Only July 4, 2017, WYAME took part in the closing ceremony to distribute “UN Aware” certificates to schools that took part in a nation-wide awareness activity on the United Nations, the Sustainable Development Goals, and the World Youth Alliance.
Speaking at the press conference were Director of UNESCO Office in Beirut Hamad Al-Hammami, UNIC Beirut Acting Director Margo Helou, LNCU Secretary-General Zahida Darwiche Jabbour and WYAME Regional Director Jessica Hallak.
Al-Hammami stressed the importance of educating youth and increasing their awareness of the basic principles of the United Nations Charter and the Sustainable Development Goals. He reiterated the importance of UNESCO’s role in establishing a culture of peace and spreading educational and human values. Al-Hammami also praised cooperation among the partners in this project to implement this awareness-raising initiative within the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet).
In her statement, Helou said, “The Centre and its partners wanted the ‘UN Aware’ initiative to constitute a precedent in mainstreaming the principles of the United Nations in national educational curricula.” She noted with appreciation the remarkable response and commitment shown by the 11 participating ASPnet schools in complying with the requirements to merit the certificates. Helou also pointed out that this experience succeeded in harnessing a spirit of social responsibility among participants, urging them to cooperate, commit and stand together for the common good and to ensure the sustainability of life on the planet. Jabbour highlighted the importance of raising awareness of the values and principles on which the United Nations was founded that aim to establish international peace and justice.
Jabbour highlighted the importance of raising awareness of the values and principles on which the United Nations was founded to establish international peace and justice. “Education is the bulwark against the growing violence in societies and the emergence of radical and racist tendencies based on xenophobia and hatred among people,” she said. Jabbour also praised the importance of the initiative, which aims to educate emerging generations about the basic values of the United Nations and to translate those values into their daily lives, school or family environment, and the wider community. “Change is an incremental process,” she added, “starting with the community, to society, then to the state.”
Finally, Hallak highlighted the importance of youth and solidarity among the youth in implementing the SDGs and the promotion of UN values. She also gave the floor to the WYAME Regional Director of Operations Nicholas Maalouf to give a presentation on the outcome and achievements of the UN Aware project.