UNESCO's Regional Unit for Social and Human Science in the Asia-Pacific (RUSHSAP) incorporates youth engagement in all activities, mainstreaming youth in a wide range of social concerns, including promotion of the culture of peace, poverty eradication, human rights and the fight against discrimination, the ethics of science and technology, bioethics, environmental ethics and ethics of climate change, philosophy, gender, human security, social development, dissemination of information, research and training. We do this in different ways including those listed in this briefing. Mainstreaming is a conscious effort to overcome the structured paternalism and ageism found in most Asia and Pacific countries, in knowledge production and dialogues.
Asia-Pacific Interagency Group on Youth
Coordinated policy reflection through the establishment with ESCAP and several other UN agencies of the Asia-Pacific Interagency Group on Youth. Youth development is an important area of work for many UN agencies based in the Asia-Pacific region. Rather than develop its own regional strategy, UNESCO works alongside other UN agencies in development of a coordinated UN regional youth strategy, working with member governments and youth organizations on youth policy and activities.
UN General Assembly, “Considering that it is necessary to disseminate among young people the ideals of peace, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, solidarity and dedication to the objectives of progress and development”, adopted a Resolution 64/134 proclaiming the International Year of Youth, from 12 August 2010 to 11 August 2011, under the theme International Year of Youth: Dialogue and Mutual Understanding in order to:
- Create awareness
- Increase commitment and investment in youth
- Mobilize and engage
- Increase youth participation and partnerships
- Connect and build bridges and increase intercultural understanding among youth
Ethics Education Workshops
Bioethical maturity: How do we form a mature society full of well informed and balanced persons? Bioethically mature means a person, or a society that can balance the benefits and risks of alternative options, make well-considered decisions, and talk about these.
RUSHSAP hosts workshops to train students, youth and teachers in bioethics education with a range of partners in many countries of the Asia-Pacific region. The methods include not just materials but methods such as illustrated in the publication of a book on Moral Games. This is a collection of innovative methods for teaching critical thinking and enhancing bioethical maturity. Videos are also being produced, including by youth as they develop their own projects.
There is an ongoing collection of materials that are available to use and adapt for bioethics education, including some written by youth.
Collaboration with National Commission for UNESCO
RUSHSAP collaborates with different national commissions for youth events. These range from Sports for All events with the Thai National Commission to the Asian Youth Forums with the Korean National Commission for UNESCO.
Forums and conferences on contemporary themes in SHS are organized by young persons, including school students, and social networks such as young person’s NGOs. We also use facebook and social networking sites to reach young people and network. Topics range from Ethics and Climate Change, volunteerism, philosophical discourses, social and economic empowerment.