Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Knowledge Societies

The world is moving towards knowledge societies. Today, a nation’s wealth depends more on the production, exchange and transformation of knowledge than on natural wealth or industry.

* Towards Knowledge Societies (The First UNESCO World Report)

* "Communication: from information society to knowledge societies" (The UNESCO Courier, Oct. 2003)

* Knowledge Societies and Culture

* Infosheet (PDF Format)

Providing Access to Preventive Commodities at UNESCO Headquarters

While attending the 28th Meeting of the Committee of Cosponsoring Organisations (CCO) of UNAIDS in New York, UNESCO’s Director-General Mr. Koïchiro Matsuura announced his decision to accept a recommendation of UNESCO’s Workplace Committee on HIV and AIDS to install preventive commodity dispensers in the premises of UNESCO Headquarters.

The announcement comes as part of UNESCO’s commitment to strengthen knowledge on HIV and AIDS among all of its employees, ensure staff is familiar with the United Nation’s HIV and AIDS workplace policies, and implement a policy of zero tolerance for stigma and discrimination in the workplace.

The Director-General also reported at the CCO meeting on progress made to date on training staff in order to give them knowledge and skills for responding to HIV and AIDS in their professional and private lives. Since the launch of the campaign to sensitize UNESCO personnel on HIV and AIDS, eleven percent of HQ staff have attended the orientation sessions.

UNESCO has an explicit program against HIV/AIDS.

Comment: Like the search for peace, the battle against this epidemic must begin in the minds of men and women. It is important that members of UNESCO's focus sectors -- education, science, culture and communications -- be sensitized to the magnitude of the problem and their role in its solution. Thus it is important that UNESCO itself begin by sensitizing its own staff. JAD

World Program of Human Rights Education - Plan of Action -

"The World Program for Human Rights Education (from 2005 onwards) aims at encouraging the development of sustainable national strategies and programs in human rights education.

This international trend highlights a consensus that the education system plays a vital role in fostering respect, participation, equality and non-discrimination in our societies.

It is important to bear in mind, however, that international programs can only support – and not substitute for – committed, vigorous and concerted national action. United Nations programs acquire real value only if national and local actors take responsibility for implementing them in their communities, and use them as mobilization and advocacy tools.

The Plan of Action for the first phase (2005-2007) of the World Program was adopted by all United Nations Member States in July 2005. It proposes a concrete strategy and practical guidance for implementing human rights education in primary and secondary schools." - Louise Arbour, Koїchiro Matsuura

The U.S. Announces Two New International Exchange Programs

©Permament Delegation of the U.S. to UNESCO

At the Closing Plenary Session of the Fulbright New Century Scholar (NCS) Symposium at UNESCO in Paris, Assistant Secretary of State for Educational and Cultural Affairs, Dina Habib Powell announced the creation of two new U.S. initiatives: an International Fulbright Science and Technology Award, and an International Fusion Arts Exchange Program. Both programs will enable young people from different countries to come together for academic exchange at American universities.

The closing plenary session was hosted by the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs and the U.S. Permanent Mission to UNESCO. The Fulbright New Century Scholars program is sponsored by the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs of the United States Department of State.

Dina Powell reminded her audience that:

“The U.S. recently worked within UNESCO and the OECD to develop guidelines for quality provision in cross border higher education, helping to share information and build capacity to promote international educational exchanges”,

before announcing:

“So we decided to create a new International Fulbright Science and Technology Award, which will bring outstanding international students to our country to study for Ph.D.'s in science and technology. "

She added:

“The arts create common understanding that transcends language and borders. Music is especially effective in this role and speaks very powerfully to young people. Since one of our primary goals is to reach young people internationally, what better way to do this, we thought, than through an exchange in music?

So I am absolutely delighted today to announce, here at UNESCO, the creation of a new international exchange, the Fusion Arts Exchange, that will allow young people from different countries to learn about, compose and perform popular music together. We will bring university students from countries with especially rich musical traditions-such India, South Africa, Mali, Brazil, and Ireland just to name a few-with American students, to study and work together at a U.S. university with a world-renowned music study program and facilities. They will look at international and U.S. musical traditions and composition, learn about careers and economic development opportunities for their societies in music-related fields, and have the chance to compose and perform together and develop on-going collaborations.”

Visit the Council for International Exchange of Scholars to find out more on Fulbright New Century Scholars Programs

Report by the Director-General on the Implementation of the Program and Budget (32 C/5) and on Results Achieved in the Biennium 2004-2005

"This Report on the implementation of the program and budget during the 2004-2005 biennium represents an important milestone in the ongoing reform of the Organization. Firstly, it is the first biennial report after my re-election as Director-General, and I see it as setting a baseline for reporting during my second term. Secondly, the report provides answers to several issues concerning reporting raised by the Executive Board in the last few years."

Results Achieved for the Individual Main Lines of Action (MLA) of the Education Sector

Results Acheived for the Individual Main Lines of Action (MLA) of the Culture Sector

Monday, October 30, 2006

Learning through UNESCO Education Newsletters, Briefs and Journals

Check out the series of UNESCO thematic publication on education! The objective of these newsletters, briefs, journals, and bulletins is to provide a forum for disseminating newsworthy information on Education activities, experiences, best practices, etc… to facilitate the work of practitioners and education advocates. Reports marked by (*) are also available in selected languages.

Associated School Project Network Newsletter

Adolescence Education Newsletter

Highlights country (Thailand) and regional news on Adolescent Reproductive and Sexual Health (ARSH) resources.

International Review of Education

International journal on the comparative theory and practice of formal and non-formal education.

