alfaraadet



  • Foto: Pexels
    basiskompetanse voksnes læring veiledning |Norge
    05-11-2018

    Opplæringen av basismatematikk

    Metodisk veiledning gir råd og tips til lærerne i det praktiske arbeidet med opplæringen av basismatematikk og bruk av språkhjelpere.

  • Leena Nissilä och Katri Kuukka arbetar redan ivrigt med vårens nordiska konferens. Foto: Magnus Lindberg
    invandrare läs- och skrivkunnighet |Finland
    05-11-2018

    Mera än abc för invandrare

    Vid Utbildningsstyrelsen i Helsingfors startar arbetet med en ny läroplan för vuxna invandrare. Men redan den här hösten får invandrarmammorna en ny utbildningsform. Samtidigt planerar man ivrigt för vårens nordiska konferens i Helsingfors.

  • Foto: Pixabay
    läs- och skrivkunnighet integration |Finland
    04-10-2018

    Den fjortonde nordiska konferensen om alfabetisering - grundläggande litteracitet

    3-5 april 2019 Hanaholmen, Esbo, Finland. www.hanaholmen.fi
    Konferensen ordnas i samarbete mellan Nordiska Alfarådet, NVL och Utbildningsstyrelsen i Finland

  • kompetensutveckling språk |Norden
    24-09-2018

    Kompetensbeskrivning av lärare i grundläggande litteracitet för vuxna med andra modersmål än de nordiska

    i grundläggande litteracitet för vuxna med andra modersmål än de nordiska

  • Foto: Pixabay.com
    uddannelsespolitik voksenuddannelse sprog |Færöerne
    04-07-2018

    Alfarådets seminar i Færøerne

    Voksenuddannelse i sprog, kultur og samfundsforhold for udlændinge på Færøerne

  • indvandrere kompetenceudvikling |Finland
    05-04-2018

    Utbildningen för vuxna invandrare i läs- och skrivfärdigheter som del av utbildningssystemet i Finland

    Finlands nuvarande regeringens mål är att påskynda

  • sprog |Sverige
    05-04-2018

    Alfarådet håller ett expertseminarium i Göteborg

    Plats: Göteborgs Universitet, Humanisten, Renströmsgatan 6

  • basiskompetence |Norden
    19-03-2018

    Virksomhetsplan 2018

    Detta skall alfarådet göra 2018.

  • Klipp från en av Skolverkets filmer, som handlar om att använda appar som verktyg. Läraren på bilden heter Julia Krakanovskaya.
    baskunskaper läs- och skrivkunnighet |Sverige
    31-08-2017

    Filmer ska hjälpa lärare att undervisa vuxna att läsa och skriva

    Det är en konst att utbilda vuxna som kommer från ett annat land och saknar grundläggande kunskaper i att läsa och skriva.

  • baskunskaper |Norden
    05-05-2017

    Aktuellt

    Finland koordinerar Alfarådet sedan maj 2017.

  • De fire debattører i NVL's podcast. Fra venstre Peter Villads Vedel fra det danske udlændinge- og integrationsministerium, Qarin Franker fra Göteborg Universitet og de to norske sproglærere Marit Fladmark og Ewa Rosenlund fra Steinkjer voksenopplæring.
    basiskompetence |Norden
    20-04-2017

    Podcast: Hvordan får vi selv de dårligst sproglige flygtninge i job?

    NVL samlede nogle af de stærkeste stemmer inden for sprogundervisning, da Alfarådet holdt konference om, hvordan vi får flygtninge og indvandrere, der end ikke kan skrive på deres eget modersmål, ud på arbejdsmarkedet. Det er der kommet en podcast ud af, som spørger om netop det – og om hvor det nordiske samarbejde om sprogundervisning er på vej hen.

  • Næsten alle 230 tilskuerpladser var optaget, da lektor emeritus Michael Svendsen Pedersen fra Roskilde Universitet tirsdag holdt oplæg i Damgaardsalen om sine feltstudier i Norge.
    basiskompetence |Danmark
    20-04-2017

    Den 13. nordiske konference om alfabetisering - grundlæggende litteracitet

    4. – 6. april 2017
    Konferencen blev afhold i et samarbejde mellem Nordisk Alfaråd/NVL og Styrelsen for International Rekruttering og Integration.

  • basiskompetanse |Norden
    28-02-2017

    Virksomhetsplan 2017

    Detta skall alfarådet göra 2017.

  • leseferdighet innvandrere |Norden
    22-04-2016

    Peter Villads Vedel - Alfarådet

    "Det er viktig at Alfarådet får fortalt at grunnleggende undervisningen i lese- og skriveferdigheter spiller en viktig rolle i integrasjon –og sysselsettings innsatsen i de nordiske landene." Peter Villads Vedel - Alfarådet.

  • baskunskaper |Norden
    08-02-2016

    Alfarådets verksamhetsplan 2016

    Detta ska Alfarådet göra 2016

  • |Danmark
    03-12-2015

    Er vi klar til de digitale medier og de multimodale tekster?

    De nye digitale medier og digitale tekster stiller nye krav til kursisterne og til lærerne.

  • |Norden
    29-06-2015

    Fokus på hverdagsmatematik - hvad skal sproglæreren kunne?

    Mange sproglærere oplever et behov for bedre vejledning om, hvordan man underviser i hverdagsmatematik sammen med den øvrige undervisning i den grundlæggende litteracitet.

  • |Norden
    05-05-2015

    Landssamordnare 2016

    Alfarådets nationella samordnare 2016.

  • Foto: Caroline Freiholtz
    läs- och skrivkunnighet |Sverige
    30-03-2015

    Lättlästa romaner behövs även för vuxna

    Vuxna med läs- och skrivsvårigheter tvingas ofta läsa barn- och ungdomsböcker när de språktränar.

  • fjernundervisning flexibelt lärande |Norden
    25-03-2015

    MOOC for nordisk lærerutdanning innen grunnleggende ferdigheter for voksne?

    Denne mulighetsstudien vurderer om etablering av MOOCs eller andre åpne nettbaserte utdanningstilbud på nordisk nivå kan være en god løsning på etterutdanningsbehovet hos lærere

  • distansutbildning flexibelt lärande |Norden
    11-03-2015

    MOOC for Nordic education for teachers

    A MOOC is a good way to offer further training for basic skills' teachers in the Nordic countries. This report explains how and why.

  • distansutbildning |
    26-01-2015

    Webinar: Developing teacher competences for initial literacy

    NVL Alfarådet and European Basic Skills Network, in cooperation with NVL Distans, arranged the webinar "Developing teacher competences for initial literacy" on November 11th 2014. The focus was on how to facilitate and improve teacher competences for initial literacy training. The webinar had two expert presenters: Helen Casey from the University of London and Qarin Franker from the University of Gothenburg.

  • |Norden
    08-01-2015

    Alfarådet - Verksamhetsplan 2015

    Nordiska alfarådets verksamhetsplan 2015

  • distansutbildning |Norden
    27-10-2014

    Lär dig grunderna i att lära ut läs- och skrivfärdigheter

    NVL Alfarådet, European Basic Skills Network och NVL Distans bjuder in till ett webbinarium på temat "Developing teacher competences for initial literacy".

  • |Norden
    23-10-2014

    Nordisk Alfaråds arbete 2014-2016

    Alfarådets verksamhet 2014-2016.

  • Sanna Markkanen från Axxell utbildning i Finland ledde en workshop.
    läs- och skrivkunnighet invandrare |Sverige
    24-09-2014

    Alfalärare – en alldeles särskild kompetens

    Att lära vuxna analfabeter ett nytt språk att både kunna tala, läsa och skriva på kräver en speciell lärarkompetens.

  • invandrare språk |Sverige
    24-09-2014

    Alfalärare berättar

    Deltagare på konferensen Lärarkompetens och undervisningspraktik berättar vad de fick ut av att delta.

  • |Norden
    07-01-2014

    Lärarkompetens och undervisningspraktik #Alfa14

    Den 17 - 19 september 2014, Gullmarsstrands hotell och konferens, Fiskebäckskil, Bohuslän, Sverige.

  • Färöarna
    |Færöerne
    02-12-2013

    Grundlæggende litteracitet for voksne

    Referat fra symposium, afholdt d. 28. oktober 2013 i lokalet Østrøm i Torshavn, Færøerne.

  • - Vi har sett mange gode eksempler på bruk av BKA-midler i virksomhetene. Spesielt de som retter det inn mot videre fagbrevopplæring, sier seniorrådgiver Anne K. Eggen Lervik i Hovedorganisasjonen Virke i dette intervjuet.
    baskunskaper läs- och skrivkunnighet |Norge
    15-11-2013

    Med arbeidsplassen som læringsarena

    En halv milliard kroner har den norske staten brukt for å styrke lesing, skriving, regning og digital kompetanse hos voksne de siste sju årene. I 2014-budsjettet er det foreslått nye millioner. Tiltaket er kjent under tre bokstaver, BKA, som betyr «basiskompetanse i arbeidslivet». Det overordnede formålet med programmet er å hindre at de med svake ferdigheter skal falle ut av arbeidslivet. Med bedre basiskompetanse kan de også få tilgang til mer opplæring og utdanning.

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    13-11-2013

    Why do African countries engage in the Big Push Initiative?

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    13-11-2013

    UNESCO launches video on a global alliance on media and gender

    In the spirit of promoting gender equality in the Media, UNESCO and partners have launched a video calling for action on gender equality and women’s empowerment in and through media in the form of a Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMG).

    The video initially addresses the significant inequalities witnessed in the field of media and journalism in terms of gender and includes statements from Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO and Christiane Amanpour of CNN, bringing attention to the urgent actions needed in the field.

    In relation to the GAMG, the Global Forum on Media and Gender will be held in Bangkok, Thailand from 2-4 December.

    The Global Forum on Media and Gender (GFMG) is a pioneering global event that intends to address gender equality and women’s empowerment in and through the media. A key output of the forum will be the establishment of a Global Alliance on Media and Gender which will coordinate systematic follow-up to one of the critical areas of concern of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BDPA), “Women and the Media Diagnosis”.

    The video was co-produced with Gabinete de Comunicación y Educación (Communication and Education Research Group) of the Autonomous University of Barcelona.

    Click to view the video and to share through social networks.

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    12-11-2013

    UNESCO Launches “Women in African History: An E-Learning Tool” to tell the story of women at the forefront of development

    © UNESCO

    "Nobody tells the story that African women are in the forefront of development” Dr Nkopsazana Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission (AUC) recently stated at the African Media Leaders Forum in Addis Ababa in early November. UNESCO, through the launch of “Women in African History: An E-Learning Tool” is contributing to changing this story by promoting the central role of women in African history and its development through the use of ICTs.

    Today, UNESCO’s Director-General Ms. Irina Bokova launches “Women in African History: An E-Learning Tool.”  This e-learning tool is composed of digital comic strips, rap/slam soundtracks and diverse pedagogical resources on a selection of women figures central to the history of Africa and its diaspora. The platform is dedicated to all students, pedagogues, teachers, and the general public interested in the General History of Africa, and particularly women’s role in the continued economic, social, cultural, and political development of the region.

    The launch of this e-learning tool represents a crucial step to expand and disseminate knowledge of the role of women in African history to counter prejudices and stereotypes in the framework of “The Pedagogical use of The General History of Africa.” A mandatory requirement for success in the execution of “The Pedagogical Use of the General History of Africa” is the transformation and updating of the information initially made available in the 8 volumes of the collection in form and content.  This need for “updating” implies the use not only of new information and communication technologies now widely available and used on the African continent, but also the revision of content in light of developments within the field of historical studies.  This includes the need for particular attention to the role of women in the history of Africa with the development, since the end of Phase 1, of the field of “gender studies” and the important role women have played in African history.

    “Women in African History: An E-Learning Tool,” implemented by the Knowledge Societies Division in the Communication and Information Sector of UNESCO, is an internet platform that consists of multimedia content including comic strips, interactive pedagogical units, audio modules, and quizzes in order to highlight the role of women in African History. The first phase of the project (2012/2013), launched today, is dedicated to the development of the architecture of the platform and the production of the first eight modules; a particular emphasis is given to historical women figures from Sub-Saharan Africa and the Diaspora. In this way, the project develops ICT tools for knowledge acquisition and sharing that encourages the general education and ICT capacity of young women, promotes the use of ICTs, and capitalizes on intangible heritage to promote the link between technology, culture, education, and sustainable development.  The first phase is available in English and French. 

    In order to promote gender perspectives through the development of media and local content, 5 comic strip artists from Africa and the African diaspora, the majority under 35, participated in the development of multimedia content.  Illustrators from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, France, Kenya, Madagascar, and Nigeria and hip-hop artists and slammers from across the United States, Senegal, and Eastern Africa have participated in the development of the pedagogical material that is now available and can be consulted on computers, mobile phones, and tablets and downloaded free of charge as open educational resources.  Furthermore, the content has been validated by the Scientific Committee for the Pedagogical Use of the General History of Africa and is in line with the provisions of the 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, the Recommendation concerning the Promotion and Use of Multilingualism and Universal Access in Cyberspace adopted in 2003, and also responds to the efforts in the framework of the Memory of the World Programme to promote digital preservation across the African region. The outcome represents a fruitful collaboration between intellectuals, artists, technologists, and pedagogues that positions UNESCO as a platform for innovation, international cooperation and exchange.

    Consult the e-learning platform here.

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    12-11-2013

    UNESCO General Conference elects Irina Bokova for second term as Director-General

    © UNESCO/Emilien Urbano
    When, local time: 
    Tuesday, 12 November 2013 - 2:15pm

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    12-11-2013

    UNESCO General Conference elects Irina Bokova for second term as Director-General

    © UNESCO

    UNESCO’s General Conference today elected Irina Bokova for a second four-year term as Director-General of the Organization. She was nominated for the position by UNESCO’s Executive Board on 4 October.

    Born on 12 July 1952 in Sofia (Bulgaria), Irina Bokova was first elected Director-General of UNESCO on 15 November 2009. Her first term has been marked by a major reform of UNESCO, to make the Organization more efficient and relevant to challenges facing peace and development today, in a world of diversity that is increasingly interdependent.

    Over the past four years, Irina Bokova has focused UNESCO’s programme on two overarching objectives – forging a culture of peace and promoting sustainable development – along with two global priorities – Africa and gender equality. She spearheaded UNESCO’s contribution to shaping the new post-2015 sustainable development agenda, highlighting the essential contribution of education, culture, the sciences, communication and information. The new agenda is currently being decided by the United Nations and the whole of the international community.

    “Human rights and dignity are the compass directions for all UNESCO’s action, and must remain the foundations for the lasting peace and sustainable development that we are seeking to build – more than ever, unity must guide us, to build the future we want for all, a more equitable, just and peaceful future.”

    Irina Bokova has received doctor honoris causa from many prestigious universities across the world. In addition to her mother tongue, she speaks English, French, Spanish and Russian.

