Joint Theme 2016 – Connecting identities
“I am, because we are”
The self, the other and we, individual and collective, fluid and multi-faceted, self or hetero assigned… navigating the complexity of our many multiple identities is a crucial process for personal integration. It is within this context, that the Network of the Universities on Youth and Global Citizenship identified Connecting Identities as the overarching theme that will connect all different Universities8 in 2016.
For 16 years now, inspired in the principles of Ubuntu, the different universities have offered a space where young people and youth workers from all over the world come together as part of a global youth movement that works against exclusion and discrimination and for inclusion and diversity. The educational model developed in these Universities has been enhanced by its various partners and largely inspired by the Global Education Guidelines9, systematized by the North-South Centre of the Council of Europe and by the new framework provided by Council of Europe Recommendation on education for global interdependence and solidarity¹.
The Network provides an exceptional space for young people and youth organisations around the world to meet, debate, build their capacity and co-operate on youth policy related issues. This year’s theme would allow us to reflect on how youth organisations and youth work can accompany young people in such sensitive and meaningful processes of identity construction that ultimately define them as citizens and global citizens.
To complement the different partner activities taking place simultaneously during the week, the 4 th MedUni offers an informal social space of amazing possibilities to share, discover, create and re-create. The Joint Programme provides opportunities for participants to share cultural expressions, good practices and propose different activities inviting all of us to discover the joint theme through different perspectives and approaches.
The joint moments will be an opportunity for a joint reflection, in an enlarged setting (with various groups of participants involved) and to further discuss the topic with inter and intra-regional approaches.
The topic of Connecting identities will also contribute to the fifth cycle of structured dialogue with youth people in the Trio Presidency (the Netherlands-Slovakia-Malta) between January 2016 and June 2017 which will focus on the overall thematic priority of “Enabling all young people to engage in a diverse, connected and inclusive Europe - Ready for life, Ready for society”² and the Council of Europe’s Action Plan on Building Inclusive Societies (2016-2019).
1 The Network, created in 2011, includes the University on Youth and Development (UYD, Spain); the University of Participation and Citizenship (that used to take place in Uruguay); the African University on Youth and Development (AUYD, Cape Verde and Kenya); and the Mediterranean University on Youth and Global Citizenship (MedUni, Tunisia) of the North South Centre of the Council of Europe (2012). Global Education Guidelines. Accessible here: https://www.coe.int/t/dg4/nscentre/GE/GE/GE-Guidelines/GEguidelines-web.pdf
2 European Youth Forum. COMEM 0301-15-FINAL. A Framework for the next Structured Dialogue cycle: Enabling All Young People to Engage in a Diverse, connected and inclusive Europe. Accessible here: http://www.youthforum.org/assets/2016/01/0301- 15_Resolution_Skills_for_Inclusive_and_connected_societies_FINAL_0116.pdf