Anna Lindh Foundation organises a forum on the participation of young people in local public life in Beirut, from 17 to 22 February, in cooperation with the Bureau of United Cities and Local Governments (Technical Office of Lebanese Cities) and the Lebanese National Commission for UNESCO, the head of the Anna Lindh Network in Lebanon, in the framework of Dawrak - Citizens for Dialogue programme.
This Forum, which will bring together 70 participants from the countries of the Mashrek (Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon and Jordan), as well as experts from other countries, is intended to share different experiences in the field of cooperation between local authorities, civil society and institutions and to develop the capacity of civil society in the field of dialogue management at local level.
The opening session of the Forum will was held on Monday, February 17, 2014 at the Holiday Inn hotel, in the presence of the Director of the Anna Lindh Foundation Andreu Claret, the first adviser at the delegation of the European union in Lebanon Marcello Mori, Lebanese Mayors Committee, the Mayor of Beirut Bilal Hamad, Ministries of Interior and Youth, representatives of Euro-Mediterranean embassies, as well as civil society and the media.
Referring to the meeting’s agenda the Executive Director of the Anna Lindh Foundation stated that “it is at the local level that dialogue happens and diversity can be managed for making it a richness and not a source of conflict, and it is at the local level that Youth participation can be a reality, for building open and plural societies”. He also mentioned the example of Tripoli, Lebanon, “where CSO’s which are attending the Conference develop projects for bringing together the different communities of the city, in collaboration with the city council, despite the violence fuelled by the war in Syria which occurs 40 kilometers east of Tripoli”.
From his side the Mayor of Beirut Hamad also stressed on “the necessity of amending the legislative framework for the municipalities in Lebanon in order to provide them with more support in terms of local sustainable development, as the Lebanese municipal law needs a real legislative revolution".
The Dawrak program - Citizens for the Dialogue was launched by the Anna Lindh Foundation with the support of the European Union to develop the capacities of organizations of civil society and the citizens of Euro - Mediterranean Arab countries in the area of participation in public life so that they can contribute to the creation of open and pluralistic societies. Including the importance of facilitating dialogue between young people and local authorities.
This training is organized after the success of the first forum "Youth in local public life" which was held in Marrakesh in December last year for the Maghreb countries (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Mauritania and Libya), and which is part of the component of development of abilities of the Dawrak Program.