UNESCO official: World resources should not be wasted in protectionism
Updated 14:36, 20-May-2019
Ai Yan
Editor's note: This is the third in the series of "MASTER TALK" interviews produced by CGTN Digital timed with the Conference on Dialogue of Asian Civilizations (CDAC) underway in Beijing.
"The kind of waste of resources we see in protectionism is terrible. We could use the resources for development and for cooperation," said Marielza Oliveira, director and representative of UNESCO's Beijing office after attending the CDAC's opening ceremony.
Chinese President Xi Jinping made a keynote speech at the opening, calling for Asian countries to respect and trust each other, and to cooperate in safeguarding "the peaceful time that is more valuable than gold."
"Civilizations will lose vitality if countries go back to isolation and cut themselves off from the rest of the world," said Xi.
Oliveira said she was impressed by President Xi's strong call for mutual understanding and learning of different cultures and civilizations, which echoes UNESCO's stance.
In his speech, Xi said that there are only different civilizations, not superior or inferior ones. Therefore, all Asian countries should join hands and ensure the development of different civilizations while keeping their own vibrant.
Marielza Oliveira, director and representative of UNESCO's Beijing office, speaks during an interview with CGTN. /CGTN Photo

Marielza Oliveira, director and representative of UNESCO's Beijing office, speaks during an interview with CGTN. /CGTN Photo

"The importance of us finding common ground, and finding a spirit of reaching out and working together is even more necessary today," said Oliveira, adding that many international issues and challenges require the joint efforts of all nations, such as extremism, environmental issues and climate issues among others.
"I'm very happy to see President Xi make that call for Asia, as well as for the world. I was also very happy to see all the regions represented in the CDAC," said Oliveira, because "it's not just about Asia. It's about reaching out to the world."
The UNESCO representative said that it is just the right time to make such voices heard by the world and to bring everyone together to discuss the destiny of mankind as a whole.
Xi said various civilizations are not destined to clash. The world is diversified and multi-directional, and through exchanges and mutual learning, with a reciprocal and equal manner, mankind could have used their resources and wisdom on much more meaningful deeds.
"Through cultural exchanges, through reaching out to scientific cooperation, that allows us all to have a common understanding of problems, draw from our individual wisdom and vision, to bring that kind of wisdom and vision to a common undertaking of building a collective future for all of us," said Oliveira.
She recalled President Xi's visit to UNESCO in 2014, saying that his delivery of the concept of mutual understanding and common future for humanity to their headquarters was very impressive.
President Xi's wife, Peng Liyuan, is a special envoy for girls' and women's education and has been contributing a lot to the education and care of this demographic.
While talking about the future, Oliveira remained optimistic, especially with the CDAC and the values conveyed to the world through the occasion. She said that such values and spirit are significant not only to Asia, but the world as a whole.
"The voice, values and the common views of Asian society should permeate the global views as well. So it's important that they come together, and discuss and find these common elements and principles they can bring to the global dialogue," she said.
Reporter: Ai Yan
Videographer: Zhu Danni
Video editors: Zhu Danni
Animator: Pan Yufei
Producer: Wen Yaru
Chief editor: Lin Dongwei
Supervisor: Pang Xinhua