Commemorative Symposium “UNESCO Chair on Education for Human Dignity Peace and Sustainability” was held

University selected for a UNESCO Chair

Sophia University has been selected for a UNESCO Chair (Chair’s title: UNESCO Chair on Education for Human Dignity, Peace and Sustainability) and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) has been signed by the President and the Director-General of UNESCO.

The UNESCO Chair is a team led by educational and research institutions that partners with UNESCO on a project to address the interdependent challenges of today’s increasingly complex world.

Commemorative symposium held

On February 28, a symposium commemorating this selection, “UNESCO Chair on Education for Human Dignity, Peace and Sustainability” was held in the International Conference Hall on the 17th floor of Building No. 2. The purpose of the symposium was to discuss the roles of UNESCO Chair and the transformative education together with the eight partner institutions of Sophia’s Chair.

Following opening remarks by Vice President for Academic Research Affairs, Takashi Okada, speeches were made by Mr. Hiroaki Motomura, Director for International Strategic Planning, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma, Chair of the H.R.H. Abze Djigma Foundation (online), and Prof. Charles Hopkins, UNESCO Chair holder at York University, Canada, expressing their high expectations for our activities as the UNESCO Chair.

Mr. Motomura congratulates and expects
H.R.H. Princess Abze Djigma took the podium online
Prof. Hopkins, York University
Ms. Khan describing the role of the UNESCO Chair

The symposium began with a keynote address by Ms. Faryal Khan, Program Specialist, UNESCO Bangkok Office, entitled “Shaping Futures: Transformative Education for Human Dignity, Peace and Sustainability.” Ms. Khan introduced Target 7 of SDG Goal 4, which “aims to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary to promote sustainable development through education,” as well as GCED (Global Citizenship Education) and ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) and described the potential role of the UNESCO Chair.

Prof. Sugimura expressed her determination

Next, the chair holder, Prof. Miki Sugimura of the Department of Education, Faculty of Human Sciences, took the podium. She introduced the background of the launch of the UNESCO Chair at the University, its objectives, and plans for building partnerships. She expressed her determination to do her very best to realize the original purpose of the Chair, which is to create and share knowledge through international education and research, and to contribute to the realization of human dignity, peace, and a sustainable society.

A panel discussion followed on the theme of “Transformative Education and Roles of the UNESCO Chair” with nine representatives from the partner institutions. After a lively discussion, the symposium concluded with a wrap-up by Prof. Hopkins and Ms. Kahn.

Large number of people from partner institutions gathered
President Terumichi and Assistant Director-General for Education Ms. Giannini at UNESCO Headquarters

After the symposium, President Terumichi made a courtesy visit to UNESCO Headquarters (Paris) on March 4, and reported the launch of the UNESCO Chair to Assistant Director-General for Education Ms. Stephania Giannini.

Sophia University

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