The event took place at the Organization’s Headquarters and was hosted by Mr Jacques Sagot, Ambassador of Costa Rica to UNESCO, with the participation of Ms Sonia Mendieta de Badaroux, Ambassador of Honduras to UNESCO, Ms Anaisabel Prera, Ambassador of Guatemala to UNESCO, Ms Laura Faxas, Ambassador of the Dominican Republic to UNESCO, and Ms Lorena Sol de Pool, Ambassador of El Salvador to UNESCO.
The Director-General began his intervention by noting that youth violence had many causes, and that there was no single method to respond to it. He underlined that in Central America, youth violence had become such a serious problem that it affected the development of the region.
He recalled that UNESCO had, at the request of Central American countries affected by youth violence, put into effect in 2005 a multi-sectorial strategy for Youth Development and Violence Prevention. He went on to thank the Japanese and Italian authorities for their generous financial support, which had enabled projects on youth violence to be carried out in El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and in the Dominican Republic.
Mr Matsuura noted that “considering that youth are equally the victims and the perpetrators of violent crimes, each national project seeks to find creative solutions to break the cycle of violence and develop the civic participation of youth”.
The Director-General emphasized the effectiveness of the projects, which were built on the reintegration of youth into education systems and the development of their creativity, entrepreneurship and job-related skills.
He underscored the important role the ministerial forums organized by UNESCO in 2007 and 2009 in forging cooperation between the governments of the region and in coming to a common understanding regarding youth development and violence prevention and in developing a “culture of prevention.”
The Director-General highlighted the progress made in the last four years since the beginning of the strategy to make violence prevention a fundamental element of confronting social problems in Central America and in many other regions of the world.
Mr Matsuura concluded by thanking the Central American governments for their goodwill, collaboration and commitment to this important initiative.
Author(s): Office of the Spokesperson - Source: Flash Info N° 162-2009 - Publication Date: 11-09-2009