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100 youth leaders attend EF, UNAOC summer school

Peace building and conflict resolution were the centre of a unique summer programme jointly hosted by education giant EF and the United Nations Alliance of Civiliations (UNAOC) last month.

Students visited UN headquarters in New York for a panel discussion with UN officials

Organisers received more than 22,000 applications from individuals aged between 18 and 35 from 192 countries

One hundred youth from 92 countries convened for a week of roundtable discussions, workshops and direct mentorship from UNAOC and EF officials in order to develop new approaches to moblise young people in their home counties to find solutions to global problems.

“The UNAOC – EF public-private partnership is based on the conviction that education and global relationships play an important role in preparing youth to create lasting social change,” said Iris Hormann, EF President of Language Courses Abroad.

“The UNAOC – EF public-private partnership is based on the conviction that education and global relationships play an important role in preparing youth to create lasting social change”

Organisers received more than 22,000 applications from individuals aged between 18 and 35 from 192 countries to take part in the programme. The 100 participants from countries including Bosnia, Kenya, Palestine and Myanmar, were chosen based on their previous experience and motivation in tackling uses of cultural understanding and cooperation across borders.

Participants were also chosen based on their level of English which was the common language of the activities. “EF sees language learning as a critical part of increasing and improving dialogue,” it said in a statement.

Held on EF’s campus in Tarrytown New York gave participants the opportunity to visit the UN headquarters for a panel discussion with UN High Representative for the Alliance of Civilizations, Mr. Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser and Deputy Secretary General, Mr. Jan Eliasson.

Upon completion of the programme, organisers hope the students will use the skills they acquire to set their own agenda and goals to evoke change in their home countries.

This is the first collaboration between UNAOC and EF.  Formed in 2005, UNAOC is a special initiative of the UN Secretary-General, initially proposed and co-sponsored by the Governments of Spain and Turkey, to help improve cross-cultural understanding among countries, peoples and communities.

EF says it shares the organisation’s mission to promote dialogue, understanding and collaboration between diverse cultures and religions.

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