  • Vagtskifte i Alfarådet. Norske Helga Arnesen overdrager posten som hoved koordinator til danske Peter Villads Vedel.
    kompetensutveckling integration |Færöerne
    12-11-2013

    Forbedrede undervisningstilbud for nye nordiske borgere

    Vi har i Norden en gruppe voksne mennesker fra ikke-vestlige lande, der har særlige faglige udfordringer. Dette er et nordisk problem, og derfor er det vigtigt, at vi i Alfarådet fokuserer på området, siger Peter Villads Vedel, ny-udnævnt koordinator i Alfarådet, ...

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    12-11-2013

    Global warming is more about people than carbon emissions, argues 2013 World Social Science Report

    © UNESCO

    The new edition of the World Social Science Report emphasizing the social sciences’ indispensable contribution to human survival in the face of climate change, will be launched on 15 November at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris (Noon, Room XI, accreditation is mandatory, see below).

    Published by UNESCO, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the International Social Science Council (ISSC), the Report, entitled Changing Global Environments, features articles by more than 150 leading experts from all over the world and represents the full gamut of social science subjects: anthropology, economics, development studies, geography, political science, psychology, and sociology. The argument that underpins the 600-page volume is that people, human behaviour and societies need to be at the heart of all attempts to tackle the challenges of environmental change and phenomena studied by the natural sciences.

    The work takes stock of the unprecedented and staggering environmental challenges facing society and their potentially devastating consequences on the well-being of people all over the world. Global environmental change impacts everything for everyone on this planet: life support systems, livelihoods, ways of life, actions and interactions.

    Problems encountered by individuals and communities struggling with social, economic and political crises, persistent poverty, increasing inequalities and social discontent, are already exacerbated by environmental change.

    In an article on Migration as an adaptation strategy to environmental change, W. Neil Adger and Helen Adams observe that “empirical evidence shows that certain populations do not have the resources to migrate when their well-being is reduced by environmental change.” The authors also point out that the many people who migrated to coastal areas and cities in recent decades are also particularly vulnerable to climate change as “They cluster in high-density areas, often on steep hillsides or flood plains, where there is vacant and cheap land […].”

    Elke U. Weber, in Individual and collective behaviour change, cautions that “negative consequences normally lead people to change their behaviour, but the time-lag between behavioural cause and environmental impacts makes it hard for people to see the connection.”

    These issues bring to the fore the need to draw on the social sciences to bring about the economic and behavioural changes required to achieve sustainability. To this end, the Report issues an urgent call for action to the international scientific community. Social scientists need to collaborate more effectively with colleagues from the natural, human and engineering sciences to deliver knowledge that can help address the most pressing of today’s environmental problems and sustainability challenges. And they need to do so in close collaboration with decision-makers, practitioners and the other users of their research.

    In his article Are increasing greenhouse gas emissions inevitable? John Urry explains the need for such collaboration: “The requirement is to reverse the apparently inexorable growth of high-carbon systems and related social practices. This reversal has to be both social and economic and requires ‘reversing’ most systems set in motion during the 20th century, finding the equivalent of a reverse gear while going forwards very fast.” Speaking about the effects of cutting carbon emissions, Urry predicts that “low-carbon systems will reduce the short-term levels of measured income and consumption, which will make it difficult to persuade people to embrace low-carbon social practices.” For this to become acceptable, he argues, consumers will have to learn to regard low-carbon actions and goods as desirable.

                Clearly, a new—bolder, better, bigger and different—approach to social science is needed:

    ·            Bold enough to reframe and reinterpret global environmental change as a fundamentally social process;

    ·            Better in terms of incorporating social science insights into problem-solving;

    ·            Bigger in terms of the need for more social scientists to address the challenges of global environmental change;

    ·            Different by changing the way the social sciences view and practice science—its theories, assumptions, methodologies, institutions, norms and incentives—to help meet the complex interdisciplinary and cross-sector challenges facing us.

    This report aims to engage social scientists in all disciplines in academia, research institutes, think tanks, NGOs, and government agencies all over the world, as well as intergovernmental organizations. The Report will serve the International Social Science Council (ISSC) in its work, as a basis for critical discussion with members and partners so as to sharpen the social science knowledge base on global environmental change and support social science leadership in research for sustainability. It will also inform UNESCO’s work to support inclusive and equitable sustainable development policies in programmes implemented nationally.

    The 2013 World Social Science Report was prepared and edited by the ISSC with the support of leading specialists from all the over the world.

                                                    ****

    Media Contact: Roni Amelan, UNESCO Press Service, r.amelan(at)unesco.org +33 (0)1 45 68 16 50

    The report is available to the media upon request, under embargo until 15 November (9 a.m., Paris time, GMT+1)

    For media accreditation to the launch please send full name of journalist, media, country, and contact information (phone and email) as well as a copy of a valid press card and/or attestation by your media signed by the managing editor, and an identity photograph, to: accreditation-media(at)unesco.org

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    12-11-2013

    UNESCO’s General Conference: Forward momentum at the end of Week One

    © UNESCO
    When, local time: 
    Tuesday, 12 November 2013 - 4:15pm

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    12-11-2013

    The Future of Education beyond 2015

    © UN photo/Milton Grant
    Young Salasaca Indians in Ambato, south of Quito
    When, local time: 
    Tuesday, 12 November 2013 - 5:15pm

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    12-11-2013

    UNESCO Launches “Women in African History: An E-Learning Tool”

    © UNESCO

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    11-11-2013

    President of Chad donates replica of Toumai skull to UNESCO

    © UNESCO

    The President of Chad, Idriss Deby Itno, today presented a cast of the Toumai fossil cranium, the oldest hominine remain found to date, to UNESCO. The presentation was made at a ceremony with the Organization’s Director-General, Irina Bokova. It took place during the President's visit to the General Conference, which brings together all of the Organization’s Member States until 20 November.

    “UNESCO today gives us an opportunity to say publicly that the work of the Franco-Chadian team headed by Professor Michel Brunet yielded results showing that Toumai is indeed the ancestor of humanity. Toumai who was born in the desert, 6,000 kilometres from here will rest at UNESCO for all eternity,” declared President Idriss Deby Itno.

    The President then handed a cast of the cranium to the Director-General of UNESCO in the presence of Professor Baba Malaï, former head of the Centre national d’appui à la recherche du Tchad (Chad’s national centre for support to research) and Professor Brunet of the Collège de France, who led the bi-national paleoanthropological mission that found Sahelanthropus tchadensis, known as Toumai.

    “The discovery of this cranium turned a new page in our understanding of the origins of humanity and has had a considerable historic, scientific and anthropologic impact […] This fits precisely with UNESCO’s mandate, the power of science to build intellectual moral solidarity. UNESCO is a choice venue for this fossil and the scientific debate it generates,” declared Ms Bokova, who also spoke about work undertaken by UNESCO over the past 40 years in publishing the General History of Africa.

    The ceremony took place in the aftermath of a scientific symposium that was held at UNESCO on 7 November with renowned French anthropologist Yves Coppens and Michel Brunet.

    Organized by the Permanent Delegation of Chad to UNESCO and the Organization’s Culture sector, the symposium focused on the impact of this discovery on paleoanthropological research and on the General History of Africa.

    The Toumai cranium, whose Goran language name means “hope of life” was found in northern Chad on 19 July 2001. The seven million-year-old hominine cranium led to a major shift in paleoanthropological thinking which had previously identified East Africa as the cradle of humanity.

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    11-11-2013

    The Republic of Chad offers UNESCO a replica of the skull Toumaï

    © UNESCO

    Lundi 11 septembre, la Directrice générale de l’UNESCO, Irina Bokova, a reçu des mains du Président de la République du Tchad, M. Idriss Deby Itno, une réplique du crâne de Toumaï, crâne fossile du plus vieil hominidé retrouvé à ce jour, datant de plus de 7 millions d’années. Cette réplique sera exposée dans le grand hall de l’UNESCO, et fera l’objet de plusieurs cycles de conférences et d’expositions consacrées aux origines de l’humanité et à la recherche scientifique et historique.
    « C’est avec plaisir que nous offrons à l’UNESCO la réplique du crâne de Toumaï, notre ancêtre commun, comme commun de l’humanité » a déclaré le Président de la République du Tchad. Très enthousiaste, la Directrice générale s’est exprimée au nom de l’UNESCO en déclarant « Nous avons tous une grand-mère commune ! Elle est africaine et elle s’appelle Toumaï. Son existence nous relie plus profondément que toutes nos différences de cultures, d’origines ou de croyances. Nous touchons très exactement au mandat de l’UNESCO, au pouvoir...

    Lundi 11 septembre, la Directrice générale de l’UNESCO, Irina Bokova, a reçu des mains du Président de la République du Tchad, M. Idriss Deby Itno, une réplique du crâne de Toumaï, crâne fossile du plus vieil hominidé retrouvé à ce jour, datant de plus de 7 millions d’années. Cette réplique sera exposée dans le grand hall de l’UNESCO, et fera l’objet de plusieurs cycles de conférences et d’expositions consacrées aux origines de l’humanité et à la recherche scientifique et historique.

    « C’est avec plaisir que nous offrons à l’UNESCO la réplique du crâne de Toumaï, notre ancêtre commun, comme commun de l’humanité » a déclaré le Président de la République du Tchad. Très enthousiaste, la Directrice générale s’est exprimée au nom de l’UNESCO en déclarant « Nous avons tous une grand-mère commune ! Elle est africaine et elle s’appelle Toumaï. Son existence nous relie plus profondément que toutes nos différences de cultures, d’origines ou de croyances. Nous touchons très exactement au mandat de l’UNESCO, au pouvoir de la science à construire la solidarité intellectuelle, morale de l’humanité. »

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    11-11-2013

    Ministers reaffirm Education for Sustainable Development as central to the post-2015 agenda

    © UNESCO

    Twelve Ministers of Education and several high-level representatives from around the world came together on the occasion of UNESCO’s 37th session of the General Conference to discuss education for sustainable development (ESD). Agreeing on its pivotal role in quality education, they concluded that that ESD had the potential to accelerate progress towards sustainable development and as such should be central to the future development agenda beyond 2015.

    The Swedish Minister of Gender Equality and Deputy Minister of Education, Ms Maria Arnholm, emphasized the role of education and research in helping to build sustainable societies. ” Sustainability can only come through awareness and action from us all,” she said. 

    Many participants emphasized that ESD is fundamentally about promoting attitudes, values and behaviours. Along with the promotion of justice, responsibility, exploration and dialogue, ESD should aim to move us to take action together and adopt behaviours and practices that enable all to live a full life without being deprived of basic needs.

    Concrete examples of ESD achievements were shared during the discussions and provided the opportunity for Member States to showcase lessons learnt in the course of the UN Decade of ESD.  The need to continue to share successful practices was stressed. 

    A number of Ministers suggested activities that could be pursued in the implementation of the Global Action Programme on ESD that follows up on the UN Decade of ESD and is expected to be launched at the UNESCO ESD World Conference in 2014.

    “How extensively we will be able to put ESD into practice in the future depends on our proactive participation. Let us work together to bring even greater momentum to the ESD movement.” said Ms Michiko Ueno, Vice Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan, at the Ministerial Breakfast. She warmly invited participants to the UNESCO World Conference on ESD in November 2014, which will be co-organized by UNESCO and the Government of Japan. 

    The meeting, co-organized by UNESCO and the Government of Japan was opened by the Director-General of UNESCO. The Ministerial Breakfast also benefitted from the presence of representatives of Aichi-Nagoya and Okayama – host cities of the World Conference in 2014 and associated stakeholder meetings.

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    11-11-2013

    UNESCO strengthens Cooperation with Caribbean Countries

    © UNESCO

    UNESCO has strengthened its ties with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) by signing a new Memorandum of Understanding with the group, which includes 15 member countries and five associate members – mainly Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

    The new Agreement was signed at UNESCO’s General Conference in Paris.  It provides a framework for cooperation in a range of areas, including:

    • promotion of education as a fundamental right, focusing on inclusive quality education, effective learning programmes and strengthening of health education;
    • further Implementation of the Plan of Action for the Sustainable Development of  Small Island Developing States;
    • cooperation in the assessment of natural hazards;
    • support to heritage preservation, heritage education and stronger institutional capacities in the development of national cultural policies; and
    • cooperation in the promotion of freedom of expression as a basic human right.

    The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, signed the Memorandum with Irwin LaRocque, Secretary General of the Caribbean Community Secretariat. She thanked him for his commitment to enriching cooperation and looked forward to deepening this partnership on the basis of shared values and common objectives.

    “We have accomplished so much together and we can do much more,” stated the Director-General. “This is the spirit guiding the new Memorandum of Understanding.”  It is the third Memorandum of Understanding signed between UNESCO and CARICOM. The first agreement between the two Organizations was signed in 1980, and this new agreement underlines the strength of a partnership that has existed for over 30 years.

    CARICOM works to promote economic integration and cooperation among its 15 member States -- Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.  During this General Conference, Anguilla, a British overseas territory located in the Caribbean, was admitted as an Associate Member State of UNESCO.

     

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    11-11-2013

    UNESCO strengthens Cooperation with Caribbean Countries

    © UNESCO

    UNESCO has strengthened its ties with the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) by signing a new Memorandum of Understanding with the group, which includes 15 member countries and five associate members – mainly Small Island Developing States (SIDS).

    The new Agreement was signed at UNESCO’s General Conference in Paris.  It provides a framework for cooperation in a range of areas, including:

    • promotion of education as a fundamental right, focusing on inclusive quality education, effective learning programmes and strengthening of health education;
    • further Implementation of the Plan of Action for the Sustainable Development of  Small Island Developing States;
    • cooperation in the assessment of natural hazards;
    • support to heritage preservation, heritage education and stronger institutional capacities in the development of national cultural policies; and
    • cooperation in the promotion of freedom of expression as a basic human right.

    The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, signed the Memorandum with Irwin LaRocque, Secretary General of the Caribbean Community Secretariat. She thanked him for his commitment to enriching cooperation and looked forward to deepening this partnership on the basis of shared values and common objectives.

    “We have accomplished so much together and we can do much more,” stated the Director-General. “This is the spirit guiding the new Memorandum of Understanding.”  It is the third Memorandum of Understanding signed between UNESCO and CARICOM. The first agreement between the two Organizations was signed in 1980, and this new agreement underlines the strength of a partnership that has existed for over 30 years.

    CARICOM works to promote economic integration and cooperation among its 15 member States -- Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago.  During this General Conference, Anguilla, a British overseas territory located in the Caribbean, was admitted as an Associate Member State of UNESCO.

