24.02.2010 -

UNESCO-UNDP-UNICEF launch the UN Joint Programme on Enhancing Inter Ethnic Community Dialogue and Collaboration

UNESCOVENICE web news (FYR Macedonia) 23/02/2010 : UNESCO, UNDP and UNICEF will present on next 24 February in Hotel Holiday Inn Skopje “Enhancing Inter Ethnic Community Dialogue and Collaboration”, a UN Joint Programme being led by the National Government. The three UN Agencies are implementing their activities together with the Secretariat for Implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement (OFA) and under the auspices of the Spanish MDG Achievement Fund with a total contribution of $4 million US dollars. 

Engelbert Ruoss, the Director of UNESCO Venice Office will represent the Organisation at this event. On this occasion, he will also meet with Elizabeta Kancevska Milevska, Macedonian Minister of Culture and President of the National Commission for UNESCO. 

The launch event will be opened by Deirdre Boyd, the UN Resident Coordinator, Abdulakim Ademi, the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the Implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement, and Maria Angeles Garcia de Lara, the Spanish Chargé d’Affairs. The Joint Programme will be presented to the public by Ljupco Gjorgjinski, Programme Monitoring and Coordination Officer and Melek Elezi, representing the OFA Secretariat. At the launch event will take part in addition to government and representatives from all the relevant ministries and bodies, parliamentarians, National Inter-Ethnic Commission, Municipal Inter-Ethnic Commissions, Embassies and International Organizations, Civil society, Media and UN Agencies. 

The Joint Programme on Enhancing Inter Ethnic Community Dialogue and Collaboration was signed and endorsed by the government of the beneficiary country in June 2009. 

With a duration of 36 months, the aim of the Joint Programme is to facilitate the establishment of a functional conflict transformation system by strengthening capacity at the local and national levels and by promoting a multi-cultural civic identity; hence, a systemic linkage among existing responsible mechanisms at national and local levels, building conflict resolution expertise where none exist. 

It will enhance the capacity of central and local bodies to facilitate inclusive problem-solving processes and consensus-building around community priorities. To strengthen commitment to an inclusive civic national identity with respect to diversity, the programme will support the long-term role of education, and work with local leaders, civil society and the media to facilitate constructive civic dialogue that promotes inter-cultural awareness and values that lead to a peaceful co-existence. 

The key expected outcomes of the programme are: 1) National systems and capacities for conflict transformation at local level enhanced; 2) Capacity of national education system to manage cultural and ethnic diversity enhanced; and 3) Inter-cultural sensitivity and civic awareness promoted. These three mutually-supportive outcomes have been designed to effectively enhance inter-ethnic dialogue in the country through an integrated approach focused on national and local systems development, education and communications. This is key to the effective delivery of the OFA. 

The key government and national stakeholders of the programme are the Secretariat for the Implementation of the Ohrid Framework Agreement, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education and Science, the Ministry of Culture, ZELS, the Secretariat for European Affairs, Ministry of Local Self Government, municipalities, civil society and the media. 

Photo credit : The Aladija mosque in Skopje, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia/D. Benutzer Wikipedia

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