ISESCO Director General at UNESCO 39th General Conference: The world needs a humanistic action to shield present and future generations against dangers of ignorance, extremism and terrorism
The Director General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), Dr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri said that peace building hinges upon a solid basis of education in its fullest sense, and argued that while peace is constructed in the minds, the minds are, in turn, built with rewarding good education. He further explained that UNESCO has therefore big responsibilities to shoulder, especially in today’s critical global context marked by growing tensions and escalating armed conflicts, political crises and economic problems in many countries, coupled with a remarkable slowdown of the development process in the majority of countries of the South. “As a result, millions of children are deprived of their right to pursue a descent education in a normal atmosphere of security and stability”, he added.
In this regard, the Director General stated that educational development is a prerequisite for economic and political development. This conclusion was made very early by the pioneering founders of UNESCO, who put Education on top of the sectors falling under the Organization’s realm of competence, making it an underpinning of Science and Culture. “Education is then a fundamental requirement, since Science and Culture, in their deepest sense, are inextricably linked to it”, he went on.
He also expressed his regret that the state of education in the developing world is far from being satisfactory and stable. Today, the number of refugees in the world exceeds 50 million, 25% of whom are children, including a portion from some countries of the Islamic world, he added.
“While ISESCO is monitoring this situation and making constant efforts to ensure access to education for refugee children within the limit of the resources and capabilities available, international cooperation in this important area is still a very pressing need”, Dr Altwaijri maintained, expressing his hope that the new era in UNESCO will give a new impetus to international cooperation to address the educational crises being suffered by some Member States of this Organization, in such a way as to help them overcome such hardships that undermine their development.
The Director General also pointed that ensuring access to education for every child is one of the fundamental human rights. He added, “In fact, a larger educational base and a wider scope of education that accommodates all children of the world are among the requirements of world-peace building”. A development that rests on a firm foundation of expanded education will certainly yield economic prosperity, social progress and political stability, and will accordingly lead to concord between nations and peoples, ensure the stability of human communities, and consolidate world peace and security, he further explained.
By the same token, ISESCO Director General said that in this critical point of our history, the world needs a humanistic action to save the present and future generations from the dangers of ignorance, extremism and terrorism and shield them against the leanings of intolerance, racism and aggression. “A real mobilization is required in order to ensure security and peace and equal education opportunities for all, develop science and culture, and safeguard civilizational heritage as a shared universal asset”, he stated.
Moreover, Dr altwaijri declared that UNESCO, which represents the cultural conscience of the world, is shouldering immense responsibilities and facing tough challenges on top of which is the lack of resources whose causes are known to all. Amid this situation, it is a vital necessity that all Member States support this Organization if it is to discharge its civilizational mission as fully as laid out in its Charter. By the same token, he maintained that ISESCO, in its capacity as the cultural mouthpiece of the Islamic world, will remain committed to its mission as specified in its Charter, and will continue its efforts to advance cooperation with UNESCO in its fields of competence in order to achieve common goals for the benefit of humanity.