** COVID-19 pandemic reveals weakening cooperation in ecosystem preservation
The Director-General of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, reaffirmed that joint action to prevent conflicts, address crises and preserve peace must be a priority of all societies under the “global citizenship” concept. He pointed out that the pandemic, the latest in a long series of crises which have plagued the planet in the era of globalization, has uncovered the degree of humanity’s vulnerability and weaknesses, including low commitment and inadequate cooperation to preserve the ecosystem for the service of our peoples and rising generations.
This came in ICESCO Director-General’s address at the opening session of the series of virtual meetings on “Societies We Want” held by the Sector of Human and Social Sciences at ICESCO. The first meeting was dedicated to the discussion of viewpoints on peace and citizenship and resilience during and after COVID-19 as part of the Organization’s “Societies We Want” initiative to spread knowledge and build healthy, peaceful, prosperous, inclusive and resilient societies, a need that surfaced at the time of Coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19).
ICESCO Director-General stressed that when facing considerable challenges to peace and security, we should work as one world and one humanity. To this end, ICESCO advocates for education for peace while paying special attention to youth, women, and religious leaderships through developing their social and psychological capacities to counter violence and extremism and promote peaceful conflict resolution. It also seeks to establish a sense of global citizenship among people to think of other nations instead of thinking solely of ones’ own countries and show a feeling of belonging to our planet and the shared destiny regardless of faith, race, and values.
Moreover, Dr. AlMalik stated that in the next few weeks, ICESCO would launch a major project to advocate for the integration of the values of peace, peaceful coexistence, and citizenship in Member States’ education systems. As human civilization is on a crossroads, the choice is to remain in this current situation or face its societies toward a better future. “What happens today signals an urgent need to be addressed. We should proceed with a drastic social change amid the crises and emergencies facing our societies to limit the effects of conflicts and epidemics and reaffirm our resolve to protect humanity,” he added.
He expressed his hope that the entire humanity would prioritize ending conflict, violence rejection, and health crisis mitigation while noting that ICESCO will contribute to building a world free of conflicts and making peace a reality for peoples.
At the close of his address, Dr. AlMalik stated that the Organization would launch a programme for encouraging young researchers to participate, through their studies and research, in the development of the society and limit the social and psychological impact of crises and conflicts on our lives. He called on specialists in development, research, and human sciences to cooperate and put aside their differences and work toward the world’s best interests.