Information and Communication Technologies in Education Newsletter:

Bulletin providing the latest trends and developments on the application of information and communication technologies in UNESCO programs and projects in the Asia-Pacific region.

International Institute for Education Planning (IIEP) Newsletter
(* also in French, and Spanish )

Provides the latest information on educational planning and management.

Education for All (EFA) Newsletter

Disseminates information on Education for All (EFA) activities, experiences and events as well as e-mail alert about new developments related to Education for All, new resources in the website and new additions to the growing list of network of experts and practitioners.

A scholarly publication dealing with major problems and trends in contemporary higher education.

SHS issue on Ethics and Education (* also in French)

Provides information on the work of UNESCO in the field of social and human sciences. It is available both in printed and electronic form.

Provides short articles on current educational research and activities being conducted at the IBE and news from the field of comparative education.

Listening to Africa (*also in French)

International Bureau of Education's Newsletter:
(* also in French and Spanish)

Informative newsletter of the UNESCO Office for Education in Latin America and the Caribbean.

PRELAC Journal
(*also in Spanish)

A journal detailing the challenges of PRELAC (El Proyecto Regional de Educacion para América Latina y el Caribe/Regional Education Project of Latin America and the Caribbean) and its contributions to the objectives of the global movement of Education for All (EFA).

Want to know more?
*Newsletter on EDUCAIDS
*Policy Briefs on Early Childhood
*UNESCO Institute for Education - Nexus (*also in German)
*The UNESCO Courier (*also in French, Arabic, Spanish, Chinese, and Russian)
*Education Today (* also in French) - Newsletter on trends and innovations in education, on worldwide efforts towards Education for All and on UNESCO's own education activities.
*Connect - UNESCO International Science, Technology and Environmental Education Newsletter.
*Asia-Pacific Program of Education for All (APPEAL) - Reports on progress of on-going projects and activities of APPEAL.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Remembering Jack Fobes

John Edwin Fobes died at his home at the age of 86 on Jan. 20, 2005. A distinguished diplomat, he served as Deputy Director-General of UNESCO from 1971 to 1977 -- the organization's chief operating officer. He served as Chair of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO on his return from Paris. When the United States withdrew from UNESCO, Jack Fobes immediately founded Americans for the Universality of UNESCO (which subsequently became Americans for UNESCO). From 1985-2002, he headed AUU; through the organization's network and its Newsletter, he virtually single-handedly kept the idea of UNESCO alive in the American mind. In 2002, he assumed the Chair of the Advisory Council of Americans for UNESCO.

We have posted the following the following on the Internet in his honor:
* Remembering Jack Fobes

* Tributes to John Fobes by Koïchiro Matsuura and Paul Schafer

* Jack Fobes: Lien-Link Memorial Articles

Friday, October 27, 2006

Challenging Multiculturalism and the Prospects of Environmental Education and Technology Integration

CARDET - UNESCO Chair, Intercollege
January 13, 2007
Nicosia – Cyprus

The aim of this conference is to provide a venue for discussing issues relating to sustainable development, environmental education, technology integration, and peace education. Internationally speakers and local experts will present their ideas and engage in discussion with the audience. The conference will be held in English.

The conference is organized by the Center for the Advancement of Research and Development in Educational Technology (CARDET) and the UNESCO Chair on Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue for a Culture of Peace at Intercollege.

Keynote Speakers
* Dr. Zvi Bekerman, Truman Institute and Melton Center, Hebrew University
Some things on integration and its pedagogies: Research findings in the Palestinian Jewish bilingual integrated schools in Israel

* Dr. Gabriel Salomon, Center for Research on Peace Education, University of Haifa
The challenge facing environmental and peace education: Sustaining the change
Comment: This event, organized by a UNESCO chair, illustrates how UNESCO can catalyze action to promote peace with very little expense drawn from its own budget.

Cyprus is a good location for discussing peace in the Middle East, since Israelis and Arabs can meet there in a neutral environment.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

UNESCO: Peace in the Minds of Men

The Governments of the States Parties to this Constitution on behalf of their peoples declare:

That since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed;

That ignorance of each other's ways and lives has been a common cause, throughout the history of mankind, of that suspicion and mistrust between the peoples of the world through which their differences have all too often broken into war;

UNESCO Constitution

UNESCO mainstreams the Culture of Peace as a theme that runs through everything it does.

Check out UNESCO activities in the field of the culture of peace.

The International Congress on Peace in the Minds of Men was held on the initiative of UNESCO in Yamoussoukro in the heart of Africa. Its final declaration included this statement:
* Peace is reverence for life.

* Peace is the most precious possession of humanity.

* Peace is more than the end of armed conflict.

* Peace is a mode of behaviour.

* Peace is a deep-rooted commitment to the principles of liberty, justice, equality and solidarity among all human beings.

* Peace is also a harmonious partnership of humankind with the environment.

* Today, on the eve of the twenty-first century, peace is within our reach.

The first book ever published on the organization, UNESCO: Peace in the Minds of Men by Theodore Besterman, is now available on line. It provides a great look at the early history of the organization, and emphasizes the importance of the search for peace in the minds of men.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

"Work on UNESCO’s ICT Competency Standards for Teachers enters final phase"

Read the full UNESCO news story.

"A groundbreaking international standard for integrating ICTs in teaching, will soon be available as the extensive work on the “ICT Competency Standards for Teachers” that UNESCO is preparing together with several partners from academia and the private sector including Microsoft, Intel and Cisco, enters its final phase.

