Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Call for Nominations - 2011 Prize

UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence

Closing date for submissions is 9 September 2011 at midnight.

The UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence rewards significant activities in the scientific, artistic, cultural or communication fields aimed at the promotion of a spirit of tolerance and non-violence. More......

23 August: Teachers from three regions learned about the slave trade

To mark the International Day for the Remembrance of the Slave Trade and its Abolition (23 August), teachers from UNESCO Associated Schools (ASPnet) in Africa, the Caribbean and Europe and North America gathered at an international teacher professional development workshop (Accra, Ghana, 11 - 13 August). More....

Monday, August 29, 2011

An indicator of interest in UNESCO

Source: Google Trends
The upper graph shown above shows the relative frequency with which the word "UNESCO" has been used as a search term in Google. The graph indicates a yearly cycle, with a drop in interest in UNESCO in the summer and in December. It also shows a drop in interest over the six and a half year period shown.

The lower graph indicates that the volume of references to UNESCO in Google indexed news has increased over time.
The points on the graph identified by letter above show that there was an increase in Google searches when new sites were added to the World Heritage list, when UNESCO deleted Dresden from that list due to construction which was seen to detract from its historical and scenic value, and when Irina Bokova was elected Director General of the Organization. There is an especially important meeting of the Executive Board of UNESCO followed by a General Conference of member nations every other year, in the fall. It appears that these event were marked by an increase in interest in UNESCO not only in 2009 when DG Bokova was elected, but also in 2007 and 2005.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Unesco warning over Libya looting

Archaeological Site of Leptis Magna
I quote from a BBC News article:
The UN's cultural body has warned international art dealers and museums to look out for artefacts that may have been looted from Libya during fighting. 
Unesco director-general Irina Bokova said in a statement that dealers should be "particularly wary of objects from Libya in the present circumstances". 
And she called on Libyans to protect their "invaluable cultural heritage".

One of the important functions of UNESCO has been to catalyze treaties among nations which militate against international traffic in stolen historical artifacts and art objects. While UNESCO does not try to play policeman against such traffic, it has enabled governments of its member nations to cooperate in this area to achieve a common objective.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Grand Canyon National Park Hosts U.S. World Heritage Fellow

Mr John Zulu, site manager of Zambia's Mosi-oa-Tunya / Victoria Falls National Park and World Heritage site arrived in the U.S. August 5th to spend six weeks immersed in the details of people, park and resource management at Grand Canyon National Park as the latest "U.S. World Heritage Fellow" sponsored by the National Park Service with support from the United Nations Foundation and the National Park Foundation.

Mr Zulu works for the National Heritage Conservation Commission as the site manager for Victoria Falls National Park, Zambia's only World Heritage site. Located on the Zambezi River, the falls sit astride the Zambia-Zimbabwe border and are designated a trans­boundary World Heritage site.

Mr Zulu is the sixth person to be sponsored by the National Park Service's (NPS) U.S. World Heritage Fellows program, and the second Fellow to be hosted at Grand Canyon National Park. The U.S. World Heritage Fellowships promote conservation of World Heritage sites around the globe by providing an opportunity for World Heritage site managers from outside the U.S. to temporarily reside in this country and work alongside the managers and staff of U.S. World Heritage sites. Previous World Heritage Fellows have come from Brazil, Kenya, the Seychelles, South Africa, and Peru.

For more information on the U.S. World Heritage Fellows program, go to

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

UNESCO's Priorities for the XXI Century

Fast Car: Travelling Safely around the World

Fast Car: Travelling Safely around the World is a racing game that helps you to learn about HIV and AIDS prevention and takes you on a tour of some of the World's Heritage sites.
The game aims to provide young people with accurate and reliable information about HIV prevention, intending to educate and entertain as well as promoting healthy behaviour. In this game, the player can race on circuits on five continents, and virtually visit some of the UNESCO World Heritage sites. It also presents images of sites and interesting facts about them as players race by.
There are two tracks for each continent - a Preliminary track and a Championship track. Every track has a set of check points. At the check point, one can take part in a Mini-Quiz, and possibly earn a time bonus. In the mini-quiz, the player will be asked a multiple-choice question related to HIV and AIDS prevention.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Many Nations Plan to Boycott Durban III

Durban III is a United Nations (UN) conference scheduled to be held in New York City on 22 September 2011. It is to be  a one day high-level meeting in New York to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Durban Declaration and Program of Action by Durban I. The United States withdrew in protest from Durban I.

