19.09.2012 - ODG

Education and Culture of Peace at the Centre of Director-General’s Participation in UN General Assembly

© UNESCO -UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova with Mr Vuk Jeremić, President of the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly, New York, September 2012

At a time when peace is failing in many societies, UNESCO Director-General will stress the international community’s responsibility to defend human dignity by promoting quality education for all, building bridges of dialogue for respect and tolerance, and giving all individuals the capacity to fulfill their aspirations, throughout her engagements at the 67th session of the UN General Assembly in New York from 20 to 28 September.

These issues will be at the heart of a High Level Debate on the Culture of Peace and Non Violence organized by UNESCO, in the presence of the UN Secretary-General, UNESCO Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education Her Highness Sheikha Moza Bint Nasser and prominent intellectuals and peace advocates, including Wole Soyinka, Elie Wiesel and Forrest Whittaker.

Education, especially in situation of conflict, features prominently on the agenda. On 26 September, the Director-General will participate in the launch of Education First, the UN Secretary-General’s new initiative to make education a development priority and generate a renewed push to achieve the education goals set for 2015.  The Initiative focuses on three priorities: getting all children into school, improving education quality and fostering global citizenship. Mrs Bokova will also take part in a high-level breakfast meeting organized under the auspices of Sheikha Moza focusing on the protection of education during insecurity and conflict (21 September), and in an event on delivering quality education in humanitarian environments and conflict affected states, co-convened by UNESCO, UNICEF, Save the Children and other partners (24 September). She will join a panel on how to better engage the business community in delivering on education, organized by the Global Business Coalition for Education.

Widening access to knowledge will also be at the center of the annual meeting of the Broadband Commission for Digital Development, which Mrs Bokova will open with the President of Rwanda Mr Paul Kagame, Mr Carlos Slim, President of the Carlos Slim Foundation and Dr Hamadoun Touré, Secretary-General of the International Telecommunications Union.

The Director-General will also take part in the launch of a new Sustainable Development Solutions Network led by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, attend the opening of the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting. She will hold a number of bilateral meetings, including with the President of the 67th Session of the UN General Assembly Mr Vuk Jeremic, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, new chair of the African Union, and Ms Leila Zerrougui, UN Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict.

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