Wednesday, August 10, 2011
United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has called on academics to use their expertise to help solve global hunger and malnutrition, come up with ideas to promote sustainable and inclusive development, and advance tolerance through mutual respect and understanding.
Mr. Ban wants to focus on practical measures such as drought-resistant seeds, irrigation, rural infrastructure, livestock programs as well as improvements in early warning systems.
Speaking to the Korean Council for University Education and Handong Global University, Mr. Ban said: “We need to focus on the links among hunger, water and energy, so that solutions to one can become solutions to all. The academic community can help us connect the dots." He urged scholars to take their ideas to the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20) in Brazil in June next year.
On tolerance and peaceful coexistence, the Secretary-General stressed that the academic community, with its long-standing traditions of cultural exchange, can set an example of mutual respect and understanding.
“During a period when extremism and polarization show little sign of lessening, such a contribution would be timely indeed."
“So let us go forth together – students, teachers, university presidents, national governments and the United Nations – to affirm our common purpose and the partnerships that can do so much to build a better world for all,” Mr. Ban added.
He stressed the need for unfettered sharing and exchange of human thought to promote collective solutions to common problems, integrity of research and support for academic activity.
(cgb) ( adapted from a UN press release)