Friday, January 02, 2009

Agenda for Americans for UNESCO for 2009

The Board of Directors of Americans for UNESCO will meet on January 13th to consider the program of activities for 2009 for the organization. Dick Nobbe has provided this list of possible activities to be considered. Your comments are invited:
  1. GWU UNESCO Course - Offer for a third time a course on UNESCO for credit at George Washington University (N.B. AU has broken new ground in this area and there appears to be strong administrative and student interest in the topic. And AU has plenty of competence to handle it under the animated leadership of John Daly.).
  2. GWU UNESCO Club - Assist further the students at GWU in founding a UNESCO Club. (N.B. As I understand it, this project is still in the developmental stage. We should regard this activity as resource building for American participation in UNESCO's youth programs which have gained in status and now become a permanent feature of UNESCO General Conference sessions .I personally have a valuable collection of books, magazines, reports etc which I would be glad to donate to its library. Perhaps others do too.).
  3. U.S. National Commission for UNESCO - (N.B. We need to follow up on our transition paper calling for the restructuring of the US National Commission for UNESCO to its original legislative role of influencing policy direction at State and expanding knowledge about UNESCO's activities to the public.).
  4. The Ray Wanner Manuscript- (N.B. Any organization worth its salt must publish something periodically (besides minutes of its meetings) if it is to remain visible and viable.We have in hand a unique , ready-to-go publication which needs to see the light of day. AU should take advantage of GWU's lay-out and composition department while we still have access to their services. Funding may be difficult, but we should calculate the cost, earmark a portion of AU's budget to it, and pass the hat .My experience is that original publications of this kind eventually obtain funding.)
  5. UNESCO Reports of Meetings- (N.B. The principal end-product of UNESCO is the reports of its numerous technical meetings at considerable cost,yet they seldom see the light of day. AU should undertake a study of this problem with the view to cataloguing some of the more important ones for internet or website distribution to higher education institutions, NGOs, and other technical bodies in the US.)
  6. New US`Ambassador to UNESCO - Arrange a substantive dinner meeting for the new Ambassador early in the game accompanied with selective written materials such as our transition paper, previous brochure, and UNESCO publication on national commissions. (N.B. We did this for the previous US Ambassador and it was a great success by all accounts).
  7. Former US`Ambassador - Solicit her interest post haste in becoming an AU Board member in a Vice-President capacity. (N.B.In my opinion, she is very knowledgeable about UNESCO's programs and activities, is an excellent spokesperson and could be a real resource for us. Besides, she has undergone an epiphany, and we need converts and money for our cause. Nothing ventured, nothing gained !)
  8. UNESCO ADG Briefings. Arrange for one or two seminars during CY 2009 on a UNESCO sector.(N.B. It will be recalled that AU did this in cooperation with the UN Foundation and the UNESCO Liaison Office in New York in 2008 involving the ADG for Communications, and it was a big success. .I would give priority to the Social Science Sector after the incumbent ADG leaves since knowledge about the entirety of this sector's program is practically non-existent in the US Government and private sector).
  9. AU Social Science and Natural Sciences Committees (N.B.) These two committees need to be strengthened. For all practical purposes, they are leaderless or memberless.)
  10. US MAB Committee- Play a lead role in assisting the State Department to encourage Congress to provide support for a robust role of the US MAB Committee in UNESCO's program (N.B. I realize this matter is on State's agenda, but AU could help if we brought on Tom Gilbert and Sam McKee as AU Board members since both have formerly and prominently been involved with this program).
  11. Sid Passman's UNESCO News Bulletins. Explore with Sid ways of expanding his audience to include not just AU members, but all NatCom members, selective higher education institutions, NGOs (especially religious ones), and philanthropic foundations (N.B. I realize that not everyone is enthralled by what Sid selects but the fact remains Sid is the only source providing us with information about the totality of UNESCO activities., and he devotes considerable time to this effort. Frankly, without. his contributions, most of us would be in the dark about what UNESCO does).
  12. Universal Access to Cyberspace - Continue to monitor UNESCO's program activities contributing to the creation of an international strategic partnership to reduce the digital divide and to the development of knowledge societies through the implementation of the WSIS Plan of Action. (N.B. AU should team up with other NGOs to further this goal and participate in important international conferences to keep abreast of developments in this field).
I would add to this list, continued production of this blog and management of the AU website, with the possible recruitment of added volunteers to provide content.

In order to carry out an ambitious agenda, funds will be required. You can donate using the button above, or contracting Americans for UNESCO directly.

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