ISESCO Director General, at UNESCO General Conference, calls for: Protecting the rights of oppressed peoples who are deprived of freedom, dignity, education, culture and science
Dr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, the Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), called on the members of UNESCO General Conference which holds its 38th session at the headquarters of the international Organization in Paris to assume their responsibility and take the right decisions to protect the rights of oppressed peoples who are deprived of freedom, dignity, education, culture and science, and to preserve peace and security in the world as a whole.
In an address delivered at UNESCO General Conference which is attended by the ministers of education and higher education of the world states, Dr Altwaijri stated that the world today abounds with challenges of varying proportions and unresolved conflicts that undermine world peace and security. “The world is therefore put to an extreme test that requires taking well-informed political decisions on this serious situation, and more particularly in the Middle East where the ongoing devastating wars and armed foreign interventions may lead to catastrophic consequences unless they are addressed by peaceful means, within the framework of the Charter of the United Nations and in accordance with the principles of international law”, he said.
He also pointed out that the grave violations of human rights in the Middle East, which some Member States at this conference are directly responsible for, along with the acts of aggression that are contrary to international laws and the war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in zones of armed conflict, and the resulting destruction of facilities and civilizational landmarks, systematic displacement of people and wide-spread hatred, extremism, terrorism and violence, all together pose a serious challenge to the international community and require an efficient treatment and firm response.
Besides, ISESCO Director General stressed that the Palestinian people besieged by the Israeli occupation forces are living in tragic conditions as a result of Israel’s policy of aggression, repression and oppression in the Palestinian territories, under its successive governments, and for more than six decades. “This deplorable situation was brought to a climax when a group of extremist settlers broke into Al-Aqsa Mosque, under the protection of the Israeli authorities. All these grave and repeated acts constitute crimes against humanity, and a flagrant violation of international laws, the charters of the United Nations and UNESCO, the resolutions issued by this esteemed Conference, the relevant international covenants and declarations and the resolutions of the UN General Assembly and Security Council”, he added.
In addition, ISESCO Director General emphasized that the international community is responsible, in a way or another, for the collapse of the landmarks of human civilization, including historical monuments, cultural facilities, educational institutions and museums with considerable historical significance in Palestine, Syria, Iraq and Yemen, as a result of raging wars in the region. “The failure of the great powers to undertake the necessary action dictated by their political and humanitarian duty has exacerbated these human tragedies and raised serious doubts about the credibility of the positions announced. Eventually, we, as the main victims of these acute crises, rightly fear a possible failure of the political efforts being announced to solve those ailments as we no longer consider their initiators as trustworthy and reliable parties”, he pointed out.
Furthermore, Dr Altwaijri said that hundreds of educational institutions, including schools, colleges and universities, were destroyed in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, with millions of students being deprived of continuing their education and that dozens of libraries containing treasures of handwritten heritage and hundreds of places of worship were completely demolished or seriously damaged.
Moreover, ISESCO Director General stated that the terrorist groups that have suspiciously emerged in the region and breached international laws are massively engaged in the premeditated destruction of irreplaceable landmarks, and continue their unprecedented attacks against cultural diversity and human heritage. “It is surprising that regimes which commit continuing acts of killing, destruction and terror against their own people, and the regime that uses terrorism against the Palestinian people, occupying and besieging their land and desecrating their religious sanctities, still maintain their membership in the United Nations and UNESCO, and send delegates to represent them in this Conference. I therefore wonder whether the balance of justice is still maintained and whether the values of freedom and human rights are still observed”, he concluded.