Education expert emphasizes cultural exchanges for global cooperation

Updated: Sep 17, 2023 By Li Hongyang Print
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Education experts said that enhancing cultural exchanges and fostering international mutual understanding can promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind.

They made the remarks at the Global Civilization Forum, organized by Beijing Foreign Studies University, on Saturday in Beijing.

In his speech, Wang Dinghua, Party secretary of the university, emphasized the importance of dialogue in promoting international understanding and fostering people-to-people connectivity.

The forum serves as a platform for people of different cultures to engage in dialogue and aims to deepen exchanges between China and other countries, as well as help contribute to the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, he said, stressing the need to create global unity and cooperation.

Addressing the forum, M.M. Pathmalal, Vice-Chancellor of University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka, discussed the foundational role of the concept of "community" in human civilization.

He said that the long-standing disparities in the international community caused by race, gender and economic status cannot be eliminated solely through technological advancements.

He added that the importance of the concept of "community" becomes more prominent. The global society is a large community and we are all part of it.

He urged strengthening of connections and cooperation among nations. Through unity and innovation, we should shape a better future for ourselves and future generations, he said.

Irina Bokova, former Director-General of United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, said that in today's interdependent world, no country can overcome these challenges alone. The world needs collective knowledge, effort, and commitment to tackle difficulties.

Education, particularly higher education, plays a vital role in shaping young people and realizing sustainable development goals. The United Nations and other emerging multinational organizations need talented individuals who possess the capacity, knowledge and a humanitarian mindset to respect cultural diversity, resolve conflicts, and promote development through diplomacy and negotiations.

She expressed her belief that students from Beijing Foreign Studies University would actively participate in these endeavors.

Roger T. Ames, President of the World Consortium for Research in Confucian Cultures, also guest professor at the BFSU, highlighted the importance of civilization dialogue with the goal of transforming conflicts among civilizations into mutual understanding and inclusion.

He said that the Western development model is just one of many models and should not be seen as a universal template suitable for all cultural traditions. Countries around the world should pursue a broader and more inclusive approach to achieve human tolerance, harmony, and diversity.

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