26 March 2013
The UN Information Centre (UNIC) Lima organized an introductory workshop for the “Youth for Tolerance” project launched today by the Friends of the UN Club.
The idea was born on 14 November 2012, during and event organized by UNIC Lima to mark the International Day for Tolerance. During the commemoration, participants from 54 schools proposed a project for the 2013 school year in which a series of activities promoting tolerance be undertaken by upper grade high school students.
With a special focus on racism and homophobia, one of the activities is the creation of a blog to exchange ideas about tolerance, racism and homophobia. Others involve training school correspondents to cover the topics and songwriting and producing audiovisual material (photographs, videos, cartoons) for a school-wide campaign promoting the value of tolerance and the rejecting racism and homophobia.
All activities will be guided by specialists in journalism, photography, music, drawing and blog management and the contributions made by the students throughout the project will be used to support future education on these topics in the coming years.
Three schools initiated the project, “Martin Esquicha Bernedo”, “Jorge Cieza Lachos” and “Santa Rosa del Sauce” from Mangomarca, in the district of San Juan de Lurigancho, with the participation of 54 school leaders.
The activity was launched within the framework of the commemoration of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (21 March) and the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade (25 March).
The overall project has the support of the Outreach Division of the UN Department of Public Information.
21 February 2013
On 21 February, UNIC Brazzaville organized a panel discussion on “Hate Speech and Incitement to Genocide”. The activity was held to echo a meeting of experts convened by both the Office of the Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide and the Office of the Special Adviser on the Responsibility to Protect, on 22 February in Geneva.
The UNIC Information Officer moderated the event and was interviewed by a local television station at the end. Key speakers were the Head of the Department of History at the National University, the Chairman of the Congolese Media Observatory (OMEC) and a prominent member of the High Council for Freedom of Communicating.
Participants included the Chairman of the High Council for Freedom of Communicating, the Acting UNDP Resident Representative, media, NGOs, UN staff and University students.
Presentations focused on analysis of the kind of speech in Congolese media, media speech and the implementation of genocide during the second world war, a case study of the “Radio Televison des Milles Collines, (the Thousand Hills Radio Television)” in Rwanda, and the issue of freedom of expression and journalists' social and moral responsibilities.
Before entering into a lively discussion, participants listened to a UN Radio interview by Mr. Adama Dieng, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, talking about press freedom and hate speech and incitement to genocide.
16 November 2012
On 16 November 2012, the UN Information Centre (UNIC) in New Delhi marked the International Day of Tolerance with an event jointly organized by UNIC, UNESCO and the Parkash Foundation.
Director Kiran Mehra-Kerpelman quoted UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon “Let us be part of the moderate majority, speaking up for shared values and against all forms of discrimination”.
“In fact,” she added “civilizational values demand that we go beyond passive tolerance and actually understand and respect differences – and going beyond, learn to perhaps even celebrate differences. Only then will we achieve the harmony and peace that we have always dreamed of.”
Dr. A.K. Merchant from the Temple of Understanding welcomed guests and moderated the event that began with an all-faith prayer by school students. The Chief Guest, Member of Parliament Dr. Karan Singh, spoke at length about Indian and universal traditions that emphasized tolerance and understanding. He added that those values must be inculcated at a young age: “Education and a sense of empathy instilled in young minds can help build a self-confident, broad-minded society.”
UNESCO Representative Shigeru Aoyagi drew attention to the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity and answered a range of questions from the audience while UNIC National Information Officer Rajiv Chandran led the Q&A on issues of managing hate and unlearning intolerance. Ending the event, Parkash Foundation President K. L. Malhotra delivered a vote of thanks to all in attendance.
14 November 2012
On 14 November, the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) in Lima commemorated the 2012 International Day of Tolerance with a workshop entitled “Youth for Tolerence”.
From the district of San Juan de Lurigancho, 60 high school juniors attended a series of informative sessions on the concept of tolerance itself, racism and homophobia.
The event was inaugurated by Rebeca Arias, UN Resident Coordinator in Peru who noted that the United Nations began celebrating the Day in 1995 and stressed the importance of addressing homophobia and racism as one way to counter bullying in schools.
A lively exchange among the youth gave them the opportunity to tell of their own experiences and express their convictions. The 60 students, working in teams, were creative and dynamic in tackling the obstacles and affirming the values of tolerance and diversity.
At the end, seven teams presented their works in the form of poems and songs promoting tolerance. Both students and faculty appreciated the experience as one teacher emailed "In my 15 years of experience, this has been one of the most productive projects I have participated in. I look forward to continue with this project next year!"
Activities will continue in 2013 as the youth plan to visit other schools in their neighborhood to help them plan and implement actions to combat intolerance. This will include campaigns within their schools and meetings with parents, teachers and local organizations. UNIC Lima will assist the students with relevant materials and information sessions.
On 16 November 2013, all the student participants will meet to evaluate their work.