(Photo © Dan Sakamoto/UNAOC)
150 youth from 100 countries convened at the Alliance of Civilizations Forum in Vienna on February 26, 2013. After a full day of engaging and dynamic discussions and exchange, they made the following recommendations:
We have the honour to present the outcome of the Youth Event, an integral part of this global forum, were we worked on the three main topics of the Forum.
After a whole day of intense discussions and workshops, we came up with the following recommendations:
Concerning religion and law,
· We recommend the inclusion of ethical, religious and spiritual teachings in both formal and non-formal education, and the reinforcement of the rights of freedom of conscience, thought, religion, religious practice, faith, spirituality and its protection on state and public levels.
In terms of religion and education,
· We request Member States to invest in both formal and non-formal education, including the training of teachers regarding diversity and tolerance and strongly encourage strengthening the relationship between youth and decision makers at all levels.
· Recognizing the importance of social media, having transformed media from monologue to dialogue, we recommend stakeholders to provide workshops to train young leaders on how to use social media wisely.
· Since free access to information is a key element for high quality media work and democracy, encouraging a dialogue between governments and civil society through decentralized inclusive decision making and information systems, sharing best practices and expertise.
To foster Diversity in Media, we recommend Stakeholders to help cultivate a plural society through the promotion and support of culturally diverse arts and encourage the creation of training programs for minorities in journalism, arts and media.
To shape a New Narrative on Migration, we request the formation of a task force including all stakeholders — especially migrants — to develop practical solutions through a multi-perspective approach to depoliticize the narrative of migration.
We also encourage Member States to ease the process of acquiring citizenship.
To share best practices in Integration, we encourage states to create a polylogue between various stake holders with an aim to enhance political and active participation of minorities in society to ensure and create long term social inclusion and integration. This can be achieved by including migrant stories in the political discourse of host nations, by sharing best practice outreach, affirmative programs and actions
To cross language divides and create a sense of community, we recommend providing children with free education both in their mother tongue and the lingua franca spoken in the respective region/country, the creation of an international open-source platform where migrants can share their experiences, needs and best practices to achieve mutual benefit and guaranteeing equal and free access to quality language education for refugees, asylum seekers and migrants, regardless of their legal status.
We invite you to take our recommendations into account in your work and actions.
Thank you for listening carefully and helping to spread the voice of young people!