"'The new standard is designed to contribute to the professional development of teachers, mainly on primary and secondary levels, and we expect that it will considerably improve teachers’ practice' says UNESCO’s project manager Tarek G. Shawki. 'The standard combines methods for improving ICT skills with emergent views in pedagogy, curriculum and school organization', he says."

Thursday, October 19, 2006

2006 UNITWIN Directory Now Online

The 2006 UNIVERSITY TWINNING and networking scheme “UNITWIN” directory is now available online. It is an important networking tool for one of UNESCO’s major education networks.

Over the last fourteen years the UNITWIN Program has developed into a truly worldwide, inter-university co-operation scheme based on interdisciplinarity, intersectoriality and networking. It has since become one of the major intersectorial Programs and an integral part of activities developed by UNESCO various Sectors, services and Field Offices.

Today 584 UNESCO Chairs and 66 UNITWIN Networks have been in the Program involving over 700 institutions in 124 countries. It contains full information on each of reporting Chairs and Networks covering 70 disciplines and identifies the contact persons, partners, events and publications for each one.

UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Program, Ten Years of Action: Case studies (2005)
Procedures for the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Program
Guidelines for Submission of Project Proposals

UNESCO: A Partner in the 5th World Forum on Sport, Education and Culture

The International Convention against Doping in Sport; safeguarding traditional sports and games; boosting physical education and sport at school; and sport and human values are among topics that UNESCO will present at the 5th World Forum on Sport, Education and Culture, 22 to 24 October at the International Conference Centre in Beijing. Organized by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and the Beijing Organizing Committee for the Games (BOCOG) in partnership with UNESCO, the Forum will elaborate on the theme of “Sport and a World of Harmony.” About 800 participants coming from every continent are expected to attend.

Serhiy Bubka, UNESCO Champion for Sport, will address the first plenary session on “Cultural and educational perspectives of the Olympic Games.”
Olympism and multiculturalism, sport and social harmony and the future of the Olympic movement are some of the issues that participants will debate during the sessions. They will also review the preparation of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and visit Olympic sites.

The conference is open to representatives of organizations, both governmental and non-governmental, concerned with sport, education and culture, representatives of the United Nations system and universities as well as of the Olympic family, particularly National Olympic Committees, International Sports Federations, Olympic Games Organizing Committees, Applicant Cities and Olympic sponsors. Cultural organizations and the media are also invited.

This Forum follows on the one held in June 2004 in Barcelona (Spain) as part of the 2004 Universal Forum of Cultures.

Photo © IOC 2006

New Executive Director of the NatCom

Susanna Connaughton has been appointer Executive Director of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. She started on Monday, October 16, 2006.

The State Department announcement state that Ms. Connaughton has an MBA from Northwestern (Kellogg) in public and non-profit management and marketing and an undergraduate degree in government. She most recently served at the National Association of Homebuilders and has had various private and public sector experiences, including serving as a Commissioner on the DC Commission on National and Community Service.

I believe she is married to James Connaughton, Chairman of the Council on Environmental Quality.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Final Report of the Invitational Workshop on the Comparative Analysis of National Research Systems

Read the full final report (PDF, 24 pages.)

The Forum on Higher Education, Research and Knowledge examines how research and knowledge are generated, how they are organized and how they play a central role in national development.

The workshop reported in this document aimed toward some type of matrix which may help comparative analysis of different research systems and notably to help strengthen those in developing countries. The workshop was held in Paris on 6-7 April 2006.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

New Edition of the UNESCO Courier

Click here to read the full October 2006 edition of The UNESCO Courier.

Special Edition on Early Childhood Care and Education

The first years of children’s lives strongly influence their future and particularly their performance in school. Numerous studies show that investing in early childhood care and education pays off, notably in developing countries. Nonetheless, efforts made to meet early childhood care needs are generally insufficient.

UNESCO and Indigenous Peoples: Partnership to Promote Cultural Diversity

Check out UNESCO and Indigenous Peoples: Partnership to Promote Cultural Diversity!

The information booklet, released in June 2004, explains UNESCO’s vision, strategy, programs and mechanisms regarding intercultural dialogue and partnerships with indigenous peoples. The booklet includes lessons learned from the First International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People and illustrates the kinds of actions that UNESCO will pursue during the Second International Decade on the World’s Indigenous People (2005-2014) in its areas of competence: education, social and natural science, culture and communication.
It thus bears witness to UNESCO’s commitment to take into account the proposals of indigenous peoples with a view to elaborating specific programs to enhance their cultural identity and to encourage intercultural dialogue.

For more information on UNESCO's initiatives to promote intercultural dialogue, please refer to our previous posting Dialogue Among Civilizations to Build Peace in The Minds of Men

UNESCO Job Vacancies

Current jobs listed on UNESCO’s website include:

DIRECTOR, DIVISION OF CREATIVITY AND CULTURAL INDUSTRIES, Culture Sector, CLT 079 - (D1) (Paris, France) (Closing Date: 31 October 2006)

SENIOR PROGRAM SPECIALIST, Education Sector, LA/RP/BRA/ED/0009 - (P5) (Brasilia, Brazil) (Closing Date: 19 November 2006)

PROGRAM SPECIALIST (HIGHER EDUCATION), UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (IESALC), LA/RP/VEN/ED/0003 - (P4) (Caracas, Venezuela) (Closing Date: 4 October 2006)

SENIOR CLASSIFICATION OFFICER, Central Services, Bureau of Human Resources Management, HRM 189 - (P4) (Paris, France) (Closing Date: 29 October 2006)

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty

The Faces of Poverty: Ethiopian Refugees at Korem Camp, 1984
Image by B. Bisson, © UNESCO

Today, October 17, has been declared by the United Nations as the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty.

