The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) is pleased to launch the Call for Applications for the 2022 edition of its Fellowship Programme. The Call is open to participants between 25 to 35 years old, from the Middle East, North Africa, Europe and North America, with a strong interest in intercultural exchanges and intercultural cooperation to challenge and deconstruct hate speech and stereotypes.
The theme of the Fellowship 2022 is “Countering discrimination and racism: the nexus to building pluralistic and diverse societies”. The choice of the theme stems from UNAOC’s core mandate of tackling racism and discrimination and finding ways to addressing root causes of polarization within and between societies.
The context of the current global challenges is more complex than ever before. Recent years have witnessed the rise of discrimination against various groups and hate crimes targeting vulnerable populations, further exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic which revealed that no society is spared. Growing intolerance, xenophobia, discrimination, and hate speech pose an enormous threat to international peace and security. Peace is the central promise of the Charter of the United Nations and one of the principal global public goods the United Nations was established to deliver (Our Common Agenda, The report of the Secretary-General). Thus, investing in prevention and peacebuilding is paramount to building pluralistic and diverse societies.
Discrimination and racism take many forms and impact all aspects of life. All of these can hinder the efforts of the international community to meet the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The 2022 Fellowship Programme is designed to provide an excellent platform to build bridges across cultures, borders and beliefs and thus contribute towards achieving the Agenda 2030.
Intercultural dialogue represents an important tool to prevent conflict and build social cohesion, peace and stability. As a mainstay of UNAOC’s work, intercultural dialogue will remain a central focus of the Fellowship agenda with visits and activities aiming at providing participants with crucial comprehension tools to help them understand the plurality and the complexity of their surroundings, and to get an extensive grasp of their host country’s culture, politics, society, religion, media and more.
To be selected, candidates must be able to present professional achievements related to the theme. The Call will lead to the selection of a group of 8 young leaders from Europe, North-America (EUNA) and a group of 8 young leaders from the Middle East and North-Africa (MENA) who will travel together to selected countries in both regions for two weeks.
The goal of the Fellowship is to challenge perceptions and deconstruct stereotypes by providing participants with first hand exposure to cultural diversity. In every country they visit, UNAOC Fellows will interact with a wide range of local stakeholders. Together, they will explore opportunities for intercultural collaboration and exchange ideas and good practices on building pluralistic and diverse societies as a foundation for sustainable peace.
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