Inclusion, equality a must for ‘long-lasting peace and sustainable development’, UN official tells high-level event in Baku

Photo: Ministry of Tourism and CultureAzerbaijan Night time view of Baku, Azerbaijan.

This article is brought to you in association with the United Nations.


Exclusion and deep inequality will forever thwart “long-lasting peace and sustainable development”, a high-level official from the United Nations cultural agency said on Thursday at the 5th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue.

If societies are not inclusive, they will be weaker, less resilient and more vulnerable to violence”, Nada Al-Nashif, Assistant Director-General for the Social and Human Sciences at the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), told the High-level Panel at the UN-backed conference in Baku, Azerbaijan.

She underscored the need to not only fight against social, economic and political inequalities, but also to change mindsets, which aligns perfectly with UNESCO’s mandate “to build the defenses of peace in the minds of men and women”.

While the agency’s mission “has not aged a day”, she acknowledged that “we have to follow a fast-changing world”.

According to Ms. Al-Nashif, this puts in question the relevance of old institutions to tackle current challenges, such as violent extremism, the migrant and refugee crisis, and the rise of hate speech in social media.

Citing events “from Sri Lanka to Libya, and in many spots in-between”, she said that the UN will be strengthening the role of diplomacy and dialogue.

“This calls for revitalized partnerships – from Member States to the private sector, from universities to civil society – so that we can work together to build innovative projects for inclusion, to scale our impact on the ground”, she asserted.

A new focus must be concentrated on building resilience, preventing conflict, learning lessons and empowering individuals with new skills that pay “particular attention and support” to young people.

“In a world where ignorance of ‘the other’ is on the rise, we must more than ever find new ways to empower young women and men as change-makers in their communities, providing them with the necessary skills and intercultural competences to become engaged global citizens, who promote peace in their everyday life”, she underscored.

According to Ms. Al-Nashif, a UNESCO priority is to promote girls’ education, because “access to and the quality of educational opportunities for girls remain major issues”, constraining their transformative power to advance the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”.

“The Baku Forum is an outstanding opportunity to reaffirm the principles and practices of inclusive dialogue for more effective and more impactful multilateralism”, she concluded.

A passion for tourism

“Tourism is my passion”, said Manuel Butler Halter, Executive Director of the UN World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), it is “a matter of the heart”.

“I believe that tourism is a facilitator of intercultural understanding and peace” because it makes people more open-minded, he said, adding that meeting people from diverse backgrounds and different cultures “helps us to see ourselves from a different perspective”.

It also fosters trust because “we realize that despite the cultural difference, all humans really are the same”, he continued.

Finally, the UNWTO official credited tourism for making us “more creative because learning about other cultures forces us to think differently and consider new ideas”.

And so, Mr. Halter deduced that “the more people travel, the more inclusive our societies become”.

He did, however, acknowledge that uncoordinated tourism can harm the environment, which is why UNWTO promotes sustainable tourism, in line with the SDGs.

Because “tourism by its nature”, has links with many fields, from trade and social development to environmental protection, security and health, Mr. Halter expressed certainty that it could “directly or indirectly contribute to all of the 17 SDGs”.

Highlighting SDG 8, on decent work and economic growth, he said that globally, one-in-10 jobs is connected to the tourism industry. With tourism also accounting for more than 40 per cent of half of the poorest countries’ GDPs, he stressed “I think it is key to include locals in the value chain”.

Economy, youth and exclusion

Evinj Hasanova, Azerbaijan’s Deputy Minister of Economy, spoke about how the young nation has reduced poverty from almost 42 per cent to five per cent.

“This is less than in some developed countries with more economic resources and GDP per capital”, she told the panel.

Inspired by the comprehensiveness of SDGs, she spoke at length on how her government has nationalized the goals, including by creating a high-level Council to coordinate their implementation.

“And we have started the process with the UN residential office,” she said.

For his part, Aaron Greenberg, Senior Regional Advisor for Europe and Central Asia, Child Protection at the UN Children’s Fund (UNICEF), underscored the importance of investing in early childhood development.

Noting that the investment does not have to be in monetary terms, Mr. Greenberg stressed that children must be raised in a way that prevents them from suffering psychological disorders later in life that would perpetuate a cycle of violence and poverty

“I do not believe there is any other way that is surefire than investing in younger children today for getting equitable outcomes in the future”, he stressed.

Meanwhile George Bouma, Head of Sustainable Development in the UN Development Programme’s (UNDP) Istanbul Regional Hub, spoke about underlying causes of inequalities that are creating “a crisis of opportunities”.

