“Education has a decisive role in promoting the centrality of the human being and the dialogue between cultures” - Visit by His Eminence the Secretary of State Cardinal Pietro Parolin to UNESCO
The Director-General highlighted UNESCO’s actions to support States, notably with regard to human rights and education, countering intolerance and xenophobia. She referred in particular to the tragic situation of displaced populations in Syria and neighboring countries.
Underlining the long-term impact on a generation of Syrian youth, Cardinal Parolin and the Director-General addressed the issue of Christians in the Middle East in the face of threats and extremist violence. Ms Bokova informed Cardinal Parolin about the recent visit to UNESCO of His Eminence Cardinal Boutros Rai, Maronite Patriarch of Antioch and All the East.
Referring to her visits across the region, notably Iraq, Egypt and Lebanon, the Director-General stressed the increasing call for moderation that she witnessed emanating from religious leaders in the Arab World.
Echoing the Director-General’s words, Cardinal Parolin referred to moderation as “the key word in today’s world threatened by radicalism”. Cardinal Parolin highlighted the key role of education and the teaching of history to the younger generations both at primary and secondary levels.
The Director-General noted here the importance of learning to live together, to increase knowledge about the cultural heritage and diversity shared by all humanity. She referred to UNESCO’s experience through the General History and Regional History programme and stressed the role of teachers in conveying messages of inter-cultural dialogue as well as the importance of enhancing their status.
Cardinal Parolin and the Director-General discussed the United Nations Climate Change conference, COP 21, referring to the forthcoming encyclical by Pope Francis on climate change, as well as UNESCO’s role in fostering education for sustainable development. ....