PRESS RELEASE BY THE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT: President George Vella delivers keynote address at The World Forum for the Culture of Peace

President George Vella delivered a keynote address to state leaders and key stakeholders at The World Forum for the Culture of Peace at The Hague, Netherlands.

The President referred to the challenges the international order is facing � from conflict in Syria, Libya, and Yemen to the fact that respectful dialogue and democratic disagreement have been replaced by invective and insult.

Moving towards sustainable peace

The President mentioned the necessity of rediscovering the basis of sustainable peace in our world. This kind of peace is about identifying and eliminating the root-causes of conflict and of physical violence, President Vella continued. In this context, the President continued, sustainable peace relates to the existence of structural and cultural forms of violence, which oppress individuals, groups and sometimes entire nations.

Communities and societies that adopt an order based on justice are best-placed to achieve sustainable peace. Our individual and collective obligation in this regard, the President continued, relates to the promotion of education that is inclusive, that promotes the dignity of every human being and that recognizes the values of understanding, dialogue as well as solidarity.

The right to education

The right to education, President Vella maintained, is recognised as an essential human right for everyone without distinction of any kind. The right to education is not simply a matter of access. In this context, the President referred to Article 26 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which lays down the right to free elementary education, and for education to be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. This second aspect is what President Vella termed as the ‘quality’ dimension of the right to education.

President George Vella emphasized that politicians cannot legislate for peace, but can promote an education for peace.

The President, in concluding, announced that the second edition of this conference will be held next year in Malta under his patronage. The theme of the conference will be peace and the cultural heritage of Libya and Syria.

Source: Government of Malta