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UNESCO joins WHO to bolster youth actions combatting COVID-19

10/08/2020

On the International Youth Day, WHO and UNESCO will recognize actions led by youth around the world to combat the COVID-19 pandemic. A webinar on the topic of “Youth Engagement for Global Action” will take place on 12 August, from 12:30 to 14:00 (CET).  Speakers will include Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General, Ms Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General, other experts from the two organizations, and several youth representatives.

Young people in various fields are playing an instrumental role in the fight against the pandemic on the frontlines and behind the screens. With over 70% of the world’s youth online, young people when empowered can help to turn the tide of what UNESCO characterizes as the disinfodemic associated with the coronavirus. The COVID-19 disinfodemic hinders the collective efforts to tackle this crisis and feeds hate speech and socio-political polarization.

“By uniting youth experts and youth networks from across the world in the field of medicine, media and information literacy, journalism, digital development, economic, culture, governance, etc., the hope is to stimulate other youth-related innovative and interdisciplinary solutions”, said Alton Grizzle, UNESCO Programme Specialist in Media and Information Literacy. Youth health professionals and students are providing support in hospitals, research centers and testing clinics. Through the Youth Committee of the UNESCO-led Media and Information Literacy Alliance (GAPMIL) and other networks, youth leaders and organizations have actively sought to teach their peers media and information literacy skills, translating and disseminating reliable health information in local languages.

This multidisciplinary collective of youth has designed and conducted a research on young people’s information consumption trends during the health crisis and how youth are responding to the crisis in general. The results of the Global Youth Survey on COVID-19 launched by Global Shapers, the International Federation of Medical Students' Associations, the #MoreViralThanTheVirus movement and the GAPMIL Youth Committee, with the support of WHO and UNESCO, will also be presented during the webinar.

If you are a young adult and have a question for Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, please send it in advance to Katherine Sheridan at epi-win@who.int.

Register for the webinar here. For more information about the webinar, please visit: https://on.unesco.org/3a3EBzC.

To learn more about UNESCO’s actions on Media and Information Literacy, please visit: https://en.unesco.org/themes/media-and-information-literacy.