OIC pledges to cooperate with UNESCO for protection of cultural heritage

OIC Secretary-General Yousef Al-Othaimeen addresses the 39th session of the UNESCO’s General Conference in Paris on Monday. (SPA)
Updated 07 November 2017
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OIC pledges to cooperate with UNESCO for protection of cultural heritage

JEDDAH: The Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on Monday pledged to cooperate with UNESCO in fighting intentional destruction and illegal trafficking of the cultural heritage in conflict zones.
Addressing the 39th session of UNESCO’s general conference in Paris, OIC Secretary-General Yousef Al-Othaimeen applauded the UN body’s call to include protection of cultural heritage in the tasks of peacekeeping missions and other global programs.
Al-Othaimeen said combating terrorism and extremist ideology is at the top of his organization’s agenda. In this regard, he said, the OIC has launched “Voice of Wisdom” project, which seeks to spread the concepts of tolerance and moderation.
The OIC, Al-Othaimeen added, seeks to raise awareness among the youth about the perils of joining the ranks of terrorist outfits.
The OIC chief also condemned Israeli occupation of Palestinian lands and its persistent attempts to alter the demographics of the occupied East Jerusalem.
He urged the UNESCO to take necessary measures to ensure preservation of the historical and cultural heritage of the Palestinian state.
The OIC chief also met the newly elected director-general of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay, on the sidelines of the conference.
Heads of both the organizations reiterated their commitments to further strengthen cooperation to ensure protection of cultural heritage, access to quality education and technology for sustainable development.
Speaking at the UNESCO event, the director-general of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), Abdul Aziz bin Othman Al-Twaijri, said proper education is crucial to lasting peace.
Therefore, he said, UNESCO has huge responsibility over its shoulders, especially in the current global scenario marked by political tensions, economic crises and armed conflicts.
“As a result, millions of children are deprived of their right to pursue a decent education in a normal atmosphere of security and stability,” Al-Twajiri said.
The ISESCO chief said education is a must for economic and political development.
He deplored the state of education in the developing word. “Today, the number of refugees in the world exceeds 50 million, 25 percent of whom are children…
“While ISESCO is monitoring this situation and making constant efforts to ensure access to education for refugee children … international cooperation in this important area is still a very pressing need,” Al-Twaijri said.
He expressed hope that UNESCO will play its due role in this regard.
The ISESCO director-general said the world should take necessary steps to save the present and future generations from the dangers of ignorance, extremism and terrorism.
“A real mobilization is required to ensure security and peace and equal education opportunities for all …” he said.


Elite leaders and inventors gather in Riyadh for global youth forum

This year’s schedule is being kept under wraps until Wednesday. (AFP)
Updated 47 min 50 sec ago
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Elite leaders and inventors gather in Riyadh for global youth forum

  • Keynote speakers at previous events have included the UAE Minister State for Youth Affairs, Shamma Al-Mazrui, Queen Rania of Jordan and Microsoft founder Bill Gates
  • The foundation will present the Global Youth Index, covering youth trends across 25 countries

RIYADH: The Misk Global Forum will open in Riyadh on Wednesday with an eye on the future, reflected in the theme for the third annual event: “Skills for Our Tomorrow.” 

The theme is very much in keeping with the aim of the Misk Foundation, a non-profit organization established by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2011 to develop and empower Saudi youth to become active participants in the future economy.

Also at this year’s forum, the foundation will present the Global Youth Index, covering youth trends across 25 countries.

Since its first year in 2016, the forum has become an anticipated event for young Saudis, who get to connect with leaders and innovators from around the world in a series of workshops and panels.

“In addition to hosting an elite group of speakers, the forum also offers a unique opportunity for young leaders, inventors and creators to interact with renowned global leaders and inventors,” Shaima Hamidaddin, the forum’s program lead, explains on the website.

“Throughout the interactive sessions, youth from all over the world can discover, experience and experiment new concepts and insights to meet the challenge of change.”

Each year, MGF chooses a different theme. In 2016, it was “Young Leaders Together,” aimed at empowering a generation of entrepreneurs in the region, while in 2017 it was “Meeting the Challenge of Change.” 

Keynote speakers at previous events have included the UAE Minister State for Youth Affairs, Shamma Al-Mazrui, Queen Rania of Jordan and Microsoft founder Bill Gates. 

This year’s schedule is being kept under wraps until Wednesday, but workshops and panels will address three key points: Thriving as adaptable individuals, adjusting to the human-machine partnership and revamping uniquely human collaboration. 

These are broken down into five core skills that will enhance the way young people live and work in the future: Novel thinking, social intelligence, judgment and decision making, adaptability and resilience, and initiative and self-direction.   

More than 3,500 delegates and 100 speakers are expected to attend this year’s forum at Four Seasons Riyadh on Wednesday and Thursday.