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S. Korea launches new friends group in UNESCO to address pandemic-related xenophobia Updated: 2020-05-28 14:52:54 KST

The global COVID-19 pandemic has identified a number of tasks for the international community to work on: developing vaccines, building better medical systems, and sharing knowhow on stopping the virus.

"But, in fighting pandemics, South Korea saw that health security is not the only field where countries should cooperate. Another key agenda is creating a sense of global citizenship to prevent hatred and xenophobia."

That’s why at UNESCO South Korea is leading the new 'Group of Friends for Solidarity and Inclusion with Global Citizenship Education.'
South Korea chairs the group, and there are 10 other member countries, including Italy, Bangladesh and Senegal.
On Tuesday, more than a hundred international figures including UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay and South Korea's Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha met online to mark the group's launch.

"As the virus spreads around the globe, there have been reports of incidents involving discrimination, stigmatization and even physical assaults against certain racial and ethnic groups. / While the virus harms the body, discrimination harms the mind. Just as we need a vaccine to protect against a viral disease, we need education to fight against prejudice and hatred."

Since the start of the pandemic, South Korea has led the establishment of three groups at the UN to promote international cooperation.
In addition to that, Seoul is working to actively share its COVID-19-related knowledge and experience with other countries through regular web seminars and policy materials.
Oh Jung-hee, Arirang News.
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