Durban I is not to be confused with the UNESCO Conference on Racism and Discrimination in Cities held in March 2009 (also in Durban). UNESCO does not list the conference on its schedule of events and appears to have no role in Durban III.

Durban II, held in Geneva in April 2009, was headlined by Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who saw the occasion as ideal for issuing another denial of the Holocaust and an endorsement of genocide against the Jewish state.

According to Wikipedia, "Canada, the United States, Israel, the Czech Republic, Italy and the Netherlands have announced that they will boycott Durban III."

Click here for more information on why the United States voted against holding the conference and why it will not participate in the conference.

Ser un ser humano / To be a human being

To be a Human Being/Coming Soon from eictv.noticias on Vimeo.

If you enjoyed this film clip, check out the others on this website for the UNESCO film project, To Be a Human Being.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Students' Voices on University Rankings

Call for Nominations - 2011 UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence

V. Ananda Sangaree Receiving 2006 Award
UNESCO calls for nominations for the 2011 UNESCO-Madanjeet Singh Prize for the Promotion of Tolerance and Non-Violence. The closing date for submissions is 9 September 2011 at midnight.

The Prize is awarded every other year to an individuals, institution or non-governmental organization that has made exceptional contributions and demonstrated leadership in the promotion of tolerance and non-violence.

The Prize was created in 1995 on the occasion of the United Nations Year for Tolerance and the 125th anniversary of the birth of Mahatma Gandhi, thanks to the generosity of the Indian writer and diplomat Madanjeet Singh, who is also UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador.

The Prize carries a monetary award of USD 100,000. Winners also receive a certificate highlighting the major contributions for which it is awarded. The awardees are officially recognized at a ceremony that is held at UNESCO Headquarters on the International Day for Tolerance, celebrated every year on 16 November, at which they are invited to deliver an acceptance speech.

Florida Task Force on African American History Honors Harris Rosen

Members of the Florida Task Force on African American History recently honored hotelier and philanthropist Harris Rosen with their Ring of Giving Humanitarian Award for his long-time support and in particular, their recent very successful July 10-15 African American Heritage Tour. 

The tour incorporated material from UNESCO's Transatlantic Slave Trade (TST) Education program and provided an in depth look at African American history in north and northeast Florida to educators of grades K-12, college personnel, religious and community leaders, and history enthusiasts.

“Bom Jesus de Braga” seeking World Heritage status – Portugal

I quote from the Portuguese American Journal:
The sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte, in Braga city, mainland Portugal, is seeking UNESCO’s World Heritage status as part of its 200th anniversary celebrations, reported Lusa news agency.

The main objective is to endow the sanctuary with an international profile to boost religious and cultural tourism, said João Varanda, president of the Brotherhood of Bom Jesus do Monte.

According to Varanda, although the submission process is still in the early stages of documentation gathering, he is confident the monument will gain UNESCO’s recognition.
Read more from the journal of our Portuguese Americans interested in World Heritage. 

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Opposition to U.S. missile defense installation on Korean bioreserve island

Source: "Unwanted Missiles for a Korean Island", By CHRISTINE AHN, The New York Times, August 5, 2011

Jeju Island Bioreserve
Jeju Island, the largest island off the Korean coast, is a volcanic island with a shield volcano that rises to 1950 meters above sea level. The Biosphere Reserve is located at the center of the island. A diversity of ecosystems are represented in the biosphere reserve, e.g. montane coniferous forest, temperate deciduous hardwood forest, warm-temperate evergreen hardwood forest and temperate grasslands.

I quote from the NYT article:
Gangjeong, a small fishing and farming village on Jeju Island 50 miles south of the Korean peninsula, is a pristine Unesco-designated ecological reserve where elderly Korean women sea divers, haenyo, still forage for seafood. It is also the site of a fierce resistance movement by villagers who oppose the construction of a South Korean naval base on the island that will become part of the U.S. missile defense system to contain China. 
South Korea’s president, Lee Myungbak, says the base is needed to protect Seoul from an attack from Pyongyang. The problem with that assertion is that the Aegis destroyers that Lee pledged to deploy at the base aren’t designed to protect South Korea from North Korean Taepodong ballistic missiles (TBM). 
In a 1999 report to the U.S. Congress, the Pentagon verified that the Aegis system “could not defend the northern two-thirds of South Korea against the low flying short range TBMs.” 
Thus, instead of protecting South Koreans, the militarization of Jeju Island will introduce new security threats to the country by fueling an arms race in an increasingly tense region of unresolved conflicts. The naval base on Jeju Island will equip South Koreans and their American allies with the capability to strike long-range ballistic missile batteries in southeast China that target Japan or Taiwan. Washington sees this base as a central pillar to its defense system in the Asia-Pacific region. China, no doubt, sees it as a new threat.

