- EDIN - “Empowering Dialogue and Interfaith Networks”
- #YouthWagingPeace: Prevention of Violent Extremism through Education
- Digital Games for Peace
- Women's Alliance for Peace: Promoting the Role of Women as Peacemakers
- Global Programme on Security of Major Sporting Events, and Promotion of Sport and its Values as a Tool to PVE
- News Generation Against Hate (La Courneuve, France)
- 'Sport for One Humanity' Initiative
The main objectives of UNAOC’s programme activities are to facilitate the global conversation on the challenges and opportunities for living in a landscape of diversity in our age of global communication and exchanges; prevent intercultural tensions and crises; combat stereotypes, misperceptions, discrimination and xenophobia; and support innovative grassroots initiatives that contribute to intercultural dialogue and understanding, mutual respect and cooperation across divides.
EDIN - "Empowering Dialogue and Interfaith Networks"
EDIN - "Empowering Dialogue and Interfaith Networks" is a pilot project implemented by UNAOC and the United Nations Office of Counter-Terrorism and the United Nations Counter-Terrorism Center (UNOCT/UNCCT). Under EDIN, the two partner UN offices develop the capacity and enhance competencies of young religious leaders, representatives of faith-based organizations and young media makers to prevent sectarian violence and counter-terrorist narratives, using efficient communication tools and strategies to reach their community.
#YouthWagingPeace: Preventing Violent Extremism through Education
Through a series of youth-led and socio-emotional learning embedded capacity-building workshops, UNAOC and the UNESCO-MGIEP train and empower youth leaders with the skills and tools to ideate and implement community-wide Prevention of Violent Extremism through Education (PVE-E) activities and mobilize their respective communities towards sustainable peace. With this youth-led, bottom-up, and hands-on approach, the project is expected to reach and empower over a thousand stakeholders in six countries.
Digital Games for Peace: Socio-emotional Competencies for Peacebuilding
A partnership between UNAOC, the UNESCO-MGIEP, and the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism and its Counter-Terrorism Centre (UNOCT/UNCCT), the Intercultural dialogue and socio-emotional competencies for peacebuilding project is an initiative that aims to support young people in co-designing and co-creating games that will be used as pedagogical tools for transferring, enhancing, and developing skills and competencies for intercultural dialogue and social and emotional learning to prevent violent extremism.
The Women's Alliance for Peace: Strengthening the Role of Women as Peacemakers
Strengthening and promoting the role of women mediators in situations with sociocultural and religious dimensions is one of the pillars of UNAOC. In the context of the Women’s Alliance for Peace (WAP), a partnership between UNAOC and Women for Africa, a network of women mediators from grassroots organizations in Mali and the Central African Republic has been established. WAP is providing women mediators in both countries with training to strengthen their capacities, promoting synergies among them and exploring opportunities for collaboration with other partners.
News Generation Against Hate: Empowering local youth to create alternative narratives in the media
Municipalities are often in the frontlines in addressing challenges linked to intercultural and interreligious tensions that may erupt within diverse communities. This project, which is implemented in collaboration with the municipality of La Courneuve, France, aims to empower new generations to combat fake news, hate speech, and stereotypes through the promotion of multiculturalism and interreligious understanding in the media. Through this initiative, UNAOC provides youth with tools to deconstruct stereotypes affecting their communities and causing tensions.
Global Programme on Security of Major Sporting Events, and Promotion of Sport and its Values to PVE
The Global Programme on Security of Major Sporting Events, and Promotion of Sport and its Values as a Tool to Prevent Violent Extremism, is an initiative of the UN Office of Counter-Terrorism (UNOCT) in partnership with UNAOC, the UN Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute (UNICRI), and the International Centre for Sport Security (ICSS). It promotes the development and adoption of advanced policies and practices to enhance the security of major sporting events, while promoting the use of sport and its values as a tool to prevent violent extremism.
'Sport for One Humanity' (#Sport4OneHumanity), a Turkish Airlines initiative supported by UNAOC
UNAOC supports the ‘Sport for One Humanity’ initiative established by Turkish Airlines, which aims to select and support innovative sports-based projects implemented by civil society organizations that promote a culture of peace, mutual understanding and cooperation among diverse communities and cultures around the world. Selected applicants benefit from a comprehensive capacity-building program with face-to-face workshop(s), online training and mentoring by assigned experts to strengthen the effectiveness of their organizations based on their individual capacity and needs.
The UNAOC Fellowship Programme
The Fellowship Programme promotes intercultural and interfaith understanding by engaging young civil society leaders from Europe, North America (EUNA), the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). Organized around two-week exchange trips between EUNA and MENA countries, the Fellowship Programme sends participants from each geographic area to their counterparts’ region. The initiative aims at challenging perceptions and deconstructing stereotypes. Throughout their journey, UNAOC Fellows interact with a wide range of local stakeholders. Together, they explore opportunities for intercultural collaboration and exchange ideas and good practices on how to address current global challenges.
