04.05.2013 - UNESCO Office in Beirut

Cultural dialogue certificate in the Arab States

Under the patronage of the President of the Republic of Lebanon General Michel Suleiman and within the framework of the “King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Programme for a Culture of Peace and Dialogue” UNESCO Beirut Office in partnership with the Agence Universitaire de la Francophonie organized an international conference on “Intercultural Dialogue & Culture of Dialogue in the Middle-East” on March 21-22, 2013.

The conference aimed at creating a professional academic accredited certificate that meets the needs of the Middle-East and targets both students in initial training and professionals of lifelong education. In this context, and in order to clearly define the region’s needs and stakes, this conference focused on exploring the sectors in urgent need of field intervention. The focus was on the following themes in particular:

  • Internal and international conflict transformation/resolution
  • Conflict zones, migrants and refugees
  • Peace Education and    Education for Peace
  • Gender equity and women’s status
  • Media

More than 42 speakers and 150 leaders, policymakers, researchers, scholars, and professionals joined the conference from more than 15 countries.  In light of the discussions and main issues that emerged from the 2 days of the conference, a core group of experts met on the 23rd of March, 2013 to sketch and develop the main outlines of the intended diploma. The experts discussed and agreed on a “flexible - floating module of courses/seminars” that meets the needs of universities in the region. The module would offer a basket of courses where interested universities can a) select one, some, or all courses of the module; b) choose to adopt all courses of the module and offer it as a diploma.

The module should include courses on the following topics:

  1. Foundation in Peace and Conflict Studies – GENERAL
  2. Foundation in Peace and Conflict Studies – ARAB REGION SPECIFIC
  3. Negotiation and Mediation
  4. Education for Peace
  5. Migrants and Refugees

It is expected that the group of experts will finalize and complete the syllabus and course packs related to the above courses by the end of May 2013. UNESCO and AUF will be working to select 10 universities from the region to adopt the module and implement the diploma and its courses. Faculty from the selected universities will be trained on the promotion and implementation of the module at UPEACE – Costa Rica in the fall of 2013.         

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