Monday, May 30, 2005


The Portal

UNESCO has provided this portal on culture in the region, as part of a larger project responding to the interests of Ministers of Culture in the region.

Sunday, May 29, 2005


Agenzia Giornalistica Italia - News In English article:

"An international seminar is under way in Assisi to define the guidelines for a European Portal for Culture. The portal, which is seen as a means to bolster intercultural dialogue, is part of an EU and Italy-backed initiative called 'Agenore', which was launched in September 2003. The seminar, attended by delegations of the EU Commission and the 25 EU member states, was held during a 3-day event on European culture which aims at setting up 'an online archive about the key figures and works of European culture as identified by each EU member state.' A spin-off of this project is the Portal for Culture, an online library featuring the best of each country's cultural heritage, from archaeology to art, cinema, music and literature. The goal is to favour intercultural dialogue by highlighting cultural differences. The seminar, which ends today, aims at integrating new technologies with cultural heritage as part of a digitalisation strategy launche by the EU Commission back in 2000 when UNESCO sites were first included in an online archive."

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Grimeton Radio Station: a Unique Piece of IT History

The Epoch Times article on the station.:

UNESCO's World Heritage List includes the Grimeton Radio Station in Sweden. In 1924 this was the state of the art, one of a global network of 18 stations communicating in Morse code. Its huge towers support an antenna that could send radio signals to the United States. The 200 kilowatt generator that powered the station too was state of the art, and is the only one of the design still operational.

Education for knowledge societies

UNESCO's description of the meeting:

"Education for Knowledge Societies is one of the key issues to be discussed this week at an international UNESCO conference in St. Petersburg, the Russian Federation."

U.S. National Commission Meeting

Check here for more information as it becomes available

The first meeting of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO will be held Monday, June 6 and Tuesday, June 7. It is to take place at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. The meeting will be open to observers, but those wishing to attend must contact the State Department no later than May 20. The address to do so is:

phone: (202) 663-0026

Written submissions are also accepted, but must also be received by May 20.

This will be my last posting for a while -- I am going on vacation for a couple of weeks.

UNESCO YOung Professionals Program (YPP)

State Department announcement:

"There will be a 2006 YPP for nationals of under- and non-represented countries which includes the U.S. The program is extremely competitive. UNESCO will hire only ten applicants worldwide. Last year the U.S. received 445 applications for the program, of which twelve were forwarded for consideration to UNESCO headquarters. From that group only one U.S citizen was selected.

"All applications must be postmarked by June 24, 2005."

The Coordinating Committee for International Volunteer Service

CCIVS homepage

UNESCO has for more than 50 years hosted this coordination group (which is even older). CCIVS is an international non-governmental organisation which seeks to promote peace, development and human rights through the promotion, development and co-ordination of national and international voluntary service.
CCIVS works through co-operation with its global membership of some 300 volunteers organisations and international agencies to research and co-ordinate international information exchange and to promote international volunteer via many means, including:

· Information and documentation

· Studies and research work

· Encouragement of joint action of voluntary service organisations

· International Solidarity campaigns and special joint actions

· Presentation of the issues concerning the international voluntary service movement before international organisations and in forums

· Exchange of volunteers and training of group leaders

It works in many European and developing nations, but unfortunately does not have a U.S. program.

Sunday, May 15, 2005


Dialogue Among Civilizations Bulletin --Summary Report:

"Over 70 participants from more than 30 countries participated, including several ministers and other high-level representatives. The purpose of the Conference was to examine the interaction between environment, peace and security in the context of multilateral cultural dialogue among civilizations and discuss the need for multilateralism and meaningful dialogue. The Conference sought to underpin the imperative of multilateralism and meaningful dialogue among civilizations as a means for joint action against dehumanizing poverty, violence, increasing reliance on military might and continued erosion of the democratic practice, both at national and international levels."

UNESCO is a cosponsor of the meeting held 9-10 MAY 2005.


Earth Negotiations Bulletin Summary:

"The third session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention to Combat Desertification (CRIC-3) took place from 2-11 May 2005, in Bonn, Germany. Nearly 600 participants attended, including delegates from 130 state Parties, as well as representatives of UN agencies, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations.........