     

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    11-11-2013

    UNESCO calls for nominations for Memory of the World International Register

    © UNESCO

    UNESCO is inviting new nomination proposals for inscription on its Memory of the World International Register, a list of library collections and archive holdings of world significance, which was established in 1997 to promote documentary heritage of universal value. Nominations should ideally be submitted through the National Commissions for UNESCO or the Memory of the World National Committees in the countries where they are located. Proposals should be based on the selection criteria listed in the General Guidelines to Safeguard Documentary Heritage, which stipulates that the most important criterion for inscription on the Register is the universal significance of the documentary heritage.

    The deadline for the submission of nominations is 31 March 2014 and submissions received after this date will be studied in the 2016/2017 session only. They should be submitted in Word, RTF or Open Office format to UNESCO's Memory of the World Secretariat:

    • by email to: mowsecretariat(at)unesco.org;
    • by mail, accompanied by an electronic version, addressed to: Joie Springer, Memory of the World Programme, Knowledge Society Division, 7 Place de Fontenoy, 75352 Paris 07 SP
      France.

    Nominations are posted on the Programme’s website and illustrations, such as photographs or slides (TIFF, GIF, JPEG formats), and sound recordings (real-media) can be included to help describe the proposal. As the images submitted may often be used by the Memory of the World Secretariat in publicity materials, an authorization for their reuse for non-profit purposes should also be included. A copy of this form can be downloaded here and the nomination form here.

    At present, a total of 301 collections submitted by 102 different countries, 4 international organizations and one private foundation are inscribed on the International Register of the Memory of the World Programme. Regional registers have been created for the Memory of the World Committees for Asia/Pacific (MOWCAP) and Latin America/Caribbean (MOWLAC), and an increasing number of countries have now established national registers. Assessment for inscription on the Register is determined by a panel of experts, the Register Sub-committee and the International Advisory Committee (IAC) whose recommendations are forwarded to the Director-General for final decision.

    The announcement on the next round of inscription will be made in 2015.

    UNESCO launched the Memory of the World Programme to guard against collective amnesia calling upon the preservation of the valuable archive holdings and library collections all over the world ensuring their wide dissemination. The Programme is intended to protect documentary heritage, and helps networks of experts to exchange information and raise resources for preservation of and access to documentary material.

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    11-11-2013

    The UNESCO Memory of the World Register for Latin America and the Caribbean recognises documents on the history of the Mapuche people

    © UNESCO

    The UNESCO Memory of the World Programme’s Regional Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean (MOWLAC) has recognised the “Set of Documents from the Indigenous Settlement Commission, Law 4 of December 1866” as a Regional Memory of the World Register. These documents are preserved in Chile at the General Indigenous Affairs Archives, and they belong to the Corporación Nacional de Desarrollo Indígena de Chile (CONADI, the Chilean National Foundation for Indigenous Development).

    The documents provide an account of the annexation of Mapuche lands by the Chilean government that began in 1884, and they constitute a valuable heritage describing the settling of the indigenous population and the boundaries and registration of their territory. The archives are a source of essential information for describing the Mapuche people over a period of almost 50 years and allow for historical studies comparing the settling of these people in Chile and Argentina, their kinship ties, descendants, territory and organisation.
     
    These documents also provide a significant testimony of the transformation of indigenous property beginning in the second half of the 19th century and of the influence Europe and the United States had on colonisation and the ethnic, territorial and productive consolidation of Latin American nations.
     
    Patricia Huenuqueo, Head of Chile’s Office of the National Government Archive System and President of the National Memory of the World (MOW) Committee, explained that “This new record is an enormous opportunity to recognise and appreciate our native peoples. As these archives describe the Chilean government’s annexation of Mapuche country over a period of almost 50 years (1884-1939), we see its inclusion in the regional registry as an opportunity to reread history as we know it and renew our understanding of the present time.” (Read the full interview with Patricia Huenuqueo).
     
    History of the Documents

    The set of documents from the Indigenous Settlement Commission, Law 4 of December 1866, which has been recognised in the Memory of the World Register for Latin America and the Caribbean, are original, authentic records from 1884 to 1930. Since the time of their origination, they have been in the custody of government institutions and have served to prove property rights recognised by the Chilean state toward the Mapuche people.
     
    The oldest documents describe the Mapuche as settled on an area of some 500,000 hectares, as well as the expropriation and auction of the remaining 5 million hectares over a period of almost 50 years.
     
    The resources consist of the following items organised into sets of documents of great historical value: 2,956 land grants (1884-1929), 15 books of registered documents (1884-1929), nine books from the Indigenous Property Registrar Records (1884-1930) and 22 bound volumes with records from the Indigenous Settlement Commission for Valdivia and Llanquihue (1907-1908). The documents are complete and are in fair condition. Due to their unique nature, many of the documents have been digitised.
     
    The documents were drawn up under Law 4 of December 1866 by which the Chilean state declared the land between the Biobío and Toltén Rivers to be government property, and established and recorded its boundaries. These rivers were natural features that, since the mid-17th century, had served as a border between the Creole and Mapuche populations. The law stipulated the establishment of a commission appointed by the President of the Republic that would clearly and precisely set the boundaries of indigenous lands, record them in official documents and issue land grants to Mapuche families in the name of the Republic.
     
    The basic purpose of this process of settling and recording lands was “to establish the indigenous people in delimited areas, called reservations, in order to have the rest of the territory free and unobstructed for colonisation” (Bengoa, 2008). Implementation of the process only began in 1884 when the Settlement Commission issued the first land grant, and it ended in 1930 when the process was halted by Law No. 4,802.
     
    How was the application for the regional register made?

    The nomination was prepared with the recommendation and support of the Chilean National Memory of the World Committee, which believed it was important to underscore the existence of this documentary heritage because it recognises the multi-ethnic nature of Chile and opens up an opportunity to debate current cultural policies in indigenous matters.
     
    The certificate of registration in the Regional Memory of the World Register will be sent by Guilherme Canela Godoi, communications and information specialist for MERCOSUR (Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile), who congratulated the Chilean National Foundation for Indigenous Development (CONADI) for its work in preserving these archives.
     
    For more information:

    Contacts:

    • María Eugenia Queupumil Burgos
      General Indigenous Affairs Archives of the National Foundation for Indigenous Development (CONADI), Temuco, Chile
      Tel.: (56) 45 231-7293
      E-mail: mqueupumil(at)conadi.gov.cl
    • Juan Ñanculef Huaiquinao
      Head of the CONADI Indigenous Heritage Programme
      Tel. (56) 45 220-7544
      E-mail: jnanculef(at)conadi.gov.cl
    Country: 

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    11-11-2013

    UNESCO strengthens Cooperation with Caribbean Countries

    © UNESCO
    When, local time: 
    Monday, 11 November 2013 - 11:45am

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    11-11-2013

    Director-General meets the Deputy Minister of Education and Science of Bulgaria

    © UNESCO

    On 9th November, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova met with Atanaska Teneva, Deputy Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Bulgaria in the margins of the 37th session of the General Conference.

    Mrs Teneva handed to the Director-General a Memorandum signed by three Ikuo Hirayama schools in Bulgaria, which are also UNESCO ASP-net schools and the institutions supporting them – two Ikuo Hirayma Museums and Foundations in Japan, the Ikuo Hirayama Volunteering Centre at the University of Waseda, the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences and the Ikuo Hirayama Centre in Sofia.

    An intercontinental educational project has been developed as a kickoff for educational cooperation between Bulgaria and the Silk Road countries, which builds on the humanistic messages conveyed by Prof. Ikuo Hirayama’s canvases.

    The project is conceived as a live book and the first live-page event will be the forthcoming Bulgarian-Japanese children’s exhibition on 28th November in Sofia dedicated to the 60th Anniversary of the UNESCO ASP-net schools.

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    10-11-2013

    Director-General expresses her condolences and pledges UNESCO’s support for victims in Philippines

    The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, expressed her sadness and concern about the unprecedented devastation caused by the typhon Haiyan in Philippines, and pledged UNESCO’s support for the victims of the disaster.
    "I have been deeply saddened to observe the devastation and terrible loss of lives being caused by the storm that provoked a wave that reached up to 5 meters ravaging Tacloban in Philippines,” said Ms Bokova.
    “As rescue and prevention efforts continue, allow me to express profound sympathy and sincere condolences to the Government and people of Philippines, on my behalf and that of UNESCO,” she continued. “Please rest assured that we stand ready to provide, within the Organization’s fields of competence, all the assistance the Philippines authorities may desire.”
    According to the Filipino government, more than 10,000 people may have died and some 4 million people have been affected, many of them having lost their homes and their crops.

    The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, expressed her sadness and concern about the unprecedented devastation caused by the typhon Haiyan in Philippines, and pledged UNESCO’s support for the victims of the disaster.

    "I have been deeply saddened to observe the devastation and terrible loss of lives being caused by the storm that provoked a wave that reached up to 5 meters ravaging Tacloban in Philippines,” said Ms Bokova.

    “As rescue and prevention efforts continue, allow me to express profound sympathy and sincere condolences to the Government and people of Philippines, on my behalf and that of UNESCO,” she continued. “Please rest assured that we stand ready to provide, within the Organization’s fields of competence, all the assistance the Philippines authorities may desire.”

    According to the Filipino government, more than 10,000 people may have died and some 4 million people have been affected, many of them having lost their homes and their crops.

    Country: 

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    09-11-2013

    UNESCO and Portugal signed an Agreement on a Category 2 Centre in the Sciences

    © UNESCO

    The proposal to establish this Centre was adopted by the General Conference at its 36th session.

    The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova and the Portuguese Minister of Education, Higher Education and Science, Mr Nuno Crato, signed today an Agreement for the Establishment of an International Centre for Advanced Training of Scientists from Portuguese-Speaking Countries in the Areas of Basic Sciences under the auspices of UNESCO.

    The establishment of the International Centre for Advanced Training of Scientists from Portuguese-Speaking Countries in Areas of Basic Sciences perfectly aligns itself with the objectives of the International Basic Sciences Programme (IBSP) which are to strengthen human and institutional capacities in the basic sciences and science education, and to reinforce cooperation between partner institutions in sciences. The proposed Centre will aim at developing high-level scientific capabilities, while promoting social responsibility, the mobility of scientists, and the fight against scientific brain drain, and will be devoted to the training in the basic sciences of doctoral and post-doctoral young scientists located in universities and research laboratories in all the Community of Portuguese-Speaking Countries (CPLP).

    “This partnership shows a strong cooperation with Portugal, a high interest in the basic sciences with special attention to advanced training of scientists from Portuguese speaking countries, especially Africa, and a commitment to promote multilinguism in the Sciences” said Irina Bokova.

    Country: 

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    09-11-2013

    Irina Bokova regrets loss of US voting rights

    © UNESCO
    When, local time: 
    Saturday, 9 November 2013 - 10:45am

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    09-11-2013

    Irina Bokova regrets loss of US voting rights

    © UNESCO

    Legislation from the 1990s has prevented the United States of America from paying dues to UNESCO since the Organization voted to admit Palestine in 2011. Member States that do not pay dues for two years lose their right to vote in UNESCO’s General Conference. That rule came into effect for the United States today. The Director-General made this statement after the decision was announced:

    Address by Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO on the occasion of the Loss of Voting Rights

    Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

    As UNESCO Director-General, I wish to express regret at the loss of voting rights by the United States.

    Universality is critical to UNESCO’s mission, to achieving the ambitions that have guided the Organization since 1945.

    The United States helped to craft this mission and these ambitions.

    I have said this before, and I wish to reaffirm it now.

    Today, I am convinced UNESCO has never mattered so much for the United States – or the United States for UNESCO.

    UNESCO’s work to alleviate poverty and promote sustainable development is, I believe, shared by the American people.

    I believe UNESCO’s work to advance literacy and quality education as the way to fight ignorance and intolerance is shared by the American people.

    I believe our action to counter extremism, racism and discrimination, through education, by safeguarding common cultural heritage, is shared by the American people.

    I believe our action to empower girls and women is shared by the American people.

    I believe our action to harness new technologies to enhance the quality of learning is shared by the American people.

    I believe our action to promote freedom of expression, to develop media, is shared by the American people.

    I believe our action for scientific cooperation, ocean sustainability, is shared by the American people.

    I believe our action to bolster societies facing emergencies, disasters and conflicts is shared by the American people.

    I believe all of our work to protect human rights and dignity as the basis for lasting peace and sustainable development is shared by the American people.

    This is the case I have been making since the last session of the General Conference.

    Despite the withholding of funding, since 2011, we have led new initiatives and deepened the partnership between the United States and UNESCO, which has never been so meaningful.

    It is embodied in our work to safeguard heritage, to support countries in transition,

    …in our efforts to teach respect for all,

    …in the Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education, launched with then Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton in 2011,

    …in the work of Samuel Pisar, Honorary Ambassador and Special Envoy for Holocaust Education,

    …in the new International Institute for Peace, created at Rutgers University last year with Goodwill Ambassador Forest Whitaker,

    …in our work with the American academic community, the UNESCO Chair on Literacy and Learning at the University of Pennsylvania, the new UNESCO Chair for Genocide Education at the University of Southern California,

    …in our interaction with the United States Geological Survey, with the US Army Corps of Engineers, with US professional societies, to advance science and research for the sustainable management of water resources and for geosciences  

    …in the celebration of World Press Freedom Day in Washington D.C in 2011, with the National Endowment for Democracy,

    …in our cooperation with major private sector companies, with Microsoft, Procter & Gamble, Cisco,

    …in the promotion of International Jazz Day, to celebrate cultural human rights and cultural diversity on the basis of tolerance and respect.

    These are just a few examples.

    Our partnership is strong, because it draws on shared values. It is rich, because it pursues common goals.

    UNESCO is acting on the frontlines of the world, to create open societies, to uphold human rights and freedom, to support democratic transitions, through education, culture, the sciences, communication and information.

    This work has never been more important, and it will continue.

    The United States helped shape UNESCO in 1945.

    The poet, diplomat and Librarian of Congress, Archibald MacLeish penned the lines that open our Constitution:

    Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.

    This vision has never been more relevant.

    The United States helped inspire the 1972 World Heritage Convention.

    This reminds me of the words of the late Russell Train, former Head of the Environmental Protection Agency and founder of the World Wildlife Fund, who did so much to launch the World Heritage Convention --

    At this time in history, as the fabric of human society seems increasingly under attack by forces that deny the very existence of a shared heritage, forces that strike at the very heart of our sense of community, I am convinced that World Heritage holds out a contrary and positive vision of human society and our human future.

    Ladies and Gentlemen, It is not just World Heritage – UNESCO itself holds out this “positive vision of human society,” against the forces of extremism, against the voices of intolerance.

    Writing in 1950, the United States Representative to the 4th session of our General Conference underlined what he called UNESCO’s “tremendous significance” in tilling the ground for peace amongst nations.

    This Representative was the political philosopher Reinhold Niebuhr.

    So, Ladies and Gentlemen, our task is not over.

    To take it forward, to build a 21st century that is more just, peaceful, equitable than the last century -- UNESCO needs the vision and leadership of all its members.

