PARIS The UAE and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco) have announced the UAE-UNESCO Global Tolerance Leadership Programme, designed to nurture inclusive societies by developing the capacities of young leaders to foster tolerance, inclusion and intercultural dialogue.

Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development, and Chair of the UAE National Commission for Education, Culture and Science and Nada Al-Nashif, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, have announced the initiative, which marks a major advance in the pursuit of UNESCO’s objectives in creating just and peaceful societies through the effective engagement and participation of young women and men. The programme will be officially launched in February 2020 and a presentation from a selected number of young leaders on progress made within their respective projects will be showcased at the Expo 2020 in the UAE.

The Minister of Culture and Knowledge Development said: “Tolerance is a fundamental value that is firmly embedded in the foundation of our country, laid by our founding father the late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. He built a country that welcomed many people, from different backgrounds, and opened channels of communication and understanding with all beyond our borders. We continue to nurture that value of tolerance and named 2019 the Year of Tolerance’ to celebrate the approach adopted by the UAE since its establishment; to be a bridge of communication between the people of the world and their various cultures. Today on a day named by UNESCO as the International Day for Tolerance, I’m happy to announce a partnership with UNESCO to develop the UAE-UNESCO Global Tolerance Leadership Programme.”

She added, “This initiative aims to nurture intercultural dialogue through the identification of future leaders of tolerance and supporting their growth and championing their initiatives. Built on UNESCO’s experience in combating racism and discrimination; combined with our commitment to tolerance, the Global Tolerance Leadership Programme will be a sustainable extension to support dedicated individuals from around the world, empower them, and facilitate their future endeavors in their communities. The annual programme will start in February 2020 and we look forward to working with UNESCO in delivering a very thoughtful and hopefully an impactful project.”

Master Class methodology

The programme will seek to shed light on the growing challenge of discrimination and exclusion, while providing practical tools to design and implement impactful approaches to promote the values of diversity and tolerance. Using UNESCO’s Master Class methodology, the Leadership Programme will convene globally recognised experts and some 40 young leaders around the world to build their skills, knowledge and capacities. The programme will develop the participants’ competencies to design and implement more effective actions to promote these universal values, and strengthen their ability to serve as agents of change in their own communities. The young leaders will also be given the opportunity and support to establish and implement their own local projects, using the knowledge and tools gained from the training.