27.11.2012 - UNESCO Office in Beirut

Culture of Dialogue in the Arab States to be included in higher education curricula

UNESCO Regional Office in Beirut and the German Institute for International Cooperation (GIZ) organized a consultative meeting with experts and academics to discuss the introduction of cultural dialogue and conflict transformation in the higher education curriculum in Lebanon. The two day meeting that was held at the Holiday Inn Hotel (Verdun-Beirut) started on Monday, November 26 2012 and lasted for two days.

Today there are 26 active armed conflicts going on in the world, this meeting comes at a time when the Arab countries are witnessing change and turmoil, a time when dialogue and resolve are needed. 

Experts and academics from the participating Lebanese, Arab and International universities discussed ways to introduce concepts of peace-building in higher education and the integration of a culture of dialogue and conflict transformation in the curriculum of Lebanese universities.

More than 40 international experts, researchers and academics attended this meeting which falls under UNESCO's cultural dialogue programme and the programme for social peace of the International German Institute and the King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz International programme for cultural dialogue, which all aim to promote a culture of dialogue in the Arab states for peace and development. Some of the topics discussed in the meeting were conflict transformation and intercultural dialogue studies in the Arab region, in what way is education a major tool for peace building and the international perspective on the integration of conflict transformation into the academic curriculum.

The main objectives are to explore how universities could benefit from incorporating conflict transformation and intercultural dialogue studies and skills into their academic curriculum, and to raise awareness of the importance of practical peace building skills in education.

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