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President Raeisi: West’s culture of domination hinders growth, progress across globe

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi is delivering a speech during the closing day of the three-day Transforming Education Summit at UN Headquarters in New York, on September 19, 2022. (Photo by President.ir)

Iranian President Ebrahim Raeisi says Western powers have impeded the growth and progress of other countries through their culture of domination and by exploiting international entities to their own benefit.

President Raeisi made the remarks on Monday on the closing day of the three-day Transforming Education Summit at UN Headquarters in New York.

“Unfortunately, the culture of hegemony has defined [West’s] interests in holding back other countries,” he said. “They have impeded other countries’ growth and progress by creating an unfair world order, abusing international organizations, and drawing up schemes to impose their own cultural and intellectual views.”

“Cultural domination and confinement of knowledge are the worst kinds of oppression and injustice,” he added.

Raeisi also urged international entities to respect countries’ cultural and educational sovereignty, noting that it is impossible to transform the education system without taking into account values such as family, equality, and spirituality.

“International organizations are expected to respect countries’ educational and cultural sovereignty and protect them against cultural invasion,” he said.

“The history of Iran’s civilization began with science and knowledge; the Islamic culture elevated it and established its pillars on heavenly reflections,” he said.

Raeisi added that Islam invites humanity to acquire knowledge with the aim of achieving equality, spreading spirituality, and bringing prosperity and development.

“Making progress is a matter of significance for almost all countries, and while governments have implemented international recommendations in this regard, serious challenges have been imposed on national and indigenous cultures simultaneously,” he said.

A development that lacks spirituality and morality won’t last long and will result in societal collapse, the president argued.

Moral values such as respecting the family, protecting the environment, establishing equality, denouncing violence and extremism, promoting internet safety, and encouraging healthy online habits must be among the priorities for transforming education, he said.

The president also took a swipe at the United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, criticizing its approaches as “one-dimensional” and “secular,” and saying that the Islamic Republic has drawn up its own educational agenda based on Iranian-Islamic principles.

Iran’s newly set-up educational system is now shifting from rote learning to a system relying on research, creativity, skill-training, and commitments to cultural and religious values, he concluded.

Raeisi left Tehran for New York on Monday morning to take part in the UN General Assembly.

The Transforming Education Summit was convened in response to a global crisis in education. The crisis, which is often slow and unseen, is said to have a devastating impact on the future of children and youth worldwide.


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