UNESCO, like other UN agencies, commemorates the occasion. Check out:
* UNESCO's Antipoverty Portal

* Commemorative Activities at UNESCO

* Interview with Monique Ilboudo (Burkina Faso): "Poverty is disregard for human rights"

* Poverty in SHS Views 14 [ PDF ]

United Nations Day

October 24, 2006

The anniversary of the entry into force of the United Nations Charter -- 24 October 1945 -- has been celebrated as United Nations Day since 1948. It is marked throughout the world each year by meetings, discussions and exhibits on the achievements and goals of the Organization.

Check out the United Nations Association of the USA for a history of UN Day.

The National Capital Area Chapter of UNA-USA is organizing a week of activities to celebrate the occassion.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Dialogue Among Civilizations To Build “Peace in the Minds of Men”

In our increasingly diverse societies, it is essential to ensure harmonious interaction among people and groups with plural and varied cultural identities as well as their willingness to live together. Therefore the fostering of dialogue among cultures and peoples, can only occur on the basis of the recognition of and respect for cultural diversity. In this context, UNESCO advocates for inclusive and participatory policies as a guarantee of social cohesion, the vitality of civil society and peace.

Roads of Dialogue

The concept of “roads” or “routes” has been at the heart of many of the Organizations’s intercultural dialogue projects. Roads are itineraries by which individual travelers or communities have conveyed their ideas and customs across continents and oceans. From the Silk Route to the Slave Route to the Iron Roads in Africa, history has shown us that routes are venues for the exchange of cultural experience, ideas, values and goods through art, trade and migrations.

A principal objective of a dialogue is to bridge the gap in knowledge about other civilizations, cultures and societies to undertake concrete activities, inspired and driven by dialogue, especially in the areas of education, cultural diversity and heritage, the sciences and communication and media.

For more information, please visit:
*Dialogue Among Cultures, Civilizations and Peoples Infosheet
*Youth and Creativity
Promoting multilingualism
*Inter-religious dialogue
The Rabat Commitment: Conclusions and Recommendations of the Rabat Conference on Dialogue among Cultures and Civilizations through Concrete and Sustained Initiatives, June 2005
Convention on the Promotion and Protection of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions
Global Alliance for Cultural Diversity
Creation for a Global Center for Cultural Enterprise and Entrepreneurship in Santa Fe, NM
Check out the UNESCO-Courier special issue on the Dialogue among Civilizations!
*Activities by National Commissions for the Promotion of a Dialogue Among Civilizations

NatCom Newsletter -- The New Issue is Out

U.S. National Commission for UNESCO Newsletter, Volume 2, Issue 3, July/August/September 2006.

In This Issue:
* Comments from the Acting Executive Director

* Greece hosts UNESCO Director General’s Region I Consultations with National Commissions

* Mrs. Laura Bush hosts the first-ever White House Conference on Global Literacy

* UNESCO Education Sector begins instituting management reforms

* Update on Overall Review Committee for Programmes II (Natural Sciences) and III (Social and Human Sciences)

* U.S. National Committee for the International Hydrological Program Agrees to host 2007 Regional Biannual Meeting

* UNESCO Chair at Cornell University assists in hosting networking event at UN-HABITAT Forum

* World Heritage Committee meets in Lithuania; Action Taken on Everglades

* Young Professionals Program opened for 2007

* UNESCO Job Vacancies

Sunday, October 15, 2006

U.S. Positions on UNESCO's Mid Term Strategy

Red the full text of Ambassador Oliver's statement to the Executive Board of UNESCO on October 6, 2006.

I assume that we all agree that our work must be guided by the democratic principles upon which UNESCO was founded 60 years ago: universality, diversity, justice, dignity, tolerance, respect for human rights and the rule of law—all essential ingredients for world peace.

I hope that we also agree that our work should be guided by the World Summit Outcome Document so that we do not duplicate work being done by other UN organizations.

As we look at the six overarching objectives proposed for the Medium Term Strategy, we see that “championing education for all” is at the top of the list. This is as it should be, for education is the top priority for all of us. Education plays a fundamental role in economic development, in the prevention of disease, and in promoting democracy and human dignity. Because UNESCO is the lead agency within the UN system for education, it is our duty and responsibility to help countries provide quality education to their citizens.

Regarding education, we would like to see an emphasis on five strategic program areas: literacy; civic education; teacher training; health education, especially HIV-AIDS; and higher education. We would also like to see an emphasis on gender parity.......

UNESCO has much to contribute in the area of culture. Given UNESCO’s commitment to cultural diversity, the United States urges UNESCO to promote genuine cultural diversity through programs that foster a free and open exchange of cultural expressions and products across the globe. Any program or policy that uses UNESCO’s name to hinder cultural exchange would run counter to the vision of the founders of this organization and counter to its intended mandate.

No UNESCO cultural program is more identified with UNESCO than the World Heritage program. The United States hopes that the somewhat overdue management audit of the World Heritage Center will be completed in time to inform the Medium Term Strategy.

I find it curious that the last of the overarching objectives in the draft Medium Term Strategy is “fostering mutual understanding, reconciliation and peace.” This is truly an intersectoral objective that lies at the heart of UNESCO’s work. This is a pre-eminent reason why UNESCO was established. This is why we still look to UNESCO to propose ideas to address the hatred, misunderstandings, and conflicts that still plague us sixty years after the Organization’s founding. This is an area where UNESCO’s role as a kind of UN “think tank” needs to be brought fully to bear......

