Relevance of affirmative actions and intercultural competences for the effective exercise of human rights in Central America

When, local time: 
Thursday, 18 February 2016 - 8:00am to Friday, 19 February 2016 - 5:30pm
Where: 
Costa Rica, San José
Type of Event: 
Category 8-Symposium
Contact: 
Charaf Ahmimed, c.ahmimed@unesco.org

The purpose of this conference is to promote intercultural dialogue in Central America, and to help eradicate discrimination and overcome inequalities, resulting from historical circumstances, of some populations including people of African descent, and indigenous and migrant populations. Held in San José (Costa Rica) from 18 to 19 February 2016, it will bring together academia, experts from Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, and Spain, government representatives, partners, and representatives of international development and UN organizations.

In Costa Rica, important actions have been undertaken in the country to rethink the issues of equality and inclusion of diverse populations and their potential for development. One of these actions was the establishment in March 2015 of the Office of the Presidential Commissioner for Affairs of African Descendants. One of its functions is to take action to improve the lives of people of African descent, through effective enforcement of their rights.

For this purpose, the UN system in Costa Rica created a work plan for gender approaches, multiculturalism and human rights, with the aim of achieving recognition, justice and development of this population. This plan sets out a series of activities to improve intercultural communication and restore the historical imbalance caused by sustained practice of racism and discrimination.

UNESCO and the Office of the Presidential Commissioner for Affairs of African Descendants co-organize this conference as a way to strengthen the plan's objectives and draw a roadmap with concrete actions to achieve intercultural dialogue and development of inclusive public policies.

The meeting will address the following questions:
- Which affirmative actions can allow the effective implementation of human rights?
- Which affirmative actions have been successful in combating structural racism, stigmatization and profiling of young afro descendants, migrants and women?
- What actions should be taken to develop dialogue between the private sector and national institutions to promote the overcoming of disparities and exclusive historical inequalities?
- What methodologies have proven successful and how can they help develop the skills needed to achieve intercultural competences?
- How to promote intercultural dialogue and understanding of mechanisms for assertive communication as the foundation of cultural transformation?
- What lies behind the success of experiences that have managed to generate sustainable spaces of intercultural dialogue and cooperation?
- How to engage children, teenagers and adults in dialogue?