The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) on the occasion of the International Day of Peace, said education is the foundation for lasting peace and the driving force behind freedom and tolerance.
Madam Irina Bokova, Director General of UNESCO said the Organizationï¿½s founding values shows that ï¿½wars begin in the minds of women and men, and itï¿½s in the minds of women and men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.ï¿½
A statement issued by UNESCO and signed by Madam Bokova to mark the International Day of Peace on Saturday and copied to the Ghana News Agency said education stems the tide of ignorance and mutual misunderstanding, the means by which disagreements all too often degenerate into violence. Education fosters the culture of dialogue that is necessary to resolve conflicts.
ï¿½That is why UNESCO campaigns for quality education for all going further than the basics of reading and writing.
ï¿½Education must encompass the teaching of human rights, living together and respect for others. Peace education is one of its key components.
ï¿½Every child in the world should know their rights, and learn their own history and that of other peoples, so as to be able to understand the equal dignity of cultures and draw lessons from the crimes and violence of the past.
ï¿½This vision is the key to tolerant citizenship in a globalized world. It requires a widespread effort to train teachers and design suitable school curricula,ï¿½ Madam Bokova said.
She said these principles inspire all of UNESCOï¿½s work, in particular, through the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022), adopted by UNESCOï¿½s General Conference and the United Nations General Assembly.
Madam Bokova said education is a fundamental human right, and there could be no justification for depriving anybody of that right.
She noted that, as we mobilize the potential of education to prevent war, we must ensure the quality and continuity of teaching, even in the event of conflict.
ï¿½This is the purpose of UNESCOï¿½s work to protect schools and teachers and to bring education to refugees and displaced persons. It is also, for UNESCO, the way to lay the foundations of future peace.
ï¿½With this hope in mind, I call upon all Member States of UNESCO, governments and civil society organizations to join their forces, and to join us to make education a force for peace.
ï¿½We must give to future generations a culture of dialogue and build, through education, a world that is not only more connected, but also more compassionate,ï¿½ she said.
It said the United Nations observes September 21 each year as the International Day of peace. This yearï¿½s celebration is devoted to peace education.
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