Children in traditional clothes read Confucian classics during a ceremony in the Temple of Confucius at Nishan Mountain.
"From diversity and harmony - two key words of its previous editions - the forum is now putting an emphasis on common ethics, a theme that is gaining importance in national and international debates as the globalization process creates new challenges for decision-makers and citizens alike."
The UNESCO official said it is significant to meet in the cradle of Confucianism - a turn to ancient wisdom for answers to the problems of modern society.
Fred Dallmayr, chairman of the World Public Forum, said tragedies like that at a street market in Urumqi last Thursday happen all over the world almost every day, lending more weight to the issues discussed at the Nishan Forum.
A round-table dialog on gender equality was also part of this year's forum.
"It is of great significance to add the dialog on gender equality," said Zhang Youyun, director of the Bureau for Gender Equality, International Labor Organization.
"Issues of gender equality matter a great deal in building a healthy and civilized society," she said.
Concerts by symphony orchestras included Ode to Confucius and Symphony No 5 in D Minor.
As well, ceremonies honored the Nishan Academy, an organization founded in the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) dedicated to Confucius and his thoughts.
The biennial forum is scheduled to be next held in Jining city in 2016.