Monday, December 26, 2005

UNESCO's World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST*)

Go to the COMEST website.

COMEST is an advisory body and forum composed of 18 members. The Commission is mandated to formulate ethical principles that could provide decision-makers with criteria other than purely economic.

COMEST members, appointed by the Director General, serve for four-year terms in their personal capacities. The members come from many nations.

A U.S. citizen is now a member: Midge Decter is an author and editor. She serves as a member of the board of trustees of the Heritage Foundation, the board of Security Policy, Institute on Religion and Public Life, Philadelphia Society and is chairperson of the Clare Booth Luce Fundation.

The Heritage Foundation website describes her as follows:

Decter’s incisive writing on a range of topics has proven invaluable to the conservative movement. A former editor at Basic Books, her writing has graced the pages of Commentary, First Things, Harper’s and a number of other publications. Her books include "The New Chastity", "Liberal Parents, Radical Children". and the recent "Rumsfeld: A Personal Portrait". A Senior Fellow at the Institute on Religion and Public Life in New York City, Decter previously served as Executive Director of the Committee for a Free World, a powerful voice for anti-communism that she voluntarily disbanded after the fall of the Berlin Wall and collapse of Soviet communism.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy Holidays!

Susan D'Antoni Joins Advisors to the Development Gateway

Susan D'Antoni has been named a Content Advisors to the Open Educational Resources portal of the Development Gateway. This portal provides free Access to open materials for teaching, learning and research. It is the basis of a "community of interest" with more than 350 members. The portal is operated by the Development Gateway Foundation, a U.S. NGO, with the supported of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

Susan D’Antoni is a leader of the community developing educational technology. She heads the Virtual Institute of the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning, which is located in Paris. She manages the distance education activities, Internet forums and the IIEP Alumni Network.

Currently, with her leadership, IIEP is supporting two international Communities of Interest, one of which is on “Open Educational Resources and Open Content for Higher Education” with more than 470 members from 87 countries. The second is on “Free and Open Source Software for E-learning”, with more than 270 members from 57 countries.

D’Antoni edited the IIEP web publication, The Virtual University: Models and messages/Lessons from case studies.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Earth Charter/UNESCO musical CDs on iTunes

Go to the iTunes website.

UNESCO and Earth Charter have sponsored the production of CD's that would make good holiday gifts, or indeed good listening all year. There are three (so far). The cost per album is US$9.95. Not only are they a bargain, but a significant part of the profits goes to good causes.

The International Earth Charter/UNESCO musical CD on iTunes

This international musical CD initiative, initiated by the Earth Charter Secretariat and with UNESCO sponsorship, has been coordinated by the French NGO "Pour la Terre". The songs, which reflect the diversity of the world, have been selected for their musical quality and the messages that they transmit.

The international CD features major artists representing the five continents, including Youssou N'Dour, Chico and the Gypsies, Tokiko Kato, Maná, Maria Emilia, Raffi, Rosie Emery, Meiway. Each song revolves around one or more Earth Charter principles. Contributing artists and songs for the international CD are as follows:
- We Are One (Earth Mama)
1. Justicia, Tierra y Libertad (Maná)
2. Xaley Reew Mi (Youssou N> '> Dour)
3. The River (Nicole Redner)
4. Viva la Vida (Chico and the Gypsies)
5. Now is the Time (Tokiko Kato)
6. Turn This World Around (Raffi)
7. Dolphin Teach Us To Play (Rosie Emery)
8. What> '> s That, Habitat? (Remy Rodden)
9. I Like to Recycle (The Young and Elderly Recycling Stand Band)
10. Forgive Me (Clear Blue 22)
11. A Lua Escureceu (Maria Emilia/Tete Espinela)
12. H.I.V. (Daromax & Ethymos)
13. Flying Earth Song (Chen Yuan Yuan)
14. Assez (Meiway)
15. Peace and Love (Zehava Ben)
The international CD is now accessible on: iTunes U.S site/children's

The CD can also be accessed by entering UNESCO or Earth Charter in the
iTunes Music Store Search window.

