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    ICESCO Director General: we should turn this crisis into a gift to build the societies that we want

    30 April 2020

    **The pandemic revealed the weakness of the health systems and the vulnerability of our societies

    **We should take proactive measures and conduct foresight studies on the totally different post-Covid-19 world

    Dr. Salim M. AlMalik, Director General of the Islamic World Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ICESCO), reaffirmed that in spite of the heavy global losses caused by Covid-19, there are some gains that can turn this crisis into a gift through building the societies that we want. Besides, this pandemic will push us towards a drastic change in the prevailing concepts of society and its pillars, and the laws on human rights and the rights of humanity.

    This was an excerpt from Dr. AlMalik’s address at the launch of ICESCO’s new initiative “The Societies We Want”, held today on a distance platform with the participation of H.E. Dr. Lalla Malika Issoufou, First Lady of the Republic of Niger, HRH Princess Lamia bint Majed Saud Al-Saud, Secretary General of Alwaleed Philanthropies; H.E Mr. Mamadou Talla, Minister of Education and Illiteracy of the Republic of Senegal; H.E Ms. Jamila El Moussalli, Minister of Solidarity, Social Development, Equality and Family; as well as a host of experts and specialists in human and social sciences and strategic foresight.

    In this regard, Dr. AlMalik stated that Covid-19 has kept peoples worldwide in an unprecedented lockdown not even seen during war times. “No one can predict its end or the change caused by this lockdown to the patterns of the social, economic, and political life and livelihood. If the pandemic continues for too long, the scale of change will be immense. The world will not be able to understand the scale of this change over the whole humanity until the end of the crisis. However, there are some clear changes seen through indicators and norms that revealed the weakness of the health systems among others in many countries which will lead to the reconsideration of strategies and promotion of the concepts of healthcare as a basis and a priority over technology, security and defense,” he added.

    Dr. AlMalik also stated that “we are confident that the post-Covid-19 world will be so different. This makes it imperative for us as countries, organizations, and civil society institutions to take proactive measures instead of giving up. We should build the societies we want. In spite of the preventive measures and tough decisions taken by many countries (poor or rich) to reduce the spread of Covid-19, such as the closure of schools and groceries, the disruption of many governmental sectors, and the imposition of lockdowns, the vulnerabilities that our societies suffering from have manifested in various patterns with the large spread of Covid-19. For instance, family violence has dramatically surge global disrupting societies and their delicate balances. This is perhaps a good opportunity during this exceptional global health situation to determine the fields that should be improved in order to build the societies we want”.

    Furthermore, Dr. AlMalik said that in this spirit, ICESCO has taken upon itself to launch initiatives as a means to empower the societies most in need for help and assistance so as to respond to the commitments related to Covid-19. “ICESCO has also established the “Comprehensive Humanitarian Coalition” which has had a large international response from countries, international organizations, civil society organizations and donors to attract the knowledge and technical capital to help these societies with urgent needs,” he highlighted.

    ICESCO Director General stressed that “the launch of the initiative of The Societies We Want initiative emanates from its sense of responsibility and the situation of the human and social sciences within our policies, programmes and daily conduct. This is the best time to build the human capital needed in our societies. We should unify our efforts in disseminating knowledge through the perceptions of our human and social sciences so as to empower the scientific exploration programmes to attain our objectives and build cohesive, prosperous and vital societies to fullfil our great motto “One World.. One Humanity” and to achieve our objectives in building the societies we want,” he added.

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