Thetopics before UNESCO today are ‘Engaging and Empowering Youth through Access toTechnology and Media’ and ‘Safeguarding Cultural Heritage of War-Torn NationStates’.
UNESCO is one of the most important organizations of United Nations,with 195 member states, founded to promote peace and security all over theworld through Scientific, Educational and Cultural reforms. The Arab Republicof Egypt, being one of the founding members of UNESCO, has taken significantefforts in empowering its youth through modern technological advancements, andsafeguarding its cultural sites of great significance.I. Engagingand Empowering Youth through Access to Technology and Media Youthisn’t just a word; it is that sector of society, which comprises of ambassadorsfor the future of the nation, responsible for bringing in change and diversitythrough their new, innovative and groundbreaking ideas. The youth indeed isliving in a world, where they have to make advancements in technology and mediato revolutionize and change the world.
But due to the rising digital divide between developed and undeveloped countries, genderinequality, and difficulty in accessibility of technology and media, the youthisn’t able to be shapers of their own, and their society’s future; they are notbeing able to bring in new ideas, diversify their society, and become the backboneof their- nation which they are meant to be. According to the World Bank, nearly2 billion people do not own a mobile phone and nearly 60 percent of the world’spopulation has no access to the internet. However, when empowered and engagedthrough technology and media, youth has the capability to go beyond theirlimits; revolutionizing and shaping the world into a unified, diversified andpeaceful new place, where each and every member gets their right with the respectthat they deserve.”Youthis Egypt’s ultimate wealth…”- President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. The Arab Republicof Egypt strongly believes that youth is its ultimate priority, and investingin youth is equivalent to investing in its sustainable future. Therefore, thegovernment of the Arab Republic of Egypt has been coordinating with more than122 NGOs throughout the country to open youth centers which help to empoweryouth through information technology and other activities. These NGOs will alsohave campaigns running on social media to interest and inform youth aboutglobal issues and advancement in technologies. Furthermore, according toEgypt’s 2012 Constitution, Article 71, the state shall provide care and ensurethe youth is developed for every role and field.
Moreover, the government haseven opened more than 1200 technology centers throughout the country with, toengage and educate youth and the women of the Arab Republic of Egypt about ICT,such that they can reach their full potential and have easy access totechnology and media. TheEgyptian Agency of Partnership for development is one of the most significantagencies funded by Egypt which has been providing technical cooperation andtraining courses related to ICT throughout the African and Islamic countriesaround the world, not only to empower Egypt’s youth but, youth throughout theworld. The Arab Republic of Egypt has also been the leading signatory of theAfrican Youth Charter whose one and only motto is to give priority to youthdevelopment and empowerment. The government of Arab Republic of Egypt, on thecommands of President Abdel Fattah Al Sisi, has hosted the World Youth Forumwhich is a platform designated to engage and exchange dialogues between youthand leaders from different parts of the world, and collaboratively bringchange. Youthbeing the most important and significant asset of the nation, is crucial topicto the United Nations assembly and has to be empowered in the most efficientways possible. Due to living in a world surrounded by technology and media, themost efficient way would be by providing access to technology and media, whichis possible by the development of schools with cheap and advanced ICT systemsto educate the youth with the help of large IT organizations.II. SafeguardingCultural Heritage of War-Torn Nation States “CulturalHeritage”, an expression known by everyone yet understood by none.
CulturalHeritage isn’t only about the monuments or traditions passed on; it is thesoul, of a vibrant society. It’s the way of life, passed on by ancestors, forgenerations and generations to come, as a gift. Culture is what gives anindividual their identity; it teaches pupils how to live with values and discipline.Having countless social benefits, Cultural Heritage also provides economicbenefits to a nation, such as the development of tourism industry when usedwisely. Intangible Cultural Heritage is an important factor in maintaining andenhancing cultural diversity throughout different societies and nations,teaching people how to coexist with people who have different cultures andidentities, through intercultural dialogues. However, in the race of developingand modernizing the societies or in the midst of armed conflict, CulturalHeritage is being forgotten and left abandoned. As a result, the futuregenerations will become clueless about their past, about their culture, abouttheir identity.
They will lose an irreplaceable source of inspiration.