Time to find ‘magic formula’ for peaceful coexistence, says UNESCO chief


UNITED NATIONS, May 7 (APP): The head of the United Nations cultural agency has said it was time to find that ‘magic formula’ that will encourage people to live together in peace and harmony.
The call was made by Irina Bokova, director-general of the UN Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (UNESCO), at the end of a UN-backed conference on intercultural dialogue in Baku, Azerbaijan on Saturday.
In her closing remarks at end of the event, she expressed hope and optimism that the world is ‘on the right path’ towards building ‘inclusive and resilient’ societies.
Hundreds of delegates, experts, academics, business and civil society
leaders from 120 countries took part in this year’s 4th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, which aimed at further promoting and sustaining understanding and dialogue within and between cultures, according to a UN press release.
The UN-backed intercultural dialogue ended on a high note with the
UNESCO chief calling on participants to act now to stamp out extremism and ‘build peace in the minds of men and women,’ echoing the UN agency’s own timeless message about the need to make the most of the opportunities to bolster peaceful coexistence provided by our globalized world of increasing interconnections and diversity.
The past three days were a flurry of debates, panel discussions,
exhibits and concerts held by renowned artists working to bring people
of different walks of life closer together, what UNESCO has called ‘a rapprochement of cultures,’ the press release said.
Preventing terrorism in cyberspace, educating girls to combat violent
extremism, and changing people’s negative perception of migrants in cities were some of the topics broached at the Forum. The agenda also included such topics as the role of faith, religions, human security, sport, education, art, sustainable development, preventing violent extremism, and business in building trust and cooperation among cultures and civilizations.
Ms. Bokova urged the participants to try and establish an intercultural dialogue in their respective countries.
“I think it is a moment of commitment, of engagement, I think we all
feel a certain sense of urgency, that we have to act, but outside
this beautiful country, the world out there is very fragile, and
peace is very fragile,” she said, emphasizing that: “How to sustain peace, how to build these inclusive, resilient societies, and how to prevent, in certain cases this extremism, and find this magic formula of living together, deserves all our efforts and all our commitments.”