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Lebanese students receive "UN Aware" Certificates

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04 July 2017
Lebanese students receive "UN Aware" Certificates
The United Nations Information Centre in Beirut (UNIC Beirut), in cooperation with the UNESCO Regional Office in Beirut, the Lebanese National Commission for UNESCO (LNCU) and the World Youth Alliance of the Middle East (WYAME), held a ceremony today to distribute “UN Aware” certificates to schools that took part in a nation-wide awareness activity on the United Nations.

Speaking at the press conference were Director of UNESCO office in Beirut Hamad Al-Hammami, UNIC Beirut Acting Director Margo Helou, LNCU Secretary-General Zahida Darwiche Jabbour and WYAME Regional Director Jessica Hallak. Al-Hammami stressed the importance of educating youth and increasing their awareness of the basic principles of the United Nations Charter and the Sustainable Development Goals. He reiterated the importance of UNESCO's role in establishing a culture of peace and spreading educational and human values. Al-Hammami also praised cooperation among the partners in this project to implement this awareness-raising initiative within the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet).

In her statement, Helou said, “the Centre and its partners wanted the ‘UN Aware’ initiative to constitute a precedent in mainstreaming the principles of the United Nations in national educational curricula.” She noted with appreciation the remarkable response and commitment shown by the 11 participating ASPnet schools in complying with the requirements to merit the certificates. Helou also pointed out that this experience succeeded in harnessing a spirit of social responsibility among participants, and in urging them to cooperate, commit and stand together for the common good and to ensure the sustainability of life on the planet.

Jabbour highlighted the importance of raising awareness of the values and principles on which the United Nations was founded that aim to establish international peace and justice. “Education is the bulwark against the growing violence in societies and the emergence of radical and racist tendencies based on xenophobia and hatred among people,” she said. Jabbour also praised the importance of the initiative, which aims to “educate emerging generations about the basic values of the United Nations, and to translate those values in their daily lives, school or family environment, and wider community. Change is an incremental process,” she added, “starting with the community, to society, then to the state.”

Finally, Hallak gave a brief presentation about the initiative and its implementation and activities. The event concluded with the distribution of “UN Aware” Certificates to 11 schools affiliated with UNESCO ASPnet, which are: Afaq Development Institute- Imam Moussa Sadr Foundation- Tyr; North Lebanon College-Zgharta; Montana International College- Dik El Mehdi; Al-Hadi Institute for deaf, blind and learning disabilities-Beirut; Saint George School- Al Hadath; Institut Moderne du Liban- Al Fanar; Ecole des Soeurs de la Charité – Besançon- Baabdat; Al Kawthar Secondary School-Beirut; Our lady of Annunciation School- Rmeich; Ahliah School- Beirut; and Rawdat Al Fayhaa Secondary School- Tripoli.

The UN Aware initiative, launched by UNIC Beirut and its partners at the beginning of the academic year 2016-2017, aims to educate high school students on the work and priorities of the United Nations through lectures, field activities and fundraising campaigns. During this initial stage, the project was piloted with public and private schools affiliated with the UNESCO ASPnet across the country.