Friday, December 31, 2004

UNESCO Allocates $4.5m for Reconstruction of Bam’s Monuments

Turkish Weekly article:

"The United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has collected $4.5 million in donations for reconstruction of the ancient citadel and other monuments in the quake-stricken city of Bam, UNESCO Assistant Director General for Culture Mounir Bouchenaki was quoted by Mehr News Agency as saying on Sunday."

In UN relief effort after Asian tsunami, some details fall below public radar

In UN relief effort after Asian tsunami :

"The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is joining this effort, mobilizing its partners, including professional teachers organizations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), to provide psychological support to traumatized children. It will also seek ways to help displaced children and those left disabled by the disaster to continue their schooling.

"Turning its attention to historic sites on its World Heritage List which were hit by the tsunami, among them the Old Town of Galle in Sri Lanka, and Mahabalipuram and the Sun Temple of Koranak in India, UNESCO is sending damage assessment missions to decide on appropriate action."

Thursday, December 30, 2004

UNESCO and OPEC Join forces to fight AIDS

VNANet News story:

"The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) are jointly undertaking a project worth 2.25 million USD to reduce the spread of AIDS in 12 countries through education.
The project will target young people in Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Viet Nam."

UNESCO offers tsunami assistance to countries in South Asia

UNESCO - UNESCO offers tsunami assistance

"The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, has offered UNESCO’s support to the countries devastated by the earthquake off the coast of Sumatra and the ensuing tsunami, and expressed his sorrow at the tragic loss of life in the region."

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

UNESCO Institute for Statistics 2003-2004 Annual Report

Annual Report

In 2003 and 2004, the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) made major gains in data collection, analysis and
dissemination. The UIS is responsible for providing timely, accurate and policy-relevant statistics on education, science and technology, and culture and communication. Among its activities in 2003 and 2004, the Institute carried out the pilot phase of a survey of primary schools and collaborated on the development of new indicators for non-formal education and early childhood education and development. In recognition of the UN Decade for Literacy (2003-2012), the UIS also embarked on a new program to develop comparative measures of literacy attainment.

An EU-funded program for building capacity to monitor achievement of education goals was piloted in Niger, which subsequently completely overhauled its methodologies and systems for collecting, processing and disseminating data on primary education. In Latin America, UIS support for the Regional Education Indicators Project has strengthened national education data systems and facilitated progress in addressing key regional issues such as equity. Overall, capacity development through the World Education Indicators (WEI) Project is building up middle management and professional capacity in many countries moving towards attaining Education for All by 2015.

UIS contributed to major international reports during 2003 and 2004, including the UNDP Human Development Report, the World Bank’s World Development Indicators Report, the UN Secretary-General’s Report on progress towards the Millennium Development Goals, and the EFA Global Monitoring Report. Among the publications produced by UIS itself were the Global Education Digest in 2003 and 2004, two thematic reports on financing education and literacy skills, and two regional reports on education, one for South and East Asia and the other for the Arab States. Current studies on out-of-school children, educational equity and teachers are in preparation and will be published in late 2004 and 2005.

Monday, December 27, 2004

The head of India's UGC acknowledges the importance of UNESCO-supported INQAAHE in improving educational quality

UGC steps up quality campaign- The Times of India:

Q. "With regard to quality, what is the present scenario regarding accreditation of universities by the National Assessment and Accreditation Council (NAAC)? PRASOON PANT, TIMES of India NEWS NETWORK, DECEMBER 27, 2004.

A. "NAAC's process of assessment and accreditation has been accepted quite well by the various universities across India as well as by society; in fact, 60 per cent to 70 per cent universities have been covered. NAAC has got Global Credibility Stamp by the International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies in Higher Education (INQAAHE) - a UNESCO-supported body, of which India is a member. However, enormous backlog exists, as far as colleges are concerned." Arun Nigavekar, Chairman, Indian University Grants Commission.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

UNESCO allocates over dlrs four million to rebuild Arg-e Bam

UNESCO allocates over dlrs four million to rebuild Arg-e Bam:

"The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, UNESCO, has provided dlrs 4.5 million to rebuild Arg-e Bam and other historical sites in Bam, southeastern Iran, said an official with the organization here Sunday."

UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development

Giulio Quaggiotto of UNU/IAS interviews Derek Elias :

"As the designated lead agency to promote and implement the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014), UNESCO is working to support the integration of education for sustainable development into the educational policies and programmes of UN and international agencies, Government Ministries, NGOs and community-based organisations, education and research institutions, the media and the private sector.

"In this interview, Dr. Derek Elias, ESD Coordinator at UNESCO Bangkok talks about the key themes for the Decade and the challenges of adapting and applying its core messages to the Asia Pacific context. A Draft International Implementation Scheme for the Decade prepared by UNESCO with contributions from UNU, is available for download and comments. "

Culture, UNESCO Presents Casa de las Americas with Simon Bolivar Awar: Cuba News, Cuba Travel, cultural, business news.

Culture, UNESCO Presents Casa de las Americas with Simon Bolivar Awar: Cuba News, Cuba Travel, cultural, business news.:

"The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) presented Casa de las Americas with the Simon Bolivar annual literary regional award."

Successful Completion Preservation of Bamiyan - "Successful Completion Preservation of Bamiyan":

"Cultural heritage conservation experts, representatives of the Afghan and Japanese governments as well as UNESCO, met in Tokyo from December 18 to 20 to review the successful completion of the two-year UNESCO/Japan Project for the Safeguarding of the Bamiyan Site whose Giant Buddhas were destroyed by the Taleban in March 2001. Emergency consolidation has been made possible by the project, which also allowed for much awaited finds concerning the age of the artefacts. "

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Aljazeera.Net - Bam goes on heritage list

Aljazeera.Net - Bam goes on heritage list:

"A ceremony is to be held in the destroyed Iranian city of Bam to mark the earthquake that struck the city one year ago and celebrate its inclusion on UNESCO's list of World Heritage sites."

Thursday, December 23, 2004

UNESCO sponsored Conference: Education for a Sustainable Future

Education for a Sustainable Future:

"The United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) aims to promote education as the basis for a sustainable human society, and to strengthen international cooperation towards the development of innovative policies, programmes and practices of education for sustainable development (ESD).

To mark the launch of the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (DESD), the Centre for Environment Education, India, is organising an international conference, "Education for a Sustainable Future" (ESF) from 18-20 January 2005. The Conference is being organised in partnership with the Ministries of Human Resource Development, and Environment and Forests (Government of India), UNESCO and UNEP. The conference is to be held in Ahmedabad, India.

UNESCO | Education - International convention against doping in sport under preparation

UNESCO | Education - International convention against doping in sport under preparation:

"The preparation of an international convention against doping in sport continues. On 22 September, the UNESCO Director-General invited the Organization's 190 member states to appoint representatives for the third session of the intergovernmental meeting of experts on the preliminary draft of an international convention against doping in sport. The meeting will take place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris from 10 to 15 January 2005."

