SCHOLARS have a vital role to play in ensuring global harmony – one of the world’s most senior diplomats has said.
In a speech on a one-day visit to the city on Monday Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser – the United Nations High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) – told them they could help spread the message of understanding.
Mr Al-Nasser was here to mark UN World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.
His visit was the first event hosted by Coventry University’s new Centre for Trust, Peace and Social Relations, which is addressing the issues posed by change, migration and conflict, as part of moves to establish Coventry as an international centre for peace and dispute resolution.
“Understanding the transformation of the Arab world and explaining it to European policy makers and the general public is another task that you, scholars, can usefully perform in these critical times,” he told his university audience.
“Your contribution could help European national governments and institutions make the right decisions concerning economic assistance to the Arab nations as they begin a new phase of their political history.
“When civil society idealises immigrant communities, giving immigrants the illusion they can defy social and legal norms at no cost, they undermine the consensus on how to live together, making it more difficult for immigrants to integrate and condemning them to a marginalised life in their new country, in the case of children of immigrants, the only country they know.”
Mr Al-Nasser was also given a tour of the Coventry Refugee Centre and the cathedral ruins, and signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the university on behalf of UNAOC.