    This is why I regret the loss of voting rights by the United States.

    And let me be very clear. This is not only about financing.

    This is about values.

    This is the "smart power" that is in such need today, to lay the foundations for lasting peace and sustainable development.

    This is about universality.

    For this, we need all voices, all Member States.

    It is inconceivable to not have the engagement of all States at this time of rapid change and deepening interdependence in the world, in this era of globalisation and vulnerability.

    I will continue to work for the universality of this Organization, for the support of the United States, to the values we share, to the objectives we hold in common, of an effective multilateral order and a more peaceful, more just world.

    Thank you.

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    08-11-2013

    Mongolia National Media Conference reviews assessment based on IPDC’s Media Development Indicators

    © UNESCO

    More than 150 representatives from across the Mongolian media sector (public and private media outlets, as well as community radio and media associations) and relevant government officers worked with international experts at a two-day National Media Conference, held in Ulaanbaatar on 29 and 30 October 2013, on reviewing a draft UNESCO report on media development in Mongolia. The assessment of the country’s media sector was carried out on the basis of the UNESCO/IPDC Media Development Indicators (MDIs) by the Mongolian specialized press freedom organization Globe International Centre in close consultation with the UNESCO Office in Beijing.

    The National Media Conference for validating the draft MDI-based assessment was co-organized by the Associations of Mongolian Journalists, the Globe International Centre (GIC), the Press Institute and the Communications Regulatory Commission, with support from the UNESCO Office in Beijing and the Mongolian National Commission for UNESCO, the embassies of Canada and USA in Ulaanbaatar, and the Mongolian chapter of Transparency International.

    During the opening, the President of the Associations of Mongolian Journalists, Badam Galaarid, invited the media community to see this exercise as an opportunity to work for the common good of improving media professionalism and independence. On behalf of the UN Country Team, the Deputy Resident Coordinator, SoeNyunt-U, reminded participants that “free, independent and pluralistic media empower citizens with information that enables them to make informed choices and actively participate in democratic processes.” He underscored that “as the United Nations, we believe that to be successful, any national development strategy should therefore include a media development component.”

    The first session of the Conference included a presentation on the methodology for the implementation of the MDIs at country level by Andrea Cairola, Adviser for Communication and Information at the UNESCO Office in Beijing; and an introduction to the draft Media Development Report and its recommendations by the President of GIC, Naranjargal Khashkhuu.

    After a plenary activity on the safety of journalists, the participants then split into five working groups to review the draft Report, chapter by chapter, based on the five MDI categories as well as on its 50 main indicators and 194 sub-indicators. The review exercise was supported by international experts such as a representative from the UNESCO’s Communication and Information Sector, a Senior Adviser from the OSCE’s Office of the Representative of Freedom of the Media (Michael Unland), a media law expert from the Canadian Centre for Law and Democracy (Michael Karanicolas) and two US experts from the International Senior Lawyers Project (Daniel Byron and Sigurd Sorenson).

    How the media stakeholders could contribute to the ongoing media law reform in Mongolia was among the issues which triggered most discussion during the Conference, together with the campaign to decriminalize defamation, the practice of not declaring “paid-for” articles and hidden advertisement distorting journalistic professional standards. Attention was also drawn to the need for credible media self-regulation mechanisms, as well as for transparency in the allocation of public-funded advertisements. The debate was also lively when stakeholders discussed some recent regulations concerning online content, as well as the perceived need for anti-trust and ownership transparency mechanisms for the media sector.

    Representatives from remote areas raised the question of the challenge of sustainability of small and local electronic media posed by the digital broadcasting switch-over, and requested transparency in the allocation of public-sponsored slots on the most popular satellite platform. The manager of a UNESCO-supported community radio (Nurlybek Konsul) broadcasting in a local language in the Bayan-Ugliiaimag Aimag territory in Western Mongolia, in making the argument for a community-media friendly legislative reform, said that in his community the radio station named after a local mountain “Uushingyn Tsuurau” is so appreciated that people provide donations without even being requested to, adding that “if we did not go on air for one day everybody would call and ask what has happened.”

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    08-11-2013

    Education Beyond 2015: Presentation by Mr Qian Tang, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education

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    07-11-2013

    Raising awareness through new UNESCO stamps

    © UNESCO

    Stamps have a timeless power to raise awareness, and stir human hearts, with their exquisite messages of peace. On 7 November, the French National Post Office released two new UNESCO stamps.

    One stamp calls attention to the endangered red-crowned crane (Grus japonensis), and the need to protect this species. In Japan, the crane, known as the “tancho,” is a powerful national symbol, representing longetivity and immortality.

    The second stamp features the Ancient City of Sigiriya (Sri Lanka), a UNESCO World Heritage site, where one can wind through ancient galleries and staircases, and out through the mouth of a gigantic lion. The 'Lion Mountain' is a unique witness to the civilization of Ceylon during the years of the reign of Kassapa I. Its frescoes inaugurated a pictorial style which endured over many centuries. Poems inscribed on the rock, known as 'Sigiri graffiti,' are among the most ancient texts in the Sinhalese language. They attest to the considerable influence that Sigiriya exerted on both literature and thought.

    UNESCO-related stamps have been produced by France since 1960. Every year, almost 1 million of them are printed. Many feature an impressive and diverse list of cultural sites, while a number depict protected species around the world, ensuring that a wide audience is sensitized to protection issues involving heritage and biodiversity.

    Country: 

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    07-11-2013

    Rafael Correa exhorts international community to vanquish poverty at UNESCO’s General Conference

    © UNESCO

    “Vanquishing poverty is the most important moral imperative in the world considering that, for the first time in human history, poverty is not caused by a lack of resources or natural factors, but by an unjust system that breeds exclusion,” declared the President of Ecuador, Rafael Correa, in an address to the plenary of the 37th session of UNESCO’s General Conference.

    “I am a strong believer in the transformative powers of science and technology. I put much of my hope for the future of the planet in them; the ability to maintain our way of life and the give a good life to humanity as a whole,” he told representatives of the Organization’s 195 Member States, meeting in Paris until 20 November.

    “UNESCO’s mission is to contribute to the consolidation of peace, to the eradication of poverty, to support sustainable development and intercultural dialogue but this hinges on less charity and more justice,” he said.

    “If knowledge were not privatized but placed at the service of humanity as a whole, it could boost the development of the poorest countries. They do not need charity as much as they need skills, science and technology.”

    “A compensation plan for environmental goods could generate a massive and global redistribution of revenue, which could end poverty and consolidate sustainable development.”

     “Nobody is more aware than I am of the fact that—in view of the forces at play in the world today and of the present condition of humanity—this is utopian. But UNESCO was created for Utopia,” he concluded.

    President Correa came to UNESCO with Ricardo Patiño, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Human Mobility; Guillaume Long, Minister-Coordinator of Knowledge and Human Talent; Augusto Espinosa, Minister of Education; and Doris Solis, Minister of Social Inclusion.

    Following his address to the plenary session of the General Conference session, President Correa met Director-General Irina Bokova to discuss cooperation between UNESCO and Ecuador, which hosts the Organization’s office for the Andean countries.  Along with Ecuador, the office serves Bolivia, Colombia and Venezuela.

    Country: 

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    07-11-2013

    World leaders debate international development goals at 37th Session of UNESCO’s General Conference

    © UNESCO
    When, local time: 
    Thursday, 7 November 2013 - 5:15pm

  • |
    07-11-2013

    World leaders debate international development goals at 37th Session of UNESCO’s General Conference

    © UNESCO

    The 37th session of UNESCO’s General Conference, which brings together all of the Organization’s Member States, on Wednesday hosted a new edition of the Leaders’ Forum on the theme “UNESCO mobilizing for and contributing to the post-2015 agenda through education, the sciences, culture and communication and information”.

    The purpose of the Forum was to reenergize the international community’s commitment to promote concrete development goals, as we approach the 2015 deadline for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted in 2000.

    “At stake in this debate,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova, “the key to success, is to identify factors of sustainability, so that our efforts are sustainable. The answer lies in the Constitution of UNESCO: lasting peace and development must be anchored on a basis more solid than political and economic arrangements, they must be grounded in human dignity and rule of law, reinforced by freedom of expression and access to information.”

    The event featured keynote addresses by the President of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla; the President of Tunisia, Moncef Marzouki, and the Prime Minister of Lithuania, Algirdas Butkevicius as well as ministers from 54 countries who contributed to a lively debate moderated by Shashi Tharoor, India’s Minister of State for Human Resource Development, and Stephen Cole, senior Al Jazeera Television presenter.

    The President of Costa Rica pleaded for a new social contract to address ethical challenges, including a “natural contract,” to ensure that people stopped plundering nature but became its custodians. Ms Chinchilla, as many other speakers, warned that it was urgent to achieve harmonious relations with nature and among people. This is the essence of sustainable development, which must engage new actions to combat climate change, loss of biodiversity and degradation of the oceans.

    Education must remain a key objective in the next agenda, said the President of Tunisia, who called for educational systems that foster creativity and critical thinking as well as vocational training, digital skills and openness to other cultures. We must increase the work to eliminate illiteracy but it is imperative to bear in mind that education is a preparation to life in society. Mr Marzouki, said that a balance has to be found between the need to prepare people, especially the young, for employment and the requirements of full citizenship in a world that is increasingly complex and diverse.

    The Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania, Algirdas Butkevicius, for his part, stressed that UNESCO was directly or indirectly concerned by all the Millennium Development Goals and insisted that the post-2015 agenda must provide for synergies between science, policy and society. He also emphasized the role of culture in achieving these synergies.

    Throughout the day, ministers from all parts of the world shared their views on how to attain lasting peace and sustainable development in an uncertain world whose challenges transcend national borders. All agreed on the need to follow the trail set by the MDGs but there was widespread consensus about the need to recognize the central role of culture in the next set of development goals. They also voiced strong support for the UNESCO-led Education For All (EFA) drive, emphasizing the need for quality education, not just access to school.

    Although the MDGs helped achieve considerable progress in the fight against poverty, disease, ignorance and inequality, all agreed that much remains to be done as many millions of women and men, girls and boys remain trapped in inhuman conditions.

    Speakers agreed that they face a collective responsibility to invent new approaches to address the needs of people living in poverty or on the fringes of society. One lesson drawn from efforts to implement the MDGs is that sustainable and equitable development cannot rest solely on economic policies. It calls for approaches that focus on people and enable individuals and communities to acquire the tools that they need to develop their own potential.

    Many speakers echoed the words of the Director-General of UNESCO, saying that sustainable development can only be achieved if it is embedded in the cultural experience of people. Culture is a source of identity, prosperity and social harmony. UNESCO needs to promote the positive forces of culture and prevent it from being politicized to pit people and nations against one another; spread conflict and terror.

    Creating synergies and new connections was a recurring theme in the discussion which highlighted the need to build bridges between development and culture, education and democracy, employment and creativity, sustainability and shared knowledge. What emerged of the Forum is a vision that tackles poverty and exclusion through actions that foster dignity and equality for all, notably women, youth and minorities. The major points and suggestions made at the Leaders' Forum will impact further debates at the General Conference and beyond, to inform the work of governments and intergovernmental organizations on the post 2015 global development agenda.

    Photo Gallery of the 37th session of UNESCO General Conference

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    07-11-2013

    8th UNESCO Youth Forum: Let the world’s youth speak out!

    © UNESCO

    The 8th UNESCO Youth Forum came to a close on Thursday 31 October, in Paris, with the adoption of 10 strategic recommendations for future youth action and the selection of 15 Action Projects to receive the Youth Forum label, which are to be put into action by young people from across the world.

    The three days of the Youth Forum have been, in the words of the closing ceremony MC, “not only productive” but “exploding with energy and ideas”. Over 500 young participants have called on Member States, coming to UNESCO for the 37th General Conference from November 5, to create autonomous structures in each country to encourage and support youth engagement from now until 2021.

    Whilst applauding UNESCO’s decision to designate youth as a priority group, participants have emphasized the necessity of encouraging greater youth involvement in the monitoring of youth programmes, and supporting their representation within the Committee of NGOs working with UNESCO, the Permanent Delegations attending the Organization’s General Conference, and the UNESCO National Commissions.

    They further encouraged UNESCO to promote and develop programmes of non-formal citizenship education to enhance youth civic engagement and participation on a decision-making level, especially in the fields of intercultural dialogue and conflict prevention.

    In addition, participants called on Member States to develop official mechanisms for the evaluation and validation of skills acquired by young people outside of traditional academic systems, whilst also considering improvements to formal education systems as a priority for the post-2015 agenda.

    In response to the problem of youth unemployment, participants requested that Member States undertake a series of concrete measures, including the development of posts in the context of a green economy and the promotion of quality work experience opportunities. They equally invited Member States to consider the teaching of social entrepreneurship to youth as a high priority, to be developed alongside peer mentoring programmes.

    They have additionally called on Member States to further support youth sustainable development programmes, both economically and socially, and to reinforce the funding of programmes linked to social entrepreneurship, scientific education for women and minority groups, science and technology, and innovation.

    Finally, participants have invited Member States to integrate these action plans within national legislation, in order to guarantee the participation and inclusion of all young women and men, using ICT and social media where possible.

    For the first time in its history, the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum, which precedes the General Conference biannually, will highlight 15 Action Projects submitted by youth organizations from the 5 regions of the world, selected by youth participants from a shortlist of 45. The final 15 projects are as follows:

    Africa:   

    Arab States:

    Asia and the Pacific:

    Europe and North America:

    Latin America and the Caribbean:

    This edition of the Forum has been supported by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), Kuwait, the ministries of Foreign Affairs, Education and Culture of Finland, the United States of America Mission to UNESCO, the Government of Andorra, the International Organization of Francophone countries (OIF), the Funds-in-Trusts of Japan, Airbus, the Ecole de Condé Paris-Ségur, the International Student Identity Card Association (ISIC), the Osato Research Institute, the International Music Council and the “John Lennon Educational Tour Bus 2013”, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, the Goi Peace Foundation, SISSO, Junior Chamber International,  Iya Traoré, Signmark, African Business Club, YouthMobile, Pass the Mic, European Youth Forum, Thumbed, Agence Publics, Make Sense, UNADR and partner investors.

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    07-11-2013

    Showing Climate Change Impacts on Mountains of the World

    © UNESCO

    With the generous support of the Government of Flanders (Belgium), the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme (MAB) and the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) developed an exhibition that features satellite images of different mountain regions worldwide, many of which are UNESCO Biosphere Reserves.

    Occupying 24% of the Earth’s surface, mountains and their adjacent valleys are home to 1.2 billion people. The importance of mountains as a source of freshwater justifies their reputation as ‘water towers’ of the world. They provide numerous and diverse sources of ecosystem services, with water supply one of the most critical. About 40% of the world population depends indirectly on mountain resources for water supply, agriculture, hydroelectricity and biodiversity.