The Quiet Crisis How Higher Education Is Failing America
by Peter Smith

The Quiet Crisis How Higher Education Is Failing America
by Peter Smith

The introduction to Dr. Smith's book indicates he was a member of the U.S. Congress, entering in 1989.

First Center for Peace in country opens in Frederick

The Gazette: First Center for Peace in country opens in Frederick:

"The country's first Center for Peace, promoting the ideals of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, has recently opened in the City of Frederick."

Frederick's Center for Peace is at 23 W. Sixth St., Frederick. For more information, visit or e-mail

Adair Margo and Myrna Deckert appointed to NatCOMM

El Paso Times Online; Two from El Paso appointed to U.S. National Committee for UNESCO):

"El Pasoans Adair Margo and Myrna Deckert have been appointed by Secretary of State Colin Powell to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO."

Unesco appeals for help as ancient sites face being flooded

Guardian Unlimited: Dam is threat to Iran's heritage</a>

"More than 100 of Iran's potentially most important but least examined archaeological sites, including fringes of Pasargadae, the city built by King Cyrus the Great, will be flooded in the next two years according to the UN, which appealed yesterday to international scientists to try to record what they can."

UNESCO - European coalition of cities against racism launched in Nuremberg

UNESCO - European coalition of cities against racism :

"Thirteen cities - including Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina), Gap, Lyon and Paris (France), Nuremberg (Germany), Bologna, Pescare and Santa Maria Capua Vetera (Italy), Badelona, Barcelona and Madrid (Spain), Stockholm (Sweden) and London (UK) - have signed a Declaration of Intention. This must be now be approved by the municipal authorities concerned, along with a ten-point Action Plan. Other cities have expressed an interest and are expected to join the Coalition in the near future. The European Coalition of Cities against Racism is the first step towards an International Coalition of Cities against Racism, which was proposed by UNESCO in March 2004."

UNESCO - Renewal of funds-in-trust agreement for technical and vocational education

UNESCO press release - Renewal of German funds-in-trust agreement:

The German government today signed its sixth agreement with UNESCO for funds-in-trust in favour of technical and vocational education and training (TVET). Under the agreement, 300,000 Euros will be provided to fund the activities of the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training in Bonn (Germany) over the next two years, bringing Germany's contributions to the activities of the Centre to a total of 2,705 million Euros. The Centre’s UNEVOC Network includes 225 specialized TVET institutions across 154 UNESCO Member States. Some are departments for TVET at ministries, others are planning, research and development institutions, training institutions or university departments concerned with TVET. The Centre provides technical backstopping, focusing primarily on developing countries, those in post-conflict situations and those going through periods of transition. It gives special attention to meeting the specific needs of women and girls, and disadvantaged groups such as those in remote areas, the poor, and demobilized soldiers in post-conflict situations.

More info re Smith appointment

REGISTER-PAJARONIAN - More info re Smith appointment:

"Smith accepted the post as assistant director-general for education at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization on Sunday morning, after a series of interviews in Paris.

"He will oversee a staff of 190 who work in 56 field offices, including regional bureaus in Dakar, Senegal; Bangkok, Thailand; Beirut, Lebanon; and Santiago, Chile, and will travel regularly to many of the bureaus."

There have been a number of newspaper articles on the appointment, primarily in California.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

Times Argus - More about Peter Smith's appointment to UNESCO

Times Argus:

"Peter Smith, the one-time lieutenant governor who founded the Community College of Vermont, will become the first American to head the United Nation's education efforts."

And in honor of the Winter Solstice Celebrated each year at New Grange

UNESCO Looking after the stone age monument at New Grange, which measures the winter salstice:

"A delegation from the UN's cultural and scientific body, UNESCO, is expected to carry out an inspection of the proposed site of a municipal waste incinerator in Co Meath next February. The delegation has accepted an invitation from the Department of the Environment, which now looks after the Duchas heritage remit. An initial request from the UN body was sent to the Government last July. The proposed incinerator in Carranstown, Co Meath, has attracted interest from UNESCO due to its planned location beside the Bru na Boinne world heritage site, which includes the prehistoric sites of Newgrange, Knowth and Dowth. The site is one of only three listed heritage sites on the island of Ireland."

“Human Rights, Democracy and Tolerance - Content and Method of Education”


"The 14th International Session on the theme �Human Rights, Democracy and Tolerance - Content and Method of Education� organized by the UNESCO Moscow Office, Moscow Human Rights School and Federation of Peace and Conciliation took place in Moscow. Secondary schools teachers, higher schools professors, instructors on social sciences, lecturers, managers of educational institutions, social workers, NGOs representatives working in sphere of human rights, civic, democracy and peace education in cluding Over 200 delegates from Uzbekistan, Georgia and Azerbaijan attended " Nigeria: Education for All Not Negotiable - Omolewa Nigeria: Education for All Not Negotiable - Omolewa:

"Education for All (EFA) by the year 2015 is not negotiable, President of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), Professor Michael Omolewa, has said.....

"He explained that Nigeria, as one of the 'earliest members of UNESCO subscribes to the organisation's view that education should be a priority together with culture, information, informatics and communication, so that all sectors work together in developing a spirit that would eschew bitterness or war, but work in cooperation with the entire world community to promote peace.'"

Brazil: Violent Death Grows 14% in a Decade

UNESCO helps Brazil deal with violence

"'The indicators of violence amid Brazilian youth are unacceptable, dramatic, and need to be changed,' the representative of the United Nations Education, Science, and Culture Organization (UNESCO) in Brazil, Jorge Wertheim, remarked recently during an interview on the 'Amazônia Magazine' program.

"He also spoke about the 40 years in which UNESCO has been active in Brazil through 79 technical cooperation projects, 47 of them in the area of education.

"Data provided by the UN representative show that 50 thousand young Brazilians between the ages of 15 and 24 suffered violent deaths last year."

Peter Smith new ADG for Education

Smith leaves Cal State Monterey for UNESCO

Peter Smith, president of California State University, Monterey, said he's leaving the university in June to go to Paris to assume his UNESCO post. He was selected to CSUMB's founding president in 1994, and took on the job of converting an abandoned military base into a university. According to the article linked above, he "had a strong hand in developing the school's innovative education model that includes cross-discipline and cross-cultural learning." Smith reportedly has signed on with UNESCO for two years, with the option of doubling that term.

Smith began his career in higher education in l970 when he founded and served as president of the Community College of Vermont. He became vice president of Norwich University and served as executive director of the National Commission on Responsibilities for Financing Postsecondary Education. He was also dean of the Graduate School of Education and Human Development at George Washington University.