As far as the budget is concerned, the comparative budget document distributed by the Secretariat shows that, thanks to the return of the United States, UNESCO’s budget rose from $544.4 million for the 2002-2003 biennium to $610 million for the 2004-2005 biennium. This large increase should be kept in mind as we discuss issues relating to the budget.

Ambassador Oliver at the Executive Board

Read the full text of Ambassador Olivers address to UNESCO's Executive Board of October 3, 2006.

Excerpts from her address to the Board:
Mr. Director General, we do want to work with you, because we know how difficult it is to transform an intergovernmental organization like UNESCO into a revitalized, results-oriented institution. In order to be successful in this monumental task, we must all work together, with courage and persistence, as there are many pitfalls along the way that can derail the process of reform. This challenge is not for the faint-hearted, but fortunately we know that you, Mr. Director General, understand that despite all obstacles, UNESCO must continue to go down the path of reform if it is to become a more effective, influential, and respected member of the UN family.

In fact, since our return to UNESCO three years ago, the United States has observed that real progress has been made in a number of areas. Take literacy for example, an issue many countries have been working on for a long time. UNESCO can now support their efforts with an excellent literacy initiative that has the potential to improve the lives of millions of people, particularly women. Moreover, Mrs. Bush’s literacy conference has helped UNESCO gain heightened public recognition of its role as the UN’s lead agency for the Decade of Literacy. Mrs. Bush’s conference was designed to strengthen the international community’s political will that plays an essential part in the battle against illiteracy.......

The United States will actively support UNESCO’s regional meetings, as well as related programs in teacher training, gender parity, HIV-AIDS prevention, and reading materials and textbooks that emphasize tolerance and civic participation. UNESCO’s renewed focus on its educational initiatives, including its EFA Global Action Plan, sends a strong message to the international community that UNESCO has rededicated itself to its number one priority, education.

In order to achieve its goals, however, UNESCO’s Education Sector must have the skills, expertise, and resources that it needs, particularly in the field offices. We are confident that the new management plan will enable the Sector to strengthen the coherence of its programs, and will enhance accountability........

In both the public and private sectors, successful organizations constantly search for better and more cost-effective ways to conduct their business. In our view, the biggest challenge facing UNESCO is not the lack of resources, but the continued need for significant management and administrative reform. More funds for ineffective programs will simply produce more ineffective programs, and that will not help those countries and individuals that really need and deserve our assistance.

As we have said numerous times, UNESCO must focus on its priorities, and take full advantage of its multi-disciplinary organizational structure. Current programs should be evaluated to see if they are relevant and effective, and new initiatives supported only when it is clear that they are essential for the work of the organization. Furthermore, any new program should include a sunset clause that will automatically lead to the termination of that program unless there is a persuasive reason to have it renewed.

Craig Kennedy at UNESCO

On September 14, Craig Kennedy, President of the German Marshall Fund (GMF) of the United States, participated in a UNESCO Dialogue. He emphasized the need for UNESCO to develop more effective ways to build private-sector partnerships. Click here to see a video of his presentation.

He also spoke that evening to UNESCO Ambassadors and staff, where he elaborated further on the various criteria UNESCO could consider when developing global partnerships. Mr. Kennedy described the value, risks, and applications of public private partnerships in detail during these remarks, which you can listen to by clicking here.

Internet Access to Educational Resources

Read the full statement made by Richard C. Levin at the 175th session of UNESCO's Executive Board.

Levin, the President of Yale University, gave his talk on Wednesday, October 4, during the thematic debate titled:“In the age of globalization, UNESCO as a specialized agency of the reforming UN system : challenges, roles and functions at global, regional and country levels”.

It seems clear that UNESCO should do whatever it can to encourage these growing tendencies toward making instructional materials and scholarly publications freely available on-line. These trends could have a major positive impact on the quality of tertiary education in developing countries. In some cases achieving wider access may require the modification of existing copyright law, but in many cases the need to change the law may be avoided by encouraging scholars and publishers to use more creative forms of licensing, which allow royalty-free re-use and distribution for non-commercial and educational purposes. UNESCO could be very helpful in disseminating information to its member nations about the availability of free on-line resources, and it could help to educate scholars and publishers about the new forms of licensing that are emerging to facilitate access.

Friday, October 13, 2006

International Migration and Development

Children in a Congo Refugee Camp
Image by F. Loock, © UNESCO

Read Annette Hartenstein's complete Highlight for the Americans for UNESCO website.

Traditionally considered too hot for a global institution to handle, the issue of international migration has recently been moving up the UN agenda. Pierre Sané, Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences (SHS), discusses this issue in the September edition of the SHS Views from the perspective of a complex cross-cutting issue that Social and Human Sciences can address.

UNESCO's program on Migration has five main lines of action:
• Increasing the protection of migrants through participation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the International Labour Organization (ILO), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), as well as several NGOs, in an international campaign to encourage States to adhere to the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families;

• Improving national policies of the sending, transit and receiving countries, through promoting research and providing training for policy makers so that there is better management of the impact that migration has on societies;

• Promoting the value of and respect for cultural diversity in multicultural societies and improving the balance between policies that favor diversity and those that favor social integration, by developing initiatives that advocate consideration of the Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities (1992), and the UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity;

• Supporting capacity-building, permanence and effectiveness of migrants’ networks as a means of promoting intellectual contribution – as against the current brain drain – through the use of new information and communication technologies; and

• Contributing to the global fight against human trafficking and the exploitation of migrants.