He painted a picture of exclusion and mounting inequality fueled by an increase in populism and flawed political systems globally, attributing rising disenfranchisement to political, economic and social factors.

“The private sector has a role to play in creating jobs and moving people from the social welfare system to more productive employment”, he said.

Advertising

the sting Milestone

Featured Stings

Can we feed everyone without unleashing disaster? Read on

These campaigners want to give a quarter of the UK back to nature

How to build a more resilient and inclusive global system

Stopping antimicrobial resistance would cost just USD 2 per person a year

Economic growth ‘exceeds expectations’ but trade tensions are rising: UN report

This Danish scheme is offering free kayak rides… for picking up trash

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is redefining the economy as we know it

Water reuse: Commission proposes measures to make it easier and safer for agricultural irrigation

Predatory labour taxation not an issue for the Commission

How cities are failing to be inclusive – and what they can do about it

Ebola emergency chief decries new attacks on frontline staff, after DR Congo worker death

How did Facebook fool the Commission that easily during the WhatsApp acquisition?

Climate changes and the imminent public health crises

Hospitals among seven health centres attacked in Syria’s north-east

Here’s how to prepare South-East Asia’s young people for the future

We could be sleepwalking into a new crisis. How should the business world prepare?

Gender inequality in the medicine field: two commonly issues

MWC 2016: IoT experts fret over fragmentation

My twin from Guangzhou

Spanish and Polish voters are crying out for an imminent European change while US urge now Germany to change route

The EU Commission to fight unemployment tsunami with a…scoreboard

UN climate summit aims to speed up transition to cleaner, greener future

Climate change is threatening Switzerland’s stunning scenery

European Court rules that ECB’s OMT program of 2012 is OK; not a word from Germany about returning the Greek 2010 courtesy

Palestinian children’s education deeply impacted by ‘interference’ around West Bank schools, UN warns

European Union: Retail sales show deep recession

These are the world’s 20 most dynamic cities

Trade barriers: EU removes record number in response to surge in protectionism

2019 European Elections gets backing from professional footballers

European Parliament marks EU accession prospects for Serbia and Kosovo

Why flexible workspaces are the key to winning the talent war

Eurozone: Bank resolution proposal gains wider interest

Sweden gives all employees time off to be entrepreneurs

Development aid drops in 2018, especially to neediest countries

Trade protectionism and cartels threaten democracy

Ambition, transformation, active citizenship: COP24 looks to next year’s big UN Climate Change Summit

Preparing Africa for ravages of climate change ‘cannot be an afterthought’ – COP24

Youth Parliament to finalise millennials´ priorities for future of the EU

A multipolar world brings back the national champions

Tuesday’s Daily Brief: UNESCO ready to help after Notre Dame fire, and updates on Libya, Nicaragua, and the Cyclone Idai response

Green deal for Europe: First reactions from MEPs

Vital food crops destroyed in Syria amid upsurge in fighting across Idlib, Hama

Protecting European consumers: toys and cars on top of the list of dangerous products

China invites the EU to a joint endeavor for free trade and order in the world

So, what is your favourite Sustainable Development Goal?

Why Sweden’s cashless society is no longer a utopia

How populist and xenophobic movements in the EU tear apart European businesses and startups

5 ways to be a better humanitarian

EU-UK future relations: crucial to ensure EU leverage and unity

Security Council gravely concerned by Ebola outbreak in DR Congo, demands immediate end to violence hampering response

The EU accuses Russia of bullying Ukraine to change sides

A new catastrophic phase in the Syrian carnage

Upgraded EU visa information database to increase security at external borders

What paleoecology can teach us about fires in the Amazon

Canada and EU officially sign the trade agreement that could open-up the road to TTIP

“The markets have moved on renewables, policy makers must keep up”, A Sting Exclusive by Erik Solheim, Head of UN Environment

JADE Spring Meeting 2015- Europe’s Junior Entrepreneurs together for 4 days of networking, workshops and forward thinking

This Mexican company is making biofuel from cactus plants

The success story of a Chinese investment in the Greek port of Piraeus

Is this the way to finally beat corruption?

Global South cooperation ‘vital’ to climate change fight, development, Guterres tells historic Buenos Aires summit

These are the United States’ most exported products

PM May fosters chauvinism, declares trade war on Europe

5 surprising ways to reuse coffee grounds

More Stings?

Speak your Mind Here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s