Dr. Smith received a B.A. (magna cum laude) degree from Princeton University in 1968. He earned an M.A. degree in teaching in 1970 and an Ed.D. degree in administration planning and social policy in 1984, both from Harvard University. He is the author of Your Hidden Credentials: The Value of Learning Outside of College.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Hanoi Declaration -- Dialogue Among Cultures andCivilizations for Peace and Sustainable Development

Xinhua - English: Asia-Pacific nations pledge dialogue for peace, sustainable development :

"Representatives from more than 30 countries in the Asia-Pacific region have shown their determination to make dialogue on cultures and civilizations a central feature of interaction in all walks of life, to help boostpeace and sustainable development.

"At the two-day conference entitled 'Dialogue Among Cultures andCivilizations for Peace and Sustainable Development' that ended here on Tuesday, the representatives adopted the Hanoi Declaration,under which, they committed to practice a culture of dialogue among nations and peoples, promote inter-cultural understanding through both formal and non-formal education and via other means, and enhance human security in the region by tackling such challenges as poverty, environmental degradation, gender equality and economic development."

Monday, December 20, 2004

Spectre of slavery is still with us

IOL: South Africa -- Spectre of slavery is still with us:

"The year set aside by Unesco to commemorate slavery is drawing to a close. Sadly, the best to be said of the exercise is that it has been long on lamentations and extremely short on clarifying the meaning of the institution it sought to memorialise."

Sunday, December 19, 2004

UNESCO Institutes and Centres for Education

Institutes and Centres under the auspices of UNESCO:

- International Research and Training Centre for Rural education, Boading, China
Go to the Website

- Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding, Inchon, Republic of Korea
Go to the Website

- Guidance, Counseling and Youth Development Centre for Africa, Lilongwe, Malawi

- Regional Centre for Book Development in Latin America and the Caribbean, Bogota, Colombia

Statement of Secretary Paige at the UNESCO Round Table of Ministers on Quality Education

Statement of Secretary Paige:

U.S. Secretary of Education Rod Paige delivered a statement in October, 2003. The statement was made at the Round Table of Ministers on Quality Education during the 32nd session of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), which 80 ministers of education from around the world attended.

The statement included the following passages:

"I fully agree with the UNESCO members that education must be for all, including all children regardless of gender, all children of all cultures and religions, all children with disabilities, all children of any color or ethnicity, and all children from indigenous tribes or cultures....

"My country has been multicultural since its founding. We know that each culture is valuable, each language an important addition to intellectual growth. There is a growing resolve in American education to learn even more about other cultures and languages. Americans are committed to respect all cultures, as long as they share the same respect and tolerance.

"Education is the common denominator of all people, the road to emancipation and liberty, the way we find our humanity and discover our soul. There is no mission more important than providing an inclusive, quality education to all people; no endeavor more crucial. Thomas Jefferson, one of our Founding Fathers who himself was also a great educator, starting a university in his home state of Virginia, wrote that 'If the condition of man is to be progressively ameliorated, as we fondly hope and believe, education is to be the chief instrument in effecting it.' Extending the educational franchise is our best hope for a safer, more progressive, tolerant, and equitable world.

"This educational mission unites us. UNESCO is a powerful forum for sharing our views, developing a common strategy, and implementing joint action. I look forward to working with each UNESCO member. Again, thank you for your most gracious welcome."

UNESCO DG Presents Program Budget Options for 2006-7


"Four options have been foreseen, two based on a “zero real growth” scenario and two on a “zero nominal growth” scenario.

- Option 1 is the full zero real growth scenario because it includes cost increases that are due to inflation (US$ 37.8 million), reimbursement of the loan for Headquarters renovation (US$ 8.4 million) and new security measures at Headquarters and in the field (US$ 12.3 million). This option allows the Organization to maintain its “purchasing power” at the current level and, through internal adjustments, to continue pursuing the concentration and reform processes.

- Option 2 retains only cost increases that are due to inflation. The additional costs that are linked to the loan and to security (US$ 20.7 million) will be “absorbed” through austerity measures. Although this scenario implies redeployments and new economy measures, it should nevertheless permit the preservation of essential gains and would not slow down the reform process unduly.

- Option 3, built on a zero real growth hypothesis, would have an extremely negative effect on the Organization. This scenario provides for the absorption of the increases that result from inflation (US$ 37.8 million) but adds to the current base (US$ 610 million) the amounts needed for reimbursement of the loan and for security. The need to “absorb” nearly US$ 40 million (of which US$ 25 million are linked to rises in staff costs that the Organization is compelled to pay) will necessarily lead to a “cut” in programmes, with the maximum to be hoped for being a preservation of the “top priorities” at their current level.

- Option 4 – outright zero nominal growth, implying as it does an “absorption” or reduction of the budget by US$ 58.5 million – would have a catastrophic impact. To achieve the required savings, the gains made in the reform process, including the decentralization strategy, would have to be called into question and the programme, including the most urgent priorities, would need to be reduced, thus causing a drastic decline of the ratios (staff/programme; programme sectors/central services; Headquarters/Field) that have improved over the last few years. This would be a heavy blow against the progress made by UNESCO in strategic domains and against the recent progress observed in terms of efficiency and visibility."

The contribution of ICTs to the development of education, science and culture and the construction of a knowledge society

UNESCO Progress Report for the October 2004 Meeting of the Exec. Board (The next Exec. Board meeting is in January, 2005.)

Progress is reported on the following initiatives in the second of UNESCO's two cross-cutting themes:

-- New opportunities for children and young people with disabilities;
-- The application of remote sensing for integrated management of ecosystems and water resources in Africa;
-- Information and communication technology in science and engineering education in Africa;
-- Small islands’ Voice (SIV);
-- UNESCO/IOC regional ocean subportals as part of the UNESCO knowledge portal;
-- ICTs as a tool to improve local governance in Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean;
-- DIGI-ARTS subportal/UNESCO knowledge portal;
-- ICTs helping to fight HIV/AIDS: changing young people’s behaviour through preventive education schemes;
-- Harnessing ICTs for the audiovisual industry and public service broadcasting in developing countries;
-- ICTs for intercultural dialogue and diversity: developing communication capacities of indigenous peoples;
-- E-campus - Improving open distance learning;
-- ICTs as a tool for governance and democratic participation;
-- Strengthening telecentres in Central America;
-- Free open source software for information processing and education; and
-- UNESCO knowledge portal.

The other UNESCO cross-cutting theme is "Eradication of poverty, especially extreme poverty". UNESCO also has take specific efforts for "Coordination of action to benefit Africa".

UNESCO: Progress in its Culture Program

UNESCO's Progress Report for the 170th Exec Board Meeting (The Meeting was in October, 2004. The next Exec. Board meeting is in January, 2005.)

