Under the auspices of His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the Ecumenical Patriarchate will be hosting a forum on modern slavery in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from May 5-8, 2018. This forum—entitled Old Problems in the New World—will be co-sponsored by the Archdiocese of Buenos Aires and the Patriarch Athenagoras Orthodox Institute (Berkeley, California). The purpose of this gathering is to bring together distinguished practitioners and policymakers, as well as theologians and scholars, from within Latin America and other regions of the New World in order to continue the conversation of the first forum, while including other issues, such as public health, technology and vulnerable communities.
The forum is a natural continuation of the Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church (Crete, June 2016), as well as the first forum, Sins Before our Eyes, which was a collaborative effort of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and His Grace Archbishop Justin (Welby) of Canterbury held in Istanbul from February 6-7, 2017. The original idea for their forum arose during the official visit of the Patriarch to Lambeth Palace in 2015, which followed the visit of the Archbishop to the Phanar in 2014. At the conclusion of the first forum, which largely focused on the issue of human trafficking, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Archbishop Justin signed a Joint Declaration, expressing their shared commitment to eradicating all forms of human enslavement.