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President highlights role of UNESCO

posted on 09/11/2013: 3328 views

Paris: President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, has stressed that the UAE cherishes the role of culture, education and development in achieving positive interaction between civilisations to attain peace and curb conflicts worldwide.

He added, "Wisdom is our way to achieve prosperity, spread peace, justice and tolerance worldwide." The remarks were made during the President's speech at the 37th General Conference of United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation,UNESCO. It was read on his behalf by Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, Minister of Culture, Youth and Community Development, Sheikh Nahyan conveyed the regards of Sheikh Khalifa to the participants, wishing them success at the conference. He underlined the role of UNESCO in strengthening cooperation in the areas of education, culture and the sciences.

Following is the full text of speech: "This event, gathering world leaders, evokes major challenges facing the world in the areas of economy, environment, water, food, energy, extremism, terrorism, conflicts and demographic changes. All these challenges require us to specify the role of culture in tackling these issues and problems through identifying the responsibility of UNESCO, which will help to fill gaps in education, health, women's rights, IT and the economy.

We are proud in the UAE that our civilisation has provided an integral system of authentic heritage values that constitute the framework of our life and encourage understanding between us and the peoples of the world. Our culture is universal and reinforces our sense of belonging to the world.

As we look forward to working with UNESCO, we would like to focus on the role of culture derived from the UAE's experience. Firstly, we have a strong conviction about the role of culture regarding the encouragement of interaction among cultures, as well as establishing international relations based on cooperation, and getting rid of stereotypes about other peoples. Secondly, UNESCO should regulate the use of modern technology in the area of culture. It is our duty to encourage communication among the would peoples through modern technology. Thirdly, we are well aware about strong relations between education and culture at time that requires continuous education out of traditional institutions, and fourthly, I call upon UNESCO to provide leadership so as to address the world challenges in the 21st century."

I call upon UNESCO to adopt a cultural tool to encourage peace, development and technology.

I also call on UNESCO to assist various countries to preserve their heritage and demonstrate their cultures before the world. There is no doubt that culture and heritage represent what we call now 'popular diplomacy', which aims to build confidence, optimism and cooperation among all the countries of the world.

UNESCO has a major cultural role in the lives of peoples, as it protects the cultural work from pressures that often lead to its marginalisation. UNESCO has an opportunity to provide support to various countries to preserve their heritage, while encouraging cultural exchange, support innovation and creativity worldwide.

The U.A.E will celebrate within the next three weeks the 42nd anniversary of its establishment. On this occasion I would like to point out that the founding father of the UAE, the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, known as "the Wise man of the Arabs', was far-sighted and had a clear vision for the future of his country and its standing among the world's countries.

Today, the world desperately needs wisdom of leaders and citizens alike, as wisdom is our way to achieve economic prosperity and spreading peace, justice and tolerance around the world. I invite you in this gathering to support UNESCO and its prestigious role to strengthen the principles of hope, cooperation, stability and prosperity across the world." After finishing the statement, Sheikh Nahyan expressed his pleasure at attending the forum.

Sheikh Nahyan met a number of ambassadors, Arab and foreign permanent representatives accredited to UNESCO, in addition to Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO and a number senior staff.

Over 1000 participants from 195 countries including presidents, ministers and representatives attended the conference. They discussed UNESCO's contribution, mechanisms and dynamics of development after 2015. – Emirates News Agency, WAM


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