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The League of Arab States
The League of Arab States (also known as the Arab League) is a voluntary association of independent countries whose peoples are mainly Arabic speaking. It seeks to strengthen ties among the member states, coordinate policies, and promote common interests. It was founded in 1945 with states joining progressively over time. Its membership now extends to 22 states. It is involved in political, economic, cultural, and social programs designed to promote the interests of member states. It has served as a forum for member states to coordinate their policy positions and deliberate on matters of common concern, settling some Arab disputes and limiting conflicts. It has played an important role in shaping school curricula, and preserving manuscripts and Arab cultural heritage. It also encourages measures against crime and drug abuse, deals with labor issues (particularly among the emigrant Arab workforce) and with issues of intellectual property and information and communication technology promotion. The League website is available at www.arableagueonline.org/las/english/level1_en.jsp?level1_id=1.
Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO)
The League of Arab States includes several specialized organizations and councils such as the ALECSO, which was established in 1970 and has as its primary responsibility the promotion and coordination of educational, cultural, and scientific activities at the regional level.
Cooperation Between ALECSO and the Council of Europe in the Field of Youth Policy
The Council of Europe and the Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) have developed cooperation in the field of education, culture, cultural and natural heritage, and youth and sport. Both organizations explore possibilities for cooperation in the area of youth policy, in particular regarding the important role that civil society organizations and processes of nonformal learning play in the advancement of intercultural dialogue and the management of cultural diversity. This may include training activities for youth leaders, NGO activists, and educators in nonformal learning contexts on human rights education and intercultural learning; seminars bringing together different actors in youth policy development, such as governmental institutions, researchers, and youth organizations; participation at key events and activities related to youth participation; and Euro-Med cooperation in the field of youth, human rights education, and youth policy development.
League of Arab States (LAS) Population Policies and Migration Department
This department is responsible for LAS activities in the field of youth (jointly with some others).
Arab Youth Observatory
www.poplas.org/en/page.asp?id=2, http://www.poplas.org.youth (Arabic only)
The Arab Youth Observatory was established in response to the decree of the Arab Kings and presidents Summit (Khartoum Summit, 2006), and to activate the strategic orientations of the Arab Declaration on Youth Empowerment, It’s main objective is to foster youth participation through: collecting, analyzing, and disseminating data on youth at the Arab regional level and creating regional comprehensive and updated database; formulating an Arab vision on youth empowerment and participation; activate dynamic dialogue among different stakeholders to gain the support of decision makers on youth empowerment and participation policies and to integrate youth issues in development policies; and enhance the capacity of youth leaders, youth organizations and national institutions working on youth empowerment.
League of Arab States Youth Forum
The LAS Youth Forum was established in response to the Arab Kings and Presidents Decree signed at the Khartoum Summit 2006. It is organized annually, the last event took place in Marocco (November 2009), discussed three main themes: Youth and Migration: State of the art and horizons; Facilitating the mobility of young people pertaining to exchange & dialogue; and Integration & discrimination. For the second time, the LAS Youth Forum was organized as a Euro-Arab cooperation meeting. It was a cooperative project of League of Arab States, United Nations Population Fund, Council of Europe and the European Youth Forum.
European Union Euro-Med Youth Program
The Euro-Med Youth Program is a regional program set up within the framework of the third chapter of the Barcelona Process titled “Partnership in Social, Cultural and Human Affairs.” It aims at stimulating and encouraging a mutual comprehension among youth in the Euro-Mediterranean region, fighting stereotypes and prejudices and enhancing the sense of solidarity among youth by promoting active citizenship. It also seeks to contribute to the development of youth policies in the Mediterranean Partner Countries. It supports concrete actions implemented by organizations on the ground following calls for proposals, focusing on three types of actions: Youth Exchanges, Voluntary Service and training and networking. The current phase (IV), for 2010 – 2013, follows on from the Euromed Youth III program carried out from 2005-2009. Its geographical scope comprises the 27 EU member states and Mediterranean partner countries: Algeria, Egypt, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Occupied Palestinian Territory, Syria and Tunisia.
Euro-Med Youth Platform
The Euro-Med Youth Platform was launched in September 2003 with the aim of bringing young people from the region together in an environment of tolerance and mutual understanding. The platform provides networking services for youth initiatives in the region by assisting in the search for partners, facilitating the creation of networks of youth groups that have similar objectives, publishing a magazine in three languages, organizing meetings, providing a forum for discussion, researching the situation of young people in countries of the region, and distributing information about the Euro-Med Youth Program.
Partnership Between the European Commission and the Council of Europe in the Field of Youth in the Euro-Med Region
The Partnership between the European Commission and the Council of Europe is responsible for the implementation of a three-pronged strategy to support young people in the Euro-Med region. It is complementary in its action to the Euro-Med Youth Program of the European Commission. It focuses on three main areas of action: youth policy cooperation, human rights education, and intercultural dialogue.
- Human Rights Education
Following the publication of the Arabic translation of the Council of Europe’s manual for Human Rights Education with Young People, called COMPASS, a series of regional training courses in human rights education were organized in the Arabic-speaking region to support the emergence of networks of trainers and multipliers and to develop the capacity of youth organizations to introduce human rights education in their work. Most of the activities are implemented in cooperation with local partners.
- Intercultural Dialogue
Since 2003, the Partnership has provided further quality training and learning opportunities for youth workers and youth leaders active in Euro-Mediterranean youth projects, with a thematic emphasis on human rights education and intercultural dialogue. Intercultural dialogue is a transversal element and objective embedded in all Euro-Med Youth activities. Training activities that promote intercultural dialogue using human rights education approaches and resources are organized in the framework of the partnership in cooperation with the Anna Lindh Euro-Mediterranean Foundation for the Dialogue between Cultures.
- Youth Policy Cooperation
Since 2004, three seminars on youth policy development in the region have taken place in the context of this cooperation process. These were aimed at identifying areas in Euro-Med cooperation that are key for youth participation and youth policy development. They also focused on planning follow-up initiatives to enhance youth participation (in political processes) and developing concrete ways in which young people can contribute to intercultural dialogue that included all relevant stakeholders.
- Quality development and support to Euro-Mediterranean youth work
Additionally, one of the main objectives of the Euro-Med Partnership from the outset has been to ensure quality development and support to Euro-Med youth work with a view to increasing the quality and quantity of Euro-Med intercultural youth projects and developing youth workers’ and leaders’ skills and ability to deal with issues of common concern. These partners regularly organize cooperation activities on quality and non-formal education in the region. The reports of these present a high quality standard and can be considered as informative resources.
Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO)
ISESCO was established at the Ninth Islamic Conference of Foreign Ministers (held in Dakar, Senegal, April 24–28, 1978). Its programs focus on four interlinked areas relevant to young people: developing member states’ human resources in education, sciences, culture, and communication; highlighting the Islamic civilization’s active part in knowledge fields; redressing the image of Islam and Muslims in the West; and affording the member states access to the information and knowledge society. It is UNESCO’s partner in the region.
SALTO Euro-Med Resource Centre
The SALTO Euro-Med Resource Centre supports cooperation between European and Mediterranean countries through training opportunities and events, the dissemination of good practices, support to networks active through the Euro-Med Youth Program and through the development of partnerships with relevant institutions and funding organizations.