The participants taking part in the first meeting in the webinar series, “Societies We Want,” held by Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), reaffirmed their support for ICESCO’s adoption of “Education for Peace”.
The participants stated that this initiative is likely to help address the significant challenges of peace and security, stressing the need to work together to build healthy, peaceful societies that can safely coexist.
The meeting, held virtually by the Department of Human and Social Sciences at ICESCO to discuss perspectives on peace, citizenship, and resilience in conflict and post-conflict contexts, saw the participation of Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, ICESCO Director General , and several international organizations’ representatives and experts in inter-civilizational dialogue and human and social sciences. Mr. Adama Dieng, Special Adviser to UN Secretary-General for the Prevention of Genocide, also participated in the meeting as a special guest, who called for close cooperation with ICESCO regarding issues of education for peace and conflict prevention through anchoring religious values, safe coexistence and acceptance of the Other.
Moreover, Mr. Dieng stated that education plays a pivotal role in building peace as it is one of the most powerful tools we must use to eradicate the causes of hatred. He added that through education, we could anchor noble values founded on respect for humans and indiscrimination, underscoring that education guarantees a level of awareness and understanding in people which prove necessary in recognizing the danger of those who spread hatred, racism, and segregation through the internet or other mediums.
In the same vein, Mr. Dieng stated that the United Nations would hold a ministerial conference on the role of education in eradicating hatred, whose organization will be overseen by the Office of the Special Adviser to the UN Secretary-General for the Prevention of Genocide, in cooperation with UNESCO Director-General. He added that the conference would bring together ministers of education, experts and all stakeholders, including the youth, to come up with practices and recommendations, and outline the commitments of Member States to implement these recommendations at the national level, seizing the opportunity to call on ICESCO to take part in this conference.
The first meeting of the “Societies We Want” webinar series saw active participation and fruitful discussion; and stressed the need to adopt a comprehensive approach to building peace and attaining safe coexistence. To achieve this goal, ICESCO called for creating a framework of cooperation between the participating organizations and institutions, including UNESCO, the Conference of the Ministers of Education of French-speaking Countries (CONFEMEN), the Conference of French-speaking Ministers of Youth and Sports (CONFEJES), the G5 Sahel, the West and Central Africa Office of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the African Development Bank (ADB), Water Summit 2021 Coordination Office, “Roses of Peace” Singapore, and Timbuktu Institute—Niger.
For his part, the CONFEJES Secretary-General stated that they would place focus on issues of peace and citizenship in teacher training curricula, as part of the trilateral cooperation with ICESCO and the CONFEMEN. This would also include physical education teachers to promote the values of sports as a tool for building peace and anchoring citizenship.