Education is an act of hope
Ladies and Gentlemen:
Education is always an act of hope that, from the present, looks to the future. There is no static education. Today's meeting at Casina Pío IV is an act of hope and generational solidarity, of hope and solidarity between generations. Young leaders and global educators are coming together from all over the world to promote a new type of education, which will allow us to overcome the current globalization of indifference and the culture of discard. Two great evils of our culture, indifference and dismissal.
This has been an extraordinary year of suffering from the Covid-19 pandemic; a year of forced isolation and exclusion, of anguish and spiritual crises and not a few deaths, and of an unprecedented educational crisis. More than one billion children have faced interruptions in their education. Hundreds of millions of children have been left behind in opportunities for social and cognitive development. And in many places, biological, psychological and economic crises have been made much worse by the associated political and social crises.
You have come together today in an act of hope; an act of hope so that the impulses of hatred, divisions and ignorance can and will be overcome through a new good wave, let's say so, a new good wave of educational opportunities based on social justice and mutual love, a new pact Global for Education launched already in October with some of those present. First of all, I thank you for meeting today to make our hopes and shared plans grow in a new education that promotes the transcendence of the human person, integral and sustainable human development, intercultural and religious dialogue, the safeguarding of the planet, meetings for peace and openness to God.
The United Nations offers a unique opportunity for the governments and civil society of the world to unite in both hope and action for a new education. I quote with pleasure the message of recognition of Saint Paul VI to the United NationsIt says thus: «You have accomplished, gentlemen, and you are accomplishing a great work: to teach men peace. The United Nations is the great school where this education is received. The UNESCO Constitution, adopted in 1945 at the end of the tragedy of the Second World War, recognized that “since wars are born in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the bulwarks of peace must be erected ». Seventy-five years ago, the founders of UNESCO called for “ensuring to all full and equal access to education, the possibility of freely investigating objective truth and the free exchange of ideas and knowledge ... so that the peoples understand each other better and acquire a more precise and true knowledge of their respective lives ”( Preamble ).
In our time, in which the global education compact has been broken, I see with satisfaction that governments have again committed to putting these ideas into practice by adopting the 2030 Agenda and the UN Sustainable Development Goals, in synergy with the global pact on education.
At the heart of the Sustainable Development Goals is the recognition that quality education for all is a necessary foundation for protecting our common home and fostering human brotherhood. Like the global pact for education, so also fundamentally, SDG 4 commits all governments to “guarantee inclusive, equitable and quality education, as well as promoting learning opportunities throughout life, and this for all”.
The Global Compact for Education and Mission 4.7 will work together for the civilization of love, beauty and unity. Let me tell you that I hope you are the poets of a new human beauty, a new fraternal and friendly beauty, as of the safeguarding of the land on which we stand. Do not forget the elderly and grandparents who are carriers of the most decisive human values. Thank you for what you do and please don't forget to pray for me. Thank you.