"The Secretariat outlined the planned activities for 2006, as discussed by a steering committee, comprising the World Bank, UN Volunteers, UNESCO, FAO and the CBD. He stressed the new aspect of cultural heritage in deserts."

Saturday, May 14, 2005

U.S. pledges $1,000,000 at UNESCO conference on preserving Kosovo's cultural heritage


"The United States today pledged one million dollars to the United Nations Educational, Science and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Donors Conference for the Protection and Preservation of Cultural Heritage in Kosovo. The conference, which is being held in Paris, was organized jointly by UNESCO, the UN Interim Administrative Mission in Kosovo, the Council of Europe, and the European Commission."

Forum "What UNESCO for the Future?", 18 May 2005

Forum announcement:

"In the framework of its programme of work on Philosophy and Human Sciences, the Social and Human Sciences Sector (SHS) has opened a debate among philosophers, decision-makers and scholars to identify the key issues concerning the future work of the Organization.

"This new Forum untitled 'What UNESCO for the future?' was launched on the Third Philosophy Day (18 November 2004) with its first debate. On the 18 May, the second debate will take place with Prof. Jacques Attali, President of PlaNet Finance and Prof. Randolph Kent, President of Humanitarian Futures."

UNESCO House (room X), Paris, France (17.00 - 19.30)

Friday, May 13, 2005

Sichuan looks to protect pandas through UNESCO list

China View article:

"In a bid to include the habitats of its giant pandas on the World Natural Heritage List, Sichuan Province has shut down 78 mines and polluting firms, suspended construction of three power stations and completed the technological renovation of 180 enterprises."

This story illustrates that the power of UNESCO's World Heritage program greatly exceeds what one might expect from its limited budget.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

UNESCO Donors Conference for the Protection and Preservation of Cultural Heritage in Kosovo: UNESCO Culture Sector

Conference website:

The conference it to be held tomorrow, May 13, in Paris.

"This Conference is organized in close cooperation with the United Nations Interim Administration Mission in Kosovo (UNMIK), the Council of Europe and the European Commission. "

The Director-General participates in the celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of the End of World War II: UNESCO

UNESCO press release:

"On 9 May 2005, the Director-General Koichiro Matsuura, alongside some 50 Heads of State and Government and UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, participated in Moscow in the 6Oth anniversary celebrations of the Allies' victory over Nazi Germany."

Eight heads of state gather in Varna, Bulgaria, to discuss "Cultural Corridors in South-East Europe"

UNESCO News Release:

"The presidents of Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Serbia and Montenegro, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, and Turkey1 will take part in a regional summit entitled �Cultural Corridors in South-East Europe: Common Past and Shared Heritage - a Key to a Future Partnership� which will be held in Varna2, Bulgaria, on May 20-21. The forum is being organized by the President of Bulgaria, Georgi Purvanov, UNESCO Director-General Ko�chiro Matsuura, and the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, Terry Davis. "

Redefining UNESCO�s Associated Schools Project Network in Europe and North America

UNESCO news release:

"National Co-ordinators of the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) from over 50 countries in Europe and North America meet in Luxembourg from 10 to 14 May. The meeting aims to redefine the future orientation of ASPnet in the region.

"Workshops will include such themes as Education for Sustainable Development, Education for Peace and Human Rights, Linguistic Diversity and Euro-Arab Dialogue."

Monday, May 09, 2005

"Engineers Help To Save And Reconstruct The Past"

Science Daily article:

"Each time an ancient vase disintegrates, a ceramic tile crumbles or a painting cracks and fades, another link with our past is lost and we understand just a little less about where we came from and, ultimately, who we are.

"When the last artisan dies and an ancient technology is lost, we're similarly impoverished, says Pamela Vandiver, an internationally recognized expert in artifact preservation and, now, a professor at The University of Arizona.

"Vandiver came to UA last year to start a program in Heritage Conservation Science (HCS) that trains students to stabilize, preserve and better understand ancient artifacts and how they were created and used.........

