The participants in the 36th International Arab Youth Congress declared to stop the cliché of “you are too young!” to involve them in decision-making and peace building processes
The IAYC is a thematic event that utilizes creative activities to tackle global issues impacting the lives of youth. This year’s theme, “21st Century of a Culture for Peace and Prosperity” was selected after deep consideration of the role that the artistic disciplines play and should continue to play in unifying the ever-globalizing lives of young people. As values are evolving over time and geography, the abilityto seek and comprehend diverse worldviews, to analyze complex issuesand ultimately evaluate and modify attitudes and philosophies are some of the most critical skills needed to succeed in today’s modern global economy.Our aim through the activities of the Congress is to create an environmentwhere youth aged (13 – 17) are given the opportunity to develop, share and celebrate these skills.
110 participants from 14 Arab and Foreign countries shared their impressions, expectations and recommendations about the theme of the congress through the panel sessions and the artistic performances during the closing ceremony which was held on the 11th of July at the Palace of Culture under the Patronage and Presence of Her Majesty Queen Noor Al Hussein and with the participation of guest of honor, the world champion Ahmed Abu Ghosh as an example to be followed in perseverance and success.
The congress was organized by the National Centre for Culture and Arts of King Hussein Foundation in partnership with UNICEF, the Ministry of Education and USAID Civic Initiatives Support Program from 5 – 11 July 2017 with the participation of delegations from UAE, Pakistan, USA, Syria, Iraq, Kosovo, Oman, Palestine, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Egypt, Holland and Jordan.
The guest of honor Mr. Hussein Al Salman sang a song on this occasion with an interaction from a large audience. And the participants presented the outcome of the creative workshops in drama, music, song and dance, and it also featured a brief video of the activities of the congress.
Lina Attel, Director General of the National Centre for Culture and Arts and Congress Director said, “As we hold this congress every year, we strive to strengthen solidarity and promote cultural exchange between countries; shedding light on the issues like safety, prosperity, peace, creating an example that other countries can follow.” She added, “Our aim is to foster the participants’ cultural, artistic and scientific talents through creative workshops to promote cooperation and respect of cultural diversity.
“Working together with today’s young generation, we can lay the foundation for peaceful, tolerant and equitable societies, in which each successive generation of children can survive and thrive to their full potential.” Said UNICEF Representative, Robert Jenkins.
He added, “UNICEF is grateful to Her Majesty Queen Noor AL Hussein for her patronage and support to the Arab International Youth Congress. We would also like to acknowledge the strong partnership with NCCA and the support from USAID that has resulted in this great youth engagement forum.”
The recommendations and outcomes of the conference will be sent to the Arab League States, the United Nations, UNICEF, and UNFPA.
1.Involve youth in decision-making and peace building processes, voice out their needs and issues and empower them to become agents of change in their countries. Please stop the cliché of “you are too young!”
2.Facilitate and fund international youth exchange programs to achieve better cross-cultural understanding and respect of diversity.
3.Increase youth access to meaningful civic engagement, community service, extracurricular activities, volunteering platforms and employment opportunities to achieve social cohesion, promote sense of belonging and engage creatively and positively with society.
4.Introduce media literacy and comprehensive performing arts programs within school systems as tools to empower young people with creative expression and problem solving skills, self-confidence and understanding of human behavior.
5.Facilitate equal access to quality education, multi-language learning and artistic development for all students including females, males and people with disabilities with special emphasis on analytical thinking.
6.Promote gender equality and empower the role of women to resist harmful practices and unjust social norms.
7.Create meaningful multimedia programs (films, plays, songs) through Community Based organizations, media institutions, TV programs, NGO’s, etc. to spread awareness on the drastic negative impact of war and the value of peace on human life and dignity.
8.Promote intergenerational communication by engaging young people with parents, community members and senior citizens in supporting peace building and in addressing contemporary issues that have an impact on future generations such as family planning and reproductive health.
9.Promote alternative energy sources (e.g. solar energy) to achieve sustainable economic independence which leads to prosperity and hence peace.
10.Promote collaboration between countries to protect refugees and homeless and support them with dignified life and ensure justice, respect of cultural diversity and tolerance.
11.Provide psychosocial counselling in elementary and high schools for students to mitigate negative coping mechanisms.