Thursday, March 31, 2005

Online discussion of 2006 Global Monitoring Report: an extra week!

UNESCO Online discussion website

The debate closes today!

Debate on Information Literacy at UNESCO

UNESCO Debate webpage

"A debate on 'Information literacy' will be held on 5 April at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris. The one-day debate is part of the 8th meeting of the Bureau of the Intergovernmental Council for the Information for All Programme."

Ariane Mnouchkine receives UNESCO Picasso Medal

UNESCO release on the award:

"Renowned French theatre director and the theatre company she founded in Paris in 1964, the Th��tre du Soleil, will receive the UNESCO Picasso Medal on the occasion of World Theatre Day in a ceremony in presence of Manfred Beilharz, President of the International Theatre Institute, and G�rard Mortier, Director of the Paris National Opera. "

UNESCO Artists for Peace

UNESCO Artists for Peace

"UNESCO Artists for Peace are internationally-renowned personalities who use their influence, charisma and prestige to help promote UNESCO’s message and programs." Among the many designated artists are: Shirley Bassey, Celine Dion, and The Dominican Republic Youth and Children Symphonic Orchestra. U.S. artists are conspicuous by their absence from the list.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

.International Workshop on Mobile and Wireless Learning

UNESCO Bangkok website for the conference:

"An International Workshop on Mobile and Wireless Learning for Expanding Educational Opportunities is planned for 16 - 20 May 2005 in Tokyo, Japan. The workshop is being organized by the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) and UNESCO Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education."

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Khatami at UNESCO-sponsored Meetign article:

"The Iranian President Mohamed Khatami warned all governments and nations on Saturday against the production and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), the official IRNA news agency reported.

"'Today, the world is seriously threatened by the production, proliferation and stockpiling of weapons of mass destruction,' Khatami was quoted as saying in a speech delivered to the first international conference on bioethics, which opened Saturday, and was attended by some 600 professors, researchers and scientists from 18 countries......

"The conference is co-sponsored by the UN Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Iran's Ministry of Science, Research and Technology and the Health Ministry as well as the National Genetics Engineering, Biology and Technology Research Center, and Tehran University's Ethics and Medical History Research Organization."

Towards a Convention on the Protection of the Diversity of Cultural Contents and Artistic Expressions: UNESCO Culture Sector

UNESCO website devoted to the proposed convention

The General Conference of UNESCO directed the preparation of a Preliminary Draft of a Convention on the Protection of the Diversity of Cultural Contents and Artistic Expressions to be submitted for its next session in October 2005. The elaboration of this new legal instrument, which is to be consistent with the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (2001), comprises two stages: firstly, meetings of independent experts for preliminary deliberations and; secondly, a series of intergovernmental meetings of experts to finalize the preliminary draft of a convention. To this end, between December 2003 and May 2004, the Director-General convened three meetings of independent experts to gather suggestions for the preparation of a first preliminary draft of a convention. In March 2005, the Director-General submitted to the Member States a Preliminary Report summarizing the various milestones since the beginning of the process in 2003. Two preliminary drafts of the convention are contained in the appendices of the report.

The UNESCO Medium-Term Strategy for 2002-2007

Click here to download the complete 65 page PDF document.

The Director General's introduction states:

"Overall, the Medium-Term Strategy is formulated around a single unifying theme – UNESCO contributing to peace and human development in an era of globalization through education, the sciences, culture and communication. Thus, it seeks to create a link between UNESCO’s mandate and role on the one hand and globalization with a human face on the other hand. The Strategy unifies the four main programme areas with a common purpose and defines – for the first time – a limited number of strategic objectives, a total of 12 for the entire Organization and three for each programme. Around these strategic objectives are built two cross-cutting themes, which are and must be intrinsic to all programmes and which will stay with us for the next six years: the eradication of poverty, especially extreme poverty; and the contribution of information and communication technologies to education, science, culture and information and the building of knowledge societies. These themes are also an entry point to foster much more than hitherto intersectoriality, at Headquarters and in the field. Another substantive innovation built into the present Strategy is the mainstreaming of areas, previously designated as priority areas, namely Africa, the least developed countries, women and youth. This implies that all sectors and programmes must address their needs and requirements. Equally, there will be special focus on the excluded and most vulnerable segments of society throughout all UNESCO’s efforts.

