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LAUNCH OF THE NET-MED YOUTH PROJECT ON 5 JUNE EMPOWERING YOUTH VOICES, PROMOTING CHANGE!

Paris, 2 June 2014 – A network providing knowledge and tools to empower young women and men in the Western and Eastern Basins of the Mediterranean will be launched at UNESCO Headquarters on 5 June. The Networks of Mediterranean Youth Project is supported by UNESCO and the European Union, which has committed $12m to the Project for the next three years.

Eastern and western Mediterranean countries share common challenges related to the social inclusion of youth, such as high unemployment and weak labour market participation of young women, low representation in public and political spheres, disinterest in civic engagement, exclusion from mainstream media and economic marginalization. NET-MED Youth is UNESCO’s interdisciplinary response to these issues, built on an analysis of aspirations and needs of youth in each country.

The Network will help young women and men to develop their competencies, claim and exercise their rights and meaningfully engage as active citizens, particularly in decision-making relating to youth policies. The focus will be on the development and revision of public policies by young women and men, through reinforcing the capacities and participation of identified youth organizations and stakeholders working on youth-related issues (locally elected officials, decision-makers and civil servants).

The Project will also promote young people’s freedom of expression, representation in mainstream media and empowerment through media and information literacy, thus underpinning their participation in public dialogue. By facilitating their involvement in media production and reinforcing the capacities of young journalists, quality coverage relating to youth rights and perspectives will be fostered. In addition, NET-MED Youth will provide national youth organizations with opportunities for supporting the review of policies and programmes focused on youth employment and transitions, for participating in the production and dissemination of prospective diagnosis findings about the national and regional skills challenges, as well as for reinforcing their capacity to influence the national dialogue with stakeholders.

These activities will be conducted initially on a national level with transnational networking opportunities to be provided as a second step, in order to share experiences between two or more countries and support regional integration.

NET-MED Youth is part of UNESCO’s Operational Strategy on Youth 2014-2021 and is fully in line with the UN System-wide Action Plan on Youth (SWAP). The Project also builds on former EU Programmes and will be carried out in collaboration with EU Delegations and UN entities on a national level. As part of the Paris launch, a Briefing and Training Workshop will be held at UNESCO Headquarters from 4 to 6 June, bringing together the project coordinators in the participating countries.

For further information, please contact Ms Moufida Goucha, Chief of Section, UNESCO Youth Programme, m.goucha@unesco.org ; 1, rue Miollis, 75732, Paris Cedex 15, France - Tél : +33 (0)1 45 68 45 52 .

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2 June 2014

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