An Arab World Heritage Young Professionals Forum entitled "Empowering youth to build peace through the protection and preservation of heritage" takes place from 2 to 6 December 2019 in Tunis, Tunisia. Its aim is to engage and empower youth in the Arab States region in their critical roles as global citizens towards peacebuilding, through the protection, preservation and promotion of World Heritage.
The Forum was opened by H. E. Mr Mohamed Zinelabidine, Minister of Cultural Affairs of Tunisia, Dr Mohamed Ould Amar, Director-General of ALECSO; Dr Mechtild Rössler, Director of the UNESCO World Heritage Centre; H. E. Ms Élaine Ayotte, Ambassador of Canada to UNESCO and Mr Adel Elsayed Sparr, Head of the Youth Engagement Unit, UNOCT/UNCCT and provided an excellent opportunity for cross sectoral and interdisciplinary cooperation among different institutions and organisations.
Gathering 32 participants representing 17 countries of the Arab region, the Forum enables the young professionals to exchange on the challenges faced in Arab States in relation to heritage and discuss how culture can be leveraged to contribute to a future of peace for the region. It is also a space to encourage dialogue and exchange, and support new ways of sharing and working together. As such, it the forum consists of a mix of workshops, presentations and round tables conducted by experts; group discussion sessions among the participants; as well as site visits and community interactions.They will have the opportunity to build a peer network of like-minded individuals committed to this common goal and will be encouraged to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during the Forum in their respective communities and countries.
The Forum adopts an inclusive, multi-disciplinary and participatory approach across youth, heritage, peacebuilding and communications and is implemented and moderated using interactive approaches to knowledge transmission, through a non-formal education methodology.
The Arab World Heritage Young Professionals Forum is organized by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre, under the World Heritage Education Programme, within the framework of the UNESCO/UNOCT project on the Prevention of Violent Extremism (PVE) through Youth Empowerment in Jordan, Libya, Morocco, and Tunisia, co-funded by Canada. It is organized in collaboration with the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO).