6th edition of the Arab-European Youth Forum
The sixth edition of the Euro-Arab Youth Forum was hosted by the Ministry of Youth and Sports in the Kingdom of Morocco in April 2017. The 6 Arab-European Youth Forum mobilised young people and youth organisations from Arab and European regions to engage in dialogue and cooperation against violent extremism and hate speech.
The 6th forum reflected the current concerns shared by young people in both regions, notably:
- The consequences of violent extremism, terrorism and populism
- The consequences of armed conflict and violence
- The fate of refugees and asylum-seekers
- The deterioration of the climate of human rights and dialogue
- The implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals, notably those concerning education, peace and intercultural dialogue
- Actions and campaigning by young people against or in reaction to the above.
It capitalised, among others, on the dynamics of the Council of Europe No Hate Speech Movement campaign, which was also being implemented in Morocco, and on the League of Arab States campaign against violent extremism which it seeks to strengthen. For the Council of Europe’s Youth for Democracy programme, the forum supported young people’s role in building peaceful and cohesive societies by engaging in intercultural dialogue.
About the Arab-European Youth Fora
Throughout nearly 10 years, the Euro-Arab Youth fora have established themselves as a central activity for young people from both the Council of Europe and the League of Arab States to engage in dialogue and, together, identify common points for action by themselves, their youth organisations and the two cooperating international organisations. Read more about the Euro-Arab cooperation.
The 5 Euro-Arab Youth Forum was held in September 2015 at the European Youth Centre in Strasbourg, under the theme “Learning and Practicing Citizenship”.
The Strasbourg Message summarises the expectations and conclusions of the participants in relation to the cooperation:
“As young people from the European and Arab regions, we are facing a number of related concerns. In many countries in the regions the space for civil society is shrinking, there is poor access to social rights, corruption is rampant and governments are not accountable to their citizens. As regards inclusive and diverse societies, member states should ensure participation for all - including all genders, nationals and non - nationals, and minorities. European and Arab young people together with the Council of Europe and the League of Arab States need to tackle these important issues that limit the fulfillment of citizenship, participation and freedom of expression.”
The forum respects the principles of co-management in place in the youth sector of the Council of Europe, notably though the involvement of the Advisory Council on Youth and of the European Steering Committee on Youth. The European Youth Forum is an institutional partner for the Council of Europe in these activities. The European Youth Forum associates European youth organisations to this process, as exemplified in the pioneering work of the Euro– Arab Coordination Meeting for Youth Organizations.
Aim and objectives
The 6 Arab-European Youth Forum will mobilise young people and youth organisations from Arab and European regions to engage in dialogue and cooperation against violent extremism and hate speech.
It has the following objectives:
- To share understandings of the causes and manifestations of extremism and populism
- To support human rights education and actions against hate speech and the risks it poses to democracy and youth
- To develop the competences of youth leaders to fight hate-speech and extremism online.
- To exchange good-practices between youth organizations and activists from the Arab world and Europe.
- To increase intercultural learning in order to combat prejudices and stereotypes.
- To raise awareness of the role and relations between Human rights, Sustainable Development Goals and intercultural dialogue
- To get to know and value the social and cultural diversity and wealth of Morocco and Fez.
The most important expected outcome will be the results of the contacts, exchanges, debates and projects between the youth leaders attending the forum. The conclusions of the forum will be collected in a document gathering the conclusions issued by the working groups of the forum and indicate pathways for future Arab-European youth cooperation by the co-organisers and partners until the next edition of the forum.
Other outcomes include:
- More partnerships among participants and their organisations
- The capacity of youth to fight extremism and hate-speech is strengthened among participants, including through online social media and the usage of arts, cinema, theatre and photography
- Solidarity networks between Arab and European youth and organisations are solidified
- Better sustainability of Euro-Arab youth cooperation
- Set up/institutionalise an alumni group of participants in the fora
- Common actions days between the campaigns of the Council of Europe and that of the League of Arab States to counter hate speech and violent extremism
- Video and other creations of the participants
- Political message on young people, hate speech and extremism/populism
- Recommendations on Euro-Arab Youth Cooperation
- Video report
The forum is prepared for youth leaders and youth workers resident in member states of the League of Arab States or the Council of Europe. All participants have a demonstrated experience in civil society and youth work, including youth workers, educators, activists, artists, and researchers.
In addition participants should be actively interested in the forum aims and themes and in following up of the forum within their organisations. Also they should be active or interested in the campaigns of the Council of Europe and the League of Arab States against hate speech and violent extremism
The co-organisers aim to select and invite:
- 36 participants from countries of the League of Arab States
- 36 participants from the Council of Europe member states, co-recruited by the Council of Europe and the European Youth Forum.
The selection will respect an equal number of male and female participants from each country/region. Participants from Morocco and, especially, Fez will be especially invited and welcome.