UNAOC Group of Friends High Level Ministerial Meeting
Mr. Enver Yücel, President of BAU Global, made a speech at the UNAOC Group of Friends High Level Ministerial Meeting and expressed that the Global Citizenship Program should be included in the agenda and educational curricula of all countries.
greet you all with respect.
I would like to
thank the High Representative Mr. Moratinos for giving me the opportunity to
express my opinions on education, one of the most important topics of the
On the basis of
the tensions we face in the world lies the fact that people’s right to live
together in peace is continuously threatened. This threat is caused by using
the differences in faiths, beliefs and cultures as a source of division between
on differences in race, religion and sect is seen less as a source of richness
but more as a reason for division. And we come across with this problem more
often in the regions where access to education is particularly limited.
I would like to
thank, in particular, to the President of the Republic of Turkey, H.E. Recep
Tayyip Erdoğan and the former Prime Minister of Spain José Luis Rodríguez
Zapatero for initiating the Alliance of Civilizations initiative. This
initiative is critical to promote respect, tolerance and understanding among
diverse identity groups. This project should be further developed and must be
In order to
overcome today’s conflicts, we need to offer a good education to our children
that will build our future. It is a must for us to establish strong education
systems that promote learning, life skills, and social cohesion. As a
person dedicated his life to education, I can say that starting from their
early ages if we educate our children by cleansing of notions like seeing
others and differences as bad and enemies, by promoting the culture empathy
more, and by building a sense of
belonging to a common humanity, then a very different and a good future will
As the founder
of a global educational network that provides education services to more than
200.000 students at all levels, I cooperate with the United Nations specialized
organizations and institutes and I develop projects to promote the culture of
The most important
issue in the world, again, is the lack of a culture of living together. In
order to achieve this goal, the global citizenship program should be included
in the education agenda and curricula of all countries. Again, in line with the
2030 objectives, Sustainable Development Goals should be added to the curricula
of the countries and its principles should be put into action.
I have carried
out important projects in my country, Turkey, in this respect. One example is
the major documentary on civilizations, named River Flawing to the West, which
has been shown on the TVs in more than 100 countries in several languages, is
currently being taught as a history of civilizations course in our university,
and is promoting an inclusive understanding of civilizations on a global scale.
Its key message is that civilizations and religions are all for the humanity
and the superiority of one over another is rejected.
I would like to
state that I share the vision of Mr. Moratinos in the Alliance of
Civilizations, especially in the field of education. We have to integrate
lessons and projects into the school curricula that will reflect this vision.
It is important to implement Erasmus-like student exchange programs within the
scope of the vision of Alliance of Civilizations.
I would like to
add that we have already contributed to this vision with our education
projects. We integrated global citizenship, the culture of living together, and
the sustainable development goals into the curriculum in our schools at all
levels. We provide scholarships to students from different African countries in
our schools to allow them to exchange with each other. In addition, we have
been hosting the Summer University in Istanbul for the last ten years. This is
a summer university where students from different religions and cultures from
distinguished universities around the world participate to develop projects to
prevent antisemitism and Islamaphobia.
preventive diplomacy approach to conflict prevention is also important for us,
educators. Youth, in the long-term perspective, has a critical role in
preventive diplomacy and conflict prevention.
Conflict prevention efforts should be driven with an inclusive approach
with participation of civil society, women, youth and religious leaders.
As a final
remark, I would like to say that people, countries can boast of their history
with narratives of heroism, but as a requirement of global citizenship
education, they must eliminate the language of hate expressed against the other
in their teachings. We should do our best to eliminate the language of hate
against different faiths and cultures used in the textbooks in the schools.