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Round table on education
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The center for Democracy and Human Rights, Director
I think the mankind acutely felt the dramatic nature of the terrorism after the tragedy of September, 11, in New-York. Thank God after that we didn't witness such cruel terrorist acts with thousands of victims, but for a lot of people it was a beginning of their own special calendar.
The terrorism, like many other events has many aspects. Among them a very important one Ð Human Rights. The terrorism itself is an outrageous violation of human rights. But not only terrorists but also those fighting it can violate human rights.
Russian NGOs must most effectively use the Russia's presidency in G8. That's why I think a Russia's voice must be heard while discussing the terrorism and human rights issues.
Security Issues Expert (Canada)
Russia has been repeatedly a target for terrorist attacks. That's why knows terrorism as a concrete evil, considering it a source of a real threat. You know that practically every object can be a target of terrorists a bus, school, plane, concert hall. Today it is impossible for one organization to fight terrorism we need joint efforts. The civil society institutions can do a lot about it. Particularly, they can contribute enormously to the process of civil education of the people. I speak not only the preventive measures to fight terrorism, but also basic values of democracy, rule of law, tolerance, legal forms of opposition etc. This education is vey important today.
It is also very important fir the civil society to think (and to make he power think!) permanently about the question: why does one become terrorist? In that case all countries will be able to speak about the terrorism using a common language.
Ariel Cohen, Charity Foundation expert
There are a lot of discussions today about the sources and reasons of terrorism. And many speak about poverty, misery, lack of money etc. Sure, it's important. But where are empiric proves? There are many poor-poor people in China and India but they don't become terrorists. No empiric proves! But the religious extremism, fundamentalism, religious propaganda exist! There are many people speaking about the supremacy of one religion over another. Certainly, I speak about extremists, but of course, terrorism itself is an extremist event.
There are also representatives of a civil society denying the important role of religious extremism, but especially religious extremism, and we have to admit it, contribute to the development of terrorism. There are also many who speak about human rights. But in Israel, US, Europe they respect human rights and at the same time these states become targets of terrorists attacks.
Now last, but not least. Someone of my colleagues expressed the idea that the state must determine moral standards. I think we mustn't admit it! Only the society can formulate moral standards and NGOs can effectively help to do this.
G8 Expert (Canada)
I think for Russia in general and Russian NGOs in particular it is very important today to provide succession of the traditions and experience worked out at the preparatory stage of previous G8 summits. Besides, they have to learn not only the more recent experience of their colleagues in Gleneagles, but also the experience gained in previous years. We need a sort of a bridge from Gleneagles to Moscow and from Moscow to Germany. It's not enough to repeat the actions of other NGOs in previous years but also to make a step forward. I would also like to say that the G8 is a non-official, non-bureaucratic institution. So, the relations of the civil society with G8 should be informal by their nature.
Nuclear Energy Program, Green Peace, Russia
For a long time we could not really understand what kind of Forum this meeting is going to be. We feared that it would be mostly a meeting of Energy Organizations more than that of NGOs. Nonetheless, today I am pleased to admit that there is equilibrium and the work is going. We cannot say how fruitful it is going to be, meaning that we cannot foresee whether G8 will pay enough attention to our recommendations. But the mere opportunity to declare our opinions and the chance to be heard is already an achievement
It is important that the Nongovernmental Organizations have a chance to exchange their ideas and opinions.
I think that another valuable aspect of this event is that it promotes social education on the questions discussed. We draw people's attention to the major issue and how they can contribute to their solution. Above that, the papers that we are working at, discussing, arguing, will have an educational value as well. From my perspective, that is already enough to consider this event successful.
As for the problems themselves, we believe that, first of all we should set the priorities. Some people still think that we have time to postpone actions for tomorrow. We stick to the opposite opinion. It is crucial today to act. I would not be practical to think that we can change everything and at once, but we have to start somewhere. We suggested the following:
- Pay special attention to the reduction of the energy consumption.
- Provide harmonious usage of gas in new cars and vehicles.
- Provide for the mass production of the renewable technologies' production
Green Peace International, Netherlands
I suppose that today the most important thing is to provide a safe transference to the renewable sources of energy. But its safety should be considered not only as a technological one, but also economical. No doubt that there are and will be lots of disagreements concerning this question, first of all between the countries suppliers, those sitting on its "energy piles" Middle East, Russia, Venezuela and their customers. Perhaps the work of International Organizations should mostly aim to provide the deep understanding of this complicated and urgent question.
