International Centre for Higher Education Innovation
under the auspices of UNESCO

Tang Qian “My 25 Years in an International Organization” Launched

November 10, 2020
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On November 1st, 2020, My 25 Years in an International Organization Book Launch was successfully held at Yidan Library of Southern University of Science and Technology (hereafter as SUSTech). The book launch was hosted by the International Centre for Higher Education Innovation under the auspices of UNESCO (hereafter as UNESCO-ICHEI), SUSTech, Foreign Affairs Office of Shenzhen Municipal People’s Government, and Office of Organizing Committee of Shenzhen Reading Month, organized by Office of Communications and Public Relations of SUSTech, and Office of Student Affairs of SUSTech, and co-organized by CITIC Press Group. This event was broadcasted live via Tencent Meeting.

Present at the Book Launch were Tang Qian, the author of the new book and the former Assistant Director General for Education of UNESCO, Gu Ting, Deputy Director General of Shenzhen People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, Li Fengliang, Vice Chairperson of the University Council of SUSTech, Lu Chun, Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of SUSTech, Li Ming, Director of UNESCO-ICHEI, Han Wei, Executive Deputy Director of UNESCO-ICHEI and other guests.

LU Chun hosts the book launch

The event officially began with an introduction from the host, Lu Chun. He mentioned that My 25 Years in an International Organization serves as a memoir which provides an overview on the operations of international organizations and gives illustrations of the turbulent game between powerful nations. It is also a reflection on Dr. Tang Qian’s deep involvement in global governance. All faculty members and students from SUSTech can join the event by attending “the 258th SUSTech Lecture” both online and offline .

TANG Qian delivering the speech

In his speech, Tang Qian said, “China is playing an increasingly important role in the international community with its door opening wider. In this context, the Chinese people need to know more about international diplomacy and organizations and get involved in international affairs. It is necessary for the young people to have international vision and diversified ways of thinking to adapt to a more internationalized life. I hope that our people, especially the young, can learn from my personal experience, seize the opportunities of the times, and make their own contribution to the development of our country”.

Irina Bokova, former Director General of UNESCO, Qin Changwei, Secretary General of Chinese National Commission for UNESCO, and Chen Yidan, Core Founder of Tencent, Founder of the Tencent Charity Foundation, sent video messages of congratulations.

A video speech delivered by Irina Bokova

Bokova said, “the book tells in a compelling way, the story of UNESCO and its role in recognizing education as a true foundation of human development, vital for economic growth, social cohesion, and human dignity”, “Qian Tang was thoughtful, strategic, and relentless in his vision of UNESCO as the leader in education around the world”, “A true believer in multilateralism, Qian contributed immensely for the changes of the paradigm of development and making it people-centred through education and learning.”
[ Note:Irina Bokova always directly calls Dr. Tang Qian as Qian.]

A video speech delivered by QIN Changwei

Qin Changwei said, “Mr. Tang is the first Chinese people who serves as the Assistant Director General for Education at UNESCO. This book talks about global governance from the perspective of a Chinese who works at an international organization and is an asset for China on its global educational governance. It can help us, especially those who aims to work at an international organization, better understand the working mechanism of UN system and multilateral diplomacy”.

A video speech delivered by CHEN Yidan

Chen Yidan said, “We have seen how UNESCO promotes the development of global education and contributes to the international cooperation. Looking forward, I hope we can open more space for exchanges and cooperation in global education with Dr. Tang Qian valuable experiences at hand. The development of global education will be promoted through cooperation and mutual help while the outcomes of education will further promote international cooperation”.

GU Ting delivering a speech

Gu Ting, Deputy Director General of Shenzhen People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries , said in his speech that Dr. Tang Qian’s new book should be a must-learn textbook not only for diplomats but for those who are involved in international educational exchanges and cooperation. In his speech at the Celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Establishment of the Shenzhen Special Economic Zone, President XI Jinping not only summarized Shenzhen’s experience in conducting Reform and Opening-up and innovative development, but also put forward specific requirements for Shenzhen to further open up. China will support Shenzhen in building a demonstration pilot zone for socialism with Chinese characteristics. Under a guideline issued by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and the State Council, there are three major tasks in terms of foreign affairs. First, supporting Shenzhen in holding major diplomatic activities; second, attracting more international organizations to set offices in Shenzhen; third, building a platform for technological innovation and cooperation for cities leading innovation in the world. Gu Ting expressed his hope that Dr. Tang Qian could provide more guidance on attracting more international organizations to set offices in Shenzhen and on building Shenzhen into an international city with major influence.

LI Fengliang delivering a speech

“Today, we have ‘the right time, the right place and the right people’ ”, said Li Fengliang, Vice Chairperson and University Council of SUSTech, “ ‘The right time’ —— the good weather; ‘the right place’ —— the event is held in the Yidan Library which is opened for the very first time; ‘the right people’ —— today is the 4th Talents Day for Shenzhen.” On behalf of SUSTech, he congratulated Tang on the publication of his new book. He noted that under the guidance and support of Mr.Tang, UNESCO-ICHEI, a Category II centre of UNESCO was planned to be set up at SUSTech, after the agreement was reached by UNESCO and Shenzhen Municipal Government in 2014. Since its founding in 2016, UNESCO-ICHEI, together with SUSTech, has built partnerships with 11 universities from 11 countries in Asia and Africa, which opens new channels for exchanges, promotes SUSTech’s international influence, and contributes to the international cooperation in higher education. In October 2018, when Mr. Tang first attended “the SUSTech Lecture Series”, he encouraged students to become comprehensive talents with international vision. SUSTech pays special attention on enhancing students’ competency for getting employed at organizations with multi-cultural background. Every year, in SUSTech, students have the opportunity to work in international organizations.

In the following session, Tang Qian presented books to SUSTech Library, Shenzhen University Library, and UNESCO-ICHEI.

Tang Qian and E’Henian, Director of SUSTech Library

Tang Qian and Chen Daqing, Director of Shenzhen University Library

Tang Qian and Li Ming, Director of UNESCO-ICHEI

My 25 Years in an International Organization is not only a personal memoir for Mr. Tang, but also a book revealing the working mechanism of international organizations and the gaming between powerful nations. Then came the session of ideas exchanging and sharing. Some of the experts have contributed to the book in its writing and publication. This session was hosted by Xie Zheping, Associate Researcher at Institute of Education, Tsinghua University. Guests participating in the session are Tang Qian, Gu Ting, Li Ming, Chen Yuehong, Dean of School of Humanities and Social Sciences of SUSTech, Kan Yue, Associate Dean of College of Education of Zhejiang University and Chen Daqing, Director of Shenzhen University Library. Questions were raised and exchanges were conducted between guests and readers.

Guests exchanging thoughts

Tang Qian signing for the readers

In coincidence with the opening of the 21st Shenzhen Reading Month, the Book Launch was promoted as one of its themed activities with the support of Office of Organizing Committee of Shenzhen Reading Month. After the event, readers asked for signatures from Tang Qian.