The Intercultural Innovation Hub (IIH)
The Intercultural Innovation Hub (IIH, formerly known as IIA), a long-standing partnership between UNAOC and BMW Group, and supported by Accenture, recognizes and strengthens innovative grassroots projects that foster intercultural dialogue and inclusive societies around the world. As we grapple with global challenges, fostering diversity and inclusion is key. Through the Intercultural Innovation Hub we connect people and cultures, empower grassroots organizations, and elevate intercultural innovation.
Youth Video Festival
PLURAL+ Youth Video Festival is a joint initiative of UNAOC and the International Organization for Migration (IOM). The Festival invites the world’s youth to submit original and creative videos focusing on pressing social issues, including migration, diversity, social inclusion, and the prevention of xenophobia. By supporting the global distribution of youth-produced media, PLURAL+ recognizes youth as powerful agents of positive social change in a world often characterized by intolerance and cultural divisions. With increasing interest and participation each year since 2009, PLURAL+ has become a premier global platform for youth media distribution.
Youth Solidarity Fund
The Youth Solidarity Fund (YSF) provides seed funding to youth-led organizations that propose projects with innovative and effective approaches to intercultural and interfaith dialogue. The funded initiatives are youth-led and youth-focused but have an impact on entire communities. The Fund also links small scale and local work to larger movements for social and global change, to promote peacebuilding as well as to influence policymaking. In addition to the funding, UNAOC offers technical support and capacity- building to YSF recipient organizations and, when needed, assists with advocacy, financial management, media relations, networking, monitoring, evaluation, and sustainability.
The UNAOC Young Peacebuilders programme is a peace education initiative that is designed to support young people in gaining skills that can enhance their positive role in issues of peace and security and in preventing violent conflict. It also brings visibility to actions initiated by young people towards peace and the promotion of diversity and dialogue. UNAOC intends to implement this programme in different regions of the world to grow and strengthen the global movement of young peacebuilders, with the goal of integrating them in governmental peace processes and policies.
Recognizing the role of alumni in the implementation of its mandate and broader outreach, UNAOC created Intercultural Leaders in partnership with BMW Group, an exclusive skill and knowledge-sharing web platform, where over 600 alumni of UNAOC programmes and projects, professionals from partner organizations, and a group of mentors collaborate by exchanging knowledge, best practices, and expertise on addressing cross-cultural tensions. By providing this platform to facilitate networking and relationship building, UNAOC is able to assist its alumni in developing increased capacity to sustain their work. Promoting the values that underpin Intercultural Leaders also enhances UNAOC’s role as a convener, catalyst, and thought leader.
#SpreadNoHate Initiative: Global Symposia
UNAOC’s #SpreadNoHate initiative aims at preventing and countering hate speech and the negative portrayal of migrants and refugees in traditional and new media. Since its launch in late 2015, the initiative has promoted constructive dialogue on hate speech among media professionals, academia, and relevant NGOs, and allowed them to share best practices in preventing and countering hate speech in the media. To date, UNAOC has organized five international #SpreadNoHate Symposia at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, as well as in Baku, Azerbaijan, in Brussels, Belgium, in partnership with the European Union, and Cairo, Egypt. The #SpreadNoHate initiative also consists of an ongoing social media campaign that has consistently topped Twitter trends and comprehensive reports with recommendations.
Initially designed with UNDP as a contest for digital games facilitating inter-cultural dialogue and violence prevention, PEACEapp developed into a series of hands-on workshops with young refugees focusing on the creation of video game apps for use on smart devices. PEACEapp creates a platform for mobile technologies to support creative forms of storytelling and digital narratives. The workshops and apps development also aim to connect young refugees to peers while building awareness about their situation and aspirations.
Engagement with Religious Leaders
In resolution 69/312, the General Assembly recognized the critical role of UNAOC in promoting inter-religious and intercultural dialogue within the United Nations system. UNAOC works actively with religious leaders and faith-based organizations in three key areas: advocacy, capacity building, and knowledge management. Since 2013, UNAOC has organized or co-organized numerous events involving religious leaders and faith-based organizations, creating a global platform to discuss the best ways to advance the use of interreligious dialogue. UNAOC is also an active member and participant in inter-agency bodies, most notably, the Inter-Agency Task Force on Religion and Development (UNWPF).
While active on a number of cross-cutting issues, UNAOC works mainly in four priority areas to which it brings a multidisciplinary and multi-perspective approach: Youth, Education, Media, and Migration. The four pillars of UNAOC provide an essential organizing structure for the development and implementation of its various programmes and initiatives, which all play a critical role in reducing cross-cultural tensions and building bridges between communities globally.