Russian Meteorological Center, Moscow
I am not an energy expert, so it is difficult for me to set priorities in this problem. If you ask me what is more important: energy prices, oil in the war spots or nuclear power, I would say all the three. Being a specialist in Kyoto Protocol, I believe that it is already a huge step towards solution of the ecological problems. At least, now we have the paper that consolidates the efforts of different countries. I do not think that we need another document at the present moment, because, having signed this one, we are obliged to work at fulfilling our commitments at least up to 2012. I am sure that with time we'll see the necessary supplements and corrections.
I believe that Montreal meeting can be considered as a Kyoto Protocol achievement, as it was agreed to discuss the question of gas usage expansion, the frames of the non-dangerous temperature raise. By the way, today it s 2,5 C.
As or the NGO's meeting, there is no doubt that it is helpful. It is for the government to decide how much important it is and only time will show how much it is effective.
Alexander Auzan, Institute of the National Project "Social Treaty", President
I think the NGOs representatives and experts will be able to formulate their recommendations for Sherpas and G8 leaders. The question is: will be there a common position on the issue, or some alternative recommendations? (After all, if the civil society has ONE common position on this or that issue, it is not a civil society, honestly speaking).
So, the "technical" problem is as follows: there can be several alternative or, even, contradictory positions. If they are alternative, they can be strictly formulated and passed to Sherpas. If there are several contradictory positions the question is how many they are. I hope the G8 leaders can work at two or three contradictory positions or recommendations. But if there are many how can G8 leaders work? Is seems to me, it is the important question, the Russian NGOs must pay a special attention.
Russian Children Foundation, Head
I think there are three important positions which demand a very rapt attention.
First, children rights. We have the Convention on the Children Rights, the UN Committee on children rights. But in our country the system of state institutions dealing with the problem is not transparent enough. I think it's not normal.
Second, the orphanage problem. According to the official statistics, there are 700 thousand orphans in Russia. A catastrophic situation! This problem is much in common with the problem of education. Many children from hostels stop their education in 9th class and have no prospect in this sphere.
Third, adoption in foreign families. During the last year 7 thousand Russian children have adopted by the families abroad. Yes, we admit the fact that 14 children died due to the cruelty of their adoptive parents. And nowadays the State Duma prepares a law cutting off the system of adoption. But it is impossible to stop it now, we have to stimulate the adoption! But, of course, we need control over the adopted children. And one more thing we shouldn't forget that 14 Russian children died abroad due to the parents' cruelty and 300 children in Russia.
All-Russia Education Fund
This February Bill Gates speaking at the Congress of US Governors said: "When we speak, that the children from poor families or ethnic minorities can't get education, there are two reasons for that. First they are not able to study. Second we don't want them to study. The first reason is not correct, the second is vicious. If we don't surpass these reasons we'll face a national tragedy".
I think we can say it about Russia, too.
There are three global problems in this sphere, I think.
First, one mustn't forget that more than 2 million children don't get educated at all.
Second, because of the terrorism many children can't get a normal education.
Third, in XX century many economic and strategic indexes have changed. We all live at the period of the transfer from the rough economy to digital technologies and intellectual development.
We need today a universal system of education. And the UNESCO Program "Education for All" can be a good basis for the implementation of this idea.
Regional Civil Organization "Children Rights"
I would like to speak shortly about a few issues that seem very important to me.
We need a law about inclusive education. We need it badly.
We also need to reorganize hostels into family education centers provided by the Program "Children of Russia".
We also need a special list of free services for invalids.
We must reject the abusive formula "unable for education", because it violates both parents' and children's rights.
And, of course, we need a system of juvenile justice. It could solve many existing problems, particularly, the problem of the control over the children rights respect.
Human Rights Institute
I would like to point at four directions worth analyzing.
First, the rights of the educational process participants pupils, students, parents, teachers, professors etc.
Second, the legal basis of the educational process. Today many participants of the educational process don't know their rights and as a result can't use it.
Third, the education within the so called close systems such as army, law-enforcement bodies, penitentiary institutions. The problem is that the lack of legal knowledge among the officials of these institutions engender numerous violations of human rights.
Fourth, the expert ensuring the content of the civil education. It needs lawyers, pedagogues, psychologists and other specialists, able to determine its standards.
