Thursday, April 27, 2006

18 million new primary teachers needed by 2015

Read the full article from Reuters AlertNet (April 26. 20060.

"More than 18 million new teachers will be needed over the next nine years to meet a U.N. goal of providing primary education to all the world's children by 2015, a U.N. agency said on Tuesday.

"Developing nations have the greatest needs but are poorly equipped to fulfill them because of lack of money and qualified personnel, UNESCO's Montreal-based Institute for Statistics said in a report."

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Mrs. Bush's Remarks at the UNESCO Education for All Week Luncheon

Read the transcript of the First Lady's remarks.

"Literacy is the foundation of personal freedom. Being able to read, and choosing what we read, is how we shape our beliefs, our minds, and our characters. Reading brings self-reliance and independence. For many women and their children, literacy can even mean the difference between life and death. A mother who can read can understand the label on a food container. She knows how to follow the instructions on a bottle of medicine. She's more likely to make wise decisions about her life that will keep her and her children healthy.

"Literacy is the foundation of economic freedom. Free markets require informed consumers, and that means consumers who can read. Wider literacy also increases economic participation, which leads to more stable and vibrant economies......

"Today, I'm delighted to announce that this September, during the opening of the 61st session of the U.N. General Assembly, we'll convene a Conference on Global Literacy in New York. Working in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. State Department, the U.S. Agency for International Development, and UNESCO, the United Nations Scientific and Cultural Organization, we'll be looking at literacy programs that work, and connecting countries with the information they need to implement similar programs. The Conference will also encourage leaders from around the world to become involved in literacy in their own countries, and then to learn ways to support UNESCO's goal of Education for All by 2015."

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

World Book and Copyright Day - April 23, 2006

Go to the UNESCO website for the World Book and Copyright Day, 2006.

By celebrating this Day throughout the world, UNESCO seeks to promote reading, publishing and the protection of intellectual property through copyright.

23 April: a symbolic date for world literature for on this date and in the same year of 1616, Cervantes, Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega all died. It is also the date of birth or death of other prominent authors, and was a natural choice for UNESCO's General Conference to pay a world-wide tribute to books and authors. UNESCO encourages "everyone, and in particular young people, to discover the pleasure of reading and gain a renewed respect for the irreplaceable contributions of those who have furthered the social and cultural progress of humanity".

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

United Kingdom to give $15 billion to promote Education for All (EFA)

Read the full press release from UNESCO.

"The United Kingdom has pledged $15 billion in overseas aid for education in Africa and Asia over the next ten years."

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Masterpieces of Intangible Heritage

UNESCO's Culture program includes a strong focus on the intangible heritage of mankind. Indeed, UNESCO is the managing U.N. agency for The Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage.

It has produced this webpage with an interactive map showing the entire List of Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. Various lists down the left side of the webpage, plus a world map, allow visitors to the page to browse among the 47 proclaimed masterpieces and to consult detailed information, diaporamas, and videos on each of them.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Unesco intends to put the magic back in Babylon

Read the full article by Jeffrey Gettleman in The New York Times/International Herald Tribune, FRIDAY, APRIL 14, 2006.

"Babylon, the city with the million- dollar name, has paid the price of war. It has been ransacked, looted, torn up, paved over, neglected and roughly occupied. Archaeologists said American soldiers had even used soil thick with priceless artifacts to stuff sandbags.

"But Iraqi leaders and UN officials are not giving up on it. They are working assiduously to restore Babylon, home to the Hanging Gardens, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.........

"The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is pumping millions of dollars into Babylon and a handful of other sites. It has even printed a snazzy brochure to give to wealthy donors. "Cultural tourism could become Iraq's second biggest industry, after oil," explained Philippe Delanghe, a United Nations official helping with the project."

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Convention on Intangible Cultural Heritage Enteers into Force

Read the full UNESCO announcement.

As at 31 March 2006, forty-six States had ratified the Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. The Convention was approved by the UNESCO General Conference in 2005. It will enter into force on 20 April 2006. The implementation of this Convention, which strongly emphasizes the role of communities and groups as bearers and transmitters of intangible cultural heritage, is hoped to contribute to the promotion of cultural diversity and human creativity. The convention was strongly opposed by the Bush administration.

Panographic Views of World Heritage Sites

World Heritage Tour provides an online experience of UNESCO World Heritage sites. Click on the link above, and then on the map, and you will have the chance to view the pyramids, or the empire state building almost as well as if you were there, never leaving your computer.

Friday, April 07, 2006

UNESCO’s Basic Texts on the Information Society

Article 1 of UNESCO's Constitution states that it will "collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image". Among UNESCO’s fundamental activities, then, is the drafting of charters, declarations and recommendations intended to present the essence of its proposals for action in the fields of education, science, culture and communication. UNESCO staff have attempted through this publication to select a number of quotations from the Organization’s many official texts, originating from all its program sectors, which contribute to defining what the information society ought to be, without reducing the debate to purely technical issues. It was prepared for the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS). UNESCO, 2003. (PDF, 116 pages.)

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Towards Knowledge Societies

The UNESCO World Report on knowledge societies for all has been released at a crucial moment. After the achievements of the first phase of the World Summit on the Information Society, there is fresh international interest in the growth and development paradigm that bears within it the idea of “knowledge societies”. We are witnessing the emergence of a need for clarification of its aims as a project of society. This is the challenge that the UNESCO World Report intends to address on the eve of decisive international meetings.