PROGRAM IV – CULTURE: Overall assessment

"130. In line with its principal priority, the Culture Sector started its implementation of activities focusing on the promotion of cultural diversity and intercultural dialogue by (i) promoting the drafting and implementation of standard-setting instruments in the cultural field; (ii) encouraging pluralism and dialogue among cultures and civilizations through the promotion of cultural diversity; and (iii) enhancing the linkages between culture and development through capacity-building and sharing of knowledge.

"131. Efforts have been especially devoted to enhancing the contribution of cultural heritage in all its forms – whether physical, natural or intangible – to social cohesion, nation-building in postconflict situations, and to economic development. In particular, this has been achieved by linking actions for the safeguarding and rehabilitation of monumental heritage with the traditional skills and associated know-how, and projects creating cultural itineraries for sustainable cultural tourism with the promotion of endogenous capacities for income generation through crafts and/or local and national museum development. Training and capacity-building have been systematically introduced as a component of all projects.

"132. With regard to post-conflict intervention, actions devoted to the safeguarding and rehabilitation of cultural heritage in Afghanistan have been pursued despite the temporary postponement of the second ICC session owing to security constraints. The Sector’s commitment to the rehabilitation of the cultural heritage of Iraq has been reinforced, leading to the approval of a UNESCO-Culture “umbrella project” for the rehabilitation of the cultural heritage of Iraq under the UNDG Trust Fund Facility for Iraq for a total amount of $5.5 million. Project implementation has already begun covering the fields of archaeological sites and historic buildings; museums and cultural institutions; libraries and archives; intangible cultural heritage, and the implementation of standard-setting instruments in the field of heritage protection with special emphasis on the fight against illicit traffic of cultural property. Pursuant to 167 EX/Decision 9.2 of the Executive Board, the first plenary session of the International Coordination Committee for the Safeguarding of the Cultural Heritage of Iraq (ICC) was jointly convened by the Director-General of UNESCO and the Minister of Culture of Iraq, Mr Mufid Al-Jazairi, in Paris on 24 and 25 May 2004. The meeting was followed by the First Cultural Forum for Iraq, chaired by the Iraqi Minister of Culture and attended by intellectuals and artists from Iraq and the Iraqi diaspora, who established the basis for a new cultural policy in the country. The final Appeal recommended that religious, linguistic and cultural rights of all of the constituent groups of Iraqi society, along with freedom of expression and academic freedom, be guaranteed by the future Constitution of Iraq. It also proposed diverse measures to promote creativity and the participation of all in cultural life, the establishment of an inventory of architectural and urban heritage – including for monuments built by the former regime – and it is hoped that the Appeal will form the basis of discussions at a more comprehensive meeting to take place in Baghdad later in 2004.

"133. Post-conflict rehabilitation of cultural heritage was initiated in Haiti, Sudan and Liberia and also conducted within the framework of the 1972 Convention for the rehabilitation of natural heritage in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Preparations were launched for a donor conference to be held later this year. Actions for the rehabilitation of the cultural heritage suffering from natural disasters were also initiated in Madagascar and in the Islamic Republic of Iran, following the destruction of the Old Citadel of Bam. In this context, UNESCO is actively pursuing efforts together with UNDP and the Iranian and Italian authorities for the preparation of a comprehensive culture and science strategy to be submitted to an international donor conference to be held in the autumn of 2004. Activities related to UNESCO’s efforts for rehabilitation and development in the Middle East, strategic guidelines were provided to the Joint UNESCO- Palestine Committee focusing on cultural heritage preservation, conservation and management; cultural industries and the promotion of living cultures; cultural tourism and the identification and protection of intangible cultural heritage with a view to the adoption of a comprehensive strategy and concrete operations in this regard.

"134. Full importance was accorded to the safeguarding of intangible cultural heritage, notably by the organization of two regional conferences in Central and West Africa (Senegal) and in Latin America (Brazil), aiming at alerting Member States to the importance of identifying their intangible cultural heritage, making it an integral part of preservation policies as a key component of cultural diversity and human creativity, and promoting the ratification of the 2003 Convention. Action was geared towards encouraging States to identify more precisely the forms and items of the cultural heritage, and making States and communities aware of the value of and their responsibilities with respect to such heritage, in particular through legislative, institutional, and educational activities. To complement these actions, the Sector received 54 requests for preparatory assistance in connection with the Third Proclamation of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity to be held in July 2005.

"135. Preparation for the twenty-eighth session of the World Heritage Committee has been pursued, notably for the examination of 165 reports on the state of conservation of sites as well as 48 new nominations. The session resulted in the placing of 34 new sites on the World Heritage List, 29 being cultural and 5 natural sites. Geographical representation of the List was enhanced by the fact of five new countries having listed sites for the first time, namely Saint Lucia, Togo, Andorra, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and Iceland, raising the total number of World Heritage sites on the List to 788. It is to be noted that three sites were removed from the List of World Heritage Sites in danger following the presentation of successful conservation reports (Angkor – Cambodia; Mount Ruwenzori – Uganda; Fort Bahla – Oman). These were replaced by three new sites regarded as endangered, namely, Bam (Iran), Cologne Cathedral (Germany), and Kilwa Kisiwani and Songo Mnara (Republic of Tanzania). The Committee recommended that in future a maximum of two new nominations per State Party be submitted to each session of the World Heritage Committee. Owing to time constraints, the session will have to resume its work at an extraordinary one-week session in December 2004.

"136. Three expert meetings on the preparation of a preliminary draft convention on the protection of the diversity of cultural contents and forms of artistic expression successfully completed their work, and Member States were informed of the steps taken in order to consult them on the preliminary draft. Experts considered that while acknowledging the dual economic and cultural nature of forms of cultural expression, the preliminary draft is derived from a cultural logic; hence, it is not in antinomy with other international instruments. The work of the experts has borne fruit beyond all expectations, and the outcome of the first phase of reflection is a broadly consensual, preliminary draft. Formal consultations were launched with WTO, UNCTAD and WIPO in this regard. The second phase will begin in mid-July, in accordance with the statutory deadlines, and a preliminary report together with the preliminary draft convention will be sent to Member States, inviting them to submit comments and observations by mid-November 2004 at the latest. The first intergovernmental meeting has been scheduled for 20 September 2004.

"137. Under the Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity efforts were made to increase assistance to developing countries or countries in transition with a view to establishing viable and competitive cultural industries, and this resulted in the establishment of some 30 partnerships for the development of cultural industries and steps to combat piracy in developing countries.

"138. In the framework of the partnership agreement between Greece and UNESCO for the 2004 edition of the Olympic Games, heritage preservation as a shared legacy and common responsibility was endorsed through the sponsoring of four historical sites (in Kosovo, Afghanistan, Ethiopia, and Peru) by the Greek authorities. The aim is to raise worldwide awareness of the need to protect cultural heritage as the embodiment of cultural values by providing these countries with the label of the Olympic Games, thus strengthening the linkages between the values of sport and cultural heritage.