    Mountains are among the most sensitive ecosystems to climate change and are being affected at a faster rate than other terrestrial habitats. Climate impacts form an important threat to mountain ecosystem services and the populations depending on them, and have considerable effects on water resources. Many glaciers are retreating under the influence of rising temperatures, making them key indicators of climate change.

    Using satellite images, the exhibition ”Climate change impacts on mountains of the world” highlights the critical functions of mountains, and the implications of climate change for mountain ecosystems, water resources and livelihoods. The exhibition is displayed on the exterior fences of UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris until 15 December 2013.

    This exhibition is a contribution to the International Year of Water Cooperation (2013) and was created with the support of the following partners: The Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA), The European Space Agency (ESA), The United States Geological Survey (USGS) and Planet Action.

    A high panel session organized during the UNESCO General conference will also call attention on the urgent need for enhanced monitoring and modeling of climate change impacts in mountain regions, to further develop sustainable adaptation strategies and policies.

    Related links:

     

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    06-11-2013

    Irina Bokova awarded National Order by Costa Rica

    © UNESCO

    On 6 November 2013 the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, received the Juan Mora Fernández National Order Award from the Government of Costa Rica. The decoration was awarded to Ms Bokova by the President of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla Miranda.

    On 6 November 2013 the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, received the Juan Mora Fernández National Order Award from the Government of Costa Rica. The decoration was awarded to Ms Bokova by the President of Costa Rica, Laura Chinchilla Miranda.

    Juan Mora Fernández was the first Head of State of Costa Rica, a promoter of the Federal Republic of Central America, and a defender of freedom and peace. The award is granted by the Government of Costa Rica to foreign personalities for their distinguished work in the area of diplomacy and foreign affairs. Among those who have been awarded the decoration in the past, are the current President of Mexico, Enrique Peña Nieto, former United States Ambassador to Costa Rica, Anne Slaughter Andrew and Prince Albert of Monaco.

    “Both Costa Rica and our Organization are tireless promoters and defenders of peace,” stated Irina Bokova. “The example Costa Rica has given the world by abolishing its army and by dedicating today a substantial part of its public expenditure to the development of education, are testimony to the commitment the people of Costa Rica to living in peace, to enjoying freedom, to promoting the rights and dignity of all, as embodied in the constitution.”

    In her address, the Director-General spoke about Juan Mora Fernandez’s legacy and the work of President Chinchilla in promoting peace and dialogue in Costa Rica, thanking the President for this honor, which she accepted on behalf of UNESCO.

    “This award is also to celebrate UNESCO’s first woman Director-General and this is also very meaningful to me” stated President Chinchilla.

    ‘This is a sign of trust and confidence in UNESCO, in our work to lay the foundations for lasting peace and sustainable development today.”

    The award ceremony took place within the framework of the 37th session of UNESCO’s General Conference. Earlier on the same day, President Chinchilla was a key-note speaker during the UNESCO Leader’s Forum. The theme of this year’s Forum is “UNESCO mobilizing for and contributing to the post-2015 agenda through education, the sciences, culture and communication and information.” The Director-General also made an address at the opening of the Leader’s Forum, with the President of Tunisia, Mr. Mousef Marzouki and the Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania, Mr. Algirdas Butkevicius. 

    Country: 

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    06-11-2013

    UNESCO and BRICS Ministers of Education agree on basis for enhanced cooperation

    Ministers of Education from the five BRICS countries – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa – agreed to join forces with UNESCO to support education progress globally through coordinated actions and advocacy during a landmark consultation organized on the margins of the 37th Session of UNESCO’s General Conference in Paris on 6 November.

    “Your countries have enormous potential individually to influence global education trends – this power is multiplied through collective action, through the experience you can share, through your growing roles as development partners, and through the new approaches you are developing for international cooperation,” said UNESCO’s Director-General at the opening of the consultation.

     

    It is the first time that Education Ministers from BRICS countries have come together to discuss collaboration among themselves and jointly with UNESCO in the field of education. This takes forward significantly the Declaration by BRICS leaders at their 2011 Summit in Sanya, China, which recommended establishing a BRICS-UNESCO Group to explore opportunities for collaboration within the areas of UNESCO’s mandate.

     

    Speaking as Chair of the BRICS Group, the Minister of Higher Education and Training of South Africa, Blade Nzimande, said there was consensus among all five countries on the importance of scaling up cooperation between BRICS and UNESCO in education.

     

    This commitment was taken a step further by the proposal to convene a meeting of BRICS Ministers of Education prior to every BRICS Summit and each gathering of UNESCO’s General Conference, a suggestion put forward by the Brazilian Minister of the Education, Aloizio Mercadante, whose country will Chair the BRICS Group in 2014. Ms Bokova stated that “a firm commitment to education in the Declaration of the 2014 BRICS Summit would provide a very strong foundation for collective action”.

     

    Data collection, learning assessment, technical and vocational education and training (TVET) and ICTs in education were identified as priority areas for BRICS-UNESCO cooperation. Emphasis was also given to the role of BRICS in driving global education progress, both through expanded collective assistance to least developed countries and through joint efforts to promote education in major international fora, such as the G20, and in discussions on the post-2015 development framework.

     

    The Minister of Education of China, Yuan Guiren, signalled the potential of BRICS to strengthen synergies, develop new methods of international support and significantly raise the profile of education on the global agenda.  The diversity among BRICS in terms of education and demographic trends was recognized as an important strength of the Group, providing a rich and broad raging source of knowledge and experience that UNESCO could help share for the benefit of countries worldwide.

     

    The centrality of education to development, growth and employment, and the urgency of deepening cooperation in order to address common challenges, was underscored by all BRICS Ministers. “Education could not be more important on the agendas of our countries” the Minister of State of Human Resource Development of India, Shashi Tharoor, affirmed.

     

    “Strengthening education is key to our growth. We have a common interest”, urged Dmitry Livanov, Minister of Education and Science of the Russian Federation.

     

    Representing a milestone in both the BRICS partnership and UNESCO’s collaboration with the Group, Ministers agreed to establish a mechanism for permanent cooperation in education and invited UNESCO to play a central role in supporting their collective action.

     

    Ms Bokova welcomed the outcome as giving major new impetus to efforts to reach the 2015 Education for All goals and charting new approaches to international cooperation in education. “The BRICS group shines light on a new world that is emerging, on a new map of dynamism, cooperation and action,” she said.

     

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    06-11-2013

    Linking Generations through Radio

    © UNESCO

    Radio practitioners, children and youth who wish to produce quality programmes using participatory and autonomous approaches for young people’s radio can now refer to UNESCO’s radio toolkit – Linking Generations through Radio.

    The open access document is inspired by children and youth who make up one-third of the world’s population. The majority may listen to radio but the likelihood they are invited to regularly produce interviews and programmes, express their information needs or their opinions about productions made for them is very low.

    “People are shocked that we are on the radio and that we can do this by ourselves as children,” recounted Mwajuma, 14, from Dar Es Salaam during the preparatory phase of the toolkit.

    “The radio programme has helped me build my confidence . . .,” said Cecelia, 10, from Moshi, Tanzania who is already involved in a children’s radio project.  She claims that learning to ask questions for radio has helped her overcome her fear of asking questions in the classroom.

    During a 2010 survey conducted amongst three low-income countries, broadcasting managers did not see the need to ask children or youth about their opinion when creating programmes for them. In a separate project, young and employed broadcasting producers were not sure how to frame questions because they did not know enough about the topic they were covering. Pre-testing the toolkit demonstrated that involving teachers, parents and guardians facilitates young people’s involvement in media development and media literacy. Many examples can be cited to underline that initiatives that use cost-effective and widespread technology can help to bridge the gap between generations and enhance knowledge creation.

    The 62-page, spiral bound publication is divided in to four parts that guide the reader through a step-by-step process clarifying linkages between conceptualizing and planning radio programmes with and for young people. It provides inclusive examples to allow free exchange of ideas between girls and boys and increase awareness of radio producers and managers about ethical and legal requirements particularly when working with minors. It may serve as a routine training or programming handbook in radio stations, a reference and resource for young people, and an advocacy tool to inform policy makers as well as the general public.

    The toolkit is being used to strengthen the performance of 32 radio stations in seven Sub-Saharan African countries in collaboration with the Children Radio Foundation based in South Africa. It is also being piloted amongst international youth delegates, observers and participants attending the 8th Youth Forum at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris.

    The youth radio toolkit is a product of the project “Empowering Local Radios through ICTs” financed through the generous contribution of Sweden.

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    06-11-2013

    Regional center on ocean dynamics and climate to share its experience among IOC regions

    © UNESCO

    On 30 October 2013, Wendy Watson-Wright, Assistant Director General and Executive Secretary, UNESCO Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC/UNESCO), visited the IOC Regional Training and Research Center on Ocean Dynamics and Climate (IOC ODC Center) and its hosting institute -First Institute of Oceanography, State Oceanic Administration of China in Qingdao, China.

    The great contribution of China to IOC’s core mandate of capacity development in marine science is commendable and the valuable experience of running the Center shall be shared with other regions”, said the Executive Secretary.

    While commending China for its longstanding commitment to cooperation with IOC, Dr. Watson-Wright expressed her gratitude to FIO and the IOC ODC Center for their great efforts in building and enhancing the capacity of other developing countries for marine science, observations with a view to assisting in the improvement of management, and sustainable development of their ocean and resources.

    Dr. Fangli Qiao, Director of the IOC ODC Center briefed the Executive Secretary on the three international training sessions have been conducted on ocean models, ocean dynamics and air-sea interaction, respectively, since the inauguration of this IOC Regional Center in 2011, with the participation of 169 selected young scientists from 26 countries, mainly in Southeast Asia and Indian Ocean.

    I believe the IOC ODC Center could and has been serving as an excellent regional platform for young scientists to advance their scientific skills in modeling and to catalyze cooperation in ocean climate studies”, the Director said.

    During the visit, the IOC Executive Secretary also met Dr. Deyi Ma, Director General of FIO, and was briefed on FIO’s scientific focus, and its engagement in various international programmes.

    The IOC Regional Training and Research Center on Ocean Dynamics and Climate was established, under the framework of IOC Regional Network of Training and Research Centers on Marine Science, through an agreement between IOC and FIO at the 8th Intergovernmental Session of IOC Sub-Commission for the Western Pacific (WESTPAC), 10-13 May 2010 in Bali, Indonesia. The Center is committed to providing annual training sessions on a voluntary basis on ocean dynamics, air-sea interaction, and numerical modeling, to young scientists from developing member states in the Western Pacific and its adjacent regions.

    Related links:

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    06-11-2013

    Director-General of UNESCO says "We need more UNESCO...”

    © UNESCO
    When, local time: 
    Wednesday, 6 November 2013 - 12:15pm to Wednesday, 20 November 2013 - 12:15pm

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    06-11-2013

    Making schools a safe haven for children and youth: Asia-Pacific roundtable meeting on school-related gender-based violence

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    05-11-2013

    2013 International Hydrology Prize awarded to Professor Günther Blöschl

    © UNESCO

    The 2013 International Hydrology Prize has been awarded to Professor Günther Blöschl of the Vienna University of Technology (TU Wien) in Austria in recognition of his pioneering work on linking patterns and processes in catchment hydrology and for his inspirational leadership in advancing Predictions in Ungauged Basins (PUB).

    The Prize was presented by Gordon Young, President of the International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS) and Bruce Stewart on behalf of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) at the IAHS plenary meeting in Gothenburg, Sweden last July 2013.

    The International Hydrology Prize is awarded annually on an individual basis in recognition of an outstanding contribution to the science. Nominations for the Prize are made by the IAHS National Committees and forwarded to the IAHS Secretary General for consideration by the Nomination Committee. The Committee consists of the President and a Vice-President of IAHS and representatives of UNESCO and WMO.

    From 2014 onwards, two medals will be awarded jointly with WMO and UNESCO under the International Hydrology Prize: the Dooge and the Volker medals. The first medal is aimed to honor outstanding scientists who have made fundamental contributions to hydrological sciences, whereas the Volker medal is aimed at outstanding contributions in applied hydrology. Volker and Dooge were pioneers of modern hydrology, both were Presidents of IAHS, and both won the International Hydrology Prize (in 1983 and 1984).

    Related links:

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    05-11-2013

    China’s Education Vice Minister Hao Ping elected as President of UNESCO’s General Conference

    Opening ceremony of 37th session of UNESCO General Conference
    © UNESCO/Emilien Urbano
    When, local time: 
    Tuesday, 5 November 2013 - 5:45pm

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    05-11-2013

    China’s Education Vice Minister Hao Ping elected as President of UNESCO’s General Conference

    © UNESCO

    UNESCO’s General Conference, the governing body that brings together the Organization’s 195 Member States and nine Associate Members, opened today with the election of Hao Ping, the Vice Minister of Education of China, as President of its 37th session. The opening was also marked by the acceptance of Anguilla as a new Associate Member.

    Mr Hao, who succeeds Katalin Bogyay (Hungary), President of the 36th session of the General Conference (2011-2013), stressed the enduring importance of UNESCO’s mission, in education, the sciences, culture and communication.

    Speaking of unsustainable models of industrialization developed over the past two centuries, the President stressed the “urgent need to revolutionize ways of development while relying on innovations that are offered by science and technology.”

    “The General Conference is where we stand as one, it is now and here that we can make outstanding progress,” the President said before invoking the universal dream of “a world of peace, equality, justice and harmony.”

    The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, whose nomination by the Executive Board of UNESCO for a second four-year term at the head of the Organization last month is expected to be confirmed by the General Conference, also spoke during the opening session: “UNESCO is today more in demand, more relevant, more performing. And we must not relent; we must forge on to meet the full ambitions of our mandate, to craft a single agenda for sustainability, for human dignity and development, to strengthen the multilateral order as the only answer to the challenges facing the world.”

    The opening of the General Conference, which ends on 20 November, was also marked by the participation of Princess Marie of Denmark, Patron of the National Commission of Denmark for UNESCO. In her address, the Princess voiced her pride to be fully engaged in UNESCO’s work and advocacy to countering gender-based violence, and promoting quality education and sustainable development.

    Several Heads of State and some 150 ministers and delegates from the 195 UNESCO Member States are attending the General Conference. This session will shape the Organization’s strategy and direction for the next eight years.

    It takes place at a particularly critical time for UNESCO. The Organization is in the midst of a major reform, aimed at making it more relevant, more effective and more responsive to global challenges facing peace and development.

    Since the last General Conference in 2011, UNESCO overcame a financial crisis caused after the withholding of major contributions totaling 22 per cent of its budget. The present session of the General Conference is expected to approve the draft programme and budget for 2014-2017 that reinforce the reform initiated two years ago.

