The Social and Human Sciences enhance understanding of contemporary challenges and help the international community to respond to them more effectively by delivering on the goals set by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Social and Human Sciences assist Lebanon and many other countries in the world in developing capacities that contribute to attaining Sustainable Development Goal 16, especially target 16.7 “Ensure responsive, inclusive, participatory, and representative decision-making at all levels”.
UNESCO Beirut promotes the development and use of social science knowledge that contributes to better understanding and management of social transformations in the Arab region. It focuses on improving the linkage between research and policy-making, including the formulation, monitoring and evaluation of development actions and processes, the dissemination of research results, best practices and capacity building.
Youth-Empowerment and Participation
The interest and demand to place the Youth at the heart of social development are in increase globally, and more specifically in the Arab region. UNESCO supports policy research and dialogue which promotes the inclusion, engagement, participation and empowerment of young men and women in partnership with all interested stakeholders.
UNESCO Beirut supports youth to become agents of positive change in their societies, through promoting youth volunteerism and entrepreneurship, developing youth capacities and exploring innovative partnerships with youth organizations.
Although bioethics is well recognized as an effective tool to address ethical conflicts in medical treatments and research, capacity building to address such issues is in further needs in many of the Arab Member States whereby bioethics are often not a priority policy issue. At present, there are 7 bioethics committees (Tunisia, Libya, Lebanon, Jordan, KSA, Sudan and Oman) in 18 Arab States.
By the decision of the International Bioethics Committee (IBC), UNESCO Beirut implements a set of activities to enhance capacity development in policy dialogue and teaching in the Arab region.
Social transformations through social inclusion and social innovation are at the crossroad of all of UNESCO’s activities, with a particular focus on those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged and excluded. UNESCO’s Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme and its Intergovernmental Council (IGC) are unique drivers for advancing holistic capacity-building initiatives on social transformations and for building bridges between social scientific knowledge, public policies and society, and ensuing implementation.
The MOST Programme focuses on two thematic priorities:
Social Inclusion as an essential feature of fighting poverty, narrowing inequalities, and advancing towards inclusive societies, as one of the key goals of sustainable development; and
Social Transformations arising from Environmental Change in recognition of the necessity to address crises ranging from the reduction of natural resources, food, water and energy shortages, loss of biodiversity the pressure of accelerating urbanization and population growth, to climate change and natural disasters. Considering that sustainable development has inseparable social and environmental pillars, social and environmental challenges are closely interrelated.