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Forest Whitaker to Participate in Inaugural World Humanitarian Summit

May 22, 2016

Artist and social activist Forest Whitaker will take part in the first ever World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul on May 23-24. Mr. Whitaker is attending the summit both to represent the Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative and in his roles as a UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation and a member of the UN Secretary-General’s Sustainable Development Goals Advocacy Group.

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has convened this unique event—bringing together world leaders, non-governmental organizations, private-sector companies, and citizens from conflict-impacted communities—in order to recommit international efforts toward alleviating human suffering, currently at a global level unprecedented since World War II.

Mr. Whitaker will speak during the opening ceremonies, accompanied by Victor Ochen, a former child soldier from Uganda, on the importance of investing in education and development in violence-impacted regions in order to empower youth to prevent future conflicts before they begin.

Mr. Whitaker will also participate in several side events held during the summit. He will join WPDI’s partner Ericsson in highlighting the Connect To Learn program, which enables access to quality instructional and learning resources through innovative teaching practices and technology tools in developing regions. He will also speak at a dinner round-table on how private-public partnerships can mitigate risks and hasten response time in conflict zones.

Finally, Mr. Whitaker will take part in a discussion organized by UNESCO on the Safe Schools Declaration—a commitment signed by more than 50 states to protect educational institutions from attack during periods of violence. Mr. Whitaker will speak about the potential that education holds as a long-term peacebuilding mechanism.

Mr. Whitaker will blog about his experiences during both days of the Summit on The Huffington Post

Follow the live debates at www.worldhumanitariansummit.org