Good morning, your excellencies, ministers and deputy ministers, and education secretaries who accompany us, authorities, deputies and senators of the region; honorable Mrs. Gabriela Lara, general director for Latin America of the Embassy of Activists for Peace, GEAP; honorable Mrs. Hermelinda de Ortega, vice-rector of the Nihon Gakko University and secretary pro tempore of the International Alliance of Universities for Peace (ALIUP); ladies and gentlemen, rectors, academic authorities of all the region, of the United States, of Spain that accompany us. Dear participants and members of the Organizing Committee of the Educational Session of the CUMIPAZ 2017, special guests, media, friends, everyone present.
First of all, on behalf of the Panamanian Government, I can share with you that we are very pleased with the celebration in our country of the Peace Integration Summit 2017; and we reiterate our welcome to all its participants in all the axes of discussion; in particular to the Ministry of Education and myself, we are very pleased to be able to share this inaugural session of the educational axis of CUMIPAZ 2017.
Education plays a fundamental role in every attempt to promote peace. This is how we consider that the educational sessions of this Summit can contribute very effectively towards that laudable goal of achieving more peaceful societies, with greater well-being and greater happiness for everyone in this world.
I think it is a shared concern, to all of us in the educational field, what we see on a day-to-day basis in our school system and in our societies: the lack of tolerance, respect, violence, hate crimes, discrimination, the increase in femicides in some countries of our region, bullying in our schools, harassment among our young people in social networks. All this indicates that we have to strengthen efforts collectively to achieve the true establishment of a culture of peace.
In this way I feel that the educator can play an essential role; first with your example, with your attitude, with your performance in each classroom, and with tools that allow you to establish strategies within your day to day so that the promotion of the culture of peace is a transversal axis, independent of the educational subject that is the teacher's specialty.
Of course, this implies defining what those best strategies and pedagogical innovations would be and, above all, having a greater awareness of each educator who can become a promoter of this peace initiative.
For this, I feel that it is necessary to first incorporate this vision into the initial formation of our educators, and also as a permanent element of their ongoing formation; because this has to be a sustained effort if we really want to achieve the objectives of living in more peaceful societies.
That is why we celebrate the topics that are discussed in this Educational Session of CUMIPAZ 2017, where aspects such as pedagogical innovation for peace are discussed, where they will discuss how we train an integral human being or how spaces can be created for the peace in our schools, and what policies can be effectively established to have more peaceful societies.
I believe that these reflections will be very valuable for all our educational systems, because we all share the same challenges, but we also have the collective and joint opportunity to establish effective lines of action to overcome them.
I would like to congratulate the Global Embassy of Activists for Peace (GEAP) for this happy initiative. In particular, Dr. William Soto, to whom we extend our greetings, but to all the other leaders who encourage these activities to continuously be carried out and to become not only an annual meeting, but also a permanent, every day action, throughout the year in the different countries that join these initiatives.
For the Ministry of Education of Panama it will be a pleasure to be able to support all the initiatives and lines of action that are being discussed today, and to continue working with the GEAP to promote that culture of peace in Panamanian schools.
We also congratulate all the participants and hope that they will make the most of this occasion, which is a privilege, not only for the issues that are discussed but also for the opportunity to meet as brothers in a single point, exchanging our experiences and our vision of the future in order to reach more peaceful societies.
I know that this activity is going to be a success, in advance, I hope you enjoy your stay in our country and that, as a result of this meeting, we can join forces in these lines of action that will lead us, so that future generations in our countries, and those present, can live in a peaceful environment, with happiness.
Thank you very much and again, welcome to Panama.