of the capitals of 40 countries. Moscow at this event is represented by Vice-Mayor Lyudmila Shvetsova.
The aim of the Glocal Forum is "to combine the advantages of the globalisation process with local interests." The forum is meeting in Rome for a second time. Last year, a similar meeting was attended by 25 cities, and it had a positive resonance.
Glocal-Forum-2003 will last three days. Apart from official speeches, its programme also includes discussions, seminars and affinity meetings. Among the major topics are business, sport, and culture.
Lyudmila Shvetsova is accompanied by a group of Russian young people. The young men and women will take part in a youth anti-war demonstration, to be held on Capitol Hill during the forum's days of work.
On the opening day a football match will be played, with one team made up of Palestinians and Israelis and the other of members of hostile ethnic tribes of Rwanda.
On Monday, the last day of the forum, its participants will be received by Pope John Paul II.
Flirtation with Turkey turned out to be disastrous for Russia, but as long as Russia is in the game, the stakes should be high