"The Strategy outlines:
– three main strategic thrusts around which UNESCO’s action will develop over the next six years, namely:
- developing and promoting universal principles and norms based on shared values,
- promoting pluralism through recognition and safeguarding of diversity, together with the observance of human rights, and
- promoting empowerment and participation in the emerging knowledge society through equitable access, capacity-building and knowledge-sharing;
– the major strategic objectives and sub-objectives for the Organization’s efforts emphasizing its comparative advantage in relation to other institutions of the system and its specific role as an intergovernmental organization, an entity for international intellectual cooperation and a provider of services to Member States;
– for each strategic objective the outcomes expected to be attained by the end of 2007, facilitating the introduction and application of results-based programming, management and monitoring – a new feature for UNESCO."

The Strategic Objectives for Education are:
- Promoting education as a fundamental right in accordance with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
- Improving the quality of education through the diversification of contents and methods and the promotion of universally shared values, and
- Promoting experimentation, innovation and the diffusion and sharing of information and best practices as well as policy dialogue in education.

The Strategic Objectives for Culture are:
- Promoting the drafting and implementation of standard setting instruments in the cultural field,
- Safeguarding cultural diversity and encouraging dialogue among cultures and civilizations, and
- Enhancing the linkages between culture and development through capacity-building and sharing of knowledge.

Debate on Information Literacy at UNESCO

UNESCO Announcement of the Debate

"A debate on "Information literacy”, a basic skill empowering people to benefit fully from the Information Society, will be held on 5 April at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris. The one-day debate that is open to Permanent Delegations of UNESCO Members States, is part of the 8th meeting of the Bureau of the Intergovernmental Council for the Information for All Programme."

The First Resort Of Kings: American Cultural Diplomacy In The Twentieth Century listing for the book:

"The First Resort of Kings examines the first eight decades of formal U.S. cultural diplomacy, from its tentative beginnings in World War I through the 1990s. Arndt also compares America’s efforts with those of other nations and enriches his narrative by detailing the professional experiences of the men and women who have represented American democracy, education, intellect, art, and literature to the rest of the world. His work shows that this dialogue of American culture and education with the rest of the world is neither a frill nor a domestic political concern but is the deepest cornerstone of a positive, forward-looking U.S. foreign policy. Arndt argues that, particularly in the wake of the Iraq War, America must revive its cultural diplomacy programs as a long-term investment in international goodwill and understanding."

The author, RICHARD T. ARNDT "worked for USIA for twenty-four years after earning a doctorate and teaching at Columbia University. Since retiring from the USIA, he has served as the president of the U.S. Fulbright Association, coedited The Fulbright Difference, 1948-1992, chaired the National Peace Foundation, and is currently the president of Americans for UNESCO. He lives in Washington, D.C.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre

UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre webpage:

"Serving UNESCO Member States, the UNESCO-UNEVOC International Centre acts as international hub for a global network of institutions active in the area of Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET). The Centre, operational since 2000, is located in Bonn, Germany."

The International Literacy Prizes

UNESCO Literacy Prize website:

"Each year from 1966 UNESCO has celebrated INTERNATIONAL LITERACY DAY with the aim to sensitize and mobilize international public opinion and to elicit their interest and active support for literacy activities one of UNESCO's major preoccupations since its first General Conference in 1946.....

"At present five international literacy prizes are awarded each year:

1. The International Reading Association Literacy Award, created in 1979 by the International Reading Association, a non-governmental organization

2. The Noma Literacy Prize created in 1980 by the late Shoichi Noma, President of Kodansha Ltd., Publishers

3. The two King Sejong Literacy Prizes created in 1989 by the Government of the Republic of Korea to commemorate a king who invented, more than 500 years ago, an alphabet consisting of 22 easy to learn letters

4. The Malcolm Adiseshiah International Literacy Prize created in 1998 by the Government of India to commemorate the late Malcolm Adiseshiah, former Deputy Director-General of UNESCO and Chairman of the International Literacy Prize Jury."

Friday, March 25, 2005

UNESCO - United Nations at EXPO 2005 Aichi

UNESCO News release:

"At the invitation of the Government of Japan the United Nations has announced that it will participate in the World Exposition (EXPO) 2005 to take place in Aichi, Japan, from next March 25 to September 25, 2005.

"Within the overall Expo them of 'Nature's Wisdom' the United Nations Pavilion will foxus on 'Celebrating Diversity'. Many UN agencies will contribute to the multi-media exhibits, special events, screenings, educational and entertainment activities being organized on this occasion. UNESCO is serving as lead agency for this initiative in view of the relevance of the Organization's core mission, which is 'to promote a fruitful diversity of cultures' that not only gives meaning to our differences, but also, and even more importantly, demonstrates our common belonging to humanity,' in the words of UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura."

Call for applications for International Literacy Prizes for 2005

UNESCO Announcement: "

UNESCO is inviting applications for the 2005 International Literacy Prizes.

"The theme for this year is Literacy and Sustainable Development.

"The Prizes are awarded in recognition of institutions, organizations or individuals that have made outstanding contributions to the development of literacy and basic education.

"Deadline for submissions is 30 April 2005."

A decade of education for a lifetime of sustainable development

EUROPA Research news article

"A new United Nations (UN) scheme puts education at the heart of sustainable development. The ‘Decade of Education for Sustainable Development’ aims to encourage governments worldwide to integrate this important issue into mainstream school curricula."

UNESCO names Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber special envoy

AME Info story:

"Sheikh Mohamed Bin Issa Al Jaber, Chairman of MBI International and a prominent sponsor of reform in the Middle East, has been officially nominated by UNESCO Director General, M. Koichiro Matsuura, as the Director General's personal representative for 'education, human rights, tolerance, and cultures to build peace and democracy'."

Thursday, March 24, 2005

"Montréal, World Book Capital unveils its program of activities"

Canada NewsWire Group article

"The program of activities presented today by the team of Montréal, World Book Capital affords a unique and
remarkable opportunity for celebrating, sharing, discovering and reflecting on books and reading........

"The title of World Book Capital has been awarded annually by UNESCO for the past five years, and credit goes to the Association nationale des éditeurs de livres (ANEL), the French Canadian book publishers' association, for its successful initiative in nominating Montréal, which succeeds Antwerp as World Book Capital on April 23, on the occasion of World Book and Copyright Day."

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Comments by the Director-General on the External Evaluation Reports

Link to the comments

This report summarizes evaluations of four UNESCO programs and the organization's response to the recommendations made:

--Evaluation of UNESCO’s programme for the inclusion of children from various groups within formal education --programmes;
--Evaluation of the UNESCO Communication and Information Sector’s WebWorld Initiative;
--Evaluation of the World Heritage Fund’s Emergency Assistance activities;
--Culture Heritage Management and Tourism: Evaluation and mainstreaming.

It was prepared for the 171st Executive Board meeting, and is part of a continuing effort to utilize formal evaluations more effectively in the governance of UNESCO.

UNESCO/NHK Heritage Images Archives Initiative

UNESCO/NHK Heritage Images Archives Initiativewebsite

"This partnership builds on state-of-the-art digital visual and sound processing technologies for the production of short digital TV documentaries on Heritage using Hi-Vision technology as well as quality 3-D moving images and reconstruction images related to heritage.

"These images have been edited and adapted especially for access via the web by UNESCO.

"The following 10 short documentaries, part of the NHK World Heritage 100 Series, are available for watching here:

5000 Years of Glory: The Great Pyramids
Era of Maria Theresa: The Palace and Gardens of Schönbrunn
Earthly Paradise: Classical Gardens of Suzhou
The White Fortress: Himeji-jo
Rising from the Falls: Iguazu National Park
Multicultural City: Historic Centre of Cordoba
Khmer Smile: Angkor
Ethiopian Pilgrimage: The Rock Churches of Lalibela
Pride and Hope: Reviving Bam and its Cultural Landscape
Monument for the beloved: Taj Mahal

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network

UNESCO-Associated Schools Project Network website:

The Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) now includes some 7 509 institutions, ranging from nursery schools to teacher training institutions, in 175 countries."

A 2003 UNESCO publication describes the ASPNet program in the United States as follows:

ASPnet USA is in an unusual situation as the US has not been a member of UNESCO since 1984. Nonetheless, the Dept of State and UNESCO HQ have been very supportive. This has enabled two international workshops in 2001 and 2002, and participation in the Human Rights Conference 2002. There are 27 members of ASPnet, with 4 in the process of joining – a ‘small drop in the US bucket’. A typical school is private and small/medium; this is seen to be because public schools are preoccupied by issues of standards and assessment requirements. ASPnet schools feel they can translate UNESCO ideals into the curriculum without antagonising the structure, and that they can broaden the perspective on human rights, which is often not dealt with in depth in the regular school curriculum. Environment is a concern: one school for example managed to push for washable dishes in the cafeteria.

World Poetry Day - 21 March

UNESCO World Poetry Day webpage

'Mise Raiftearaí an file
lán dóchais is grá
Le súile gan solas
ciúnas gan crá

Ag gabhail síos ar m'aistear
le solas mo chroí
fann agus tuirseach
go deireadh mo shlí

Tá mé anois
le m'aghaidh ar bhalla,
Ag seinm cheoil
do phócaí folamh.'

Anthony Raftery

Click here for the translation.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

Education and equity in Latin America

click here to see the January-March 2005 edition:

The latest newsletter of UNESCO's International Institute for Educational Planning reports addresses the need for educational reforms to address the social situation in Latin America, where structural poverty is nowadays a combination of growing inequality and a severe crisis in social cohesion.

"Virtual universities and transnational education: Policy issues– What are they? And whose are they?"

UNESCO online publication

This report summarises the discussions of an online forum. The discussion forum focussed on four of the case studies presented online. The discussion emphasized identifying the policies needed to support the efficient development and operation of virtual universities -- and who should be responsible for the development of such policies. Susan D’ Antoni and Ian Mugridge, UNESCO. The dicussion forum took place 19 January – 20 February 2004.

Friday, March 18, 2005

The Challenge of Humanising Education

Inter Press Service News Agency story:

"From the Chilean capital, the United Nations Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organisation (UNESCO) launched a call to the world's governments and civil society to emphasise the humanistic side of education and culture through concrete policies that reach directly into the classroom.

"This is the underlying vision behind 'The Meanings of Education and Culture: Cultivating Humanity', an international event that kicked off in Santiago on Wednesday with a public forum, followed by a two-day workshop for specialists, Thursday and Friday, in Valparaiso, 120 kilometres west of the Chilean capital."

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Aksum Obelisk Returns to Ethiopia article:

"At the request of the Ethiopian and Italian governments, UNESCO will send an evaluation team to Aksum, in northern Ethiopia, to prepare the return of its celebrated obelisk. The obelisk has been in Rome since 1937.

"UNESCO will draw up the re-installation project for the obelisk and the development of the site, which will be funded by Italy. The obelisk has been cut into three sections to facilitate its transportation and is at Rome airport waiting to be flown to Ethiopia. The first section, weighing 60 tonnes, is expected to arrive in Aksum in early April. "

Brunei Becomes Unesco’s New Member

BrunaiDirect.Com artilce

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

McKinleyville High chosen as UNESCO Associated School

Lake County Record-Bee (Eureka, California) article:

"From the Taj Mahal to Redwood National Park, teachers in UNESCO Associated Schools use designated 'World Culture and Heritage sites' in their classwork. McKinleyville High School has been chosen to be the first such school in California. The school received notification from the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization office in Paris, France, that it had been selected."

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

U.S. National Commission for UNESCO publishes March Newsletter

Read it here

UNESCO Chairs/Networks

Program description:

"Since 1992, UNESCO has worked to strengthen higher education in the developing world through the UNITWIN and UNESCO Chairs programs. These programs encourage higher education systems in the industrial world to build relationships and share research and expertise with institutions in developing countries as well as regions in transition. Each year, UNESCO designates approximately thirty new UNITWIN networks and UNESCO Chairs in total throughout the world..........

"The deadline to apply for a UNESCO Chair or to participate in the UNITWIN program is March 21, 2005. Because of the great interest in these programs, applications received after 5 PM EST on this date will not be considered."

Unesco makes princess envoy of goodwill

Bangkok Post article:

"Her Royal Highness Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn will be conferred the title of goodwill ambassador by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco).

"The award is in recognition of her strenuous efforts to promote the ``empowerment of minority children through education and through the preservation of their intangible cultural heritage,'' the UN agency announced."

OPEC Fund/UNESCO initiative to combat HIV/AIDS in 12 Asian and Arab countries

UNESCO Press release:

The heads of the OPEC Fund for International Development and UNESCO signed an agreement to launch a joint HIV/AIDS initiative in 12 Asian and Arab countries. The project aims to reduce infection among young people by integrating prevention awareness into national education programs.

