Twenty universities and international institutions undertake to foster intercultural dialogue and sustainable tourism
• The initiative has been promoted by the Compostela Group of Universities, the World Tourism Organization and Helsinki España-University network.
The rectors and representatives of 19 universities and international institutions signed on Friday, in the auditorium of the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC), an institutional declaration with which they commit themselves to work to achieve the sustainable development goals (SDGs), protect human rights and promote tourism model that contributes to economic growth, inclusive development and environmental sustainability.
With this declaration, they commit themselves, among other measures, to establish a framework policy that includes the SDGs in the academic curricula, "considering that it is essential for professors and research staff to develop professional expertise and continuous knowledge in this field, including innovation, good practices and the promotion of talent".
This agreement was signed in the framework of the international university forum ‘The Value of Human Rights on the Camino de Santiago: harnessing the power of tourism to promote cross-cultural dialogue and achieve the sustainable development goals’, which brought together more than a hundred international students in Santiago de Compostela and in which some twenty universities from 13 countries participated.
After the signing, the rector of the USC, Juan Viaño Rey, said that this declaration is the best example of "a cornerstone in the right direction". "As rectors and institutional representatives, we recognize our responsibility to shape the minds of our future leaders and to ensure that they continue to give priority to peace, human rights and sustainable tourism," he declared.
Official opening of the international university forum
At the official opening, the Vice-President of the Compostela Group of Universities, Inmaculada Fortanet, explained that the association “has been defending the need to unite Higher Education with the European values linked to the Camino de Santiago for more than two decades. Especially solidarity, the exercise of freedoms and the defence of the common cultural heritage of all civilizations".
Likewise, the Director of Tourism, Nava Castro, has encouraged the organisers to continue working for the preservation of Jacobean values and their dissemination among the youngest. "These students have shown again that more Camino de Santiago means more respect, more understanding and therefore less borders", she stated.
The official opening was presided by the Rector of the USC, Juan Viaño Rey; the Director of Tourism of Galicia, Nava Castro; the representative of the World Tourism Organization, Addaia Arizmendi; the Vice-president of the Compostela Group of Universities, Inmaculada Fortanet; and the president of Helsinki España - University Network, Ana Nieto.
Visit the page of the international university project ‘The Value of human rights on the Camino de Santiago: harnessing the power of tourism to promote cross-cultural dialogue and achieve the sustainable development goals’ to read the text of the declaration of Rectors.