Education is key to peace stresses UNESCO director-general

Paris - UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay said today in this capital that guaranteeing education would lay the foundations for lasting peace on Earth.

'It must be said and repeated: education is the cornerstone of peace; and all the goals of the Sustainable Development Agenda that we set for 2030 depend on it,' she said on the opening day of the 40th session of the UNESCO General Conference.

According to Azoulay, it is urgent to correct the deficiencies and inequalities that prevail in education and build the educational systems of the future, based on inclusion.

'Thus we will have laid the solid foundations for a true and authentically sustainable development,' she insisted at the Conference running through November 27, with the participation of the 193 UN member states and 10 associate members.

According to the UNESCO director, statistics illustrate the need for change, including the 750 million adults who can't read, write or count, two-thirds of them women, and the fact that one in six children receives no schooling.

In her speech, Azoulay pointed out that the international community has important responsibilities ahead, in the face of challenges such as inequality, gaps in access to technologies and climate change.

The first of these responsibilities is to remain united and avoid divisions, she stressed, adding that member states must consider their diversity a strength.

According to Azoulay, no less decisive is the commitment to multilateralism, 'making it a daily reality and providing evidence that it can lead to a better life.'

In the opinion of the official, another key issue is the participation of young people, the future of humanity.

In many parts of the world they are taking the streets to be heard, and it is our duty to listen to them, she said.

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