It is difficult to begin an article about what is happening between Israel and Palestine, as it is so heartbreaking and brutal that words are insufficient to express the frustration and sadness of experiencing it from the outside.
I have been flying for some hours form Madrid to Doha and from there to Delhi, to participate in the Annual AFS Congress, one of the international education federations to which we belong, as well as Federation EIL. Both organizations emerged after the Second World War to contribute to global peace, specifically through the mobility and international intercultural encounters of young people.
I must admit that, for the first time, I have hesitated to come, as I have been overwhelmed by incomprehension, sadness, and fear. However, this morning, an article I read in the international press about a possible United Nations declaration, proposed last night by China and Russia with the support of Brazil, has helped me understand. This agreement did not get enough votes as it urges Israel to cease its violence in Gaza without condemning Hamas terrorist attacks, something unacceptable from the Western perspective of the United Nations.
Let’s not forget that throughout the past year, there have been unsuccessful attempts to persuade developing countries to condemn Russia for its invasion of Ukraine. Instead, many of them prefer to speak of a “war in Ukraine”, in which both countries bear equal responsibility for the conflict. We have seen this same stance tonight in the previously mentioned declaration, in which Russia and China are also taking the lead.
The world order is undergoing transformation, the developing countries, emerging economies, the BRICS nations (Brazil, Russia, China, India, and South Africa), or whatever we choose to call them, are demanding a place on the global stage dominated by the West and its geopolitical practices for years. Even the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, has stated on numerous occasions that “governance structures today reflect the world of yesterday”; they need to be reformed to reflect contemporary economic realities and power dynamics.
From all of this, it seems that this new world order relies on Ukraine and Palestine to showcase its positions and generate the necessary tensions to maintain the desired balance for each party. This is extremely sad as well as unacceptable; that humanitarian disasters serve as a platform for visibility for international politics and economics is clearly condemnable.
As an educational organization, from AIPC Pandora, we once again confirm that what is happening is too complicated to understand for the general public, at least the Western audience (which is the one we know best), and why is that? We wonder… Why are the educational programs and their institutions not educating about this new situation? Why do most of our young people not understand what is going on?
It is essential that geopolitical education (no matter how tedious it may sound), as well as economic and social education, become a part of both formal and informal educational programs, discussions, and activities at all levels. The public, especially the younger generations, who are called to deal with all these changes, should seek to identify with what is happening and understand that today’s world does not operate by the rules of their parents, but by new rules in which the must be the protagonist. Moreover, now it’s not just a few, as all young people around the world count.
Our sons and daughters will have to understand that “security” cannot solely belong to the West and that “prosperity” will not be solely in the hands of the Chinese form now on. They will have to comprehend that they need to participate in a world where they do not need to choose between one or the other, as these concepts and/or principles belong to humanity, which, as for today, is continuously threatened, and where the cost of human lives seems to serve global and economic tensions.
I hope to reach my destination, Delhi this time, and meet there with representatives from educational organizations from over 80 countries, where I can share these ideas and advance our contribution to valid educational programs adapted to today’s “real” world, so that finally, we can all move in the same direction towards world peace.