Online consultation on 2006 Education for All Global Monitoring Report

Click here to participate

An electronic consultation is under way on The Education for All Global Monitoring Report (GMR). The forthcoming 2006 edition, to be released in late 2005, is on the topic of literacy. UNESCO's objective for the consultation is to assure that the report is fully informed by the range of views, concerns and policy experience prevailing in the field of literacy. This consultation is addressed to individuals and organizations with experience in the field of literacy and education for all, and more broadly, with expertise on development issues. This is the first time that the GMR is organizing an online consultation.

"UNESCO office opens in Chechnya capital"

ITAR-TASS story:

"A UNESCO office opened in the Chechen capital Grozny on Tuesday. The Chechen office will be functioning at Chechen State University.

"According to the University pro-rector, the aim of the office will be to coordinate the carrying out of scientific projects and set up a student campus in the republic.

"Lema Turpalov said that the Grozny branch is practically the first regional office of UNESCO in Russia. Chechen President Alu Alkhanov met in Moscow on Monday with the secretary of the Russian commission on UNESCO, Grigory Ordzhonikidze. Talks were focused among other issues on the restoration of the Chechen national museum in Grozny.

"The office will coordinate all projects of international organisations for restoration of the republic's cultural potential destroyed during the conflict, Chechen president said on Saturday."



In response to the appeal launched by the UNESCO Director General in 1966, private organizations were established in a number of countries to collect and channel contributions to restore and preserve Venice.

Endangered Art of Venice Posted by Hello

"Over the years, the International Private Committees have worked closely with the Superintendencies of Monuments and Galleries of Venice, through UNESCO, to identify and address priority needs. Since 1969, they have funded the restoration of more than 100 monuments and 1,000 works of art, provided laboratory equipment and scientific expertise, sponsored research and publications and awarded innumerable grants for craftsmen, restorers and conservators to attend specialist courses in Venice."

Monday, March 14, 2005

UNESCO will help restore the museums and build an academic township for students in Chechnya

RussianCourier article:

"UNESCO will help restore the museums and build an academic township for students in Chechnya, executive secretary of the Russian Foreign Ministry's commission for UNESCO affairs Grigory Ordzhonikidze said at the meeting with Chechen President Alu Alkhanov on Saturday. "

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Cuba Hosts Meeting of UNESCO Sports Bureau Exec Board

Cuban National News Agency story:

"President of the Cuban Sports Institute Humberto Rodriguez stressed the humane values of the island's sports programs at the inauguration of UNESCO's Intergovernmental Executive Bureau for Physical Education and Sports. "

Heritage-pride movement launched in the Philippines (philippines) story:

"The Unesco National Commission partnered with the Film Academy of the Philippines and Globe Touch Mobile to get Filipinos to look at the positive in our country and recognize our legacy of greatness resulting from the high level of achievement of our nation and culture."

The Last Word: Donny George

Newsweek International Edition interview:

"It's been two years since the start of the Iraq war, and with increasing news coverage of insurgents, torture scandals and successful elections, one issue has taken a back seat: the looting of the Iraq museum in Baghdad. Not so for Donny George, the museum's director, whose responsibility it is to try to locate and retrieve the priceless antiquities stolen in the mayhem that followed the liberation of Baghdad, as well as protect those items that were left behind. Currently also working with the World Monuments Fund, UNESCO and the Getty Center to train Iraqi employees in conservation and restoration, George took time out to speak with NEWSWEEK's Cathleen McGuigan about his efforts."


Rules for the competition.

EURISY, in cooperation with the Norwegian Centre for Space-related Education (NAROM) and UNESCO, encourages young minds to peacefully explore outer space by holding a science fiction writing competition. Students are to imagine and write scenarios that describe progress, developments, discoveries related to science or societal life in outer space.

Who can participate? Two age groups are concerned:
12-14 year olds and
15-17 year olds.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

UNESCO and Informatics

By Sidney Passman, who served as UNESCO’s Director of the Division of Scientific Research and Higher Education in 1973-81. (This article appeared in Americans for UNESCO’s publication: Prospects & Retrospects, Vol. 2 No. 2 (p. 28-29), Winter 2004-2005)

In the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), the International Telecommunications Union meeting in Geneva in December 2003, UNESCO played a central role. The meeting was part of the global interest in using information and communications technology (ICT) for the improvement of humankind. Such issues as the digital divide, access to scientific information, freedom of information, preservation of digital archives, government policies for information and information processing, information and development—these are among those now on the front burner of the UN and its specialized agencies as well as the World Bank.

