Thursday, January 28, 2021

Zambo's Climaco joins global mayors in talks with Dalai Lama

ZAMBOANGA CITY Mayor Beng Climaco has joined a group of global mayors for an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama hosted by the “Strong Cities Network,” the first ever global network of mayors, policymakers and practitioners united in building social cohesion and resilience to counter violent extremism in all its forms.

His Holiness the Dalai Lama shares a smile with Zamboanga City Mayor Beng Climaco. 

Climaco said she was impressed by the wisdom of His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who talked about the Covid-19 pandemic and appreciating medical scientists and health workers for their sacrifices, learning and listening to experts, and telling everyone to be cautious.

And his other advice, according to the mayor, was to always wear a face mask which prompted Climaco to quickly put on her mask during the live webcast. Climaco’s immediate reaction to his advice made him smile obviously amused at the soft-spoken mayor. 

Muchas gracias, Your Holiness, for your time, gentle words, and wisdom,” Climaco told His Holiness.

The January 27 webcast was held from the residence of His Holiness in Dharamsala in the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh and broadcast live in Zamboanga City in the Philippines, India, Los Angeles and Washington DC in the United States, London in the United Kingdom, Beirut in Lebanon, Nairobi in Kenya, Surabaya in Indonesia and Melbourne in Australia.

The 14th Dalai Lama is the current Dalai Lama, the highest spiritual leader of Tibet, and considered a living Bodhisattva, an emanation of Avalokite┼Ťvara. The Dalai Lamas are also leaders of the Gelug school, which is the newest school of Tibetan Buddhism and was formally headed by the Ganden Tripas.

“Three years ago, the Strong Cities Network was honoured to have an audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama, who conveyed a heartfelt need for cities to cultivate cultures of kindness and compassion. Today, as the world is struggling to cope with the Covid-19 pandemic and the wave of disinformation it has left in its wake, the role of local leadership in helping to promote this message and address human suffering is more urgent than ever.”

“It is our pleasure, together with the United States Conference of Mayors, to present an intimate discussion with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and mayors on how kindness and compassion can create peaceful societies,” the Strong Cities Network said in the opening of the rare event.

The Strong Cities Network said it partners with city officials to establish local risk assessments and design action plans and programmatic responses. From de-radicalisation programming to youth engagement strategies, to ensure that local responses address local needs. “We connect cities, towns and regions around the world to share their local best practice on an international scale and collaborate at the subnational level to prevent violent extremism and the conditions in which extremism and radicalisation can take hold in communities,” it said.

The Strong Cities Network is made up of member cities in every major global region, each with specific lessons, practice or challenges surrounding violent extremism. It works with mayors and local political leaders and frontline practitioners spanning multiple sectors in each member city. And also work closely with civil society groups and partner organisations in many areas. (Zamboanga Post)

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