International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, October 17th

Several events will be organized at UNESCO Headquarters on 17 October to mark International Day for the Eradication of Poverty: at 5 p.m., at UNESCO in Room XII, a short film will be shown, following which an exhibition of photographs illustrating exemplary projects from around the world will be opened. The exhibition will run until 26 October in the Miró Room at UNESCO Headquarters.

This event will be the first opportunity to assess UNESCO's programme on the eradication of poverty, especially extreme poverty.

The current issue of SHS Views, the magazine of UNESCO’s Social and Human Sciences Sector, devotes several pages to the programme against poverty, which brings together all Sectors of the Organization. The issue also includes an interview with Monique Ilboudo, Burkina Faso’s Minister for the Promotion of Human Rights, who calls for the same recognition of economic, social and cultural rights to be given to political and civil rights, in order to overcome poverty.

See also
* UNESCO Anti-Poverty Portal

* Info-sheet on Eradication of Poverty

Photo: © UNESCO/M. Becka

UNESCO at Soccerex: Promoting Physical Education for Human and Social Development Purposes

UNESCO will participate in SOCCEREX 2006, Business Convention for Football, which will be held 26-28 November 2006 in Dubai and marks the tenth anniversary of SOCCEREX. Sport is a universal language with an unparalleled ability to bring people together. For this reason, it is an important instrument for achieving human and social development and for promoting harmonious relations between countries.

The growing number of organizations in the private sector showing interest in cooperating with UNESCO in the domain of physical education and Sport (PES) is remarkable. SOCCEREX, “the business convention for football worldwide”, is showing great interest in promoting the goals and objectives of UNESCO in the field of physical education and sport and especially in actions towards raising the profile of PES on the global level.
The cooperation proposed by SOCCEREX is founded on three principles: to help develop a greater visibility for UNESCO’s actions in the sports milieu, to facilitate cooperation with other actors in the private sector, and to help mobilise extra-budgetary resources with these parties.

UNESCO’s will be discussing their key objectives:

*To promote sport activities in a spirit of fair play, mutual respect, fairness, and good sportsmanship;
*To promote human rights and transmit values of tolerance, non-violence, equity inclusiveness and peace;
*To help achieve ‘quality physical education for all’ in formal and informal education systems;
*To preserve cultural identity and encourage cultural diversity through traditional sports and games;
*To guarantee the participation of women and people with disabilities in sport;
*To raise awareness to the health benefits of sport;
*To disseminate information on the risks of drug abuse, particularly of doping in sport.

As part of Soccerex, an exhibition of the works of the renowned Makis Warlamis is being planned, to highlight the importance of the secular link between culture and sport.

UNESCO designs and helps implementing projects worldwide aimed at addressing the following issues: traditional sports and games, quality physical education, women and sport, anti-doping, sport and HIV/AIDS.

Also of related interest:

*Our previous article on UNESCO and Sports: "Winning at Any Cost?", The September 2006 UNESCO-Courier issue
*The UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for Physical Education and Sport

*Sport for the Development of Peace: UNESCO and SHS
*International Charter for Physical Education and Sport

Thursday, October 12, 2006

60 WOMEN CONTRIBUTING TO THE 60 YEARS OF UNESCO: Constructing the Foundations of Peace

Editors: Ingeborg Breines and Hans d’Orville, UNESCO, 2006.

This book presents the voices of 60 eminent women who have made, and in many cases are still making, significant contributions to UNESCO’s action. Their voices represent the views and aspirations of many other women – in national governments, the UNESCO Secretariat, National Commissions for UNESCO, universities, schools, libraries, museums, research and educational institutions, the media and communities – who struggle on a daily basis to keep the ideals of UNESCO alive.
The full participation of women in social, cultural and economic development, and in democratic processes at all levels, is a moral imperative, a matter of human rights and justice, and a political exigency of the highest order.

Koïchiro Matsuura
Director-General of UNESCO
The book includes excerpts from a speech made by Alva Myrdal, first director of the UNESCO Social and Human Sciences Sector and later Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, on the occasion of UNESCO’s 25th anniversary. It also reflects and commemorates many other distinguished women, who have been associated with UNESCO, in different capacities, including:
• Indira Gandhi, Member of the Executive Board, and Prime Minister of India (1966-77);

• Maria de Lourdes Pintasilgo, Member of the Executive Board, and Prime Minister of Portugal (1979-80);

• Sophie N’Kanza, fi rst women Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences in UNESCO and Minister of Social Affairs from the Democratic Republic of the Congo;

• Gabriela Mistral, Nobel Literature Prize Laureate (1945), Chile; involved with the International Committee of Intellectual Cooperation, predecessor of UNESCO in the League of Nations;

• Jeanne Hersch, first director of UNESCO’s Philosophy Section and renowned Swiss philosopher;

• Maria Montessori, Member of the Board of the UNESCO Institute for Education in Hamburg and renowned Italian educationalist.
Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, President of Liberia (the first democratically elected African woman president) spoke at UNESCO on the occasion of the International Women’s Day (8 March 2006). She considered the progress made by women, but noted:
These gains notwithstanding, women, in many parts of the world, have remained virtually excluded from the mainstream of decision making, while at the same time their tireless efforts to gain access to resources and opportunities continue to be undermined by the reluctance of their societies to show a demonstrated commitment
towards the goal of equality. … Women leaders will be expected to demonstrate at all times a willingness to break with the past, a commitment to serve and a determination to never relent in pursuing truth, justice, good governance and the rule of law.
Emily Vargas-Baron just wrote me, about this book:
This is a remarkable book! I just read the chapters written by women from Colombia, the US, and the Kyrgyz Republic (I recommend the latter especially for a window on UNESCO and the Soviet transition strains in Central Asia). Incredible stories and I have just begun... I would like to get a hard copy of this book. It is unblushingly supportive of UNESCO and its programs but as it does so, it reveals the roles of UNESCO, both current and potential, as well as the terrible strains in our world and the importance of women's eyes and action.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

The 2006 Information Literacy Summit

The 2006 Information Literacy Summit will address the question:
How do we adequately prepare students to be lifelong learners with the skills necessary to compete in a rapidly changing world?