    Highlights of the General Conference include:

    ·      The Leaders’ Forum on 6 November will be attended by Heads of State and High-Level government representatives. Their discussions will focus on defining the post-2015 international development agenda in the areas of education, science, culture and communication. Participants include Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica; Moncef Marzuki, President of Tunisia, and Algirdas Butkevicius, Prime Minister of Lithuania. Addresses will also be made by Mohammad Javad Zarif, Foreign Affairs Minister of Iran, Abdulaziz Othman Altwajiri, Director-General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and Marie-Madeleine Mborantsuo, President of Gabon’s Constitutional Court.

    ·      The Global Priority Africa will be explored through multiple fora, including an information meeting on the UNESCO General History of Africa Project; the launch of Women in African History: an E-Learning Tool; and the launch of Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation.

    ·      The first BRICS-UNESCO Ministerial Consultation Meeting on Education on 6 November, 8am to 9am in the Restaurant on the 7th floor.

    ·      A scientific colloquium on 6 and 7 November on the discovery of the Toumai skull from Chad, believed by many to belong to the oldest known human ancestor. On 11 November, Idriss Deby Itno, the President of Chad, will present a replica of the skull to UNESCO, during a ceremony with the Director-General Irina Bokova.

    ·      Taking stock of the Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education, 8 November, 1pm to 2pm, Room 11.

    ·      The High-Level Panel on Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources and Adaptation Policies in Mountainous Regions (13 November).

    ·      On 7 November, Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador, will address the plenary session of the General Conference (3pm, Room 1). The Grand Master of the Knights of Malta will also address the Conference on the same day (12.45pm), marking the 900th anniversary of the Order’s creation.

    ·      The election of UNESCO’s Director-General will take place on 12 November. The Organization’s Executive Board has nominated Irina Bokova for a second four-year term. The investiture ceremony will take place on 18 October (Room 1).

    ·      Three major reports will be launched during the General Conference. On 14 November (2pm, Room 11), a special edition of the UN’s Creative Economy Report, “Widening Local Development Pathways”, will be presented.  On the 15th, UNESCO’s Social Science report entitled “Changing Global Environments” will be released. This latter includes contributions from over 150 social scientists, such as anthropologists, economists, development experts, geographers, political scientists, psychologists and sociologists. On 18 November, the launch of the UNU/UNESCO/University of Tokyo Report on “Sustainability Science: Promoting Integration and Cooperation”.

                                                        *****

    The full programme of the General Conference, along with all Conference documents is available here.

                            Accreditation: accreditation-media(at)unesco.org

    Photo Gallery of the 37th session of UNESCO General Conference

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    05-11-2013

    Director-General of UNESCO says "We need more UNESCO...”

    © UNESCO

    “The world needs more UNESCO, and UNESCO needs support from all Member States” says Irina Bokova at the General Policy Debate of the UNESCO General Conference

    On 5 November, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, spoke during  the General Policy Debate at the 37th session of the UNESCO General Conference.

    In her report to UNESCO Member States, the Director-General reviewed the most recent achievements of the Organization and highlighted her vision of the way forward.

    “On 1 January 2012, the Organization faced a deficit to be absorbed of $ 220 million, from the budget of $ 653 million approved by the General Conference,” stated the Director-General. “Today, almost two years later, we close the biennium with balanced books. We close with a UNESCO that is more performing, more focused, that is set to move forward.”

    Irina Bokova highlighted the Organization’s ability to deliver on its core mandate despite severe financial difficulty: leadership in putting education first on the global political agenda, stronger engagement of UNESCO in post-conflict post-crisis and emergency situations, in Mali, in Syria, in Côte d’Ivoire, in support of transition countries, progress made in political advocacy to put culture and creative industries on the global development agenda, and to protect freedom of expression and the safety of journalists, along with support to harnessing the power of the sciences for sustainable development.

    Director-General thanked Member States for their engagement and support to the Organization.

    “We knew that this period would impose a difficult test on the Organization,” stated Irina Bokova “And my first message is that we have passed this test. We have managed the crisis by taking strong measures, with a clear vision of reform and with a roadmap elaborated by the Executive Board.”

    Looking ahead, she highlighted the main elements of her proposal for a new Medium-Term Strategy to guide the Organization for the next 8 years, to be adopted by the Members States.

    “The draft Medium-Term Strategy is built on a firm conviction,” declared Irina Bokova. “There can be no reduction of UNESCO’s ambitions -- there must be no dilution of our mandate. We need more UNESCO now, not less.”

    The Director-General underlined UNESCO’s vital support to States in meeting the Millennium Development Goals and the Education for All objectives by 2015, as well as in shaping a new, ambitious global sustainable development to follow – where the power of education, the sciences, culture, communication and information must be recognized and integrated.

    “The world has changed dramatically since 1945 -- but the message of our Constitution has never been so true,” said Ms Bokova. “Lasting peace, lasting development can only be built in the minds of women and men. These are drivers for the creativity, the innovation every society needs today. They are the basis for greater equity and solidarity.”

    The Director-General concluded her Report by appealing to all Member States for consensus in moving forward, for their full engagement and support to UNESCO, as a foundation of a more effective, rules-based multilateral order.

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    05-11-2013

    Global Leaders discuss strategic role of UNESCO in new development goals

    © UNESCO

    The 37th session of the General Conference will feature a new edition of the Leaders’ Forum on 6 November 2013. This forward-looking policy dialogue involves Heads of State and/or Government as well as representatives of Member States at ministerial level to address issues of strategic, global and interdisciplinary interest with a view to providing general orientations for the future work of the broader UNESCO community.

    This edition of the Leaders’ Forum is organized on the theme “UNESCO mobilizing for and contributing to the post-2015 agenda through education, the sciences, culture and communication and information”. It will be of particular importance at a time when the United Nations family has launched an unprecedented broad debate at national, regional and global levels to set humanity on the path of a sustainable, equitable and peaceful future.

    The purpose is to formulate a global development agenda which will, from 2015 on, provide governments, civil society, the private sector and other stakeholders with a framework for action based on a shared vision of lasting peace and sustainable development.

    This effort will build on the 2000 Millennium Declaration, through which the United Nations had pledged to craft a different, more just and prosperous world, without poverty or violence and where all people live in dignity. The vision took shape in the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with its time-bound and measurable goals and targets. This agenda contributed to lifting millions of people out of extreme poverty, bringing millions of boys and girls into the classroom, improving women’s lives and fostering access to food, health, and sanitation for millions of individuals in the poorest places of the planet.

    There has been remarkable progress – but it has been uneven and the world situation in 2013 is not the same as in 2000. The post-2015 agenda will need to address challenges pertaining to population and urbanization, environmental degradation, climate change, post-conflict and post-disaster situations, increasing inequalities and persisting poverty. The new development agenda must both achieve what began in 2000 and spur transformative change.

    An organization dedicated to building the defences of peace in the minds of people and to facilitating the free exchange of ideas, UNESCO has a special responsibility to contribute to the global agenda by stressing the central role played by the intellectual, scientific and cultural fabric of societies in development processes.

    To translate these principles into key messages, the UNESCO Leaders’ Forum offers a unique opportunity for decision-makers from all continents to dialogue and exchange view in an active and dynamic manner. The contributions of Heads of State and/or Government and ministers to the reflection of UNESCO will be disseminated, during the Conference, by arranging dedicated live or taped television programmes with international radio, television and online stations and services.

    The Heads of State or Government who will be present at the Leaders’ Forum are the following:

    • H.E. Ms Laura Chinchilla, President of the Republic of Costa Rica
    • H.E Mr Moncef Marzouki, President of the Republic of Tunisia
    • H.E. Mr Algirdas Butkevicius, Prime Minister of the Republic of Lithuania

     There will also be special addresses during the Forum by:

    • H.E. Sheikh Nahyane Bin Moubarak Al-Nahyane, Minister of Culture, Youth and Social Development of the United Arab Emirates
    • H.E. Mr Mohammad Javad Zarif, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Islamic Republic of Iran
    • Mr Abdulaziz Othman Altwaijri, Director-General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO)
    • Ms Marie Madeleine Mborantsuo, President of the Constitutional Court of Gabon
    • H.E Mr Muhyiddin bin Mohd Yassin, Deputy Prime Minister of Malaysia and Minister of Education
    • H.E. Mr Hossam Issa, Deputy Prime Minister of the Arab Republic of Egypt and Minister of Higher Education 

    The sessions of the Leaders’ Forum will be moderated by H.E. Mr Shashi Tharoor, Minister of State for Human Resource Development of India and Mr Stephen Cole, Senior Presenter Al Jazeera English, Doha and London.

  • |
    05-11-2013

    Global Leaders discuss strategic role of UNESCO in new development goals

    © UNESCO
    When, local time: 
    Wednesday, 6 November 2013 - 1:00am

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    04-11-2013

    UNESCO to set direction for next eight years

    Several Heads of State and some 150 ministers and delegates from all 195 UNESCO Member States will gather in Paris over the next 15 days for the Organization’s General Conference. This 37th session will shape the Organization’s strategy and direction for the next eight years. The Conference is also expected to confirm another four-year term for Irina Bokova as Director-General. She was nominated for a second term by UNESCO’s Executive Board last month.

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    04-11-2013

    UNESCO to set direction for next eight years at the 37th General Conference, opening Tuesday

    © UNESCO

    Several Heads of State and some 150 ministers and delegates from all 195 UNESCO Member States will gather in Paris over the next 15 days for the Organization’s General Conference. This 37th session will shape the Organization’s strategy and direction for the next eight years. The Conference is also expected to confirm another four-year term for Irina Bokova as Director-General. She was nominated for a second term by UNESCO’s Executive Board last month.

    This session of the General Conference is held at a particularly critical time for UNESCO. The Organization is in the midst of a major reform, aimed at making UNESCO more relevant, more effective and more performing in response to global challenges to peace and development.

    Since the last General Conference in November 2011, the Organization has sharpened the focus of its programmes; positioned itself closer to the field; broadened its range of partnerships with the private sector, civil society and other intergovernmental organizations; and reinforced its role within the United Nations system.

    In Education, UNESCO is accelerating the Education for All (EFA) movement to speed up progress towards universal primary education in the run up to 2015, the target date for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).  It is working to increase political commitment to the EFA goals and to define the vision for education in the sustainable development goals that will follow the MDGs - with a particular focus on providing quality education.

    Strengthening the linkages between science and policy to address the economic, social and environmental dimensions of sustainable development is also central to UNESCO’s work.  It is for this reason that the Secretary-General of the UN, Ban Ki-moon, asked the Director General to chair the Scientific Advisory Board that he has established to provide advice on science, technology and innovation to him and the executive heads of relevant United Nations organizations.

    Guided by the conviction that culture is at the heart of development – a lever for economic growth and social inclusion -UNESCO is advocating relentlessly for the integration of culture in the international sustainable development agenda. At the same time, the Organization is building on  its unique set of international conventions aimed at safeguarding cultural heritage, protecting cultural diversity as a wealth of humanity and promoting cultural assets for future generations, while bolstering creativity and cultural industries worldwide - amongst these, it will provide enhanced outreach and support to  to their implementation, especially the 1970 Convention against the illicit trafficking of cultural objects.

    The defense of press freedom and freedom of expression is also another focus of UNESCO’s work through support provided to governments and civil society organizations for the growth of independent and pluralist media, the development of legal frameworks and the improved training of journalists, as well as through the promotion and implementation of a UN-wide plan to improve safety for journalists.

    UNESCO has overcome a financial crisis that occurred after the withholding of contribution from major donors to the amount of 22 per cent of the Organization’s budget, a loss of $220 million over the three years from 2011 to the present.  To address this cash shortfall, the Director-General accelerated the reform process leading to further efficiency gains, and raised $75 million through an emergency fund. Today, the Organization’s books are balanced.

    The General Conference is expected to approve a programme that reinforces the reform   and gives shape to the policies needed to achieve  the sustainable development goals that will guide the international community  in the coming years. It will also be asked to approve an expenditure plan of $507 million for the Organization for the next two years.

    President of the General Conference, Katalin Bogyay (Hungary), Chairperson of UNESCO’s Executive Board Alissandra Cummins and Director-General Irina Bokova will open the event on the morning of 5 November, in the presence of Princess Marie of Denmark. One of the first tasks will be to adopt the Conference agenda and elect a new President. The Executive Board has proposed China’s Vice Minister for Education, Hao Ping.

    Highlights of the General Conference include:

    • The Leaders’Forum on 6 November will be attended by Heads of State and High-Level government representatives. Their discussions will focus on defining the post-2015 international development agenda in the areas of education, science, culture and communication. Participants include Laura Chinchilla, President of Costa Rica; Moncef Marzuki, President of Tunisia, and Algirdas Butkevicius, Prime Minister of Lithuania. Addresses will also be made by Mohammad Javad Zarif, Foreign Affairs Minister of Iran, Abdulaziz Othman Altwajiri, Director-General of the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) and Marie-Madeleine Mborantsuo, President of Gabon’s Constitutional Court.
    • The Global Priority Africa will be explored through multiple fora, including an information meeting on the UNESCO General History of Africa Project; the launch of Women in African History: an E-Learning Tool; and the launch of Science, Engineering, Technology and Innovation.
    • The first BRICS-UNESCO Ministerial Consultation Meeting on Education.
    • A scientific colloquium on 6 and 7 November on the discovery of the Toumai skull from Chad, believed by many to belong to the oldest known human ancestor. On 11 November, Idriss Deby Itno, the President of Chad, will present a replica of the skull to UNESCO, during a ceremony with the Director-General Irina Bokova.
    • Taking stock of the Global Partnership for Girls’ and Women’s Education.
    • The High-Level Panel on Climate Change Impacts on Water Resources and Adaptation Policies in Mountainous Regions (13 November).
    • On 7 November, Rafael Correa, President of Ecuador, will address the plenary session of the General Conference (3pm, Room 1). The Grand Master of the Knights of Malta will also address the Conference on the same day (12.45pm), marking the 900th anniversary of the Order’s creation.
    • The election of UNESCO’s Director-General will take place on 12 November. The Organization’s Executive Board has nominated Irina Bokova for a second four-year term. The investiture ceremony will take place on 18 October (Room 1).
    • Three major reports will be launched during the General Conference. On 14 November (2pm, Room 11), a special edition of the UN’s Creative Economy Report, “Widening Local Development Pathways”, will be presented.  On the 15th, UNESCO’s Social Science report entitled “Changing Global Environments” will be released. This latter includes contributions from over 150 social scientists, such as anthropologists, economists, development experts, geographers, political scientists, psychologists and sociologists. On 18 November, the launch of the UNU/UNESCO/University of Tokyo Report on “Sustainability Science: Promoting Integration and Cooperation”.