The San Francisco Earth Charter/UNESCO CDs, School Kit and future Concert

Association Pour la Terre completed production of a 2 CD set, one directed toward children up to 14 and the other for young people over that age. (There will be an accompanying School Kit which contains the basic philosophy of Sustainable Development and the Earth Charter principles. The Kit will also have one page devoted to each artist-group, with lyrics, association of meaning of song with Earth Charter principle(s), brief bio, student exercises and relevant web pages. It will be a teaching tool which will be distributed freely by secure FTP download to San Francisco School District teachers for classroom use.)

Sale of this music will benefit UNESCO and the Earth Charter Secretariat, as well as providing royalties for the artist, and positive promotion for all concerned. 25% of the net profit is for SF school music programs (devoted to sustainable development and the Earth Charter principles) and 25% is to be shared equally by UNESCO/Earth Charter/Pour la Terre.

Young People's CD:

1. Grateful Dead (live version of Touch of Grey)
2. Mana/with special SF guest artist (Justicia, Tierra, y Libertad)
3. Mickey Hart (Light Over Shadow)
4. Kitaro
5. Huey Lewis (Small World, Pt. 1) (hard disc only)
6. Ozomatli (Quando Canto)
7. Shana Morrison (More Than I Need)
8. Country Joe (Peace on Earth)
9. Tommy Castro (Anytime Now)
10. Dan Hicks (You Gotta Believe)
11. Maria Muldaur (Never Swat a Fly)
12. Doobie Brothers (People Gotta Love Again)
13. Luna Angel (Unconditional Love)
14. Billy Farlow (The Rain Don't Shine on Me)

Children's CD:

1. Wavy Gravy (Basic Human Needs)
2. Rowan Brothers/w David Grisman (Circle of Friends)
3. Linda Arnold (All Kinds of People; One Earth)
4. Banana Slug String Band (What Animals Need)
5. Bonnie Lockhart (Water Cycle)
6. Lisa Atkinson (Is Anybody Listening)
7. Chris Molla (Pick it Up, Stand Up)
8. Gary Lapow (All Kinds of People)
9. Nancy Schimmel ("Playing Winnie-the-Pooh") - song about equality of sexes
(Malvina Reynolds' daughter)
10. Candy Forest ("All in This Together")
11. Blame Sally ("La Llorona") Mexican folk song about importance of home
to children)
12. John Stewart (The Man Who Would Be King)
13. William Florian ("'I'm Declaring Peace")

The CD can be accessed by entering UNESCO or Earth Charter in the iTunes Music Store Search window.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Science and the World Heritage Sites

Manchu Pichu, a World Heritage Site
Photo by VFowler via Flickr

Go to the Study page on the InterAcademy Council website.

"The UNESCO, World Heritage Centre wishes to promote increased scientific research and scientific activities related to management at World Heritage sites. At their request, the InterAcademy Council (IAC) will undertake a study to review the role of science at both World Heritage natural and mixed Sites. The study�s goal will be to outline opportunities to increase the involvement of science at the sites including opportunities to; i) bolster pure research, including the use of scientific information in identifying potential sites and designing nomination strategies; ii) increase sciences� role in applied activities related to site conservation and management, and iii) generate technical information to facilitate decision making by national policy makers on issues affecting World Heritage."

The IAC was created by the world's science academies to mobilize the best scientists and engineers worldwide to provide high quality advice to international bodies - such as the United Nations and the World Bank - as well as to other institutions.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The UNESCO E-Card service

UNESCO card: Wanted Teachers

Go to the UNESCO E-Card website.

Find colorful e-greetings for the Holidays that you can personalize and send by e-mail to family, friends or colleagues.

UNESCO Chairs/UNITWIN Networks

Go to the Program website with links to all the networks and chairs.

UNITWIN is the abbreviation for the UNIVERSITY TWINNING and networking scheme. The Program creates networks, each built around one or more University Chairs. (A UNESCO Chair in Bioethics was established in 2005 at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington D.C.)

