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Youth Engagement, democratic participation, New Citizenship/Identity and social cohesion

The Programme of Action for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence places emphasis on the situations of women and youth, who are disproportionately hit by conflicts and global crises but who are often key vectors of a culture of peace. They should be equipped with the knowledge, skills and information necessary to cope with social, ethical, cultural, political, environmental and other transformations. In this regard, the project entitled “Strengthening the empowerment of young women and men and their engagement, in particular in democratic processes, in order to promote intercultural dialogue and social inclusion” has been developed and is implemented simultaneously in three regions through UNESCO Field Offices:

1. In the Arab States young women and men have taken part in the Arab Spring and are now waiting their right to full participation to be guaranteed and protected. Interventions in Egypt on one side and in Tunisia on the other will focus particularly on the evaluation and planning of citizenship education, including the adoption of a human rights-based approach by taken school as a whole (internal rules, etc.). As such, the schools’ framework and active learning methods become central while democratic values will be disseminated through innovative tools. In Lebanon, intercultural and inter-confessional dialogue in order to reconcile youth in a context of violence and conflict is at the heart of the interventions planned.

2. In Africa, the focus is on the mobilization of youth communities around the theme of citizenship and non-violence and their sensitization through ICTs and advocacy campaigns for violence-free elections, namely in Burundi, Liberia and Sierra Leone. In this context, stakeholder dialogues and the dissemination of peace messages through the media will serve to prevent violence before, during and after the elections.

3. In Latin America and the Caribbean, the focus is on the ways offered to youth to prevent them from engaging on the paths leading to violence. The prevention of violence should take place in schools but also in particular settings organized to offer a wide range of opportunities to youth, including non-formal education.

The project is coordinated by the Sector for Social and Human Sciences in cooperation with the UNESCO Bureaus in RabatCairoBeirutSan JoséAccra and Bujumbura as well as the Division for Gender Equality.