Human Rights

Back to listMay 24, 2009

SGI Representative Lectures on Human Rights Education in Budapest

090524x_budapest_fujii.jpg Youth participants at the training course

SGI representative to the United Nations, Geneva, Kazunari Fujii, gave a lecture at an Asia-Europe training session for youth leaders on "The Role of Human Rights Education in Intercultural Dialogue--an Asia-Europe perspective," held from May 17-24, 2009, at the Council of Europe European Youth Centre in Budapest, Hungary. The course was co-organized by the Singapore-based Asia-Europe Foundation, which works with the Association of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN), East Asian countries such as Japan, Korea and China, and several European countries.

On May 19, Mr. Fujii spoke on "Human Rights Education and Learning from an Asian Perspective--International Standards of Human Rights and Diversities," followed by an interactive discussion with some 30 youth leaders from Europe and Asia who are active in the fields of culture, peace and human rights.

The core question of the lecture--how to overcome negative impacts of diversity in multicultural societies and create a universal culture of human rights through human rights education--clarified the issues in the context of international human rights standards and cultural diversities both in Asia and Europe, while attempting to deepen intercultural understanding and friendship among the participants from these two regions.

Through the lecture, participants learned about the differences between Asian and European perceptions of human rights standards. "I was not aware of such a wide range of diversities in Asia in many aspects of culture, tradition, philosophy, religion, language, economy as well as history of relations between Asia and Europe," stated one participant. Those from countries at the meeting point of the European and the Asian regions commented on their cross-regional position and emphasized the important role of youth in overcoming challenges to multicultural understanding in daily life.

[Adapted from a report from the SGI Office of Public Information, Japan; photo courtesy of Kazunari Fujii]