During 3-7 September, 2012, the UNAOC and the University of Malta will be organizing the 4th Summer School in La Valetta, Malta.
The Summer School is organized in cooperation with the League of Arab States and the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe, and with the special support of the Brazilian Government, which made a generous grant to the UNAOC Summer Schools in 2012. The Guido de Marco Summer School is part of the Regional Strategy for the Mediterranean, adopted at a Ministerial Conference held in Valetta in November 2010. It is the expression of the firm commitment of the Maltese Government towards building peace in the Mediterranean region through empowering youth and strengthening its capacity to build a better future.
The aim of the Summer School is to bring together around 35 young people (from 18 to 30 years old) from various geographical horizons with a special emphasis on the Euro- Mediterranean region, with different ethnic, cultural and religious backgrounds, academic and professional profiles, and with a strong interest in facilitating dialogue, mediation and conflict resolution issues.
“At a time when there is a violent conflict ravaging one of the member countries of the Alliance of Civilizations in the Mediterranean and many other societies are undergoing deep transformations against a backdrop of economic recession affecting the whole region, it is more than timely for the UNAOC to engage further in equipping people – in particular young people – with tools for dialogue, conflict prevention and managing conflicts. Learning how to leave together at ease in a landscape of diversity and differences remains a big challenge of our century.”
– Jorge Sampaio, UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations
The participants will acquire knowledge and tools to strengthen their ability to communicate across difference, interact with the “other” and look at diversity as an asset for cross-fertilization and inter-cultural exchange from which mutual trust, better understanding and an innovative mindset can emerge and proliferate. Participants will compare their approaches to youth work, youth participation and youth role in using dialogue as a process for transforming relationships, in mediation and in conflict resolution practices.
The participants will go through 5 very intense and active days, with more than 20 exciting lectures, sessions and workshops. Some of them, in particular, focus on: “Human Rights in the Euro-‐Mediterranean Area” by Dr. Omar Grech; “Engaging in dialogue on hot spots: conflicts, tensions and disputes – Focus on Palestine” by Mikel Haimour; “East Jerusalem” by Sara Benninga; and “Pakistan – the importance of inter-‐religious and inter-‐cultural dialogue” by Anam Gill.
If you are interested in learning more about the programme and the different workshops that will be offered, please see the UNAOC Summer School programme.
The Course is an opportunity for youth leaders to share, understand and integrate the objectives settled by the Alliance of Civilizations at international level and better contribute to their achievement. Some of these objectives help youth take an active part in implementing the Alliance’s goals and objectives at a national and regional level and be further equipped to participate in cooperation projects.
Moreover, this course will be a unique moment of a practical follow-up and implementation of some of the outcomes of the Global Forums of the Alliance held in 2008 (Madrid), 2009 (Istanbul), 2010 (Rio de Janeiro) and 2011 (Doha).
Original Post from August 2nd, 2012 about the 3rd UNAOC Summer School:
We look forward to welcoming the 3rd UN Alliance of Civilizations Summer School in just a few days! The week long seminar will gather an eclectic mix of 135 participants aged between 18 and 35 years in the city of Coimbra, home to the most ancient University in Portugal. The group is geographically and culturally diverse representing 69 different countries from around the world. We ensured gender balance, and half the group are young women and the other half young men.
Participants represent a wide array of interests, organizations, and affiliations. Some of them are students, representatives or members of youth organizations engaged in community, social, civic or political action. We have also some participants who work for their governments. They all are key multipliers, playing actives roles within youth organisations, networks or services at the local, national or regional levels. They have significant experience in international youth work and project work.
The pedagogical team includes members with dynamic professional backgrounds: scholars, experts, policy-makers, civil servants, facilitators, trainers. The whole team will comprise more than 20 people.
The objectives of the Alliance Summer School are to:
1. Promote the empowerment of youth by strengthening intercultural skills and competences,
2. Strengthen young people’s capacity to get involved in the preparation and implementation of cooperative action across divides
3. Facilitate moments of encounter and exchange between young people and
4. Develop a network of participants in the Alliance summer schools
During the week-long course, we will focus on mutual learning, using the participants’ experiences as the starting point of the training-learning process. Active participation and in-depth reflection are key methodologies used in the course. Participants will compare their approaches to youth work in our increasingly diverse societies and serve as agents of change while engaging in the preparation of concrete projects to be carried out once back home.
All kinds of ideas are already popping up in our Facebook page and chat rooms. Here is a glimpse of what our participants are talking about:
‘We are working on our project here. It is called EuroArab Project. Please, let me know if you are interested in it. We will be soon recruiting more Europeans and Arabs to our core team. :-)’
‘I’ll be coming over from Melbourne Australia. I represent an organization called YGAP which inspires and enables social entrepreneurs to end poverty. Looking forward to the conference!!’
I am from Tunisia, a graduate student working to promote Human Rights in Tunisia and Women rights more specifically.
I am really glad to be part of this amazing team and I can’t wait to meet all of you soon in Lisbon.’
‘I am student of International Relations…. and I love to understand other cultures! I also like to be involved in Human Rights, Global Governance, Youth Empowerment and so on. I am a volunteer at the YMCA Sao Paulo and I had a speech in one of our programs (Youth Leadership Development) about Citizenship and Culture of Peace!
I am 27 years old.
I am sure this summer course will be awesome!!! See you all in Portugal!’
We look forward to a week of intense brainstorming, heated debates and perhaps the birth of exciting new projects and collaborations across borders!
One last word to everyone who applied: This year we had more applications than ever before and while we are enthusiastic with the success generated by this event, we had an extremely difficult task of selecting among the best and the brightest! If you did not get selected this year, we encourage you to apply again for other events because there will be plenty of other opportunities in the near future. Stay tuned!