Institute of New Educational Systems
One of the most acute problems today is the problem of migrants in general and of the migrants' children in particular. It is possible that the G8 leaders will not deal with it. But it is necessary to solve the problem and there are a few issues about it.
First of all, the balance of the state (official) and native (national) languages. The state language must be taught to all citizens in equal volume and content. The national language learning must be guaranteed in the volume allowing to keep the national identity. The state is obliged to acquaint the migrants with the culture and the history of their new land.
Another question Ð the inter-religious dialogue. We are not against teaching religious issues but one must not forget that the education and propaganda are quite different issues.
Professor, Medicine PhD, vice-president of the Russian Medical Association
It was a mistake to adopt the term "medicine" as it a vast realm which has numerous directions. Incredible number of people die due to infectious diseases. They spread very fast and occupy large populated areas. Today new infectious diseases appear. Having our research results and the experience in already known infectious disease control, we can apply it to learn and prevent the appearing diseases.
The infectious disease vaccine development takes approximately 6-12 months. While in case of cancer it takes years. WE could think why we do not consider such a terrifying disease as cancer! But in this sphere everything was learnt and we know how to prevent this disease, nothing new is happening in this sphere. But infectious diseases have some peculiarities that current demand and developments of their preventive measures. The main peculiarity of an infectious disease patient is that he excretes pathogenic organisms into the environment, that is he is the source of the catching disease. That's why it is very important to know about the ways of the infection transmission and what to do to prevent its spread. Another peculiarity is that every infectious disease always results in overall human organism reactions. Some of the infected people can suffer neural-psychological dysfunctions. The third peculiarity is that infectious diseases are very dynamic. The symptoms can easily alternate. It causes the difficulties in diagnostics and in rendering the first aid at home.
If the G8 leaders will consider our suggestions and help us, civil society, to participate in the process of the infectious disease control, we'll attain maximum success in preventing those diseases and rendering medical help to all the infected population.
Tsutomu Araki and Kavanali Oini,
Medical Centre Nippon, Japan
Today we gave media-presentation on the problem of HIV, infected newborn and babies. A large number of newborns are infected by this disease. HIV can be transmitted to a child either through the mother's blood or milk (50% of children get infected in this way). Before the final diagnosis, it is important to pay close attention to another question to prevent respiratory infections. Vaccination plays a very important role, because HIV infected children tend to catch infections much more easily. Diseases can easily grow into severe forms, high percentage of lethal outcomes.
Our medical center has been studying this form of the infectious disease and now we are trying to work out an antagonistic vaccine.
New vaccine will have to strengthen baby's immune system, when he is in his mother's womb. Now all the children born to HIV-infected parents are inoculate with all of the dull vaccines, before the final diagnosis is made. The question animated vaccination is decided upon the final diagnosis. We hope that our research will help to reduce the number of the newborns with the HIV.
special representative of the World Health Organization in Russia
I believe that WHO is quite objective in its work in Russia. But we still cannot feel satisfied with what is happening today. WE still see lots of people get infected not only by tuberculosis but by the associate diseases tuberculosis, HIV and the one that was not mentioned here hepatitis C, which is also an associate infection. I think that our experience can be of much value to the countries whose situation is even worse that ours. But we should admit that we ourselves need the experience of the countries where the situation is not that gross. It would be great if we could share our points of view here. We included this question into the present agenda as we believe that our leaders often forget about a certain part of the society, which should never be forgotten. We cannot deny those people their right for health!!! When tuberculosis appear due to the horrible imprisonment conditions and people get infected from each other and we cannot do anything against that, I think that we can blame society, which, in fact, punishes their prisoners for the second time. It is an acute moral problem. So we should make a list of recommendations for the leaders who will discuss infectious diseases among other global problems. By the way, infectious disease question will be discussed for the first time at the forum of such a scope.
professor, the medical faculty dean at the Kyrgyz-Russian (Slavonic) University
I would like to stress the idea that has already been pronounced by my colleagues. I believe that we should focus on the medical education. In Colleges, universities, Academies, we have to introduce new subjects and disciplines beside the common, well known and applied for a long time ones. We should give the students opportunities to do their practical work abroad, carry out new researches, developments, we should inspire them with new innovations in medical sphere, including infectious diseases. The more qualified education they will get, the better specialists we will have in the future.
Source: Civil G8
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