Constant Odounfa

One African Child Foundation is honoured to inform you about their participation at the 7th Global Forum of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) held in Baku, Azerbaijan on 25th and 26th April 2016.

During this forum, different subjects were debated in order to find strategies to solve the most urging issues in the world, including the growing inequalities and discriminations, the persistence of interethnic and interreligious conflicts, the threats against peace, considering the multiplication of violence and terror actions. Presidents Ilham Aliyev from Azerbaijan and Recep Tayip Erdogan from Turkey, among other personalities, were effectively present at the opening of the forum’s activities.

From the different discussions and reflections made during the two days of conferences and panel work, the importance to promote effective dialog between cultures and religions was raised, in order to build more inclusive and peaceful societies. Because only that truly sets understanding and eventually clears existing dissensions. Also, a concrete dialog with the others allows realities to come up and differences to be seen, be it cultural, religious or ethnic, as treasures to be discovered. That enriches the society. A mutual understanding through dialog and openness to the other’s culture thus eradicate any conflict or discrimination as seen today in the world.

In this process of opening to the other, youth have a leading role to play, because they have powerful means for promoting peace; being by the other side, the first to suffer the inconvenience of lack of dialog between the members of their communities. Fully aware of this, UNAOC organised in prelude to the forum, a Youth Event bringing together 150 youth leaders coming from more than a hundred countries. This, in an initiative to foster team work between those youth coming from different horizons, to produce resolutions leading to action and build more inclusive and peaceful societies. Different aspects have been taken into account: gender equality, media, migration, hate speech and education.

OnrAfricanChild Foundation was represented to both the Youth Event and the Global Forum by their member in the Republic of Benin, Constant Odounfa.
OneAfricanChild Foundation was represented to both the Youth Event and the Global Forum by their member in the Republic of Benin, Constant Odounfa.

It has been an honour to be a part of the discussions, and more, to participate in the reflections on “Living in more inclusive societies: a Challenge and a Goal for Education”. Indeed, to preserve peace and concord in our societies, and create openness to the other, it is essential to promote an education that goes along with the respect of openness of mind and civic values, to make learners become agents of peace and of positive change in their community and beyond – Constant Odounfa.

The outcome of the reflections made by the team Education of UNAOC was presented as narratives of tomorrow before a panel of high-level personalities at the Youth Event. To implement the actions proposed in those narratives, and make them be narratives of today, many follow-up actions will be done by One African Child International in collaboration with many other youth leaders and organizations around the world, to make inclusiveness and peace, a reality in our societies. More details will be given soon.

We would like, at the end of this article, to say thanks to all the members of the UNAOC Education team: Bolun Li, Aldiyar Auyezbek, Andrey Tymofeiuk, Ornella Nsoki, Gatien Aba, Gelila Biresaw, Federico Wynter, Siarhei Bartalevich, Mohamed Ali, Julián David Rodriguez, Lizwi Njani, Farid Suleyman, Nermin Eminova, Michelle Thomas and Ilaina Rabbat.