25.05.2018 - UNESCO Office Brussels

UNESCO Representative to the European Union speaks at the Education, Youth, Culture and Sport Council

On May 22, Paolo Fontani, UNESCO Representative to the European Union, intervened at the Council of the European Union in Brussels in order to introduce the latest UNESCO – OSCE co-publication “Addressing Anti-Semitism through Education. Guidelines for Policymakers” together with Ms Christie Edwards, Deputy Head, Tolerance and non-Discrimination Department, Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) at the OSCE. The co-publication will be officially launched on June 4 at UNESCO Headquarter in Paris.

Speaking to the 28 Ministers of Education meeting at the Council, Mr Fontani and Ms Edwards highlighted that the report aims at educating learners to resist contemporary anti-Semitism by building resilience against prejudices and discrimination and promoting tolerance.

In his speech, Mr Paolo Fontani highlighted the key role education can play in developing the young people’s resilience to anti-Semitic and generally intolerant ideas, and create conditions that make it difficult for them to proliferate. Mr. Fontani stressed on the fact that education needs to prevent and counteract these violent manifestations through educating democratic and self-reflective citizens. This would only be possible by strengthening critical thinking, building media information literacy and improving people’s knowledge about anti-Semitism.

The introduction of the policy guide was part of the Council meeting’s agenda. Furthermore, the Council debated on future priorities of the EU youth policy concerning the revised European Youth Strategy and the EU’s developments towards a European Education Area.

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