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.

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

How COVID-19 is taking gaming and esports to the next level

EU and Airbus Member States take action to ensure full compliance in the WTO aircraft dispute

Scores of Rohingya refugee shelters in Bangladesh destroyed by flooding

Finland, Switzerland and New Zealand lead the way at teaching skills for the future

The COP24 Agreement: Yes, it happened at last

Chinese tech investors are turning towards MENA. Here’s why

Africa-Europe Alliance: first projects kicked off just three months after launch

While EU Open Days 2013 discuss the 2020 strategy, Microsoft shares a glimpse of EU 2060

Rohingya crisis: EU allocates €31 million for Bangladesh and Myanmar

The European Commission to stop Buffering

Australia’s bushfires have pumped out half a year’s CO2 emissions

Scientists are using machine learning to unlock the mysteries of long-dead languages

Stronger European Border and Coast Guard to secure EU’s borders

How 5G can connect the affordable homes of the future

Draghi reveals how failing banks will be dealt, may cut interest rates soon

Human Rights: breaches in Cambodia, Uganda and Myanmar

Ukraine takes EU money and runs to sign with Russia

It’s time to ‘eliminate the scourge of conflict-related sexual violence’, urges UN chief

UN Climate Action Summit concludes with insufficient EU and global pledges

UN Human Rights Council stands firm on LGBTI violence, Syria detainees and Philippines ‘war on drugs’

Support ‘winds of change’ in DR Congo to consolidate positive developments, urges UN mission chief

Will Merkel ever steer the EU migration Titanic and restore her power in Germany?

Consumers’ rights against defective digital content agreed by EU lawmakers

Greenery: the miracle cure for urban living

How to beat gender stereotypes: learn, speak up and react

DR Congo: Following second brutal assault on Ebola clinic, UN health chief vows to continue serving ‘most vulnerable’

Commission’s Youth Initiative fails first hurdle by not sufficiently consulting young people

Will the EU be condemned by the International Criminal Court for violating migrants’ human rights?

Conflict diamonds and climate change: Cooperate, don’t compete over natural resources urges Guterres

It’s time to fulfil the promises made to women 25 years ago

Statement by the Brexit Steering Group on UK paper on EU citizens in the UK

Summer 2019 Economic Forecast: Growth clouded by external factors

European Union signs aviation agreement with the Republic of Korea

These cities score an ‘A’ for environmental action – but hundreds more are falling behind

UN chief welcomes power-sharing deal between Sudanese military and opposition

Fake news: What it is, and how to spot it

Energy: new ambitious targets on renewables and energy efficiency

Brexit: With May gone the Tory divide is to sink the UK despite Brits wanting to ‘Remain’

Budget MEPs approve €104.2 m in EU aid to Greece, Spain, France and Portugal

ILO: Unemployment to increase by 8.1 million in 2013-2014

A Europe that delivers: EU citizens expect more EU level action in future

What if big-tech companies became non-profits?

Microsoft says the internet is getting a little nicer

European Commission adopts rules to ensure a smooth transition to its next President and the next College of Commissioners

Macron crowned king of Europe in Washington D.C.; just a working meeting with Trump for Merkel

Central America: drought, resulting crop losses threaten food security of two million people, UN warns

MEPs propose measures to combat mobbing and sexual harassment

Million across Yemen ‘just a step away from famine’, with food available but inaccessible

Financing fossil fuels risks a repeat of the 2008 crash. Here’s why

The Commission calls for a climate neutral Europe by 2050*

World Health Organization calls crisis meeting over deadly Ebola outbreak in DR Congo

UN chief welcomes re-opening of key Gaza border crossing

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

Saudi Arabia must halt air strikes in Yemen, says UN panel

A Sting Exclusive: “Cybersecurity: Why consumer products must be looked at urgently”, by BEUC’s Deputy Director General

A sterilised EMU may lead to a break up of Eurozone

Aviation Safety: Commission adopts new EU Air Safety List

France is building a village for people with Alzheimer’s

A giant marine heatwave has descended on Alaska

Coronavirus COVID-19 wipes $50 billion off global exports in February alone, as IMF pledges support for vulnerable nations

More Stings?

Advertising

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