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    04-11-2013

    UNESCO to set direction for next eight years at the 37th General Conference

    © UNESCO
    When, local time: 
    Monday, 4 November 2013 - 6:15pm

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    04-11-2013

    Providing Access to Information, Building Knowledge Societies in Myanmar

    © UNESCO

    Within the framework of its Intergovernmental Information for All Programme (IFAP) and in concert with the United Nations University’s (UNU) International Institute for Software Technology, UNESCO is organizing a five-day Executive Workshop in Government Information Leadership for the South Asia sub-region. The event, which is being held under the Patronage of the Government of Myanmar’s Ministry of Information and Ministry of Science and Technology, will take place in Yangon from 4 to 8 November 2013. It is expected to attract participants from Mongolia, Thailand and host country Myanmar.

    The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS), through its Declaration of Principles and Plan of Action, recognized that the appropriate use and application of information and communication technologies (ICTs) presents unparalleled opportunities for individuals to develop and access content relevant to their lives and to support the achievement of international human development goals. However, this potential will not be realized unless governments and stakeholders map out comprehensive, forward looking and sustainable national information and knowledge strategies that are well integrated into their national development plans.

    The Yangon executive training therefore seeks to promote ICT policy development along these lines and contribute to enhancing regional cooperation and the sharing of experiences and lessons. Specific attention will be given during the training to enhancing the effectiveness of policies and leveraging national Electronic Governance (EGOV) initiatives in building knowledge societies. Participants will also be enabled to apply the methodologies of the National Information Society Policy Template, which was elaborated by IFAP to support Member States in developing, reviewing and implementing their national information policy frameworks.

    When asked about the significance of this capacity-building event, Ms Rosa Gonzalez, UNESCO’s Advisor for Communication and Information in the Bangkok Regional Office explained: “the highly interactive dialogue and exchange amongst the 30 senior policy makers participating in the event will enable emerging national and regional trends to be identified. The insights generated from these reflections will also provide valuable inputs to the Government of Myanmar as they begin crafting their first national E-Governance Master Plan and allow them to benefit from the experiences of their regional peers. Furthermore this training will also provide useful inputs to the ongoing WSIS+10 review process in which UNESCO has responsibility for the global coordination of six Action Lines”.

    The Yangon event is the second in a series of ongoing IFAP regional training events organized by UNESCO and UNU in 2013. The first event which targeted East African countries was held in July and attracted participants from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda. Similar training events are being planned for other regions in 2014.

    The intergovernmental Information for All Programme was established in 2001 to provide a platform for international policy discussions and guidelines for action in the area of access to information and knowledge and to support Member States in the development of national information policy and strategy frameworks.

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    04-11-2013

    Close up … with Ahmad Alhindawi at the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum

    © UNESCO

    Appointed Special Envoy for Youth by the Secretary-General of the United Nations in January 2013, Ahmed Alhindawi, 29, has been involved in youth action on a local, regional and international level for a long time.

    We caught up with him at the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum to ask him a few questions.

    What is your opinion on the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum?

    I think that the forum is very important for young people around the world in general and for Arab youth in particular – we have witnessed the events of the last three years, led by Arab youth who were the main driving force behind the change in many Arab countries.

    The Youth Forum brings together youth organizations from all over the world, with huge opportunities for Arab youth to put forward some of their agenda and some of the key issues that are important to them in the international arena. This will hopefully be reflected in the work of UNESCO through its plans to work with young people in the next 10 years.

    The fact that the forum takes place just a week before the UNESCO General Conference – an event that is attended by representatives of all governments around the world – allows young people to submit their recommendations directly to government representatives. Young people have a clear vision for building a better world. Over 1300 youth-led action projects were submitted for the “UNESCO Youth Forum label” competition; 45 have qualified for the final stage, and of these, 15 projects will be selected with official support of UNESCO.

    What do you think are the obstacles that hinder the integration of young people in the Arab world?

    Youth sometimes make up over 70 per cent of the population in some Arab countries. I think that one of the main obstacles to their participation is the absence of mechanisms that could allow them to effectively participate in the decision-making process. We need to create these mechanisms to effectively bridge this gap for youth participation in public affairs.

    We saw young people in many demonstrations in Arab countries, but perhaps the transition from the streets and squares to institutions and political and parliamentary action was not a smooth one in many cases.

    Young people need to take the initiative and organize themselves, either through civil society organizations, or through political parties, and to regularly publish and promote their agenda. There are also some obstacles regarding the laws – sometimes there are laws that do not enhance the participation of young people, and to be here to discuss these kinds of laws is not only politically important, but also economically so for many young people, especially those wanting to open small businesses.

    A final point, we need more of a culture of volunteerism and I urge young people to also play a role through volunteering.

    Do you think that this culture of volunteerism exists in the Arab youth?

    Social solidarity is a key tenet of Arab culture. The idea of volunteering exists in Arab culture and in Arab countries, such as work relief for the needy, but we need to encourage this for the overall development process and not only in emergency situations.

    What skills do Arab youth need the most today?

    The kinds of work available today require personal skills such as the ability to communicate effectively and take initiative. To open a small business, for example, you need the hard skill of writing a business plan, but also you need personal skills of leadership. Generally speaking, we need to enhance the skills of young people to establish small-scale projects I think this aspect is very important.

    Finally, you are a young man, how do you see equality between boys and girls in Arab societies?

    There are important steps achieved by the Arab region in promoting the participation of girls. In many Arab countries, there are more girls than boys enrolled in higher education, but this doesn’t transfer into the field of work. It’s important to note the level of male control that can exist in the labor market, especially in senior positions, and I think it's important to have an enhanced role for girls and women to take advantage of opportunities in education and at work.

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    04-11-2013

    Leading Nigerian Private University awards UNESCO’s African Department Assistant Director-General

    When, local time: 
    Monday, 4 November 2013 - 8:15pm

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    03-11-2013

    President Park Geun-hye Affirms the Republic of Korea’s Support to UNESCO for Education and Culture for Development

    © UNESCO

    Citing the Preamble to UNESCO’s Constitution, President Park Geun-hye affirmed the Republic of Korea’s strong support for UNESCO’s work to enhance peace through education and culture and praised the country’s “mutually beneficial” partnership with the Organization, during a meeting with the Director-General in Paris on 3 November 2013.

    Recalling her three visits to the  Republic of Korea, the Director-General stated that “we share the same values, we work towards the same agenda and Korea knows the price of peace that is deeply enshrined in our Constitution, as you just stated.”

    Noting that they belong to the same generation, Ms Bokova affirmed that “we have a joint responsibility to address the world’s biggest challenge – to advance peace and sustainable development,” affirming the need for education, the sciences and culture to build more sustainable and inclusive societies.

    Proposing to host a global conference in 2015 to take stock of progress on Education for All and set the agenda beyond, President Park Geun-hye noted that “the Republic of Korea is a testament to the importance of education. The country’s focused investment on education has nourished our economic development.”

    She also expressed her country’s interest in “being more involved in sharing experiences with the rest of the world to support the development of education” and stated that Korea was giving positive consideration to joining the Global Education First Initiative as a champion country.

    Ms Bokova drew attention to the valuable support from the Republic of Korea for activities at country level, in particular technical and vocational education and skills in Africa.   “This is an expression of solidarity – Korea has advanced through education and is now sharing its experience and expertise with others,” she said.

    From the protection of cultural heritage in developing countries to an interest in playing a more active role in defining international norms for the return of cultural property, the President outlined several areas of cooperation. These include support for the establishment of a Cultural Centre in Bamiyan to protect Afghanistan’s cultural heritage and the contribution to World Heritage trust funds managed by UNESCO. She also drew attention to the country’s involvement in UNESCO’s activities to preserve the murals of the Koguryo Tombs in the Democratic People's Republic of North Korea, citing this as an effort to “preserve and protect the cultural heritage of South and North Korea” and to “restore homogeneity.”

    The Director-General praised Korea’s contribution to safeguarding world cultural and intangible heritage and “its vision that reconciles heritage and modernity, promotes cultural industries and integrates them into the economy.” She reiterated that culture is an enabler that fosters social inclusion, drives economic growth and stirs creativity, suggesting that the Republic of Korea could assist UNESCO in its advocacy for the recognition of the role of culture in the post-2015 development agenda.

    President Park affirmed that culture and development was a key tenet of her administration.

    “I stand with you to place culture at the center of the development agenda and hope we can reach results in this endeavour,”she concluded.

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    03-11-2013

    President Park Geun-hye Affirms the Republic of Korea’s Support to UNESCO for Education and Culture for Development

    © UNESCO
    When, local time: 
    Sunday, 3 November 2013 - 10:45pm

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    03-11-2013

    Director-General Addresses SACMEQ Assembly of Ministers

    © UNESCO

    UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova highlighted the key role of solid data to inform educational policy at the opening of the Ninth Session of the SACMEQ (Southern and Eastern Africa Consortium for Monitoring Educational Quality) Assembly of Ministers, held at the UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (Paris, France) on 3 November 2013.

    Launched in 1995, SACMEQ has completed large-scale national research and training projects to assess the conditions of schooling and performance  levels of learners and teachers in the areas of literacy, numeracy and knowledge about health. It also builds the capacities of educational planners to monitor and evaluate the quality of their basic education systems through technical training. SACMEQ also recently started technical cooperation with PASEC (CONFEMEN Programme for the Analysis of Education Systems), which is leading to increased exchange of research methodologies and will facilitate the comparison of future assessment results.

    “The results of SACMEQ projects have profound implications,” said the Director-General. “They provide us with a picture of the teaching and learning taking place in school systems. They confirm that socio-economic background and location are key causes for disparities in learning achievement. They show that bolder action must be taken to address the gender gap in learning outcomes. They underline the fundamental role of teachers.”  She further noted that “in countries suffering from some of the world’s highest HIV rates, SACMEQ projects show that prevention education programmes are not working as effectively as they should be. In all of this, SACMEQ is helping to shine light on the challenges we must address together, for sustainable development across Africa,” also drawing attention to the importance of integrating educational equity and quality in the post-2015 development agenda.

    The Ninth Session of the SACMEQ Assembly of Ministers was attended by Ministers and representatives from 16 countries – Angola being the most recent to join the project. The Republic of South Africa, a member of SACMEQ, is among the eleven champion countries of the UN Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative.

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    03-11-2013

    UNESCO Director-General condemns murder of French journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon in Mali

    UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today expressed her shock and sorrow over the brutal murder of French radio journalists Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon, who were kidnapped and executed by an armed group near the northern city of Kidal on Saturday 2 November. Mrs Bokova firmly condemned the killings and welcomed the determined response by the authorities to find the perpetrators and bring them to justice.

    “The kidnap and murder of Ghislaine Dupont and Claude Verlon is a heinous crime that stands condemned by the whole world,” said the Director-General. “My heartfelt condolences go out to the families and colleagues of these two journalists, who devoted their lives to their profession, often in very dangerous circumstances. They have paid the highest possible price for doing their job; for defending freedom of expression and people’s right to information; for contributing – through their reporting – to Mali’s struggle against violence and extremism, and its efforts to rebuild.

    “I went to northern Mali last February, where I witnessed the attempts of extremists to undermine the very foundations of society and impose their reign of terror, by attacking the symbols of the region’s culture, including monuments, schools and the media. I  also saw the determination of the Malian people to resist and rebuild.”

    Ghislaine Dupont, 57, and Claude Verlon, 55, worked for Radio France International (RFI). Dupont had 25 years of experience as an investigative reporter and analyst of African affairs. Verlon was a senior radio technician, with over 30 years of experience reporting in some of the world’s most difficult regions, including Afghanistan and Libya. Their bullet-riddled bodies were found by French military forces about 12 kilometres outside of Kidal, shortly after they had been kidnapped by unidentified commandoes in the centre of the city.

    Dupont and Verlon are the first journalists killed in Mali this year, and are remembered on the dedicated webpage, UNESCO Condemns Killing of Journalists.

     

    *****

    UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…

     

    Media contact: Sylvie Coudray  +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12; s.coudray@unesco.org

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    01-11-2013

    Doha: UNESCO-WISE Panel Puts Learning to Live Together on Centre Stage

    © UNESCO
    When, local time: 
    Friday, 1 November 2013 - 11:30am

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    01-11-2013

    Doha: UNESCO-WISE Panel Puts Learning to Live Together on Centre Stage

    © UNESCO

    Calling for a shift in the paradigm of development, the Director-General stated that “we need to rethink the fundamentals of education for new times – to strengthen human rights, to deepen respect and mutual understanding, to respond to a world of change,” at the opening of a plenary panel co-organized by UNESCO on 31 October at the World Innovation Summit on Education (WISE) in Doha.

    Entitled “Education in a Changing World,” the panel took the four pillars of learning put forward in the 1996 Delors Report published by UNESCO – learning to be, learning to know, learning to do and learning to live together – as the starting point for debate on the vision that should drive education in the future.

    “Societies everywhere face sharp pressures – from economic problems, from deepening inequalities, from increasing diversity and extremism. Tackling these challenges calls for new thinking about the meaning of progress,” said Ms Bokova. “It calls for a clear vision of the kind of society we want to live in and the education we need to build on it. Education policy is the ultimate long-term policy – we need to be visionary.”

    But in the face of rapid change, is education responding? “We live in an education world that is not very different from what it was 30 to 40 years ago whereas societies have deeply changed, “ said Professor Cheng Kai Ming, Chair of Education at the University of Hong Kong. “Education was thought to be a cure for disparities but it is creating disparities.”

    Learning to live together ranked as the foremost principle that should shape all education in societies that have never been so integrated, nor so vulnerable. “The four pillars have to be embedded in values to be integrated in education – of social justice, human rights, solidarity and gender equality. We have to protect each other and the environment, these are the values that have to guide change,” said Angie Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education of South Africa.

    She said that the South African president had called for education to be a societal issue, setting the stage for mobilizing a nation around a common vision.”  She also insisted on listening to the voices and aspirations of children, building on what exists and using culture as an anchor to confront an ever changing world.

    The twin imperatives of quality and equity ran throughout the discussion, leading Francisco Claro from the Center for Public Policies of the Universidad Catolica de Chile to say: “Education has to do with enchantment; it is about awakening talent and passion. Drop-out from school tells us something about our education systems - teachers are not being trained to do their task. We have to help this next generation of teachers prepare for their tremendous tasks because this is the most important profession in society.”

    So what would a new breed of learners look like?  “Learning will be at the centre of education when students are more autonomous and more active learners – this is the test of a learning society,” said Professor Kai Ming, drawing attention to reforms in East Asian countries that aim “to compress formal learning and leave room for experiences – for learning to live together.”

    Allan Goodman, President and CEO of the Institute of International Education (USA) insisted that this pillar should be the “overarching principle” of education:  “schools have to become more international and more outward looking.”

    Wrapping up the discussion, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education Qian Tang affirmed that “education is a global public good, a fundamental human right and a pillar for all the development agenda. It is the responsibility of all society.” Referring to the overarching goal of equitable quality lifelong learning for all, he stressed the need for education to be humanistic, universal and relevant, and affirmed UNESCO’s commitment to leading the debate on the meaning of education for today and tomorrow.

