Saturday, October 24, 2009

Día de Muertos

El Día de Muertos es una celebración mexicana de origen prehispánico que honra a los difuntos el 2 de noviembre, comienza el 1 de noviembre, y coincide con las celebraciones católicas de Día de los Fieles Difuntos y Todos los Santos.

En ceremonia llevada a cabo en París, Francia el 7 de noviembre de 2003 la UNESCO distinguió a la festividad indígena de Día de Muertos como Obra Maestra del Patrimonio Oral e Intangible de la Humanidad. La distinción por considerar la UNESCO que esta festividad es:
"...una de las representaciones más relevantes del patrimonio vivo de México y del mundo, y como una de las expresiones culturales más antiguas y de mayor fuerza entre los grupos indígenas del pais."
Además en el documento de declaratoria se destaca:
"Ese encuentro anual entre las personas que la celebran y sus antepasados, desempeña una función social que recuerda el lugar del individuo en el seno del grupo y contribuye a la afirmación de la identidad..."
además de:
"...aunque la tradición no está formalmente amenazada, su dimensión estética y cultural debe preservarse del creciente número de expresiones no indígenas y de carácter comercial que tienden afectar su contenido inmaterial."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

UNESCO World Report Investing in Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue,

After years of preparation, UNESCO has issued is second World Report. This major report focuses on Culture, but is a product of the entire UNESCO Organization and all of its programs.


Key figures:

Estimates set at 6,000 to 8,000 the number of languages in the world today, which – although one language does not necessarily correspond to one culture (several cultures can speak the same language, and in one culture different languages may be spoken) – gives an idea of cultural diversity.

There are many imbalances in the global trade of creative products: Africa’s share remains marginal (at less than 1% of exports), despite its abundance of creative talent.

Most of the 75 million children who did not go to school in 2006 (55% of whom were girls) were from cultural ‘minorities’, indigenous populations or nomads.

Half of the languages in the world are spoken by linguistic communities of less than 10,000 people.

While in 2000 53% of Internet users were English-speaking their number fell to 29% in 2009.

Developing countries’ exports of cultural and media equipment increased rapidly between 1996 and 2005, growing from US$51 billion to US$274 billion, which showed the emergence of so-called “counter-flows”, which are countering the extreme concentration of media ownership.

Crafts and tourism are a major source of revenue for developing countries: crafts production and tourism represent more than 25 % of the GDP of Morocco, for example.

Fair trade has grown rapidly, by an average of 40% over the last five years.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

UNESCO DG Irina Bokova at Women's Forum Global Meeting 09

U.S. Multilateral Engagement: Benefits to American Citizens

“…the time has come for the world to move in a new direction. We must embrace a new era of engagement based on mutual interest and mutual respect, and our work must begin now.”
President Barack Obama

The United States is deeply engaged with the United Nations and other international organizations to promote U.S. national interests. While most Americans are familiar with U.S. leadership at the United Nations as part of the Security Council and as a leading voice in support of human rights, economic development, and humanitarian relief, fewer Americans are aware of the many benefits that stem from U.S. engagement with the many technical and specialized international organizations.

Read the State Department Fact Sheet!

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Elizabeth Kelley-Kanick Named Executive Director

Elizabeth Kelley-Kanick has been named the new Executive Director of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. She was formally the Administrative Director in the Office of Senator Hillary Clinton.

New UIS projections on teacher shortages

The UIS has released a new series of projections to help governments better gauge future needs for primary education teachers.

Across the world, countries are committed to reaching the goal of Universal Primary Education (UPE) by 2015. The UIS has identified the countries that need to expand their teaching forces in order to be able to enrol all primary school-age children by this target date. According to UIS estimates, 96 out of 195 countries will need at least 1.9 million more teachers in classrooms by 2015 than in 2007.

The projections by the UIS indicate that 27 out of 45 countries in sub-Saharan Africa face a critical teacher gap. In these countries, 2.6 million teachers were in the classrooms in 2007. This number must grow to 3.7 million in just eight years to meet the UPE goal. This means that for every two teachers teaching in 2007 in the region, there must be three in 2015.

Consult the UIS projections:

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Dream for the future

“It is my dream to nurture relations of perfect synergy between the Director-General and Member States, so as to move together towards the creation of societies that are more just and prosperous, based on knowledge, tolerance and equal opportunity for all, thanks to education, science, culture and access to information. I shall be guided in my work by my concept of a new humanism for the 21st century.”
Irina Bokova, the newly elected Director General of UNESCO

Friday, October 16, 2009

Irina Bokova elected Director-General of UNESCO

The 35th Session of the General Conference today elected Irina Bokova of Bulgaria as the tenth Director-General of UNESCO. The investiture will take place in a ceremony on Friday 23 October 2009, when Irina Bokova will become the first woman to hold the post since the foundation of the Organization in 1945.