"139. The programme for the Preservation of Endangered Movable Cultural Properties and Museum Development was initiated to strengthen UNESCO’s capacity to support its Member States in the preservation of movable cultural properties for the benefit of Least Developed Countries and Low Income Countries as well as countries in transition. The Programme is currently funded from the $3.5 million contribution (as approved by the General Conference in October 2003). The selection process was completed and 11 projects were retained for implementation. Projects are at present being initiated with the relevant UNESCO field offices in Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Pakistan, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Sudan, Yemen, Guatemala, Tajikistan and Afghanistan.

"140. Finally, activities for the International Year to Commemorate the Struggle against Slavery and its Abolition (2004) were successfully launched in Mauritius (February 2004) and in the Bahamas (May 2004), as well as through the presentation of the virtual travelling exhibition Lest We Forget created by the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture and The New York Public Library, in cooperation with the UNESCO Slave Route Project.

UNESCO Progress in the Program for Education

UNESCO Progress Report for the 170th Exec Board Meeting (The meeting was in October, 2004. The next meeting is January 2005.)

PROGRAM I – EDUCATION: Overall assessment

"1. The achievement of education for all (EFA) – for all, at all levels, throughout life – is the core purpose of UNESCO’s Major Programme I (Education). In the 2004-2005 Programme, the first two subprogrammes and almost 80% of the budget are devoted to the principal priority “basic education for all”. Subprogramme I.1.1 deals directly with UNESCO’s actions aimed at contributing to the work of Member States as they advance towards achieving the six goals of the Dakar Framework for Action and the two related Millennium Development Goals. Subprogramme I.1.2 concerns support to national policies and plans for EFA and UNESCO’s mandated role regarding the global coordination of the EFA movement, with special attention to those countries where the need is greatest, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa and among the E-9 countries. At the request of the 169th session of the Executive Board (169 EX/Decision 3.4.4) a strategic review of UNESCO’s post-Dakar role in EFA was carried out and a relevant document is accordingly presented to this session of the Board concerning future strategies (see document 170 EX/8). Considerable effort went into the organization of the fifth Meeting of the Working Group on EFA (Paris, 20-21 July 2004).

"2. The commitment made by the international community at Dakar that “no countries seriously committed to education for all will be thwarted in their achievement of this goal by a lack of resources” first took practical, global form with the launching of the Fast-Track Initiative (FTI) in 2002. The Initiative was redesigned by the Donors Group meeting in Oslo (November 2003) and the Framework Agreement subsequently approved in Washington (March 2004), opening up FTI to all low-income countries. Implementation has begun and all the readily available funding to date for 2004 under the Catalytic Fund, also set up in Oslo, has been exhausted. Additional funds are being sought.

"3. The strategy for the implementation of the United States contribution to the reconstruction of education systems in post-conflict countries has started to be put into practice in four countries: Liberia, Sierra Leone, Afghanistan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo. A mission composed of staff from Headquarters and institutes went to Liberia to identify needs for rebuilding the country’s education system, including teacher-training and HIV/AIDS education. (emphasis added)

"4. The first six months of the biennium has been a period of laying the groundwork that will allow the achievement of the expected results for the major programme. One very important event during the period followed on UNESCO’s invitation to the other co-sponsors of UNAIDS to jointly launch a global initiative on prevention education, aimed at an AIDS-free generation. Intended to protect the core functions of education against the onslaught of the HIV/AIDS pandemic, the initiative will provide a resource for decision-making. It will also involve an expanded role for UNESCO.

"5. Girls’ education in sub-Saharan Africa received a major boost as the result of a policy consultation (Nairobi, Kenya, 22-25 June), organized in cooperation with the World Bank, UNICEF, the Commonwealth Secretariat, the African Development Bank and the Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), which brought together some 150 participants from 27 countries. The meeting resulted in increased political commitment and partnerships for scaling up effectively an identified set of good practices in girls’ education throughout the region. The importance of literacy for development and increased commitment to its inclusion in EFA plans has been enhanced through UNESCO’s leadership role in the United Nations Literacy Decade.

"6. Considerable progress has been made on two important developments that UNESCO is leading on behalf of the international community. The General Conference at its 32nd session called for UNESCO to develop an international convention against doping in sport. Two intergovernmental meetings (January and May) discussed the draft which has now been circulated to all Member States. As regards the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development, which will begin in January 2005, the international implementation scheme has been finalized for submission by the Director-General to the United Nations for approval at the 59th session of its General Assembly.

"7. In an event of high symbolic significance, the Director-General promoted the Olympic Truce during a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters on 25 June, calling on all nations to observe the Truce during the Games of the XXVIIIth Olympiad (Athens, Greece, 13-29 August). He joined hands with an Israeli girl and a Palestinian boy as she passed the Olympic flame on to the young Palestinian.

"8. Secondary education is coming to be seen as more and more important for the achievement of the six Dakar goals. The fourth meeting of the Inter-agency Consultative Group on Secondary Education and Youth Affairs, led by UNESCO (Paris, 30 June-2 July) agreed on the need for strong advocacy on the importance of the extension and reform of secondary education to achieve the EFA goals. The 45 participants from United Nations agencies, other intergovernmental organizations and donor agencies also made concrete suggestions for the orientation of debates during the 47th International Conference on Education.

"9. UNESCO’s leading role in setting policies for promoting quality mechanisms at national level as means for sustainable higher education systems in the context of globalization and the emergence of cross-border higher education providers was reasserted at the Second Global Forum on International Quality Assurance, Accreditation and the Recognition of Qualifications (Paris, 28-29 June 2004). The 250 participants, experts from over 80 countries and NGOs and IGOs, addressed the relevant issues in this area around the overarching theme “Widening Access to Quality Higher Education”. Results will eventually include reinforced legal instruments such as revised conventions on the recognition of qualifications, and UNESCO-OECD guidelines on quality in cross-border higher education.

"10. Integration between the programme activities of UNESCO’s six education institutes and the rest of the Sector, including the field offices, has continued to increase, as can be clearly seen in this Report from their contributions to the various main lines of action in Major Programme I, Education. A new brochure UNESCO and Education: Institutes and Centres clearly describes their roles. The International Bureau of Education has concentrated on organizing the 47th session of the International Conference on Education (ICE) on the theme “Quality education for all young people: Challenges, trends and priorities” (8-11 September 2004)."