The Program was established in 1992 with the aim of developing interuniversity cooperation, while emphazing the transfer of knowledge among universities and the promotion of academic solidarity across the world.

The Networks in the Natural Sciences are:

Agricultural Development
Ecotechnie Cousteau
Gender, Science & Technology
Islands & Coastal Areas
Oceanography/Marine Sciences
Tropical Architecture
Tropical Forest
Water Resources

Those dealing with Communication & Information are:
Freedom of Expression
Media Management

Those in the Social & Human Sciences are:
Economics & Business
Future-Oriented Studies
Habitat & Cities
Health & Development
Peace & human rights
International Relations
Migration & Multiculturalism
Philosophy & Ethics
Political Sciences
Societal Problems
Sustainable Development
Sustainable Tourism
Women Issues

There are also a number of "Special Focus" networks:
Human Rights
Lifelong Education
Gender and Women Issues

I suggest that those interested in creating a new UNESCO Chair in the United States check the relevant webpage of the Secretariat of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. The next deadline to apply for a UNESCO Chair or to participate in the UNITWIN program is March 27, 2006. Applications must be submitted through the National Commission.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

"Educating for Creativity: Bringing the Arts and Culture into Asian Education"

Go to the UNESCO announcement, with links to the report and the workshops.

This report presents the outcomes of two UNESCO-sponsored conferences: Asian Regional Symposia on Arts Education, Measuring the Impact of Arts in Education, Hong Kong SAR, China (9-11 January 2004) and Transmissions and Transformations: Learning Through the Arts in Asia New Delhi, India (21-24 March 2005). Artists, educators, policy makers and experts in art and culture from across Asia prepared the papers for this report.

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Literacy Assessment and Monitoring Programme

Go to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics LAMP website.

"What do we know about literacy in developing countries? Which individuals have what level of literacy skills? How can different kinds of data help to better target literacy-related projects and monitor the global situation? The Literacy Assessment and Monitoring Programme (LAMP) aims to help answer such questions by developing and conducting a survey to measure a spectrum of literacy levels in developing countries.

"LAMP is being designed by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) in cooperation with various international agencies and technical experts. Such a survey is needed because most current data on adult literacy in developing countries are not sufficiently reliable to serve the needs of national and international users. For example, the data generally rely either on individuals' self-declaration of their literacy or on "proxy" indicators such as their educational level. With literacy at the top of the development agenda, good data are needed in order to help target and design appropriate actions."

Friday, December 16, 2005

"International Flows of Selected Cultural Goods and Services, 1994-2003"

Read the full UNESCO Institute of Statistics report online.


" Three countries - the United Kingdom, United States and China - produced 40 percent of the world�s cultural trade products in 2002, while Latin America and Africa together accounted for less than four percent according to a new report published by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics.

"Entitled, International Flows of Selected Cultural Goods and Services, 1994-2003, the report analyses cross-border trade data from about 120 countries on selected products, such as books, CDs, videogames and sculptures. It presents new methodology to better reflect cultural trade flows, contributing to UNESCO�s effort to collect and analyse data that clearly illustrate the central role of culture in economic, social and human development.

"The global market value of cultural and creative industries has been estimated at USD 1.3 trillion and is rapidly expanding. According to the report, between 1994 and 2002, international trade in cultural goods increased from USD 38 billion to USD 60 bn.

"The UK was the biggest single exporter of cultural goods in that year (USD 8.5 billion) followed by the USA (USD 7.6 bn) and China (USD 5.2 bn).

"The USA was the biggest importer of cultural goods in 2002 (USD 15.3 bn), followed by the UK (USD 7.8 bn), and Germany (USD 4.1 bn). It is important to note that the data presented are based mainly upon customs declarations, and do not reflect foreign sales.

"The report analyses these trade flows by dividing cultural goods into categories, such as printed media, recorded media, visual arts and audiovisual media."

