Irina Bokova speaks of a new humanism at the International Conference on the Human Right to Peace in Santiago de Compostela
On 9 December 2010, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova participated in the International Conference on the Human Right to Peace, held at the Universidad de Santiago de Compostela, in Spain, where she delivered an address entitled “UNESCO’s Contribution to Building Peace”.
Recalling UNESCO’s mandate of “building peace in the minds of men and women”, the Director-General emphasized the importance of education and culture in order to build a society that stands for the human right to peace. She went over UNESCO’s actions in those fields and noted that “new times call on us to rethink how to build the defences of peace. The inherent dignity and human rights of every individual must remain the starting point for all action and the measure of its success. This is the foundation for sustainable development – which, itself, provides the basis for lasting peace.”
Irina Bokova also spoke about her notion of new humanism -- to build a singular and lasting human community, where all are equally empowered to live lives of dignity and respect. She went on to underscore that new humanism “calls for ensuring that every child goes to school and receives a quality education. It calls for achieving gender equality and giving women and men equal access to knowledge and power. This new humanism also means a better grasp of our environment, by understanding and anticipating the consequences of climate change. It means protecting humanity’s great cultural diversity, along with biodiversity. The foundations of peace lie with each individual’s ability to imagine a better world and to shape reality in this direction.”
During the time spent in Santiago de Compostela, the Director-General held bilateral meetings with Alberto Núñez Feijoo, President of the Xunta of Galicia, Xose Antón Sánchez Bugallo, mayor of Santiago de Compostela, and José Manuel Baltar, First Vice President of the Chamber of Parliament of Galicia. Throughout her visit, Irina Bokova was accompanied by Federico Mayor, former Director-General of UNESCO.