"Preserving ancient technologies is so important that UNESCO recently started an international program to preserve craft knowledge, Vandiver says. The program is similar to the one that designates World Heritage Sites."

ItrainOnline Multimedia Training Kit

ItrainOnline: Resources for Trainers: MMTK:

"Supported by ItrainOnline partner UNESCO and others, the MMTK is a growing collection of 'workshop kits' for face-to-face training. The materials use a standard set of templates, and offer building blocks for trainers to build their own courses."

International Conference: World Heritage and Contemporary Architecture

UNESCO conference announcement:

"The UNESCO World Heritage Centre and the City of Vienna are pleased to announce this international conference, co-organized by the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) and the Austrian Ministry of Education, Science and Culture, which will take place in the Vienna City Hall from 12 to 14 May 2005."

Sunday, May 08, 2005

UNESCO and L’Or�al sign agreement on HIV/AIDS prevention education

UNESCO press release:

"UNESCO and L’Or�al Professional Products today signed an agreement under which they will work together on an HIV/AIDS prevention education programme. According to UNAIDS, half of the 4.3 million adults infected with HIV each year around the globe are young people aged 15 to 24. Women now represent half of the 37 million people infected worldwide."

ISESCO calls upon Islamic world to promote education in order to access knowledge society - Irna

Islamic Republic News Agency story

"On the occasion of the twenty-third anniversary of its creation (3 May 1982-3 May 2005), which will be celebrated next Tuesday, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) addressed a message to the Islamic world, a copy of which faxed to IRAN on Saturday, which reads as follows:

"'"The increasing challenges resulting from the rapid changes through which the world is going in all areas require devoting the utmost attention to the overall and integrated promotion of education in the fifty seven Member States of the Organization of the Islamic Conference, fifty one of which are members of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization...........

"'Studies and research carried out by ISESCO and UNESCO have proven that the sole means to acquire the development capacities that favor progress in all areas is to give priority to the promotion of educational infrastructure, the modernization of educational curricula and the provision of the adequate working means and financial resources for education. This will certainly entail a positive qualitative shift in the whole educational process, in accordance with the cultural particularities and national choices of each country, and full awareness of the conjuncture's trends and changes that raise the status of education within society and make of it a means of civilizational development.'"

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Interactive Atlas of the World�s Languages in Danger of Disappearing now online

UNESCO website:

"After two paper versions of the UNESCO Atlas of the World�s Languages in Danger of Disappearing (1996 and 2001), the information collected on a large number of endangered languages in all parts of the world will now be available online, starting with the map of the African continent.

This online edition has been developed in the framework of UNESCO's Endangered Languages and Multilingualism in Cyberspace Programmes."

Thursday, May 05, 2005

UNESCO Thesaurus

UNESCO Thesaurus Home Page:

"This web site allows you to browse the UNESCO Thesaurus. It also provides information about the UNESCO Thesaurus. (It provides a link to the UNESCO website that allows one to search the Thesaurus.)....

"The UNESCO Thesaurus is a controlled vocabulary developed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation which includes subject terms for the following areas of knowledge: education, science, culture, social and human sciences, information and communication, and politics, law and economics. It also includes the names of countries and groupings of countries: political, economic, geographic, ethnic and religious, and linguistic groupings.

"The UNESCO Thesaurus allows subject terms to be expressed consistently, with increasing specificity, and in relation to other subjects. It can be used to facilitate subject indexing in libraries, archives and similar institutions."

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Ambassador Louise V. Oliver's April 18, 2005 remarks to the UNESCO Executive Board

Read Ambassador Olivers complete remarks.

The U.S. Ambassador to UNESCO underlined continued support for many programs, notably:
- Education for all;
- UNESCO’s focus on quality education, teacher training, HIV-AIDS prevention, gender parity, and textbooks that promote tolerance and human rights;
- UNESCO’s work in science, (and its initiative to incorporate capacity-building into its efforts);
- The International Hydrological Commission and International Oceanographic Commission;
- The Culture Sector’s program on endangered movable objects, and its efforts to build museum capacity in developing nations;
- The World Heritage Center;
- the Information and Communication Sector’s emphasis on freedom of the press and the development of community-based communications projects;
- the use of ICT’s to reinforce the work of the other sectors at UNESCO.