Resolutions of the 33rd session of the General Conference of UNESCO

Resolutions of the 33rd session of the General Conference of UNESCO, which took place in Paris, 3-21 October 2005.

This is the formal report of the resolutions taken at the General Conference in October. (PDF, 243 pages.)


Read the full U.N. press release.

"For the first time in the history of both entities, the Directors of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), Koïchiro Matsuura and Carmen Moreno, respectively, signed a memorandum of understanding to increase their mutual cooperation towards the achievement of their common objectives of promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women.....

"In addition to technical cooperation, both entities endeavour to foster mutual consultation by informing each other of programmes and projects, promoting reciprocal representation in meetings and activities, and facilitating the exchange of information and documents. According to this agreement, all areas relating to the empowerment of women and gender equality in the fields of education, science, culture and communication will be covered."

U.S, World Heritage Sites

Wrangel-St. Elias-Glacier Bay/Kluane-Tatshenshini-Alsek
NPS photo

Go to the National Park Service website.

There are twenty (20) World Heritage sites in the United States (including two sites jointly administered with Canada). They are mapped and described on this websitem which is a joint effort between the United States Department of the Interior, National Park Service (NPS) and the United States Committee, International Council on Monuments and Sites (US/ICOMOS). Throughout the world, national ICOMOS committees work to support the World Heritage Convention. In the United States, the NPS serves as chief steward of the nation's natural and cultural patrimony.

Maps of the World Heritage Sites

Go to the master map.

Lynn Salmon has provided this website with a map of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. The user can click on the individual World Heritage Site markers for site specific information. The map can also be zoomed in/out, scrolled around, or switched to satellite image.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

HIV and AIDS Education

Read Peter Smith's full article in the Bulletin of Education Today

"Today, nearly forty million people are living with HIV. Experts agree that education could help limit the further spread of the pandemic.Yet many countries are slow to put in place a coherent HIV and AIDS prevention education plan. FOCUS, a four-page dossier, reports......

"As a former university president and US Congressman, I have seen first-hand how devastating HIV and AIDS can be. But I have also seen what education can do to reduce the impact of the disease. We need to teach children and young adults about how HIV is transmitted and prevented, and how to care for and support those infected with and affected by HIV and AIDS......

"I’m proud of UNESCO’s leading role in EDUCAIDS, the Global Initiative on HIV and AIDS. We assist countries in finding the best ways to curb the spread of HIV and AIDS through education and to protect the core functions of education systems that are constantly being threatened by the epidemic’s advance.

"EDUCAIDS is one of UNESCO’s three new initiatives (which also tackle the issues of teacher training and literacy). We believe that by intensifying efforts in these areas we will considerably accelerate progress towards Education for All by 2015."

Read the full issue of the Bulletin which focuses on HIV/AIDS.

Read about Peter Smith
, the assistant director-general for education at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

The Global Heritage Fund

Go to the Fund website.

The Gobal Heritage Fund describes its mission as "to help ensure the long-term preservation of humankind's most important and imperiled Global Heritage sites in developing countries. According to GuideStar's data, the Fund in 2004:
1. Led conservation and community development at ten (10) endangered GHF Epicenters in eight countries.
2. Built a strong global network of partners, experts, and Leaders in Conservation.
3. Raised over $1.76 million in 2004 and $3.0 million since inception. Raised over $1.8 million in country-matching funding from local partners.

The Fund's website provides information on Global Heritage sites, includeing some good pictures!

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

UNESCO continues support for N’ko project to promote presence of African languages in cyberspace

Read the full UNESCO news release.

"UNESCO continues its support for a project enabling African languages written in N’ko, an alphabet developed in 1949, to be present in cyberspace through the development of fonts for the N’ko script and their use in hard and software.

"Carried out in partnership with the Scripts Encoding Initiative of the University of California at Berkeley, the present project phase aims at facilitating the presence of languages based in N’ko scripts (Malinke, Bambara, Dyula) in the digital world though the availability of N’ko-compatible software and hardware and appropriate standards."

