Tanzania: UNESCO chief underlines human rights, dignity for world peace

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (PANA) - Respect for individual rights and dignity of every woman and man must be the starting point in building new partnerships between governments, civil society and the private sector, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova said Wednesday on the occasion of International Day of Peace.

As conflicts continue to tear societies apart, exposing millions of women and men to immense suffering, Bokova suggested in her message for the Day that in order to move forward, "we need new ways of acting across the board … working towards a better common future for all."

"These are turbulent times, for humanity, for the planet. Poverty remains enduring, just as inequalities are deepening. Violent extremism is on the rise – barbarous acts of terror strike at communities in every region," she observed.

Besides, the world faces its most important refugee and displacement crisis, with 65.3 million individuals forcibly displaced in 2015. Humanity’s cultural heritage and diversity are under attack and World Heritage sites have been destroyed to eradicate the message of tolerance and dialogue that they embodied.

"At the same time, the planet faces rising pressures from the consequences of climate change," Bokova pointed out, cautioning that all of this weakened the foundations for peace – more than anything.

"All of this highlights the vital importance of global action, guided by the values and principles of the United Nations," she emphasised, recalling that the 2030 Agenda of the UN stated that “there can be no sustainable development without peace and no peace without sustainable development”.

Bokova invoked the UNESCO Constitution which states that the defences of peace must be built in the minds of women and men – through education, through freedom of expression, through intercultural dialogue, through respect for human rights and cultural diversity, through scientific cooperation.

"Drafted in 1945 after a terrible and devastating war, this message has never been so vital in societies that are transforming and are ever more diverse," she said.
-0- PANA AR/MA 21Sept2016

21 september 2016 12:04:09

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