Scott Momaday designated 'UNESCO Artist for Peace'

Scott Momaday designated 'UNESCO Artist for Peace': "

U.S. author and poet N. Scott Momaday was designated 'UNESCO Artist for Peace' by Director General Ko�chiro Matsuura in a ceremony at UNESCO's Paris headquarters on May 12, 2004. Ambassador Louise V. Oliver (see link to her comment below) also took part in the ceremony."

Department of Education: Forging a New Partnership for Hope

Forging a New Partnership for Hope

This brochure was published by the U.S. Department of Education on the reentry of the United States into UNESCO. It describes the U.S. interests in international educational affairs, and the expectations for educational cooperation with UNESCO in the future.

The State Department: The United States of America And UNESCO

The United States of America And UNESCO: Building Knowledge, Bridging Cultures:

"'As a symbol of our commitment to human dignity, the United States will return to UNESCO. This organization has been reformed and America will participate fully in its mission to advance human rights and tolerance and learning.'
President George W. Bush
September 12, 2002"

Saturday, December 18, 2004

UNESCO | Education - New brochure on UNESCO Institutes and Centres specialized in education

UNESCO | Education - UNESCO Institutes and Centres specialized in education

Six Institutes and two Centers work as part of UNESCO’s Education Sector, helping countries to tackling education problems. Located in different parts of the world, the Institutes and Centres all have a different story to tell. Three Institutes have a long past; the oldest - the International Bureau of Education - dates back to 1925. Others are more recent, mainly established in the late 1990s in response to emerging needs. The institutes and centers are:

-- International Bureau of Education (IBE)
-- International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP)
-- UNESCO Institute for Education (UIE)
-- Institute for Information Technologies in Education (IITE)
-- International Institute for Capacity-Building in Africa (IICBA)
-- International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (IESALC)
-- International Centre for Technical and Vocational Education and Training (UNESCO-UNEVOC)
-- European Centre for Higher Education (UNESCO-CEPES)

There is also a UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS).

A brochure available on this website describes the work of each of them.



"On December 15, the regional seminar of UNESCO on promotion of the Convention on preservation of non-material cultural heritage has opened in the capital of Tatarstan. In work of the seminar was taking part the spouse of the President of Azerbaijan, the Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO Mehriban of Aliyeva. "

Friday, December 17, 2004

Director-General addresses the Panel of External Auditors of the United Nations: UNESCO

Director-General addresses the Panel of External Auditors of the United Nations: UNESCO:

"The Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Ko�chiro Matsuura, today addressed the participants in the 45th meeting of the Panel of External Auditors of the United Nations, the Specialized Agencies and the International Atomic Energy Authority, being held at UNESCO Headquarters. He was introduced to the participants by Ms Sheila Fraser, UNESCO�s External Auditor."

CAIP-Sponsored Roundtable on UNESCO and OAS Activities

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Consortium of Affiliates for International Activities (CAIP) sponsored a roundtable for interested parties from professional societies and the U.S. government. It was an informal information-gathering and discussion that covered both the Organization of American States ministerial process, which will next take up the issue of science and technology capacity building, and UNESCO programs and processes. It will set the stage for a full scale CAIP meeting in February.

Sid Passman provided the following comments on the meeting:


Alex Zemeck, Deputy Ex. Sec. of the U.S. National Commission on UNESCO (NATCOMM) outlined the structure of the NATCOMM. They need about 10 more NGOs to complete their membership.

Hank Hatch, designated coordinator of the Science Committee, welcomed advice from us
old timers and hoped we could help to identify US participants in UNESCO activities in recent years so that the NATCOMM would be able to appreciate US interests. (If Roger's database is still available it would be helpful for the secretariat.)
Since the NATCOMM is organized under the terms of the Federal Advisory Committee Act,
the meetings will be open to the interested public (within the room limits.). Announcements will be made at least 15 days in advance. The agenda of the meetings will be set by State and will be aimed at providing advice when requested.

There are 21 member organizations on the Science Committee of NATCOMM.

The first NATCOMM meeting will probably be in May.

Because UNESCO seems concerned about its bleak financial future (the State Department's Bureau for International Organizations (IO) representative defended the need to keep the budget zero growth with mandatory absorption of building and security costs), Amb. Oliver suggested ways in which UNESCO could become more efficient. She dispatched an advisory group (Engineer Russel Jones and academic in residence Melba Crawford), who just returned from an extended mission. They suggested an integration and consolidation of staff to create a capacity building task force. I hope that we will learn more about Amb. Oliver's activities and thoughts when she speaks at the very important AAAS annual meeting 19 February.

I made numerous interventions on the various questions and issues before the roundtable, some of which, I believe, were well received.

In conclusion, I believe things are going well but recommend that Americans for UNESCO stay closely in touch and offer advice wherever practicable.


I would add that NATCOMM will have four committees: Science, Education, Culture and Communication. Currently there is no plan to appoint a chairman for the overall NATCOMM, but the four committee chairs may form the core of an executive committee.

The zero-growth proposal for UNESCO's budget is in keeping with plans that were made two years ago, with the U.S. reentry into UNESCO. At that time, there was a significant increase in the budget, reflecting the added contribution that would be made by the U.S. to those of other nations. But, it was contemplated that the budget would not expand further in the next bieniums. The discovery of the need for tens of millions of dollars worth of repairs and renovations needed for the UNESCO headquarters, and the depreciation of the dollar against the Euro have lead UNESCO staff now to propose increasing the budget again (by US$58 million to US$210 million.)

There seemed to be confidence that ambassador Oliver is doing well since she assumed her post as U.S. Ambassador to UNESCO. Her emphasis on building cross-cutting programs to break down the "stove-piping" that currently exists in UNESCO seemed especially well received. She has proposed a "Capacity Building Center" within UNESCO to promote cross-cutting efforts to build capacity in developing nations.

There was discussion of the need to increase the number of Americans on the staff of UNESCO, both to reflect the importance of the U.S. in UNESCO's support, and to improve the linkages between U.S. educational, cultural and scientific communities and UNESCO programs.

It was suggested that it would be worthwhile to revisit a study published by the National Academy of Sciences about 1985, that discussed the concerns of the U.S. scientific community at the time of the U.S. withdrawal from UNESCO.

Saturday, February 19th, there will be a session at the Annual Meeting of the AAAS on UNESCO. Ambassador Oliver will speak, as will Walter Erdelen, Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences of UNESCO. Also scheduled to speak will be Shirley Malcolm, Bruce Alberts, and Terry Garcia. There will be an hour for open, moderated discussion following the presentations. This will be an important meeting.

2005 has been named "The World Year in Physics". 2005 is the 100th anniversary of the year in which Einstein published his most remarkable contributions to the science. UNESCO and the American Physical Society will mount programs.

U.S. Civil Society Views of UNESCO

U.S. Civil Society Views of UNESCO

This is a summary of a meeting convened by the Board on International Scientific Organizations of the National Research Council on November 22, 2002. The opinions expressed are not necessarily endorsed by the
Board. This is not a formal report of the National Research Council, but is an informal record of the discussions in the meeting.