Sunday, December 04, 2005

AIDS Education Week and UNESCO

Reuters photo.
"Two young Lebanese activists hand out condoms during a play staged at UNESCO center in Beirut to mark World Aids Day December 1, 2005. The play aims to raise awareness about the disease that claims millions of lives around the world." Reuters.

AIDS Education Week is built around World AIDS Day which was the first of December.

A message from Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of World AIDS Day, 1 December 2005:
The AIDS epidemic continues to take a heavy toll in Sub-Saharan Africa and threatens many other regions of the world. Comprehensive responses linking prevention with treatment are the best hope for weakening its grip and preventing it from expanding.
As in past years, World AIDS Day is a moment for taking stock and for each of us to recall that AIDS remains a serious emergency. HIV continues to spread, with some 40 million people estimated to be living with the virus worldwide. International awareness-raising and mobilization are impressive, and many governments are committed to tackling the epidemic in a comprehensive way. Those most vulnerable, however, still tend to be dramatically under-served when it comes to the knowledge and means they need in order to protect themselves and others from infection and its consequences.

The ten UNAIDS cosponsors are working intensively with national authorities, bilateral donors and civil society to harmonize efforts, remove obstacles, and take both prevention and treatment programmes into the most affected areas and populations. A major inter-agency initiative to intensify prevention has galvanized all those concerned, and UNESCO is a strong partner in this effort.

EDUCAIDS, the UNESCO-led initiative on HIV/AIDS and education, will provide the main frame of reference for our work in the area of AIDS during 2006 and beyond. Seeking to bring to scale comprehensive responses adapted to particular situations, EDUCAIDS is working with education and development partners to ensure that the response to HIV and AIDS becomes an integral part of all development processes related to education. The diversity of the AIDS epidemic calls for customized responses but comprehensive education on HIV and AIDS is necessary everywhere. Targeted and adapted services are also essential to serve the most vulnerable groups if the spread and impact of AIDS are to be contained. EDUCAIDS has begun to work with a selected number of countries and will expand to some twenty countries in 2006, using capacity development, resource mobilization, and monitoring mechanisms to ensure effective prevention alongside treatment and care activities.

Prevention efforts cannot work in a climate of prejudice and discrimination, nor can they work without the participation and involvement of all those concerned: men and women, young persons, and, most of all, people living with the virus. In consequence, UNESCO’s commitment to and programmes for human rights, for establishing effective workplace policies for education personnel, and for gender equality are all being brought to bear on our efforts.

World AIDS Day is a reminder of the ongoing daily emergency. It is an occasion to renew commitment, review past results, and be reminded that the AIDS epidemic can and must be effectively curtailed as part of our push to achieve a better, safer and fuller life for everyone. This is why action against the spread of HIV and AIDS is an integral aspect of efforts to attain the Millennium Development Goals, the Education for All goals and the objectives of the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.

UNESCO has published this short description on its HIV/AIDS education efforts: "HIV/AIDS Prevention Education: In response to the epidemic, UNESCO’s action in thefield of HIV/AIDS prevention education is a priority."

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Jobs at UNESCO

UNESCO's Paris Garden by Isamu Noguchi

Go to the UNESCO employment website.

UNESCO regularly recruits staff to fill vacancies at its headquarters in Paris, as well as, openings in their field offices and various institutes throughout the world. Citizens of the United States are eligible for such positions, and indeed the State Department encourages UNESCO to employ citizens of this country.

UNESCO's employment website provides job listings, as well as information about working for the organization. Special programs are available for
Young Professionals
Associate Experts

The U.S. National Commission for UNESCO provides some information about opportunities at UNESCO on its website.

Seniot positions for which recruiting is now underway include:

DIRECTOR of the Office and UNESCO Representative to Brazil (closes December 14, 2005)

Director of the International Institute for Capacity-Building in Africa (IICBA)

I would suggest that U.S. citizens interested in applying for such positions inform either the staff of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO or the staff of the U.S. Mission to UNESCO in Paris. They might be helpful in providing information to the applicants, and in supporting the application.