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close this bookInternational Conference on Education 43rd Session - Final Report (IBE, UNESCO; 1992; 91 pages)
View the documentSUMMARY
View the documentINTRODUCTION
Open this folder and view contentsPART I. The contribution of education to cultural development
Open this folder and view contentsPART II. Education, culture and development: new prospects for interaction for the benefit of the individual and society
View the documentPART III. Preliminary report on the implementation of Recommendation No. 77 adopted by the International Conference on Education at its 42nd session
View the documentPART IV. Recommendation No. 78 to ministries responsible for education and culture concerning the contribution of education to cultural development
close this folderANNEXES
View the documentANNEX I. Agenda
View the documentANNEX II. Opening address by H.E. Mr Arjun Singh, Minister of Human Resources Development, and Head of the Delegation of India
View the documentANNEX III. Opening address by Mr Dominique Föllmi, State Councillor, Head of the Public Education Department of the Republic and Canton of Geneva, and Head of the Swiss Delegation
View the documentANNEX IV. Opening address by Mr Federico Mayor Zaragoza, Director-General of UNESCO
View the documentANNEX V. Opening address by Mr Antonio Silipo, Minister of Education of the Province of Ontario, Canada, and Chairman of the 43rd session of the International Conference on Education
View the documentANNEX VI. Closing address by Mr Eduardo Portella, Deputy Director-General of UNESCO
View the documentANNEX VII. Closing address by Mr Dominique Föllmi, State Councillor, Head of the Public Education Department of the Republic and Canton of Geneva, and Head of the Swiss Delegation
View the documentANNEX VIII. Closing address by Mr Antonio Silipo, Minister of Education of the Province of Ontario, Canada, and Chairman of the 43rd session of the International Conference on Education
View the documentANNEX IX. List of documents distributed during the session and national reports submitted to the Conference
View the documentANNEX X. Liste des participants/List of participants/Lista de participantes
View the documentANNEX XI. Secrétariat/Secretariat
 

ANNEX III. Opening address by Mr Dominique Föllmi, State Councillor, Head of the Public Education Department of the Republic and Canton of Geneva, and Head of the Swiss Delegation

Mr Chairman,
Your Excellencies,
Mr Director-General,
Mr Director of the International Bureau of Education,
Distinguished Ministers,

It is my honour to welcome the ministers, vice-ministers, ambassadors and senior officials to Geneva and to greet the delegations taking part in this 43rd session of the International Conference on Education.

I hope that our city will do everything possible to make your stay a pleasant one.

In the next five days, you will have an opportunity to take up and examine in depth a large number of topics revolving around the linkage between education and cultural development.

It is not my intention to discuss one or other of these themes in my opening remarks. I should, however, like to make a number of general observations about the importance of culture as an in-built feature of human beings in their relationship to time and space and to one another.

To use a metaphor from the vegetable kingdom, plants have their roots in the soil from which they draw their sustenance and life; yet plants drawing on the same source can, like mistletoe, exert a harmful, parasitic influence or else, like apple trees, prove beneficial.

The same is true of culture whose spiritual sustenance nourishes to child from birth. Through the medium of the family, friends and, above all, school, boys and girls are imbued with and shaped by words, ideas and beliefs.

From early childhood onwards, the positive aspect of the culture is instrumental in forging identity, strengthening the sense of belonging, fostering assertion of the self and singling out differences.

Unfortunately, there is another side to culture, one that fuels xenophobia -the hatred of others -and ethnic or tribal war, with its determination to destroy others.

This is the destructive culture of intolerance, the rejection of those who are-different, the culture of exclusion.

The fundamental role of education in a world where values can prove more destructive than weapons is to contribute to a forte of cultural development which will sustain billions of human beings, and provide them with an underpinning and inner consistency, and which will also equip them with the means to resist technologies that are equally capable of enslaving the people using them as of working for their benefit.

From this point of view, the contention that peace is primarily inculcated by education, even before people start sitting round the negotiating table, is only an apparent paradox, inas-much as it takes account of the cultural dimension with due respect for both oneself and others, for we ourselves cannot live without others.

It only remains for me to wish you success in your work. I hope that every participant and delegation will leave with the firm conviction that their words have been heeded and that they have worked to advance the idea of culture as a constructive force.

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