Editorial: New York and Boston should be nominated for UNESCO awards

UNESCO initiated the concept of World Book Capital City and nominated Madrid as the Capital for Year 2001. The World Book Capital City each year establishes a program to promote reading among its citizens. Following this successful experience, the General Conference in 2001 establishing a yearly nomination of the Book Capital City. Other cities so honored include Alexandria, Antwerp, Bangkok, Buenos Aires, Ljubljana, New Delhi and Yerevan.

UNESCO also has established a program honoring Cities of Literature for such things as the quality and diversity of their publishing activities, their educational programs devoted to literature, and their urban environment in which literature, drama and  poetry play an important role. The cities that have received these awards include Edinburgh, Melbourn, Iowa City, Dublin and Reykjavic.

It seems to me that the center of publishing and literature in the United States is New York, and that the State Department should nominate that city for UNESCO recognition. Boston would seem to be a city that has a long history both of the production of literature and of higher educational institutions that emphasize the study of literature. It too might be a suitable candidate for UNESCO recognition.

Publishers: New York City has long been a major center for book publishing in the United States
  • HarperCollins: HarperCollins Publishers; literary and commercial fiction, business books, children's books, cookbooks, mystery, romance, reference, religious and spiritual books; unit of News Corporation
  • McGraw-Hill: McGraw-Hill Companies; education, financial services, information and media services; 2002 sales $4.7 billion
  • Penguin: Penguin Group; imprints Putnam, Viking, Dutton, Puffin, Dorling Kindersley, Rough Guides; unit of Pearson
  • Random House: Publishing operation of Bertelsmann; imprints Random House, Alfred A. Knopf, Ballantine, Bantam, Dell, and Doubleday
  • Simon & Schuster: Publishing; imprints include Pocket Books, The Free Press, and Scribner
  • Scholastic: Scholastic Inc; global children’s publishing and media company
  • W W Norton: W. W. Norton and Company; fiction, nonfiction, and poetry
  • Wiley: John Wiley & Sons; publishes textbooks, professional books; 2003 sales $854 million
John Daly
The opinions above are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of Americans for UNESCO.

Online Archive of UNESCO News by Google News

Google Frequency Plot of News References to UNESCO
Google News Archives provides a historical record of news dealing with UNESCO from its files. Note that the frequency of news stories was high in its early years, decreased during the late 1950s and 1960s (the period of decolonization in which many new nations joined the Organization. There was an increase in news related to UNESCO in the late 1970s, when the New International Information Order debate was hot in the United Nations, and in the mid 1980s, about the time that the United States and the United Kingdom withdrew from the organization. The archive contains fairly large numbers of news stories in recent years.

If you go to this site, you can actually view stories from the archives, learning about UNESCO's history for yourself.

U.S. Organization Shares UNESCO Literacy Award for 2011

The US-based Room to Read shared the Confucius Prize for Literacy for its program promoting gender equality and literacy through local language publishing. Operating in nine countries – Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Laos, Nepal, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Viet Nam and Zambia – the program has assisted communities in developing culturally relevant reading materials in local and minority languages.

17th ICOMOS General Assembly and Scientific Symposium on the theme “Heritage: Driver of Development”

The most important triennial gathering of the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) will take place from 27 November to 2 December 2011 for the first time in Paris at UNESCO Headquarters.

The General Assembly is accompanied by a Scientific Symposium on the theme "Heritage: 
Driver of Development". Both events are open to ICOMOS members and non-members alike.

Visit the special website to consult the full programme, register on-line and obtain information on negotiated hotel rates and the 9 post-tours to World Heritage cities in France on offer.  More.....

