Baghdad, 24 January 2023, The UNESCO and the Government of Japan signed an agreement in support of the project “Enhancing youth Employability and Resilience for Peace in Ninewah”.
Futoshi Matsumoto, Japan’s Ambassador to Iraq and Paolo Fontani, UNESCO Representative to Iraq, signed the document in the presence of Dr. Alaa Atiyah, the Advisory of Ministry of Higher Education and Scientific Research (MoHESR).
The project lays the ground for participatory and innovative design principles in the assistance for social stabilization (education for preventing extremism, employment promotion through vocational training mainly for the youth recovery of infrastructures and return of IDPs and refugees). Overall, it will build on the foundation of the ongoing UNESCO supported projects to expand provision of inclusive quality Technical, Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and train the technical and construction workers on Prevention of Violent Extremism through Education (PVE-E), thereby improving their employability opportunities, promote peace and strengthen resilience.
The project is part of the UNESCO’s ongoing ‘Revive the Spirit of Mosul’ initiative, launched in February 2018 to coordinate international effort to rebuild the heritage and revitalize the educational and cultural institutions of Mosul, in close cooperation with the Government and people of Iraq. This project will have linkages to other TVET projects in Mosul, and the other projects on Prevention of Violent Extremism through Education.
“The future of the youth in Iraq, and mainly in Mosul depends on what we do today, their access to quality and inclusive education is the milestone for the reconstruction and promoting sustainable peace of Iraq” said Paolo Fontani, Representative of UNESCO to Iraq.
On behalf of the Minister of MoHESR, Dr. Alaa Atiyah, the Advisor of MoHESR expressed his gratitude towards the Government of Japan and UNESCO for their intervention and continuous support to the Education sector in Iraq.
Mr. Futoshi Matsumoto, Japan’s Ambassador to Iraq, emphasized in his speech the great success of all previous project between UNESCO and the Government of Japan and said "We would like to commend the tireless efforts made by the Iraqi professionals and leaders in education sector that led to the reconstruction of Mosul. We look forward to the brighter future for the youth of Mosul so that they can build their own future. We continue to stand by them.”
In February 2018, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay launched the flagship initiative “Revive the Spirit of Mosul” as the Organization's response to the recovery of one of Iraq's iconic cities. Reviving Mosul is not only about rebuilding heritage sites, but also about empowering the population as agents of change involved in the process of rebuilding their city through culture and education.
Japan has long been a valued partner of UNESCO globally and in Iraq. In 2021 the Government of Japan supported the project “Mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on Education through distance learning in Iraq”. Similarly in 2020 the project “Job creation for youth in Mosul - a centre of vocational excellence in construction skills supporting labour market outcomes”, and in 2019, the project "Voices of the children of Old Mosul: the rehabilitation and management of primary schools in historic urban context emerging from conflict" were supported by the Government of Japan.