NEW YORK, JAN 14: Gandhi Global Family, a United Nations DPI affiliated Peace NGO, led a summit at the United Nations HQ in New York to empower young people in higher education across the world to work together to promote respect, safety and dignity for all refugees and migrants. Universities from all continents were invited to participate in the UN Together programme, creating an international network of universities committed to finding ways to successfully integrate refugees into communities, while spreading messages of tolerance and understanding.
The summit at the United Nations debated the current international crises, what role higher education could play to challenge the problems the refugee community faced and agree upon a strategy that universities can take forward together to change attitude in communities and to counter the rise in xenophobia and discrimination. The summit concluded with all partner universities signing a declaration that pledged their support to the UN Together campaign and a commitment to take forward the ideas established during the debate. The summit was addressed by GGF Vice president Padmashri Dr S P Varma.
In his address, Varma emphasised on the importance of educational institutions in creating a ‘chain of peace’ across all the continents, where the driving force will be the students. According to him, it’s the shared responsibility of all the staff members varying from Vice Chancellors to Principals, from Professors to teachers to come forward in bridging the gaps by preach the language of compassion, love and dialogue among students. Varma appreciated the role of all the ten Universities in setting a perfect example and later appealed all the global educational institutions to join the peace movement.
Other distinguished guests present during the summit were Director Outreach United Nations Maher Naseer, UK Ambassador to United Nations Matthew Rycroft, Vice Chancellor DMU & GGF Rep to United Nations DPI Prof Dominic Shellard, Dy Director United Nations Washington Steffania Pifenelli. Others who represented Gandhi Global Family during the summit were Manish Joshi GGF Youth Coordinator India, B K Gogia GGF US, Ravi Chopra GGF US and Shashi GGF USA.