UNESCO Beirut participates in the Youth Forum about "Knowledge at the service of youth in the Arab region"

, Tunisia

UNESCO Beirut participates in the Youth Forum about "Knowledge at the service of youth in the Arab region". 

On 20-22 August 2019, UNESCO Beirut participated in the “ Youth Forum in the Arab Region”, jointly organized by UNFPA, the Government of Tunisia, UNESCWA, UNDP, WFP and the Global Council for Peace and Tolerance (GCPT), and that was held at the Mövenpick Hotel in Tunis. The Forum provided an important space for promoting youth dialogue and debate and for tracking development and implementation of a dynamic youth agenda in the Arab region.

The Forum was attended by around 270 participants from 20 Arab countries, more than half of the attendees being adolescents and youth (aged 10-29). Also in attendance were high-level representatives of Arab Governments including  Ministers, Secretary Generals and Director Generals; as well as members of parliament, youth networks and association and other civil society organizations, representatives from the private sector and academia, UN agencies and other international and regional development partners.

The forum revolved around “Knowledge at the service of youth in the Arab region”. The agenda comprised 25 sessions including nine plenary sessions and four interactive workshop sessions for each of the forum’s four topics, an interactive segment, two Ted Talks and booths for partners and youth to showcase their reports. The sessions focused on defining elements of the main forum theme “Knowledge at the service of youth in the Arab Region” through four Youth Creative Workshops (YCWs) addressing the following topics: a) Regional Youth Platform; b) Positive Engagement in Policies and Strategies; c) Knowledge and Youth Friendly Programs and Services and; d) Accelerators for Youth Contributions to Achieving SDGs.

The outputs based on these creative workshops are as follows. The youth participants viewed the Regional Youth Platform: MINASATY (My Platform/منصتى) to be a youth-led digital space that brings youth together to join efforts and find opportunities that strengthen the development of the youth in the Arab region. The Youth Charter in the Arab Region would be a reference document for youth programs, policies and strategies. The charter would stem from youth themselves and thus reflect their concerns, needs, challenges, and priorities. The Charter is expected to include reference to the needs and aspirations of youth living in conflict zones, youth economic empowerment, and implementing national youth policies.  As for youth-friendly services and programme, the youth forum participants introduced “Shabab it” as a digital solution for Youth Friendly Services that provides youth knowledge, information, educational and health needs. Finally, focusing on youth role in accelerating progress on SDGs targets and programmes, youth participants called for the creation of a centre that would channel their innovation, initiatives and projects into concrete contributions to the SDGs labelled Knowledge and Innovations Centers (KICs).