November 3, 2017 | Room II, UNESCO Headquarters, PARIS
The UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP), a Category 1 Research Institute of UNESCO will be launching the #YouthWagingPeace: A Youth-led Guide on Prevention of Violent Extremism through Education at the UNESCO Inter-Sectoral event on Prevention of Violent Extremism during the 39th UNESCO General Conference, November 3, 2017, in Paris, France.
In September 2016, the education sector from the UNESCO headquarters and UNESCO MGIEP organised the first International Conference on Prevention of Violent Extremism through Education: Taking Action, in New Delhi, India. The usual plethora of reports and guides produced by experts on the subject, roundtables and expert panels were organised.
During the conference, UNESCO MGIEP brought 50 highly qualified and rigorously selected youth from across the world to participate in a first-of-its-kind, “Talking Across Generations on Education (TAGe)” event. This event, organised as a plenary session, brought together these youth in a non-hierarchical “flat” dialogue with twelve senior policymakers on the challenges and opportunities the youth see in preventing violent extremism through education. The conference culminated with the presentation of a “Youth Action Plan” containing three clear, tangible action points. One action point was the development of a youth-led guide on Prevention of Violent Extremism through Education. The #YouthWagingPeace is the result of that call to action.
#YouthWagingPeace comes at a time when various efforts are being channelised at both the national and international levels towards understanding the issue of violent extremism and the radicalisation of young individuals. The current Secretary-General of United Nations Mr. Antonio Guterres in his lecture at Cairo University earlier this year mentioned the need for involving young people in confronting contemporary challenges which include building a more peaceful and sustainable society.
Spearheaded by two coordinating lead authors and five lead/chapter authors, and supported by UNESCO MGIEP and the Government of Australia the #YouthWagingPeace is an amalgamation of reaching out to 2,000+ youth, integrating 150+ concrete voices and experiences from over 58 countries from all corners of the world. After analysing these voices and experiences, and supplemented by the literature, the guide puts forth tangible action guidelines for teachers, school administrators, policymakers, youth and other stakeholders with the power to positively influence the behaviour of a young person.
#YouthWagingPeace – UNESCO MGIEP’s Youth-led Guide is a response by young people to the former Secretary General of the United Nations Plan of Action to Prevent Violent Extremism. It is also a response to the current United Nations Secretary General’s efforts on prevention of violent extremism and lastly, 2015 UNESCO’s Decision 197 EX/46 EX/46 requesting the Secretariat to support Member States using the soft power of education as a tool to prevent violent extremism.
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