She underscored the need to continue to improve UNESCO's efficiency and effectiveness as a development agency, and the position of the U.S. government that UNESCO should live within the large budget increase made as a result of U.S. reentry in the organization, rather than seeking further increases for the next bienium.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

May 3rd: World Press Freedom Day

UNESCO's World Press Freedom Day website:

"Every year, May 3rd is a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession."

Foundation to Promote the Role of Culture and Creativity in Addressing Global Issues

Yahoo News story:

"LTB Holding Ltd., one of the world's largest art magazine publishers and art information providers, has formed the Louise T. Blouin Foundation to raise awareness of how culture and creativity can help resolve global issues. The Foundation will serve as a hub among partners who share its core belief in the inspirational and economic importance of culture, bringing together the public and private sectors to make culture more accessible internationally."

The Foundation, which will have a strong presence in the U.S. and France, will be based in London. It will be guided by an International Advisory Council that includes Koichiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO.

Monday, May 02, 2005

SchoolNet toolkit

Download the book.

This toolkit is designed to help education planners and practitioners integrate information and communication technologies (ICTs) into education systems. It is meant to be a practical resource about ICTs in education, and more specifically about setting up and operating schoolnet programmes and projects. A schoolnet programme is an organised set of activities that expands the use of ICTs and promotes sharing of educational resources by teachers and students at schools. Schoolnet programmes may be located inside or outside government, may be large initiatives with substantial funding, or smaller innovative projects without big budgets. Authors: Marquard, S, UNESCO Bangkok and Commonwealth of Learning, 2004. (PDF, 250 pages.)

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Multilingualism for Cultural Diversity and Participation of All in Cyberspace

Conference website:

"UNESCO, in partnership with the African Academy of Languages (ACALAN), the Agence Intergouvernementale de la Francophonie (AIF) and the Government of Mali and other international institutions, is organising a Conference on 'Multilingualism for Cultural Diversity and Participation of All in Cyberspace' in Bamako, Mali, on 6 and 7 May 2005. The event is one of UNESCO's thematic meetings in preparation for the second meeting of the World Summit on the Information Society (Tunis, Tunisia, 16-18 November 2005)."

African Heritage in Danger

World Heritage Newsletter

From the editorial by Francesco Bandarin,

"Several recent events point to the increasing concern on the part of UNESCO and the World Heritage Centre for the conservation of heritage on the African continent. An important African Experts’ Meeting was held in Cape Town in March to define an African position for the forthcoming 29th session of the World Heritage Committee to be held in Durban, South Africa in July. This paper will be included in the working reports of the African Cultural Ministers’ meeting in May, as well as the summit of the African Union set for January 2006.

"In parallel to this gathering, a workshop was held to discuss the establishment of an African World Heritage Fund. The proposed Fund, recommended by the Africa Periodic Report of 2002, would work towards the mobilization of governments, bi- and multilateral donors, non-governmental organizations and the corporate sector to address the challenges faced by African countries in identifying, protecting and managing World Heritage properties.

"The figures speak for themselves. To date, 41 of the 47 sub-Saharan African countries have signed the World Heritage Convention. Although this represents 22 percent of the total number of States Parties to the Convention, the 63 African sites inscribed on the World Heritage List make up only 8 percent of the List. Added to this, a disproportionate number of African sites (14) are among the 35 inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger.

"Africa’s heritage is disappearing even before it can be inscribed on the World Heritage List, and once it is inscribed, it is often vulnerable to recurring natural disaster. The lack of an adequate drainage system in the city of Timbuktu, for example, still remains a cause for concern today, three years after heavy rains and flooding brought serious damage to the World Heritage site."

UNESCO | Education - New sourcebook on learning to do in technical and vocational education

UNESCO Education link to the sourcebook :

"A new sourcebook provides information on how to teach values for learning and working together in a globalized world. It is designed for educators and trainers of technical and vocational education and training (TVET)."