High Representative for the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations
His Excellency Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser
ACCEPTANCE: HONORARY DOCTORATE
AL-FARABI KAZAKH NATIONAL UNIVERSITY
ALMATY, KAZAKSTHAN, 8 May 2017
Distinguished Academy Council Members,
Dear Faculty and friends,
I am humbled and greatly honored to receive this Honorary Degree and to be with you today. I would like to offer my sincerest gratitude to all of you for this honor and to our continued cooperation and working together toward our common goals of promoting peace and security for all, based on understanding, dialogue and peacebuilding efforts aimed at building strong foundations for better life everywhere.
I just returned from Baku, Azerbaijan where I attended the 4th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue along with many heads of governments and eminent personalities.
The main goals of the Forum focused on enabling and encouraging people, countries and organizations around the globe to take concrete actions to support diversity, dialogue and mutual understanding among societies by raising awareness on the importance of intercultural dialogue worldwide.
This brings me to the role of academia in UNAOC’s objectives. Around the world, universities provide the foundation for equal opportunities, mutual understandings and exchange ideas on development and human rights. We recognize that Academic Institutions play a vital role in our society. Education, human development and progress are deeply linked. Prestigious University such as Al-Farabi Kazakh National University plays a prime role on the global stage. It starts by its appellation. It was named after the great thinker and unrivaled philosopher, Abu Nasyr ibn Al-Farabi, bridge builder between the Eastern and Western worlds.
Your University offers scientific research through innovation. It is an ideal place for perspective, for sharing wisdom, understanding and encouraging dialogue.
Throughout my diplomatic career, my overriding goal has been to work with both scholars and practitioners to build alliances that can overcome cultural barriers and result in a civilization that unites rather than divides, one that can truly celebrate the diversity of the human race as we continue the endless struggle for a more equitable world where justice and peace might reign. I have been saying all along that:
“- We should tackle tensions before they escalate into conflict
– We should have a voice and be present at the table- exclusion is no solution to tension
-As human being endowed with reason and the capacity to feel empathy, we should practice dialogue and make every effort possible to understand the other’s point of view.”
To achieve these noble goals, I shall continue and strengthen this partnership with universities, especially Al-Farabi Kazakh National University, as new duties and assignments allow me to focus on the complex interrelationships of civilizations and the opportunity to create alliances among peoples who have known too much destructive isolationism.
Once again, Dear Rector, Academy Council Members, Faculty, scholars and Friends, I express my gratitude to you for this high honor and for the opportunity to continue to serve the world, as now being a member of your University.
Like you, I believe that education is the key to counter violence and extremism. The leaders of tomorrow will grow out of your generation.
Let us renew our determination as scholars and diplomats, to work for the arrival of a better world.