October 8, 2014
JICA-RI Distinguished Fellow Surin Pitsuwan visited Pakistan from October 1st to October 4, 2014.
Dr. Surin had served in several key positions including Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom of Thailand, Secretary-General of ASEAN, and a member of the UN Commission on Human Security between 2001 and 2003. He is currently an International Academic Advisor at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies and Professor Emeritus of Thammasat University in Thailand. Since November 2013, Dr. Surin has assumed the position of Distinguished Fellow at JICA-RI.
With students, teachers, and parents
Dr. Surin considers education as a key factor for mutual understanding and a better future as he states that “education opens up the mind.” He visited several projects and institutions in the education sector. When he visited the Non-Formal Education Promotion Project in Punjab, he observed non-formal basic education classes for children aged between 5 and 15. With about 40 children, their parents and guardians, and project staff, he shared his personal experience. Having been brought up as a member of Thailand’s minority Muslim population, he had devoted himself to his studies through the guidance of his family and his own efforts and it was entirely thanks to education that he was able to become a researcher, a politician, and Foreign Minister. He told them that education was a source of power and that it offered an opportunity to draw children into a new world. He encouraged those present to continue with the children’s education, saying that the 40 children were all brimming with potential and might become physicians, nurses, or politicians in the future. The powerful words of Dr. Surin engaged the hearts and minds of all present.
Pitsuwan (left) receiving "Vision2025"
Dr. Surin expressed his respect for Pakistan’s history, culture, and way of life, and encouraged the people he met in Pakistan. He highlighted the importance of education as well as keeping an open mind to gain knowledge, which will benefit Muslim societies for mutual understanding. At the same time, he offered important suggestions for JICA projects and research to ensure stability in Pakistan and other Muslim countries.
In November, Dr. Surin will present a report in Japan concerning the findings from his visit to Pakistan.
|Day||October 01, 2014(Wed) - October 04, 2014(Sat)|