The celebrations took place on May 10 at Alfred Nobel University which teaches students from about forty countries. This established a new tradition that has every chance of success among students. According to Tamara Ishchenko, director of Alfred Nobel University’s International Cooperation Department, it is foreign students from various countries and continents who suggested observing this festive day. “We regard this event as an occasion for multicultural communication, as a representative international forum, where politicians, civil society activists, and experts can discuss political, economic, and humanitarian problems on various continents,” she said. Local authorities, Ukrainian teachers, as well as higher educational institutions in Poland, Spain, and Brazil, have already supported the idea of this international day. Among the VIPs who arrived at Alfred Nobel University to attend the celebration are the Deputy Consul of Azerbaijan, the Honorary Consul of Brazil in Dnipro, the Deputy Consul of Germany, representatives of Ghana, Morocco, Nigeria, Egypt, and other states, heads of Dnipro’s universities and colleges, the director of the Ukrainian State Education Center at the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine, and other officials. The ceremony was held at the “Alfred Nobel’s Planet” memorial park complex. It gathered hundreds of students, many of whom wore national costumes of their countries.
In his speech, university President Borys Kholod noted that students are in fact prime movers of many economic, social, and political transformations. The examples of successful people show that the overwhelming majority of them owe their success to their alma mater. Yet we should not forget about the problems that accompany scientific and technological progress. “It is not too late for humankind to set top priorities for the further development of civilization. This is why we consider it opportune to request the UN, well-known international institutions, and parliaments of all countries to consider our proposal about creating conditions for preserving peace and stability, curbing international terrorism, hybrid wars, and the nuclear threat. In this connection, we are calling for more resolute actions aimed at protecting human and civil rights, particularly as far as gaining higher education is concerned,” the university president emphasized.
Kholod pointed out that no other than Alfred Nobel had charted a course towards making a better world on the basis of scientific research, art, and aspiration for peaceful relationships between nations. “It is worthwhile to note the role of OSCE which is taking part in monitoring the conflict of new, hybrid, nature in our country. We are also pinning our high hopes on the European Union which was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012 for playing a major role in protecting human rights in Europe and rallying European countries and peoples. Ukraine is capable of becoming an educational cell that will unite Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America by borrowing the world experience, applying national educational theories, and attracting knowledge-seeking young people to our universities,” he said. Kholod noted that Alfred Nobel University, which marks its 25th anniversary this year, had always been in the center of scientific life in Ukraine, Europe, and the rest of the world. This is why the establishment of International Unification Day will become a good tradition for the university itself and students throughout the world. The university president suggests holding an international congress, “Education for Equal Opportunities for Everyone: Global Challenges,” in June 2019 on the basis of Alfred Nobel University. “The future of mankind is a future without hatred, poverty, fanaticism, and wars. It is the future of a harmonious world united in its diversity,” he said.
The international observance day in Dnipro impressed with its creativity. One of its components was the fest “Bread of my Childhood” which presented both the diversity and the unity of the whole world. Representatives of many countries presented their national bread at the festival. Some breads, for example those of Brazil and Ghana, were delivered to Dnipro by air. All city residents were invited to the feast. Festival guests could also acquaint themselves with handicrafts, particularly, Korean painted ritual masks. What became a no less bright part of the event is the painting exhibit “Voices of the World.” Its author, artist Tetiana Drobakhina, notes that she tried to express in the pictures her sensation of the cities she visited. “The works are dedicated to peace, our planet, and a society without war. Being able to hear and trust another person, and to show tolerance is the main step towards peace,” she said. The artist presented the university with a canvas named “Peace.” It depicts a handshake as a symbol of international friendship and a world without war. This symbol has already become sort of a trademark of the new student feast.
The Unification Day of Students from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America ended in an extravaganza – a grandiose flashmob “Let’s Unite!” Almost 1,000 university students took part in it on Ukraine’s longest riverfront in Dnipro. They built a composition with a heart in the center in front of Alfred Nobel University. The flashmob was prepared under the guidance of international organization Street Workout representatives. “In the past seven years, our organization has prepared a lot of flashmobs in various countries, which involved from 1,000 to 10,000 people. We showed in Dnipro a flashmob that nobody has ever held before, and now we are going to hand over our challenge to other countries’ students through social media,” action organizer H. Shulika said. The participants in this event signed an address to the UN, the EU, OSCE, and other international organizations. They expect their feast to be annual.
United Nation Organization (USA, New York)
European Union (Belgium, Brussels)
Council of Europe (Strasbourg, France)
The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (Vein, Austria)
The International Committee of the Red Cross (Geneva, Switzerland)
African Union (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia)
The Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development (Bangkok, Thailand)
The League of Arab States (Cairo, Egypt)
The Union of South American Nations (Quito, Ecuador)
On The Unification Day of Students from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America
We, the students from different countries of the world, have met on May 10, 2018 at Alfred Nobel University (the city of Dnipro, Ukraine) together with academic community to celebrate for the first time ever the Unification Day of Students from Europe, Asia, Africa and Latin America.
We realize the significant role of students in the development of civilization. It is studentship who is the most powerful engine of progress since the harmonious development of society is impossible without young people striving for freedom and justice. We remember our history and we are proud of students who put much efforts and even sacrificed their lives for the society to develop.
However, today we and our peers face serious threats in North and South, West and East. Society suffers from economic inequality within social groups and countries, misanthropic ideology, militarizing policy, border violations and wars. Moreover, millions of girls and boys in many countries do not have equal access to education and instead of developing the comprehensive world view, gaining professional knowledge and inheriting experience of previous generations, they often have to survive and overcome poverty.
When building new plans for the future, we, the modern students, do not want and cannot ignore such threats and terrible injustice. We are different – boys and girls, future economists, lawyers, engineers and doctors, representative of different countries. Yet we have the common aim that is to change the world for the better, to make it safer, more rightful and friendly to ourselves, our families, citizens and people from other countries, to those who would like but cannot study together with us.
That is why today we appeal to the students to unite, exchange thoughts and experience and collaborate. We are aware that education will not solve all problems of humanity, although it may become the nucleus of forthcoming changes. We appeal to the United Nations, other international and regional organizations, state bodies and non-governmental organizations to pay full attention to the potential of modern higher education, opportunities it gives to those who are looking for the ways of creating the better world. We hope that our initiative of the International Unification Day of Students will find support with important international forums. Taking into account the fact that since the middle of the previous century there have been a fair amount of similar initiatives, we are determined and will not stop on appeals and declarations. We do support Alfred Nobel University’s initiative to hold the International Congress “Education for equal opportunities for everyone: global challenges” in June 2019 that will be the ground for the multifaceted discussions of trends and forms to attract educational potential for universe improvement.
We are uniting to change the world for better. We begin from ourselves and appeal to everyone who shares our aspiration to join us. We are open to support, dialog, friendly criticism and joint search. Thus educators, students, youth from different countries and continents let’s get united! From now on, let the special event The International Unification Day find its place in every teacher’s and student’s calendar every year in spring.
Let knowledge and education become the most powerful weapon in the world to free it from hatred and injustice, to bring peace!