The 2006 Information Literacy Summit
Monday, October 16, 2006, 8:30-2:30
National Education Association
1201 16th St. NW
Auditorium (Lower Level)
Washington, DC 20036

Free, but registration required. One of the presenters will be Abdelaziz Abid, Senior Programme Specialist, Communications and Information Sector, UNESCO.

Information literacy has become essential to individual success and national competitiveness. Yet in the United States it remains, at best, of secondary interest to policy-makers.

This summit will present informative and timely discussions among government, education and business leaders on information literacy and its impact on the global society, workforce readiness, and public policy in the United States.

Sponsored by the National Forum on Information Literacy in partnership with the Committee for Economic Development, Educational Testing Service, the Institute for a Competitive Workforce, an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the National Education Association.

6th annual SEAL of Excellence for Handicrafts in Southeast Asia

An international panel of experts in design, marketing and handicraft production have gathered across four regions in Asia to judge a record number of entries for the 2006 UNESCO Seal of Excellence in Handicrafts (referred to as the SEAL). 129 submissions were received from Southeast Asia.

Twenty-seven awards* were granted for the Southeast Asia region. Products will be displayed at the Bangkok International Gift fair between 17th and 22nd of October at Impact Exhibition Centre Hall.

SEAL was established to encourage craft-workers to use traditional skills and materials. The SEAL looks to ensure the continuation of traditional knowledge and the preservation of cultural diversity in the region. Submissions are reviewed against six key criteria, incorporating excellence, innovation, authenticity, marketability, eco-friendliness and social responsibility. By recognizing such attributes in craftsmanship, the program aims to set quality standards, raise international awareness and strengthen market demand for Asian handicraft products.

* See press release for full details of winners.

Check out the 2006 Awarded Products!
on SEAL, Craft News and Events

Photo: Textile Weaving in Laos © UNESCO Bangkok

Monday, October 09, 2006

New Look for UNESCO's Education Portal

Go to the UNESCO Education Portal.

There is a new look and feel to the UNESCO Education Portal. The portal is the first to adopt the new look and feel being developed for the UNESCO website.

UNESCO’s goal is to harmonize graphics, navigation, and ergonomy to help its website users learn how to easily find information on UNESCO activities. The new design features a “tab system” for navigation on the top of the page. A simplified navigation reduces graphics to a minimum, which is important for developing country users who often have slow and expensive connections to the Internet. The new design also provides greater accessibility across different browsing softwares and operating systems.

The Education portal is now available in Spanish, in addition to English and French.

UNESCO board meeting opens with call for dialogue between cultures, religions

UNESCO board meeting opens with call for dialogue between cultures, religions:

"The head of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) today appealed for enhanced dialogue between civilizations, cultures, religions and peoples, noting that “recent events have once again highlighted, in some cases tragically, the crucial importance of this issue.”"

USAID-UNESCO Fund ’Best Teacher’ Awards

On October 5th, thirty five teachers from all over Pakistan gathered to receive cash awards, medals and certificates for ’Best Teacher’ as part of commemorations for International Teachers’ Day last week. The 35 winners include 16 female teachers and 19 male teachers. In recent years Pakistan’s Ministry of Education has honored selected outstanding teachers as part of its efforts to encourage excellence in teaching. The 2006 awards include a cash prize of Rs.30,000 for each teacher - co-sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and UNESCO. The ceremony was held at the National Library of Pakistan, Islamabad.
Punjab University
© UNESCO/W. Hubbell

UNESCO Celebrates The Arts Education Week

Within the framework of "Education For All" and "Quality Education" goals, as well as in support of strategies to safeguard cultural diversity, UNESCO is endeavouring to mainstream the arts, creativity and culture in educational systems throughout the world.

Encouraging development of the arts by means of art education is one way of promoting cultural diversity. Young people are a natural target for action programmes aimed at bringing about democratization in art and culture. The teaching of artistic and cultural disciplines should therefore be encouraged: not only music and the plastic arts but also dance, theatre, poetry and the oral tradition.

For more information, visit:
*LEA international (Links to Education and Arts)
*The International Fund for the Promotion of Culture
*UNESCO - Aschberg Bursaries for Artists Programme

UNESCO, Google and Litcam launch The Literacy Project

The Literacy Project, a web-based resource for teachers, literacy organizations and anyone interested in the promotion of reading and education, was launched in conjunction with the start of the Frankfurt Book Fair on October 4th, 2006.

The Literacy Project enables users to access and share literacy resources from around the world - from e-learning videos and books about literacy, to scholarly articles, reading groups, and literacy-related blogs. Visitors can also use the Google Maps function to search for literacy organizations around the globe. The site is available in both English and German.

The aim of this site reflects one of the key missions of UNESCO, and in particular of its Institute for Lifelong Learning: "to promote literacy, build capacity and enhance access to information about the issue", said Adama Ouane, Director, UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL).

Google has already invited academic communities all over the world to join the initiative. They can do that by uploading different educational projects, in video or written form.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

UNESCO and the Millennium Development Goals

Check out the UNESCO website on its support for the MDGs.

