Under the patronage of HRH Princess Rym Ali, the European Union (EU) and the UNESCO Amman office hosted an event celebrating the results and achievements of the EU-funded “Youth Empowerment” project. The project works to advance Media Information Literacy (MIL), as a holistic response to fostering the informed use, consumption and production of media and internet among youth in Jordan.
Addressing the audience, H.E. Dr. Bassim Tweissi, Minister of Culture, expressed his appreciation for UNESCO and the EU’s ongoing collaboration on MIL. “Jordan has made important achievements in the field of media and information literacy in the recent years The Jordanian government is committed to spreading the concepts of MIL, as this commitment is included in the government’s 2019-2020 priority plan. The government will soon announce the launch of the national executive plan for the dissemination of media and information literacy”. H.E. added that a governmental committee and a national team were formed, with members of relevant government agencies and civil society institutions.
H.E. EU Ambassador to Jordan, Ms. Maria Hadjitheodosiou, spoke on behalf of the EU, thanking partners and beneficiaries for their strong engagement and for raising MIL awareness across Jordan. H.E. underlined the importance of developing MIL skills as an effective response to promoting tolerance, mutual understanding and dialogue, and to counter hate speech and polarization.
The achievements of this EU-funded project exemplify how institutions and civil society organisations can work together to raise awareness among youth and equip them with the necessary tools to make informed decisions as users and producers of information.
Delivering welcoming remarks, Ms. Costanza Farina, UNESCO Representative to Jordan, expressed her gratitude to HRH Princess Rym Ali, HE Hadjitheodosiou and HE Dr. Tweissi, Minister of Culture, for their robust support of and contributions to the media sector. Ms. Farina recognized the role of the EU in advancing Media and Information Literacy as a vital contribution to government’s 2019-2020 priority plan, honoring the strategic partnership and their generous financial support.
We know that youth can be agents of change when they have the desired skills and capacities to actively engage in sustainable development. Youth is a priority area for Jordan and UNESCO’s work is fully aligned with that vision. As we celebrate today, we should collectively recall the importance of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the international community’s commitment to support Jordan in its realization.
The EU-funded “Youth Empowerment” project, launched in mid-2018, has succeeded in strengthening the MIL capacities of public institutions (universities and schools), media, youth originations and education professionals across the Irbid, Zarqa, Ma’an and Mafraq governorates. It has also worked to promote active engagement of young people through information and communication technologies. In close collaboration with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of State for Media Affairs, UNESCO has convened and mobilized national authorities, schools, local radio stations and civil society organizations to empower youth with MIL skills, combat hate speech and encourage critical thinking in the quest to build inclusive knowledge societies.
The event included a panel discussion focused on Jordan’s MIL experience, moderated by MIL trainer, Ms. Anoud Zoubi. Youth shared ideas surrounding polarization, disinformation and the role of MIL in community development.