- YOUTH PROJECTS -
I am always encouraging the youth of today. Today I feature the role of UNESCO - United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization.
In 1945, UNESCO was created in order to respond to the firm belief of nations, forged by two world wars in less than a generation, that political and economic agreements are not enough to build a lasting peace. Peace must be established on the basis of humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity. UNESCO strives to build networks among nations that enable this kind of solidarity, by:
- Mobilizing for education: so that every child, boy or girl, has access to quality education as a fundamental human right and as a prerequisite for human development.
- Building intercultural understanding: through protection of heritage and support for cultural diversity. UNESCO created the idea of World Heritage to protect sites of outstanding universal value.
- Pursuing scientific cooperation: such as early warning systems for tsunamis or trans-boundary water management agreements, to strengthen ties between nations and societies.
- Protecting freedom of expression: an essential condition for democracy, development and human dignity.
UNESCO is known as the "intellectual" agency of the United Nations. At a time when the world is looking for new ways to build peace and sustainable development, people must rely on the power of intelligence to innovate, expand their horizons and sustain the hope of a new humanism. UNESCO exists to bring this creative intelligence to life; for it is in the minds of men and women that the defences of peace and the conditions for sustainable development must be built.
The United Nations define youth as persons between the ages of 15 and 24. UNESCO understands that young people are a heterogeneous group in constant evolution and that the experience of ‘being young’ varies enormously across regions and within countries.
YOUTH FORUM (S)
The UNESCO Youth Forum, held prior to UNESCO's General Conference, brings together young delegates from all over the world to exchange views, share experiences, reflect together and, above all, detect common preoccupations and problems. The event allows young people to voice their ideas and concerns and make suggestions directly to the UNESCO General Conference.
Today’s youth are raising their voices to shape the present and futures of their countries. They want to be heard, to be included in decision-making debates and to make change. Student engagement, social innovation, fostering democracy, youth employment, conflict and sustainable development are among the issues that have been discussed on the floor of the UNESCO Youth Forum.
UNESCO launches a call for projects in order to identify and support 15 action projects (3 by region) which will be “certified” with the label “8th UNESCO Youth Forum” and implemented by, with and for young women and men between the 8th and the 9th UNESCO Youth Forum (October 2013-October 2015).
Thus, the selection and adoption of these 15 projects, which are expected to be in line with the UNESCO Youth Strategy 2014-2021, will be one of the major outcomes of the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum, to be held at the Organization Headquarters, Paris, France, from 29 to 31 October 2013, under the theme “Youth and Social Inclusion: Civic Engagement, Dialogue and Skills Development.”
Indeed, for the first time in its history, the UNESCO Youth Forum, created in 1999, will not only include strategic recommendations, but it will also select, support and plan innovative and concrete actions that can help achieve positive change for, with and by young women and men on several fields such as social inclusion, civic engagement and participation, social entrepreneurship and innovation, prevention of violence and conflicts, intercultural dialogue, democracy and skills development.
With this goal, the UNESCO’s call for projects launched on Monday 15 July 2013, is open to all young women and men who are members of a youth-led or youth-focused organization, project leaders or young entrepreneurs active in an established NGO. These young people are invited to submit their proposals for an innovative action project in their community, country or region, by filling in the submission form by 12 August 2013, the International Youth Day, midnight, Paris time.
After receiving these proposals, an independent international jury will pre-select 45 projects by the end of September 2013 and their initiators will be invited to submit one-minute video describing their project so that these 45 short films can be visible online by mid-October 2013. Then, during the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum, the young participants will examine and discuss the 45 pre-selected projects with a view to choosing a total of 15 (3 youth-led action projects per the five UNESCO regions). On 31 October 2013, the 15 projects awarded the “8th UNESCO Youth Forum” label will be announced and presented at the 37th UNESCO General Conference, in November 2013.
Allowing young people to submit recommendations to 195 UNESCO’s Member States’ representatives at the highest decision-making level, the UNESCO Youth Forum brings together, every two years, at the eve of the UNESCO General Conference, around 400 young participants from all over the world to exchange views, share experiences, reflect together and, above all, detect common preoccupations and problems.
Clancy's comment: Sounds like a great initiative.
Should be more of it, eh?