Legislators, experts discuss ethics, cultural diversity for growth

September 16, 2023 - 17:18
The 9th Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians in Hà Nội continues on Saturday with the thematic discussion on “Promoting respect for cultural diversity in support of sustainable development”.
Professor Jean Trần Thanh Vân speaks with delegates at the third thematic session of the 9th Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians on Saturday. — VNA/VNS Photo

HÀ NỘI — Young legislators and experts from around the world discussed the importance of ethics and respect for cultural diversity amid digital transformation and innovations that shape an increasingly integrated world. 

In a discussion on “Promoting respect for cultural diversity in support of sustainable development” at the 9th Global Conference of Young Parliamentarians in Hà Nội on Saturday, Italy’s Professor Maurizio Bona said both fundamental and applied sciences are subjected to ethical standards. 

Acknowledging that progress in science and technology has triggered major societal changes and are key factors for humanity and global impact, the former advisor to the director-general of the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) said: “Scientists cannot and do not reflect fully the complexity of the needs of the society. 

“Governments and the United Nations system can hardly do that in my opinion, as they are understandably trapped into a permanent conflict of national interests that sometimes weaken their actions on global issues.”

He said that is the role of parliamentarians, who are the representatives of the people. 

As part of the collaboration between the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and CERN, the IPU Working Group on Science and Technology is developing a charter on ethics in science and technology, which is expected to be finalised at the 148th IPU Assembly in March 2024. 

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO, has issued recommendations on the ethics of artificial intelligence that have been adopted by the 193 member states, its assistant director-general for social and human sciences, Gabriela Ramos, said in a recorded presentation delivered to the conference. 

Prof Jean Trần Thanh Vân, scientist and director of the International Centre for Interdisciplinary Science and Education in Quy Nhơn Province, underlined the role of science and technology in sustainable development. 

Indonesian parliamentarian Putu Supadma Rudana said his country, which has 270 million people belonging to more than 101,340 ethnic groups and with 718 languages spoken across its 17,000 islands, cultural diversity is safeguarded under Article 32 of its constitution.

This ensures the development of their cultural values, through which the government develops the national culture amid globalisation. 

Ermina Salkičević-Dizdarević, a lawmaker from Bosnia and Herzegovina, believed that cultural diversity can improve people’s well-being and pave the way for a healthy economy.

Even in the digital age, trust is gained not only through social networks but also, more importantly, by face-to-face communication, she said.

Vietnamese National Assembly member Trịnh Xuân An said mutual respect would contribute to trust and development instead of conflicts and disputes. 

Bùi Hoài Sơn, another Vietnamese lawmaker and the former director of the National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies, called for digital co-operation based on morality to minimise the adverse impacts of digital transformation on privacy and confidentiality. 

He also emphasised the role of culture in making development policies. — VNS