The Korea Times : Kang Inaugurated as Director of UNESCO Education Center

The Korea Times : Kang Inaugurated as Director of UNESCO Education Center:

Kang Dai-geun, ex-director of the Korea UNESCO Culture Center, was inaugurated on Wednesday as the director of the Asia-Pacific Center of Education for International Understanding (APCEIU). "APCEIU is the only UNESCO institution headquartered in Korea. It was set up in 2000 under the agreement between UNESCO and the Korean government to promote education for international understanding toward a culture of peace in cooperation with 45 members in the Asia-Pacific."

UNESCO | Education - New books and laboratory equipment en route for Iraq's universities

UNESCO | Education - New books and laboratory equipment en route for Iraq's universities

"Four containers of laboratory equipment, along with supplies of up-to-date reference books and student’s textbooks are on their way to Iraq. They are part of an international effort to revitalize the country’s universities and its higher education system. The consignment has been organized by UNESCO and the International Fund for Higher Education in Iraq."

Iraq's Musical Heritage Largely Lost

Daily Times - Iraq's Musical Heritage Largely Lost:

"A leading Arab musician is bemoaning the loss of 'Iraq's timeless treasure of art', knowing not how to retrieve it from the growing debris of destruction caused by the ongoing bloody war in what was once the seat of Arab civilisation.

"'The agony is that Iraq's long-cherished and long-treasured musical and artistic wealth has been looted or burnt during the endless war,' Dr Kihaf Fakhouri, president of the Paris-based International Music Conference (IMC), says.

"IMC, a global association of expert organisations and individuals working in the field of music, was founded in 1949 by UNESCO and mandated to promote musical diversity and support cultural rights for all."

Reuters AlertNet - PAKISTAN: The challenge of integrating HIV/AIDS awareness into the school curriculum

Reuters AlertNet - PAKISTAN: The challenge of integrating HIV/AIDS awareness into the school curriculum:

"Integrating HIV/AIDS education into school curriculum HIV/AIDS awareness needs to be taught in the context of wider health education, according to practitioners. 'HIV/AIDS education is not something isolated. Its all about avoiding risky behaviour, learning healthy life skills and decision making, which are not only responsible for HIV/AIDS but can cause several other physical and mental disorders,' Naureen Butt, programme officer at the Aga Khan Education Services Pakistan (AKESP) told IRIN from southern port city of Karachi, capital of Sindh province, on Friday."


"Educational authorities in collaboration with the UN Educational and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), two years ago, developed a guidebook for schoolteachers containing information about HIV/AIDS and other adolescence issues."

Pakistan to carry out literacy survey with UNESCO help

Daily Times - Pakistan to carry out literacy survey with UNESCO help:

"The Education Ministry, in collaboration with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and European Union, will carry out a survey to determine the literacy rate in the country."

Paris meeting triggers new moves to rebuild Iraq's education sector

Paris meeting triggers new moves to rebuild Iraq's education sector:

"A Qatar-backed initiative to rebuild Iraq�s decimated higher education system has been given fresh impetus following a recent meeting in Paris between the main funding body and the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation."

Iran Urges UNESCO to Lift its Heritage Ceiling

Iran Urges UNESCO to Lift its Heritage Ceiling:

"Iran has allocated $2.5 billion in the next decade to protect its cultural heritage, a senior official said, Iranian Cultural Heritage News Agency reported.

In a meeting with Koichiro Matsuro, UNESCO's director general, head of Iran's Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization (CHTO) explained Tehran's mid and long-term plans to preserve and protect its millennia-old heritage. "

UNESCO to Support Production of Eight Films on Human Rights and Tolerance: UNESCO-CI

UNESCO to Support Production of Eight Films on Human Rights and Tolerance: UNESCO-CI

"UNESCO has now selected eight proposals for film productions for its new project “ICT-enhanced Public Service Broadcasting: Contributing to the development of human rights, peace, tolerance and the fight against discrimination” (ICT@PSB). The selection was made out of 200 submissions that UNESCO received further to an international call to television and film professionals earlier this year."

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Filipino teacher Receives Good Teaching Award

Filipino teacher Receives Good Teaching Award -

"SHERLITA Daguiosonan, a mathematics and science teacher from Iligan City, was among the Asian teachers who won the first regional awards for innovative teachers given by software firm Microsoft Corp.

The awards were given during the Asian Regional Innovative Teacher's Conference held in Singapore. "The conference gathered top Asian education leaders, policy makers and more than 120 teachers from 16 Asia-Pacific countries.

"Daguiosonan was recognized for having used information and communications technologies to enhance her teaching methods. As an added bonus, she will attend the Innovative Teachers Global Summit in Seattle, Washington.

"Organized under Microsoft's Partners in Learning (PiL) program, in collaboration with Singapore's National Institute of Education and UNESCO, the conference provided a region-wide forum to identify and share best practices in the use of technology as an instruction tool, and to empower teachers with IT skills in the classrooms."

India 106th in educational reach India 106th in educational reach:

"India ranks a poor 106th among 127 nations in its educational reach, according to Unesco's Global Monitoring Report for 2005, Parliament was informed Monday."

Ghana Web: Ghanaian Cultural Website

Ghana Web: Ghanaian Cultural Website:

"The National Commission on Culture (NCC) on Tuesday launched a website aimed at providing knowledge on Ghana's culture and cultural heritage.

"The website would also educate policy-makers on the relevance of culture, especially on burning issues of gender and inform the public about the country's cultural heritage to enable them to treasure the cultural value in Ghanaian languages, proverbs, music, festivals, arts and crafts and traditional governance, among other things.

"The Royal Netherlands Embassy and the UNESCO funded the project. Professor George P. Hagan, Chairman of the NCC, said three things - formulating of culture policy, culture trust fund and creation of a website where people could access the Ghanaian culture - were his priority which he promised to accomplish since he assumed office in 2001."

KJCT 8: Mesa State President Appointed to US Commission for UNESCO

KJCT 8: Mesa State President Appointed to US Commission for UNESCO:

"President of Mesa State College Tim Foster has been appointed to serve on a national commission. Foster is one of 13 state and local government representatives appointed by Secretary of State Collin Powell to the U.S. National Commission for the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization. The national commission will function as a federal advisory committee. It will provide expert advice to the U.S. government on matters relating to UNESCO, including worldwide humanitarian development."

UNESCO: Special Focus on HIV/AIDS


Beside the UNESCO traditional Thematic Areas (Education, Natural Sciences, Social and Human Sciences, Culture, Communication and Information), it has created a number of Special Focus programs reflecting either a transdisciplinary approach or focus on current events or news related subjects (or both). The link is to the UNESCO home website for its HIV/AIDS related efforts.

