Cooperation between UNESCO and Bahcesehir University
Following a first meeting on 19 April at Bahcesehir University in Istanbul, Irina Bokova and Mr. Enver Yucel, President of the Board of Trustees and Founder of the University, agreed to develop a Memorandum of Understanding between UNESCO and Bahcesehir University to cooperate in the areas of education and culture to promote dialogue between cultures and sustainable peace.
The Memorandum of Understanding to be signed in July this year will support UNESCO’s efforts to promote equitable access in higher education and to foster greater dialogue between cultures.
The specific objectives of the future cooperation agreement will be to promote gender equality and human rights education, and also to develop post-graduate and interdisciplinary research on social issues from a human rights perspective.
The partnership with Bahcesehir University will contribute also to UNESCO’s global pilot initiative Culture: A Bridge to Development to deepen cultural exchanges and cooperation, starting in South East Europe.
The Director-General and Mr. Yucel concurred on the need to sustain the aspirations of young people across the world for human dignity and freedom towards building more inclusive societies.
“Dialogue is a lifeline for understanding and respect. It lays the foundation for cooperation and joint action,” said the Director-General. “It is not enough to connect. We must share solutions and experiences, as a single community bound together by human rights and fundamental freedoms”, added Irina Bokova, reaffirming her statement at the 10th UNESCO Summit of Heads of States of the South-East Europe in Bosnia and Herzegovina earlier in June.
The Director-General also informed Mr. Yucel of UNESCO’s forthcoming event in Turkey in the context of the initiative “Culture: A Bridge to Development”, which will take place later this year on the iconic bridge of Edirne, aiming to promote the importance of education and culture for social inclusion and sustainable peace. She noted that this will be the first of several events hosted on bridges across South East Europe to highlight bridges as powerful symbols of unity and mutual understanding.
“We need to provide more space for cultural cooperation, to promote exchanges between youth, culture professionals, artists, municipalities and civil society, to build more inclusive and more innovative societies,” said the Director-General. “The world today is calling out for a greater focus on the combined role of culture and education for sustainable development, social inclusion and peace” she concluded.