These groups are not the first to recognize the importance of these issues. A modest historical review may remind readers that UNESCO was in fact present at the creation when it comes to the computerization of information and its applications.

In 1950 or thereabouts, informed people believed the world might need only a handful of the then-gigantic computers. A UN committee was set up to think about research institutes of the future. It was chaired by UNESCO’s first ADG for Science, Joseph Needham, who recommended an International Computation Center (ICC) for the UN. UNESCO helped found the ICC as an intergovernmental organization; it later mutated into the Intergovernmental Bureau for Informatics (IBI), headquartered in Rome.

It was deemed essential to nurture the NGO community in mastering this technical area. To this end, UNESCO sponsored the Paris World Conference on Information Processing in 1959; it led in turn to the formation of the International Federation for Information Processing , still the principal world society for data processing. It goes without saying that US professionals played a key role in this effort.

By the time I joined UNESCO in 1973, computers had found their niche. They were already being used for manifold applications in the industrialized world, but there was a growing need to consider coherent policies for their successful adaptation in development. During this process, the term “informatics” was coined, from the French informatique, so as to cover these manifold issues.

John E. Fobes, then UNESCO’s DDG, immediately saw the implications. As a master of the UN’s organizational system, he was a superb guide. With his help, I was able to work with the UN Development Program, the IBI and the UN Office of Science and Technology in organizing a UN-wide computer program for development. We were concerned that government policies support these efforts and thus we called for national and international informatics policies; with IBI we organized the First World Conference on Strategies and Policies for Informatics, acronym SPIN-1978 in Torremolinos, Spain. As Secretary General for SPIN-1978, I have come to see over time that this effort, including the now-standard regional preparatory meetings, played an important role in adapting computer developments in science, education, communications and commerce to the needs of dozens of countries. I confirmed this later, as a consultant for USIA in India and for AID in Tunisia on a project designed to assist in computerization and institutional development. India is now a leader in the field and Tunisia has made significant progress and will host the second round of the WSIS in 2005.

In addition to working with IFIP, UNESCO helped organize a group of related NGOs with the acronym FIACC (Five International Associations Coordinating Committee) to help coordinate meetings and programs in the greatly expanding professional community. As part of this effort, it was recognized that the private sector played an essential role in computerization. My contacts with IBM, the giant in the field, led to that corporation’s agreeing to assist UNESCO in training personnel, supplying computers to scientific and educational centers, and making their own worldwide application centers available to facilitate the way to development applications. The memo of understanding between the two organizations was, I believe, a pioneering step in such partnerships--today there are many more, including the latest with Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard. There are also extra-budgetary programs with national and UN sponsors which supplement the very limited funds available under UNESCO’s regular program. Over the years these have enabled UNESCO to be of assistance in generating capacity for world-wide efforts in informatics development.

UNESCO later established the Intergovernmental Informatics Program (IIP) to support developments as a supplement to its regular program; IBI, having run out of momentum, was dissolved in the late `80s

It should be noted that during this time, parallel developments were being carried out at UNESCO in the fields of scientific information and library information, in close cooperation with the professional community, notably the International Council of Scientific Unions (ICSU) [now known as the International Council for Science] and the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA), culminating in the world conference , UNISIST, leading to the establishment of the Intergovernmental Program on Information. It eventually became clear that these subjects were also heavily involved with computerization and ultimately both Intergovernmental programs were merged into the present IFAP—theIntergovernmental Program for Information for All. This program provides a focus for international policy discussions and guidelines for action on:
* Preservation of information and universal access to it;
* Participation of all in the emerging global information society;
* Ethical, legal and societal consequences of ICT developments.

For the WSIS, UNESCO organized various important symposia, including one for the scientific community, convened with the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN), the Geneva-based high-energy physics center which also was the initiator of the World Wide Web (CERN was materially aided in its birth by UNESCO--a story in itself). For WSIS, UNESCO's documentation, seminars, consultants and DG Matsuura’s personal dedication succeeded in bringing that conference into the mainstream of support for the knowledge society and the free flow of information.

In all, admirers of UNESCO’s work may take pride in its half century of accomplishment in informatics, an area in which US participation, from the outset, played a crucial role.

Address by Mr Koichiro Matsuura at the opening session of the conference: The United States, UNESCO and Education for All

The Director General's Speech

This speech was made February 28, 2005 at Georgetown University. The PDF file is six pages long.

