tv United Nations 21st Century LINKTV February 24, 2016 11:30pm-12:01am PST
announcer: originally knowas burm myanmain southeast asia is emerging from decades of military rule. its people are looking for greater freedom under a new democratic system. during the military dictatorship, open discussion was discouraged under a tightly controlled political regime. this impacted heavily on the country's education system and academic institutions.
this is a story about three young people--aung, kinchit, and myat--who became friends at [indistinct] monastic school. the school, which is managed by monks, uses a teaching methodology based on critical thinking and free expression. this is what drew aung's mother, who placed him here when his own school in kachin state was shut down in the midst of civil strife. government run schools don't allow this approach and still largely rely on rote learning. announcer: 24-year-old kinchit works as a librarian and is a debate activist at the school, which is located in mandalay, myanmar's second largest city.
announcer: now life is different for the trio. along with the burmese people, they've witnessed significant change since the 2010 elections. thousands of political prisoners were released, including nobel laureate aung san suu kyi. she'd been confined to 20 years' house arrest egos of her efforts to bring full democracy to the country. her vision is shared by kinchit. announcer: these young people believe that the path to a full democracy is through a system of free debate and critical thinking. they want people to acquire public speaking skills and to be able to stand up for their rights without fear of oppression. kinchit's
experience as a debate activist motivated her to create an opportunity for young people to strengthen their communication skills. she introduced a project called debate education for demracy into the school's curriculum. she and her friend myat have been inspired by international examples. they took part in a debate tournament held in neighboring thailand.
nouncer:ow, bothyat and aung have a chance to serve as judges at the first public debate forum, organized by kinchit, which was held in mandalay in august 2015. the project and the forum, which aim to strengthen debating skills in myanmar, have been made possible through funding from undef, the united nations demoacy fund
announcer: after several rounds, the team from kachin state wins the contest as the best and most effective youth debaters in myanmar. myat believes this is a vital skill which will helthem fac challenges in life, allowing them to think of the negative and positive sides of any argument, and to choose wisely for themselves. in november 2015, most of these young debaters used their newly acquired knowledge to cast
their ballots in myanmar's first national election since president thein sein's government took over in 2011. after tallying votes, aung san suu ky's national league for democracy party won a landslide victory, but under the new constitution passed in 2008, she's barred from taking up the presidency. announcer: for myanmar's young debaters, there's now a chan to useheir skis to build a ue democcy.
[music] [piano music] stanislav: we have five pianists from five diffeent coutries. alexander: when i bring israeli and palestine, russia and ukrainian, i want to say that our countries has difficult time, but it is not forever. announcer: "pianists for peace," performing for the united nations 70th anniversary. anislav: any conflict, any war means that there is some problem in the society.
and i think that art, and especiay music,ures souls, cures the society. so playing this music and sharing this music with people is to, through that, make peace. alexander: music is one of the ve few this in th world which doesn't have language. totally understandable for every nation, for every age. it is really the language of art going directly from one heart to the other. my name is alexander ghindin. i'm a pianist, the honorary artist of russia. stanislav: in my personal opnion, anconflict any w means tt there some problem in the society.
and i think that art, and especially music, cures souls, cures the society. my name is stanislav khristneko, and i'm originally from ukraine. i was born in ukraine. in my opinion, one of the reasons that many countries have problems these days is that they don't get enough events that have art, and that people can really get positive emotions, get really great feeling from. we have five pianists from five different countries. we haveur artistic director, a wonderful pianist from russia, alexander ghindin.
francios-xavier poizat from switzerland. we also have a piano duo from israel and palestine--yaron kohlberg and bishara haroni. and myself representing ukraine. alexander: when i bring is isarali and palestine, russian and ukrainian, i want to say that our countries has difficult time, but it is not forever. that's why the message is that our countries are not in the best relations for this moment. first of all, it doesn't affect the people of art or any human beings. the other part of the message, that thanks to the fact that we're musicians, we can bring it to stage. stanisv: i hopthat thi concert here that they're going to present here in geneva is going to bring the joy and the positive feeling for the people. [snapping] woman: good evening, excellencies, ladies and
gentlemen, dear friends. it's an honor and a great pleasure to welcome all of you to the concert "pianists for peace." a special thanks of course goes to the five pianists who are placing their talents this evening at the service of peace. [applause] [playing piano] alexander: it's l music aut love,bout posive energy, about joy. stanislav: we really believe that music is something that brings joy to people, and this is something that make people do
nice things to others, and it's something at bring people together. [playing piano] alexander: the friendship of musicians, it's a very special thing and very important to each one. that's why i'm very happy here to play with stanislav. he's my great friend and my very admired colleague, wonderful pianist. [playing piano] stanislav: we never have problems getting together playing music.
why then people cannot find a way to communicate without fights, without wars? so playing this music and sharing this music with people is to enjoy this wonderful art that comes from different countries, from different cultures, and through that, make peace. [playing piano] alexander: if i would be a writer, i would write poems, poetry, literature. i'm a musician, and i do what i can do. [playing piano] [applause]
announcer: coming up on a future episode of "21st century"... tom: my name is tom hoffman, and i am 70 years old. i was born on may 8, 1944 in budapest, hungary. a few months earlier, the germans had entered to complete the final solution, which was the extermination of all jews. we had entered the budapest ghetto, but my mother knew that we couldn't stay there, so we were hidden in a christian family. sometimes people wonder why i'm so committed to undoing injustices.
>> scientists predict the small nation of kiribati will be one of the world's first countries to disappear as a result of climate change. >> [speaking english] >> our future is actually being--it's written. it's written on the wall that the sea level will rise, and it will affect our islands. and so, the international c--community cannot ignore that. >> [singing in kiribati]