Education for PeaceOct 6, 2013
“One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world” were the words Malal Yousafzai used to emphasize on the importance of education on the occasion of her 16th birthday at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.
These words were echoed in Tehran on 3rd October during an event which was organized by UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office in collaboration with Hozeh Honari and Tehran Peace Museum on the occasion of International Day of Peace (IDP). Its theme: Education for Peace.
Speaking at the event, Hiranand Pukait, Officer-in-Charge of UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office delivered a message from Director General of UNESCO, Ms. Irina Bokova that said: “Education is the foundation of any lasting peace. It is the driving force behind freedom and tolerance. It 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.”
In addressing the gathering, Mr. Pukait said “Peace is more than the absence of war, it is living together with our differences – of sex, race, language, religion or culture – while furthering universal respect for justice and human rights on which such coexistence depends. Therefore, peace should never be taken for granted. It is an ongoing process, a long-term goal, which requires constant engineering, vigilance and active participation by all individuals. It is a choice to be made on each situation, an everyday life decision.”
A message was then delivered by Mr. Mohammad-Reza Taghipour, Director of Tehran Peace Museum on the occasion of IDP. “This year, IDP is celebrated while millions of people worldwide are suffering from war and its aftermath. However, this does not mean that peace is unattainable. Living in a world in which everlasting peace exist is achievable, and today more than ever we need to promote a culture of peace. So, on this day, as we come together, it is important to remember that regardless of political boundaries that separates nations, we are human beings and we belong together. So let us substitute hatred with love, revenge with forgiveness and conflict with dialogue” said Mr. Taghipour.
The United Nations Resident Coordinator and UNDP Resident Representative, Mr. Gary Lewis also shared with the audience his reflections as a man who has worked with the UN for the past 26 years. He emphasized on the connection that exists between human insecurities and conflict. “One source of insecurity is when people are not allowed to exercise their freedom of choice. That includes the right to be educated. The sources of insecurity come largely from when we are not given due recognition as human beings to our rights to eat, our rights to think and enjoy justice, and our rights to be sheltered and educated. Tackle these things and we will significantly reduce the risk of conflict in this world” said Mr. Lewis.