APAC leaders acknowledge ICT role in education - article

"ASIA Pacific leaders agree on the need for a workforce literate in information and communications technology (ICT), a recent study of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco) has revealed.....

"The study is based on the results a three-year meta-survey on the use of technologies in education in the Asia Pacific in 2004. It was done by UNESCO through its Bangkok regional office."

Saturday, March 05, 2005

Panel Discussion on "Best Practices and Strategies to Combat Trafficking of Women and Children in Africa": UNESCO

UNESCO announcement

"In the framework of the intersectorial project 'Fighting Human Trafficking in Africa,' the Panel Discussion will be organized by the Women's Consortium of Nigeria (WOCON) and UNESCO. This event is part of a cross-cutting project on poverty eradication with the Social and Human Sciences and Culture Sectors. The discussion will provide tools and strategies for policy-makers and NGOs to better combat this modern form of slavery. Experts will critically analyse the complexity of the trafficking phenomenon and will identify best practices in pilot countries, in order to provide inspiration for culturally appropriate responses."

The panel will take place in the United Nations building in New York, from 3 to 5 pm, on March 8, 2005.

Prizes for �Best Educational Portals in Latin America and the Caribbean� Awarded

UNESCO announcement:

"The website of the 'Centro Bibliotecario de Puente Alto' designed by Cristian Maturana (Chile) is the laureate of the UNESCO supported contest for the 'Best Educational Portals in Latin America and the Caribbean', which was organized by the Information Society Programme in Latin America and the Caribbean (INFOLAC). "

Friday, March 04, 2005


UNESCO Culture Sector Special marking International Women´s Day on 8 March

"Recognition of women’s contribution to every aspect of existence - personal, social, material, intellectual and spiritual – has liberated immense forces of production and creation, thereby leading to new balances, dynamics and aspirations.The rich and varied nature of their approach extends the boundaries of the arts and of intellectual creativity, while the assertion of their role in society enhances the perpetuity of timeless cultural practices that pass down from mother to daughter. The contribution of women to cultural and artistic life is beneficial to all."

Thursday, March 03, 2005

"Think Again: U.S. Foreign Aid"

Foreign Policy analysis: (Registration required.)

"Shortly after a tsunami swept through the Indian Ocean last December, a U.N. official complained that the West was 'stingy' with its relief donations. Stung by this criticism, the Bush administration increased its financial pledge tenfold overnight -- while loudly asserting that the United States actually led the global pack in foreign aid. Is the world's wealthiest country a scrooge or a savior?"

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Mothers of Invention Face Technical Taliban

Women's eNews article:

"In her 1985 book 'Myths of Gender: Biological Theories About Men and Biological Theories about Women and Men,' Anne Fausto-Sterling describes studies analyzing adult brain differences and concludes that verbal ability, visual spatial perception and math ability have nothing to do with gender. Meanwhile, school girls consistently match or surpass boys' achievements in science and mathematics across the world, according to a UNESCO study."

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Quality Education Can Bring Opportunity for All, Secretary Spellings Says

Department of Education website for speach:

"Education secretary cites similarities between No Child Left Behind Act and UNESCO's Education For All campaign; says quality, access and scientifically based research are keys to success"

The Secretary's speech at the UNESCO Education for All meeting can be downloaded from this website.

First Lady Voices U.S. Support for UNESCO Education Plan"

All American Patriots story:

"The United States is eager is contribute to the U.N. Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) goal of making universal primary education available to children throughout the world by 2015, said first lady Laura Bush. Speaking February 28 at Georgetown University in Washington on the UNESCO program “Education For All,” the first lady said education can help children, including those living in areas of conflict or disease, to 'turn toward a future of real possibility of success.'”

The first lady serves as the honorary ambassador for the United Nations Decade of Literacy.

Spellings: U.S. should address illiteracy

Seattle Post-Intelligencer article:

"More U.S. universities should apply their research toward solving the enormous problem of illiteracy worldwide, Education Secretary Margaret Spellings said Monday.

"'The more people behind this effort, the more people in need we can help,' Spellings said at a conference of the United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organization at Georgetown University."

Special UNESCO team to inspect Lanka's tsunami damaged World Heritage Sites

Online edition of (Sri Lanka) Daily News article:

"UNESCO has agreed to look into matters related to World Heritage Sites in Sri Lanka responding to a request by the Cultural Affairs and National Heritage Ministry, Minister Vijitha Herath said."