August 9: International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples

In 1994, the General Assembly decided that the International Day of the World's Indigenous Peoples shall be observed on 9 August every year during the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People (Resolution 49/214 of 23 December). The date marks the day of the first meeting, in 1982, of the UN Working Group on Indigenous Populations of the Subcommission on the Promotion and Protection of Human Rights.
The UN General Assembly had proclaimed 1993 the International Year of the World's Indigenous Peoples, and the same year, the Assembly proclaimed the International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples, starting on 10 December 1994 (Resolution 48/163). The goal of the First Decade was to strengthen international cooperation for solving problems faced by indigenous people in such areas as human rights, the environment, development, education and health.
In 2004, the UN General Assembly proclaimed a Second International Decade of the World's Indigenous Peoples through Resolution 59/174. The goal of the Second Decade is to further the "strengthening of international cooperation for the solution of problems faced by indigenous people in such areas as culture, education, health, human rights, the environment, and social and economic development, by means of action-oriented programs and specific projects, increase technical assistance, and relevant standard-setting activities".
National Museum of the American Indian
Washington, DC

UNESCO Jobs Advertised in The Economist

  • Senior Programme Specialist (Higher Education)

    • Bangkok, Thailand
    • USD 123,900 (USD 115,100 if without dependants)
    You will provide support and assistance to Member States and other UNESCO offices in the region in project development, programme implementation, setting up and strengthening of systems and services.
    • Recruiter: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

    Senior Programme Specialist

    • Geneva, Switzerland
    • US$ 119,300 (US$ 110,800 if without dependants)
    The IBE is the UNESCO Institute specialized in content, methods, policies and processes of curriculum development.
    • Recruiter: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

    Programme Coordinator

    • Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    • USD 119,300 (USD 110,800 if without dependants)
    Under the overall authority of the Director of International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa, the incumbent will develop and implement the programme strategies and activities of the Institute, following the orientations given by the ADG/ED and t
    • Recruiter: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

    Chief, Education Planning and Management Division

    • Amman, Jordan
    • USD 121,000 (USD 112,400 if without dependants)
    Under the overall authority of the Assistant Director General for Education and under the direct supervision of the Director of Education, United Nations Relief and Works Agency, the incumbent will coordinate planning, monitoring and evaluation...
    • Recruiter: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

    Senior Policy Analyst, P5

    • Paris, France
    • Salary not specified
    The annual Education for All Global Monitoring Report (GMR) is the world’s foremost publication on education.
    • Recruiter: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

    Research Officer, P3

    • Paris, France
    • Salary not specified
    The annual Education for All Global Monitoring Report (GMR) is the world’s foremost publication on education.
    • Recruiter: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)
  • United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

    Research Assistant, P2

    • Paris, France
    • Salary not specified
    The annual Education for All Global Monitoring Report (GMR) is the world’s foremost publication on education.

    Monday, August 08, 2011

    Profile: Dr. Amii Omara-Otunnu

    Dr. Amii Omara-Otunnu is the UNESCO Chair in Comparative Human Rights and Professor of History at the University of Connecticut. In addition to his UNESCO chairmanship, he is also the Executive Director of the Institute of Comparative Human Rights at the University of Connecticut. From his days as the first Secretary-General of Harvard University’s African Students’ Association to his current service as UNESCO Chair, Dr. Omara-Otunnu has long championed the cause of human rights, both in the United States and Uganda.


    To better understand the influence that Dr. Omara-Otunnu is having read this article about one of his former students, graphic poet/artist Sreyashi Ghosh, who has launched a project to achieve World Peace through art forms called ‘Peace Mode 365'

    Sunday, August 07, 2011

    A very good video on human rights

    UNESCO has been involved with the United Nations efforts to recognize and promote human rights since its very beginning. Read:

    Thanks to Jan Kunzi for bringing this video to our attention through the UNESCO's Friends group on Linked In.

    Thursday, August 04, 2011

    Laura W. Bush Traveling Fellowship

    The fellowship will help fund a proposal designed by the applicant to conduct brief work in a foreign country related to the mandate of UNESCO – using education, natural sciences, social and human sciences, culture, and/or communication and information to build strong ties among nations.

    The fellowship is intended for American college/university students who express an interest in international collaboration but as of yet had not been afforded many opportunities to travel abroad.

    The length of time for the travel is expected to be between 4 and 6 weeks and should include interaction with individuals from other nations. During his/her travel, the recipient should be willing to participate in public diplomacy events arranged with the pertinent U.S. State Department Consulate, Mission, and/or Embassy.

    Following the travel, the recipient agrees to submit a report describing experiences and analyzing objectives achieved; share his/her experiences with others; and be available to make a presentation to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO.

    Application Deadlines:

    • Fall 2011: Monday August 8, 2011
    • Spring 2012: Monday February 6, 2012
    • Fall 2012: Monday August 6, 2012