Sunday, March 20, 2011

Israel, UNESCO to Promote Holocaust Education

According to the Embassy of Israel in Washington:
An agreement was signed today (March 7) in Paris between the State of Israel and UNESCO on the establishment of a center within the organization devoted entirely to developing and promoting Holocaust education and combating its denial worldwide. The new center will function in accordance with the resolutions adopted at the UN General Assembly in New York and UNESCO.

The agreement is the outcome of an Israel Foreign Ministry initiative, according to which Israel will fund part of the project, after reaching understandings with UNESCO regarding its treatment of political issues on the agenda. The agreement was signed by UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and Ambassador Nimrod Barkan, Permanent Delegate of Israel to UNESCO.

Friday, March 04, 2011

UNESCO suspends cooperation with Libya

Source: The Associated Press via the Washington Post.
UNESCO's chief says the organization is stopping all cooperation with Libya's government and suspending a partnership with a charity group headed by Moammar Gadhafi's son.

The Paris-based United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization says director-general Irina Bokova took the measures after recent U.N. actions critical of Libya's human rights record.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Education for All Global Monitoring Report 2011

The report cautions that the world is not on track to achieve by 2015 the six Education for All goals that over 160 countries signed up to in 2000. Although there has been progress in many areas, most of the goals will be missed by a wide margin – especially in regions riven by conflict.
“Armed conflict remains a major roadblock to human development in many parts of the world, yet its impact on education is widely neglected,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. “This groundbreaking report documents the scale of this hidden crisis, identifies its root causes and offers solid proposals for change.”

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

UNESCO does not fare well in UK review

The Department for International Development of the United Kingdom has just completed a review of the multilateral agencies it has been funding. Here is the summary table:

DfID also provided a comparison chart among the multilateral agencies that were evaluated:

The development objectives of the United Kingdom are very similar to those of the United States. The top graph indicates that. in the opinion of the evaluators, the organization has considerable room for improvement, The lower graph indicates that UNESCO was judged almost uniquely weak among a wide variety of development agencies.

The Government of the United Kingdom decided on the basis of this information to continue funding UNESCO, but to impose "special measures". Here is the statement it provided in its document "Taking Forward the Findings of the UK Multilateral Aid Review":
UNESCO contributes to a range of UK government objectives, including monitoring progress on Education for All. The UK’s membership of UNESCO also brings broader benefits to the UK, in Culture, Heritage, Education and Science. UNESCO’s new leadership team is committed to reform. DFID will continue to support UNESCO, including by funding the core assessed contribution, which will be about £16m in each of the next two years. DFID will reassess progress towards improved effectiveness, with other government departments, in autumn 2012. DFID is discussing with UNESCO, and its member states, what measures need to be taken to urgently improve its performance.
Priorities include:-
  • Greater transparency
  • A more focused, evidence based programme
  • A focus on controlling transaction, administration and other costs
  • A major improvement in results based management.
If these measures are not implemented satisfactorily and performance does not improve, then the UK will consider whether it should continue to be a member of UNESCO, or whether there are more effective ways of supporting our objectives on education, culture and heritage.