Thanks to its interdisciplinary experience, and its worldwide mandate, UNESCO is well placed to play a lead role in delivering messages about the prevention and treatment of HIV/AIDS to a large audience. UNESCO experience can help customize messages, change risky behavior, and promote discussion and action on the treatment of HIV/AIDS taking into account cultural values and human rights as well as defending the dignity of all. Through its educational and other programs, UNESCO can help nations deal with the impact of the AIDS epidemic.

Monday, December 13, 2004

UNESCO City of Literature -- Edinburgh

UNESCO City of Literature -- Edinburgh:

"THE American writer Washington Irving, on a visit to Walter Scott in 1817, wrote to his brother: 'It seemed as if the rock and castle assumed a new aspect every time I looked at them; and Arthur's Seat was perfect witchcraft. I don't wonder that anyone residing in Edinburgh should write poetically.'

"For centuries Edinburgh, with her myriad faces, has fascinated writers. Several hundred novels have been set in the city - it is now the fictional crime capital of the world - and three of Britain's best-selling authors Alexander McCall Smith, Ian Rankin and JK Rowling live within close proximity of each other in an Edinburgh suburb.

"Very few other cities have so many literary associations which is why it is so appropriate that Edinburgh should recently have become the first Unesco City of Literature."

Remark by Secretary Powel, December 8, 2004

Remark by Secretary Powel, December 8, 2004:

Question: "Do you yourself see an alternative to a UN, which logically is dysfunctional and little more than a international public works program?"

SECRETARY POWELL: "You put in the tail end of your comment, question, positions in my mind. I do not believe it is nothing more than a debating organization and a public works organization for bureaucrats. I think the UN does very, very important work. I worked with the UN in conflict resolution issues over many years. Whether it was in Central America or South America, whether it was in Cambodia or East Timor, the UN has done valuable work. The end of the Iraq-Iran war was negotiated, in 1988, by the UN. And so the UN does very, very important work but it is a body of a 191 or 192 nations and the General Assembly and 15 in the Security Council and so many other agencies that do work: UNICEF, UNESCO, so many others. I think it is a valuable organization and if somebody were to disband it tomorrow, we would recreate it a week later. Because it is needed."

The Capacity-building tool kit for NGOs/CSOs involved in Education in Sub-Saharan Africa

UNESCO: Education - The Capacity-building tool kit for NGOs/CSOs involved in Education in Sub-Saharan Africa

This program was developed by UNESCO in order to enhance civil society capacity to take part in the Education For All (EFA) process. Objectives achieved, according to the website, were:

-- "Developing core materials and basic training and management tools to be used by all countries that will join the program,

-- Reinforcing NGO/CSO capacity to participate in education policy formulation and development in the six initial countries through local training activities, and

-- Strengthening NGO/CSO competencies in different aspects of curriculum development in the six initial countries through local training and monitoring."

United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014)

UNESCO Education - United Nations Decade for Education for Sustainable Development :

"In December 2002, resolution 57/254 on the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly and UNESCO was designated as lead agency for the promotion of the Decade.

"This site shares information on the United Nations Decade of Education for Sustainable Development in close consultation and collaboration with our partners at local, national, regional and international levels."

Sunday, December 12, 2004

2004 UNESCO Publications on Education

UNESCO Publishing has issued a number of books this year that may be of interest to the readers of this blog:

Teacher Education Resource Pack


Increasing teacher effectiveness

Developing key competencies in education: some lessons from international and national experience

Educating for a Sustainable Future: Commitments and Partnerships

Education, Conflict and Social Cohesion

Multigrade schools: improving access in rural Africa?

Planning human resources: methods, experiences and practices

Special Needs in the Classroom: A Teacher Education Guide

The Challenge of Indigenous Education: Practice and Perspectives

ABC News: Islamic Countries Commit to Reforms

ABC News: Islamic Countries Commit to Reforms:

"Officials from more than 20 Islamic countries said Saturday that political, economic and social reforms must go hand in hand with steps toward settling the Israeli-Palestinian conflict......The United States, a driving force behind the conference, sees the changes as a way to make these societies less of a breeding ground for political extremism. At a news conference after the discussions, Secretary of State Colin Powell said he was not disappointed that the Muslim delegates insisted on linking internal reforms to the Mideast dispute."


"Much of the discussion, conducted mostly in private, focused on raising the low literacy rates in the region and on ways to provide equal treatment for women. Economic development also was on the agenda. Treasury Secretary John Snow said the region's unemployment rate is about 50 percent. 'The best development program is a job,' Snow told reporters. 'And a job comes from growth.'"

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Inside the Beltway - The Washington Times: Parde Appointed to U.S. National Commission for UNESCO

Inside the Beltway - The Washington Times: December 10, 2004 -- Parde Appointed to U.S. National Commission for UNESCO:

"Secretary of State Colin L. Powell has appointed Duane Parde, executive director of the American Legislative Exchange Council, the nation's largest organization of state legislators, to the United States National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, or UNESCO for short."


"'As we look toward our children's future, it becomes extremely important to place a high value on communication, information and knowledge,' says Mr. Parde. 'This is precisely how we will break down the digital divide and create opportunities for all people, regardless of race, creed or economic sustainability.'"

Learning for Tomorrow's World: First results from PISA 2003

Learning for Tomorrow's World: First results from PISA 2003:

"Learning for Tomorrow's World: First results from PISA 2003 presents initial results from the PISA 2003 assessment. The report goes well beyond an examination of the relative standing of countries in mathematics, science and reading. It also looks at a wider range of educational outcomes that include students' motivation to learn, their beliefs about themselves and their learning strategies."

"PISA 2003 is the second assessment in the Program: the first survey was in 2000. Well over a quarter of a
million students in 41 countries took part in a two-hour test in their schools, assessing their skills in mathematics,
reading, science and problem solving. All 30 OECD member countries participated, as well as 11 partner countries."

Global Education Digest 2004: Comparing Education Statistics Across the World

UNESCO Institute for Statistics Global Education Digest 2004a>:

"The Global Education Digest 2004: Comparing Education Statistics Across the World is the second in an annual series of UIS global statistical reports that provides the latest key education indicators from early childhood to higher education. It is a fundamental reference work for a general readership interested in comparing education systems and trends across nations. This report also provides an additional analysis of school life expectancy, progress towards education goals and a survey of national compulsory education standards."

"Education for All Global Monitoring Report"

"The 2005 Report: Education for All, The Quality Imperative"

"Education for all cannot be achieved without dramatic improvements in the quality of learning. Yet in many countries, a large gap exists between the number of students graduating from school and those among them mastering a minimum set of cognitive skills.

"The key factors that influence quality and strategies to improve teaching and learning in poorer countries."