Program of Youth Event


Links to program by day:
Thursday, 27 May 2010
Friday, 28 May 2010
Saturday, 29 May 2010

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Cultural Youth Walk: Exploring Rio Cultural Diversity in Saara (May 26)

The Third Annual United Nations Alliance of Civilizations held in Rio de Janeiro brought together representatives from all over the world and the Youth Event was no exception. The youth portion of the program began with a Cultural Youth Walk in the Saara neighborhood of Rio with 140 youth participants between the ages of 18 and 35 representing 60 countries. Saara is a marketplace that brings together 1,500 merchants of diverse religious backgrounds and living in a peaceful and respectful atmosphere. Participants in the Cultural Youth Walk were led by local students that conveyed the merchant’s stories about their ability to resolve cultural disputes and collaborate for shared success. Alyne, a youth volunteer for the Cultural Youth Walk stated “I had never heard about the UNAOC until I received an email from college with some lines about the Cultural Youth Walk and the Forum in Rio. The idea of working as a volunteer in a project of UN involving young people, cultural respect and projects to a better world really got me.“ The day ended with the youth getting to know one another and a dozen volunteering to speak about their experience in Saara in front of the entire group over dinner.

Youth Event (May 27)

 The Youth Event held on May 27 included topics such as:  Media as Educational Technology with choices such as shaping perceptions, challenging stereotypes: the role of the media today and history as a tool for cooperation, Intercultural Coexistence featuring discussions covering human rights, ethics and solutions to conflicts and Empowerment in Multicultural Societies with living together in urban societies and empowering women through education. Youth chose the topic relevant to their experiences and split into groups based on those decisions. Youth took on leadership roles such as discussion moderator, note taker, or reporter allowing the discussions to be facilitated and organized. These discussions were the same topics chosen for the Forum, which presented the youth with an opportunity to familiarize themselves with the topics. After the day of discussions the youth met as a collective group and reporters delivered the main points from the discussion. After all the reporters discussed their issues, the floor was opened to the group to decide what major points needed to be conveyed to all the Forum participants in the formal presentation of recommendations. Elvin, an active participant in the Forum reflects “I think projects oriented to the Alliance of Civilization would be the best way to bring us together – first off all in order to recognize each others, to get to know our “family” members, secondly, to learn each others’ problems and differences and to help and support each other.” The following recommendations were drafted after the Youth Event and read at the closing ceremony of the Rio Forum. 

1.  As ambassadors of our own cultures, we have been hard at work constructing bridges of intercultural dialogue to alleviate common misunderstandings and stereotypes, which have often been exploited by the media. In order to overcome these problems, we must go beyond this Forum and use this educational experience in our own communities.

2.   We, students of the world, believe education is a powerful means of reform. Education must be accessible to each individual and must include media literacy education. We recommend that each of you take the time to consider that our physical space is increasingly diverse and more interconnected. Education must reflect this new reality.

3.   We, frequent victims of media exploitation, must be given a platform to voice our real concerns. When youth play an integral role in decision-making, they can reverse the stereotypes that can be generated by media.

4.   We, ambassadors of our own cultures, demand the stamp of Human Rights Declaration in our passports so that they are respected wherever we may travel. 

5.   We, migrants and seekers of mobility, strongly encourage governments to base their policies on an inclusive model of coexistence.

6.   We, as those most deeply affected by the current economic and social conditions, strongly recommend that social and economic protection of youth be ensured. More particularly, youth unemployment needs to be urgently addressed by the public and private sectors. Also, investments in the youth sector need to be substantially increased to allow youth to realize their full potential.

7.   Following the outcomes of the Youth Event of the Istanbul Forum, and taking into consideration our commitment expressed in the Youth Event of the Rio Forum, anticipate to convene in Baku, in October 2010, for the First Convention of the Global Youth Movement for the Alliance of Civilizations. Your partnership in strengthening involvement of youth from all corners of the world in the Alliance of Civilizations is clearly needed.

8.   It is easy for us to give our recommendations, but we, the youth representatives at the Rio Forum, want to assure each of you that we are also taking responsibility for these recommendations. We should each lead by example and bridge our cultures.

Please contact Isabelle Legare for more information.

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