Posts Tagged ‘Forum’
On March 25th Nektarina Non Profit organised an online Forum for the Education 4 Sustainability project. With the help of new available technology we were able to bring together virtually representatives of organisations that are interested or already on the way to become our partners in the project.
We had altogether 9 guests from 8 countries in Europe and Asia. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who participated for their time and input. We hope this was a useful experience to everyone.
We intended this meeting to be a starting point in getting to know eachother and share a little from our experiences. Here are some of the highlights:
– we presented the Education 4 Sustainability project and answered questions related to it
– the attendees presented the work of their organisations
– we discussed what are the main challenges that could come in the way of our project in the focus countries, but also some positive examples from other countries (http://www.
education4sustainability.org/) wiki/doku.php?id=positive_ examples_regarding_eduaction_ for_sustainable_development
– we agreed to hold bi-weekly calls with partners in order to have the latest updates on how the project is developing on-site – organisations that are not yet partners but would still like to join the meetings are also welcome.
To conclude, we believe this was a very interesting event and we look forward to the next Forum.
previous post regarding UNAOC, the Forum was entitled “Responsible Leadership in Diversity and Dialogue” and brought together political leaders, representatives of international and regional bodies, the private sector, civil society groups, youth, and the media to explore new ways of promoting cross-cultural dialogue and understanding. During the 2 days of the Forum several sessions were organised and we did our best to cover the ones that were most interesting for our activity. Since the schedule was quite busy and there were so many discussions going on in parallel, we will not attempt to summarise all of them, but rather make a selection of some key messages that we picked up during the Forum. Below we made such a list in bullet points:
- At the opening ceremony the Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-Moon, talked about the UNAOC’s efforts towards peace and ending interreligious conflicts, as well as the necessity of empowering youth to coexist with their neighbours. He also spoke of how mutual understanding manages to transcend religious and cultural boundaries. In an interview for a local publication, when asked about what has changed in the past five years since the UNAOC Forum has been organised, he said: “It has mobilised the international community – including governments, civil society, media, the corporate sector, youth – to combat stereotypes, to promote dilogue among those of different cultures, and to engage and support grassroots organisations and projects. The Alliance’s Annual Forum brings together a wide variety of people to engage in a conversation to further intercultural understanding and develop joint actions plans”.
- During one of the break-out sessions, titled “Back to the basics – freedom of the media matters” a point was raised that the educational system in many countries focuses on national pride, rather than on the current diversity in the world, that would lead to understanding an dialogue. Moreover, blocking and restricting media speech is not the answer, but education of young people, including with the help of new media.
- The key note speech delivered on the second day of the Forum focused on making sense of the interculural dialogue in our age. Professor Tu Weiming, the key note speaker, introduced the notion of “spiritual humanism”, a vision, a value orientation towards the global significance of humanity. His discourse touched upon the positive and negative effects of globalisation that we face today, for which a new cultural identity is needed, where rationality is not the only trait needed, but where compassion, sympathy and empathy are present as well in order to truly make human rights work.
- Other sessions and workshops that we attended elaborated on the role of youth, youth empowerment and leadership, the consolidation of democracy in a sustainable way through education, where the Education for Democracy emerges as a new priority.
The Alliance of Civilisations is a United Nations political initiative of the Secretary General. It was launched in 2005 by former Secretary General Kofi Annan, with co-sponsorship from the Prime Ministers of Spain and Turkey. Based on the recommendations of a High-Level Group in November 2006, Secretary General Ban Ki Moon appointed Jorge Sampaio, former president of Portugal, as his High Representative for the Alliance of Civilisations. A High-level Group of experts was formed by former Secretary-General Kofi Annan to explore the roots of polarization between societies and cultures today, and to recommend a practical programme of action to address this issue. The Report of the High-level Group provided analysis and put forward practical recommendations that form the basis for the implementation plan of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations. On 26 April 2007, former President of Portugal, Jorge Sampaio, was appointed as the High Representative for the UNAOC by Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to lead the implementation phase of the Alliance. Since May 2007, President Sampaio has been in charge of achieving the mission of the Alliance by developing a functional framework for action, setting an agenda, and building a network of stakeholders. The Alliance of Civilizations aims to improve understanding and cooperative relations among nations and peoples across cultures and religions. It also helps to counter the forces that fuel polarization and extremism. The UNAOC Secretariat, which is based in New York, works with a global network of partners with States, international and regional organizations, civil society groups, foundations, and the private sector to improve cross-cultural relations between diverse nations and communities. It also works at the grassroots level, promoting innovative projects that build trust, reconciliation and mutual respect. Respect and tolerance among human beings in the diversity of their beliefs, cultures, and languages are fundamental values at the core of the UNAOC. The Alliance aspires to the ideal of a culture of peace and dialogue, based on the conviction that “differences within and between societies be neither feared nor repressed, but cherished as a precious asset of humanity.” (UN Development Declaration, 1-6). While active on a number of crosscutting issues, the Alliance works predominantly in the following four priority areas:
- Education – In increasingly multicultural contexts that shape our lives in the 21st century, education is fundamental to address the ignorance and the mistrust that are the source of human conflict. Enabling citizens to acquire intercultural competencies and skills is key to fostering intercultural dialogue, overcoming cultural stereotypes, and intolerance and winning the fight against a “clash of ignorance”.
- Youth – Youth is a main target group of the Alliance. Roughly one in five individuals, over 1.2 billion people worldwide, is between the ages of 15 and 24. A pool of talent, ideas and energy, young people are key agents for social change, economic growth development and technological innovation.
- Media – Traditional media as well as social media and new information technologies shape perceptions, narratives, and attitudes. They hold the potential to bridge cultural and religious divides and to develop a positive narrative around diversity. Amplifying this constructive role is one of the core tasks of the UNAOC.
- Migration – Migration and mobility of population shape our multicultural societies. They bring potential for development and innovation which must be harnessed, but also create new challenges that need to be addressed in order to build inclusive and tolerant societies.
- Promotion, protection, and full enjoyment of the universal right to religious freedom in light of religious pluralism through education,
- Media pluralism and diversity of media content as key factors to fostering public debate, democracy, and awareness of diverse opinions,
- The potential and challenges of shaping a new narrative for migration.