On the eve of the United Nations Day, Al-Farabi Kazakhstan National University (Al-Farabi KazNU) held a global conference to mark the 1150th anniversary of Al-Farabi, the 75th anniversary of the UN, the 15th anniversary of the UN Alliance of Civilizations, and the 10th anniversary of the UN Academic Impact program.
The conference was launched with a video address to the world community delivered by Secretary-General António Guterres on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the UN.
The main leitmotif of the address of the UN Secretary-General was the call for unification in the name of peace. Global solidarity and cooperation can help to overcome the colossal challenges that humankind faces and build a better future. This thought and the theme of the conference, “Mind for Peace”, resonate with the ideas of the great thinker Al-Farabi about uniting people to build a virtuous society.
The UN Under-Secretary-General Fabrizio Hochschild-Drummond, UN High Representative of the UN Alliance of Civilizations Miguel Angel Morratinos, Head of the UN Academic Impact Program Ramu Damodaran, Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan Yerzhan Ashikbayev delivered welcome speeches at the international online meeting.
The high-level event, which aims to consider the creative legacy of Al-Farabi in synergy with the UN programs on Global Citizenship and Sustainable Development, brought together heads of UN structures and programs, world-famous scientists, prominent government and public figures, representatives of the academic community and the media.
UN Under-Secretary General Fabrizio Hochschild-Drummond and Head of the UN Academic Impact Program Ramu Damodaran thanked the organizers of the forum and congratulated Kazakhstanis and the world community on the 1150th anniversary of the great thinker of civilization Al-Farabi. They also noted the active work of KazNU, which has the status of the Global Hub of the UN Academic Impact Program since 2014 for the fourth term in a row and promotes Kazakhstani initiatives in this direction.
“At the UN General Assembly this year, President of Kazakhstan Kassym-Zhomart Tokayev put forward a number of important and constructive proposals for joining efforts in solving global problems. For example, creating an international biosafety agency and an international food safety organization,” Ramu Damodaran said. According to the speaker, these and other initiatives in the name of peace deserve the closest attention of the world community.
Welcoming the participants of the international online meeting from New York, the High Representative of the UN Alliance of Civilizations, Miguel Angel Morratinos, emphasized that it was a great honor for him to be with them at the anniversary conference.
On the occasion, Miguel Angel Morratinos quoted philosopher Al-Farabi, “Knowledge without education, without a moral principle, can do harm, not good.” He said that this quote is the gist on which Global Citizenship education programs around the world can rely.
“Al-Farabi KazNU took over the heritage of the great humanist, advocating for global citizenship. The UN Alliance of Civilizations is proud of its partnership with the university as well as the common values that we continue to promote together,” said Miguel Angel Morratinos.
The main speaker from the academic community was the rector of KazNU, academician Galym Mutanov, who noted, “The very mission of educating young people based on the integration of knowledge and spirituality, in the spirit of global citizenship and sustainable development of mankind, is entrusted to universities as they have a special strategic cross-cultural potential. Being the Global Hub of the UN Program, KazNU has developed and is implementing its own model for the development of a new generation of higher education institutions – University 4.0.”
“It is aimed at the formation of citizens of the country and the world with high spiritual and moral values, responsible not only for themselves but also for the fate of all mankind. This model, presented at the UN Headquarters in New York, was recommended for widespread international distribution.”
The conference was also attended by the Director of the UNESCO Cluster Office in Almaty for Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan Ms. Krista Pikkat, representative of the UN Department of Global Communications in Kazakhstan Vlastimil Samek, coordinator of the Alliance of Civilizations in Turkey Bekir Karliga, representatives of the University of Castilla-La Mancha (Spain), National Kapodistrian University of Athens (Greece) and other universities of the world.
The participants of the international meeting expressed a common opinion on the need to unite efforts in ensuring the security, peace, and sustainable development of mankind. It was highlighted in this regard, the humanistic heritage of the great philosopher Al-Farabi acquires special relevance.
Emphasizing the great role of youth and the academic community in this process, the conference participants supported the proposal of the rector of KazNU to jointly consider the plan to unite the universities of the world to achieve the development of the “University 4.0” level in accordance with the UN Global Citizenship concept.