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UNIC Beirut partners with leading universities in Lebanon on NGO Fair 2018

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27 April 2018
UNIC Beirut partners with leading universities in Lebanon on NGO Fair 2018
Under the patronage of Lebanese Minister of Social Affairs Pierre Bou Assi, and in collaboration with UNIC Beirut for the fourth year in a row, the American University of Beirut (AUB) and Université Saint-Joseph (USJ) organized the “AUB-USJ NGO Fair 2018” on 23-24 April at the campuses of the two universities in Beirut.

Over 120 non-governmental organizations, international bodies and civil society organizations held information booths and shared information, civic messages and experience through presentations and engagement with visitors.

The opening of the fair at USJ included statements by Acting UN Sepecial Coordinator for Lebanon Ms. Pernille Dahler Kardel, AUB President Dr. Fadlo R. Khuri, USJ Rector Pr. Salim Daccache s.j., and representative of the Minister of Social Affairs, Mr. Zahi Hayba. The opening featured live transmission and interviews from USJ’s five campuses on the NGO booths and debates going on at the same time, and managed by the students. It also included Q & As with the university presidents and the UN and Lebanese government representatives on citizenship, youth involvement in their community, innovation and leadership.

Ms. Kardel congratulated USJ and AUB for giving young people the space to engage with NGOs and to learn about ways they can make a difference. Calling on youth to “get involved,” Ms Kardel said it was encouraging to see so many interested in serving their communities. “The youth I’ve met in Lebanon have demonstrated to me that they have what it takes to lead the change we need to see today,” she said, underlining that young people are not only the leaders of tomorrow but more and more, they are leaders of today. “In the midst of Lebanon’s current electoral period, the engagement of youth is noteworthy and essential,” the UN official added.

Participating UN agencies were UN Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia (ESCWA), Office of the United Nations Special Coordinator for Lebanon (UNSCOL), United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL), United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), UN Volunteers (UNV), and UNIC Beirut.