World leaders gathered at the Millennium summit agreed on these goals in 2000, and they were reaffirmed last year. They represent a major challenge for the nations of the world, and UNESCO is doing its part to help assure that they are met.

Go to the United Nations MDG website.

Go to the MDG monitoring site at the World Bank.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Debate on Challenges, Roles and Functions of UNESCO

UNESCO's Executive Board is to hold a public debate on the challenges, roles and functions of UNESCO tomorrow, October 4, 2006. The debate will take place in the UNESCO headquarters in Paris from 9.30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Paris time.

The debate is to be available by streaming video over the Internet.

The Chairman of the UNESCO Executive Board, Zhang Xinsheng, is to open the first session which is then to feature an introduction by its moderator, Baroness Valerie Amos, Leader of the House of Lords (U.K.). At 10.10 a.m., Chen Ning Yang, Nobel Laureate in Physics and Professor at Tsinghua University (China), is to speak of “science in the 20th and 21st centuries and its relevance to UNESCO.” He is to be followed by Richard C. Levin, President of Yale University, on “international cooperation in education and the role of UNESCO.” Alpha Omar Konaré, Chairperson of the African Union Commission and former President of the Republic of Mali, is to speak about “cultural diversity in the age of globalization and Africa’s perspectives of UNESCO’s role and potentials for partnership,” at 10.40 a.m. A two-hour open debate will follow.

Ernesto Zedillo Ponce de Leon, former President of Mexico, is to speak about “the impact, benefits and challenges of globalization as it relates to UNESCO,” in the session starting at 3 p.m., which he is also to moderate. The Tunisian Minister of Communication Technologies, Montasser Ouaïli, is scheduled to speak of “UNESCO implementing the recommendations of the World Summit on Information Societies: role of the media and communication” at 3.20 p.m. Evgeny Sidorov, Ambassador at Large and former Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation is to speak of “aspects of globalization and culture.” A two-hour debate is to follow, with remarks by the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, at 5.50 p.m. At 6.15, an open-ended symposium is to be moderated by Dominique Wolton, Research Director at the CNRS, France’s National Centre for Scientific Research, who is to speak about “building the defences of peace in the minds of men through education, the sciences, culture and communication and information: future role of UNESCO.”

Read the full press release on the symposium.

Post-conflict reconstruction

© UNESCO/Studionada
Damage caused to Byblos, Lebanon, by the oil slick

This week, as part of its 60 week celebration of its six decades of service, UNESCO is highlighting it post-conflice efforts. (Download the UNESCO fact sheet on these efforts.)

Note especially the materials on UNESCO actions:
* Protecting cultural heritage (UNESCO's recent actions in Lebanon)
* Culture and post-conflict reconstruction

Monday, October 02, 2006

UNESCO: 60 Years of Education, 60 years of Culture

UNESCO will celebrate its 60th anniversary during 60 weeks until 4 November 2006, by devoting each week to one specific theme. Among the 60 themes identified, 16 are dedicated to education, and 16 to culture.

As stated in our previous posting, last week was dedicated to non-formal education. The highlight of October 9th-14th, 2006 will be science education.
>>More on Education Thematic Weeks

You may also want to check out the profile of 100 Famous Thinkers on Education form around the world in the publication PROSPECTS: Quarterly review of comparative education

While education will be celebrated for one more week mid-October, this month will mainly focus on the Culture Sector. Starting tomorrow, October 2nd, 2006, Post-conflict Reconstruction will be under the spotlight, followed by the ”Dialogue among civilizations” week from October 16th-21st, and the “Arts Eduaction” week from October 23rd-28th, 2006.

Related links
Week by Week Celebrations
Symposium on the 60 years of UNESCO

Photo: Baalbek, Lebanon ©B. Benoit-Zabbal/UNESCO


Non-Formal Education Initiatives

As part of the 60 weeks of celebrations of the organization’s 60th anniversary, UNESCO has been devoting each week to a specific theme. Non-Formal education was the highlight of the week September 25th through 30th, 2006. Click here to review the infosheet on this topic.

Non-formal education constitutes learning opportunities for the vast majority of children, youth and adults in developing countries who are not reached by the formal education system. Non-formal Education may take place both within and outside educational institutions, and may cater to persons of all ages. Depending on country contexts, it may cover educational programmes to impart adult literacy, basic education for out-of-school children, life-skills, work-skills, and general culture. Non-formal education programmes do not necessarily follow the 'ladder' system, may have varying durations, and may or may not confer certification of the learning achieved.

In order to reach the Dakar goal for reducing illiteracy by 2015, UNESCO has been organizing a number of non-formal education-related workshops, symposiums and conferences. More

UNESCO has also initiated a array of projects to promote non-formal education based on the needs of specific types of countries and regions. Selected projects include:

*Basic Trades for Small Island Nations: This initiative targets the improvement of the qualifications of semi literate workers in conconstruction sector across the South Pacific Countries.

*Hope and solidarity through ballgames: This project aims to reach underprivileged and excluded children and to ensure their reinsertion in society, through athletic, cultural and playful activities.

UNESCO has also published a series of handbooks and multimedia materials in order to reach out non-formal educators and provide them with guidance to alternative approaches, tools and an overview of good practices. This was namely the purpose of the following support materials:

*Handbook for Literacy and Non-formal Education Facilitators in Africa

*Synergies between Formal and Non-formal Education: An Overview of Good Practices

*Emerging and re-emerging learning communities:Old wisdoms and new initiatives from around the world

Related Websites
The Dakar Framework for Action
The UNESCO Exchange platform on Non-formal Education
The UNESCO portal on Education For All