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    31-10-2013

    Close up … with Shamla Maharaj at the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum

    © UNESCO

    Shamla Maharaj, winner of the Award for Merit for Youth Contribution in Trinidad and Tobago in 2010, is an inspirational youth leader. Despite being diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a young child, she holds a Bachelors of Science degree and a Masters degree, and in 2011 was named the country’s Social Ambassador. She was invited to the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum to speak about her experiences, and her words were greeted a unanimous standing ovation.

    We caught up with her to find out more…

    What lessons have you learnt from your work as a Social Ambassador in your native Trinidad and Tobago that people in similar situations around the world might find useful?

    I earned the title of Social Ambassador of the Ministry of the People and Social Development in December 2011. I took it upon myself to use this accolade to help carry forward the work I have been doing all my life. The title has empowered me and given me a voice to be heard, not only on a corporate or governmental level but also at grass roots level. The media has played a key role in empowering me to open the minds of parents of children with disabilities along with youths who have no inspiration or path to move on in life.

    I have also learnt through my interaction that the work done by governments and corporate bodies is not reaching the targeted groups. For instance parents of children with disabilities often seek information through me on if their child can get an education or available therapist and how they go about accessing these intuitions (I too never had the opportunity to receive any form of therapy).

    Only when persons are directly in contact with marginalized groups in society are they receptive to receiving information; after all humans are curious beings. Therefore, marginalized groups need to be mainstreamed into society, especially persons with disability, so that all levels of society will gain an appreciation and understanding of these people in order to accept and accommodate these groups.

    What do you think most people misunderstand about Cerebral Palsy?

    Cerebral Palsy is misunderstood at all levels from experience.  On a physical basis people perceive that all Cerebral Palsy cases are the same. Cerebral Palsy is damage to the cerebrum of the brain, and affects the motor skills. It affects each person who has it differently. From my experience I have been able to use the physical ability I have been left with and adapt to real life situations. The complexity of the physical disability is not seen in a glance. The mind and ability to think is not affected; it develops on a par with everyone else unless the brain damage is more than just the cerebrum.

    People often misunderstand our ability to learn and communicate. Persons who are not directly affiliated with a person who has Cerebral Palsy tend to judge them based on their physical appearance, for instance being shaky, or on a wheelchair. Our emotions and feelings as a person with Cerebral Palsy are just like anybody else’s. Generally, our ability to contribute to society is misunderstood.

    Do you feel like there are any unique challenges that young people face in the Caribbean?

    Young people are conditioned to think that they need to quote the already successful in society and use these ‘norms’ to create their own success. They have the view that being innovative is creating something physical; yet innovation can be setting examples, such as simply mainstreaming marginalized groups and accommodating them.

    In the Caribbean marginalized youths along with youths who are associated with marginalized groups are often stigmatized.  Young people class their peers in two groups: either they can do something or they cannot do it.

    Why do you think it’s important for UNESCO to reach out to young people through events such as the youth forum?

    The power of a body such as UNESCO can fill the gaps that governments of individual countries might not see as being imperative. Through this youth forum, they can set a path and educate through their work on how to include youths in decision making. This youth forum will empower youths and open their minds on what they can do to help young people from community to international level and can demonstrate the power of the youth voice and opinion as a decision making body.

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    31-10-2013

    UNESCO launches social media discussion page for the Freedom of Expression Toolkit

    © UNESCO

    In conjunction with the 8th Youth Forum, UNESCO is launching a discussion group on the popular social networking site, Facebook, for the recently released “Freedom of Expression Toolkit: A Guide for Students”. Users of the toolkit could use the hashtag #FoEToolkit to participate in the discussion stream.

    The Freedom of Expression Toolkit is a tool to raise awareness among young people on the crucial issue that is freedom of expression. While many toolkits already exist, none so far have been written in an accessible language, directly targeting youth.

    The toolkit explores and discusses the following questions:

    • What is freedom of expression?
    • Why does freedom of expression matter?
    • When is freedom of expression at risk?
    • What are the conditions needed for freedom of expression to flourish?
    • What are the special roles of journalists in freedom of expression?
    • What about freedom of expression online?
    • What are the limitations of freedom of expression?

    The Toolkit presents and explains the different concepts related to freedom of expression and complements these explanations with concrete examples and case studies. It also contains various hands-on activities which the readers can participate in.

    With this Toolkit, UNESCO aims to raise awareness on the topic of freedom of expression among the youth worldwide in the various practical activities, such as setting up a model press council, creating a blog, monitoring the news, celebrating World Press Freedom Day, or creating their own case-studies looking at their community or country. UNESCO hopes to gather information from schools and youth groups around the world on how they are using the toolkit, and to foster dialogue process among those various groups via social media on the topic of freedom of expression.

    The Toolkit is currently available online in English and Spanish. Arabic, French and Chinese versions are coming soon. The English version of the Toolkit is also available in a tablet computer-compatible HTML 5 version.

    From 29 to 31 October 2013 young men and women from countries all over the world gathered at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris for the 8th Youth Forum. This year’s theme is “Youth and Social Inclusion: Civic Engagement, Dialogue and Skills Development”. The Forum’s objective is to engage the youth delegations in formulating and reviewing policy on the topics of capacity development for the transition to adulthood, civic engagement, democratic participation and social innovation. The conclusions and recommendations of the Youth Forum will be submitted to the UNESCO General Conference starting on 5 November.

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    31-10-2013

    UNESCO charting the course of Global Citizenship Education (GCE)

    © UNESCO

    In a globalized world, it is imperative that learners acquire, not only cognitive knowledge and skills, but also values, attitudes and communication skills as a critical complement. This was one of the major conclusions of the Technical Consultation on Global Citizenship Education (GCE) that was organized by UNESCO and the Republic of Korea in Seoul on 9-10 September 2013.

    The Consultation also clarified common perspectives on the following questions:

    • What is global citizenship education?
    • Why support global citizenship and global citizenship education now?
    • What needs to be done at the global level to support and promote global citizenship education?

    Building on the consensus achieved at the Seoul meeting, a second consultation will be held on the subject with a larger group of stakeholders in Bangkok (Thailand) from 2 to 4 December 2013: the First International UNESCO Forum on Global Citizenship Education.  

    The Forum, organized in support of the Global Education First Initiative, will dive deeper into the subject matter by exploring the implications of this emerging perspective in the areas of policy, research and practice, outreach and partnership building with all categories of constituencies (government, development partners, civil society, research and academia). Innovations and latest trends in this new field will also be highlighted, discussed and documented. Finally, it is expected that the Forum will provide participants with the opportunity to expand their networks, share their experiences and ideas, and develop and prioritize actions for supporting greater implementation of GCE at the country level.

    LINKS

    The outcome document of the Consultation - "Global Citizenship Education: An Emerging Perspective" (PDF)

    Education for the 21st Century

    For more information, please contact gce(at)unesco.org

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    31-10-2013

    Academy united to investigate media development in Uruguay

    The Project Media Development Study in Uruguay: Diagnosis, Prospects and Challenges will be launched today at the event, which will be attended by representatives of UNESCO’s Montevideo Office, the project research team and Advisory Board composed of national institutions.

    An unprecedented work has been undertaken since 2010. All national universities offering careers in communication sciences have successfully integrated this initiative: University of the Republic (UDELAR), Universidad del Trabajo del Uruguay (UTU), Catholic University of Uruguay (UCU) through its UNESCO Chair, University of Montevideo (UM) and Universidad ORT Uruguay, also joined by the Faculty of Social Sciences (UDELAR) through ObservaTIC.

    Coordinated by UNESCO as part of its International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), Uruguayan institutions will locally implement UNESCO’s Media Development Indicators (MDIs), adopted by the IPDC Intergovernmental Council at its 26th session in 2008.

    According to this initiative, the Uruguayan academy will adapt the MDIs tool to the Uruguayan scenario and apply the indicators in close cooperation with various actors of the media system of the country.

    Research categories to be addressed include: the regulatory system, plurality and diversity of media, equal conditions and transparency of ownership, the media as a platform for democratic discourse, professional training and institutions in support to freedom of expression, and infrastructure capacity.

    The project, which execution is planned for 2014 will receive funding from the National Agency for Research and Innovation (ANII), UNESCO and all the universities involved.

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    31-10-2013

    UNESCO Director-General deplores murder of Iraqi journalist Bashar al-Nuaimi

    UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today denounced the murder of Iraqi television journalist Bashar al-Nuaimi, who was gunned down in Mosul, in northern Iraq on 24 October.

    “I deplore the murder of Bashar al-Nuaimi” said Irina Bokova. “He is the third media profession to lose his life in Iraq during the month of October. This situation is very alarming. Media professionals must be able to carry out their professional duties without fearing for their lives. I count on the authorities to do everything in their power to ensure that these crimes do not go unpunished.”

                Bashar al-Nuaimi worked for the Al-Mousilya television channel. According to the Committee for the Protection of Journalists, the channel regularly broadcast reports on local affairs. Bashar Al-Nuaimi was killed by unidentified attackers on 24 October near his home in the Al-Nabi Sheet neighbourhood of Mosul.

                He is the fourth Iraqi journalist whose murder has been condemned by UNESCO this year, and is remembered on the dedicated web page “UNESCO Condemns Killing of Journalists”.

     

    ****

    Media contact: Sylvie Coudray

    Tel: +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

    s.coudray(at)unesco.org

     

     

    UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”

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    31-10-2013

    Doha: Director-General Discusses Stakes of Educating at the Extreme

    One year after the launch of the Educate a Child initiative by Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova joined key partners at the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) in Doha on 30 October to take stock and single out priorities to achieve universal primary education by 2015.

    Entitled “Educating at the Extreme,” the plenary panel brought together Her Highness Sheikha Moza, UN Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake, UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres; UNRWA Commissioner-General Filippo Grandi, the State Secretary from Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Mr Hans Jurgen Beerfeltz, and the Director-General.

    The discussions focused on strategies for global resource mobilization, protecting education in emergencies and the need to take into account linguistic and cultural diversity to reach marginalized children.

    Her Highness Sheikha Moza underlined the success of multisectoral approaches and the need for more sensitivity to cultural identities.

    “We have to match the commitment to education with a cultural commitment; we have to give confidence to learners that their heritage and culture will not be lost.”

    Drawing attention to the thousands of endangered languages worldwide, the Director-General highlighted that learning in mother tongue at primary level has proven benefits, noting that “sensitivity to cultural diversity and linguistic diversity is a way to reach the marginalized and must be part of the post-2015 education agenda. ”

    Asked to comment on prevailing data gaps on the hardest to reach children, Ms Bokova noted the importance of governments conducting self-assessments in the lead up to 2015 in order to set the right policies, insisting that governments must be held responsible for education.

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    30-10-2013

    Close up … with Signmark at the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum

    © UNESCO

    Signmark (a.k.a Marko Vuoriheimo) is the first deaf artist in the world to get a record deal with an international music label. Born deaf into a world where music is for the hearing, Signmark pursued his childhood dream, and in 2006, released the world's first sign language hip-hop DVD. His mission is to change attitudes towards the deaf and highlight the rights of disabled and minority groups through his music, and he has performed across the world, including an unforgettable concert in Paris at the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum.

    We caught up with him to ask him a few questions.

    You’ve realized your dreams through music, but it must have taken a lot of strength and perseverance to get where you are now. What advice would you have for a young person who feels overwhelmed by the difficulties they face in following their own dreams?

    It's all about your attitude. Whatever you want, if you really want it, just work hard! And don't waste your time on those people who don’t believe your dream. I’ve got friends who really believe in me and understand what I want. Without them I wouldn’t be here now. If you fail or make a mistake – don't get upset! Instead think, "Perfect, I’ve failed!", because the more mistakes you make, the stronger it makes you!

    You have performed in over 30 countries and your music has touched people, deaf and hearing, all over the world. What are some of your favourite moments, when you have felt that you are really making a difference to the lives of other deaf youths?

    My favourite moments are when I see both deaf and hearing people coming to see my show. Multiculturalism is my favourite thing. People need to come over and see. Then maybe they will get a "wow" experience during the show; as I said in one of my songs, "actions speak louder than words".

    Also I love the feeling when young people tell me "I will be better than you!" That’s perfect, because if they’ve got motivation, they’ve got the key to making their dreams come true. That's why I’m doing this work.

    Music is a powerful tool for uniting people and sending a message. What made you want to go into the music business in the first place?

    I didn't plan to go into the music business; it was just a hobby. But when I wrote my first song, I knew that I wanted be an international artist. That's why my stage name is in English: Signmark, even though I wrote my first songs in Finnish. When my first album was ready and not a single record label took it, I didn't give up. I decided to borrow money from my family and make my own album! Then I started learning about the music business.

    Your concert at UNESCO will be a symbol of hope to many. What messages do you wish to give to young people when you perform?

    Anything is possible. If I, as a deaf person, have made impossible things become possible, why can’t you do same? We have new songs to show you all in UNESCO. It’s going to be hot!

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    30-10-2013

    Close up … with Nick d’Aloisio at the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum

    © UNESCO

    17 year old Nick d’Aloisio is a British-born Australian entrepreneur whose skill, creativity and enthusiasm for computer programming have taken him to remarkable heights. His innovative mobile application, Summly, condenses long texts into short, accessible summaries, and was sold to Yahoo in 2013 for $30 million, making Nick the youngest self-made millionaire in history.

    We caught up with him at the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum…

    What advice do you have for young people, sitting in their bedrooms right now with nothing to do but an idea?

    I would say first off, just be curious. If it’s a technology-related idea, start Googling it, and get free reference materials online that can teach you slightly more about it. The internet is great for self-learning - you can teach yourself anything. Get to grips with the technology at hand - just try it and see what happens!

    You recently called for skills like entrepreneurship to be taught in schools. What else do you think we can do to better prepare young people for life?

    The idea that “it’s OK to fail”. When I was in school, “It’s okay to take a risk even if it doesn’t pay off” wasn’t communicated that much. In entrepreneurship the odds of failing are extremely high, but that’s a good thing because failing is an opportunity to learn from your mistakes and to get it right the next time. So many more people would try new things if they become OK with the prospect of failing.

    Your app Summly is about cutting down long articles to concise summaries. It makes us think of a reproach often made about young people – that they have short attention spans, making entrepreneurship unlikely. What are your thoughts here?

    Because of the information deluge streaming into mobile devices and on the internet, everyone has a short attention span now, not just young people. People are finding it very difficult to find what they’re interested in so they skip from one thing to another. It’s also about immediacy. People want instant gratification for clear information – at the very second they refresh their feeds.

    Tell us about the projects you’re currently working on ...

    I am not done with summarization yet. I think you could take the idea of summarization to another level, beyond text - so how about visual summarization? Use videos, images – an image can speak a thousand words!

    What’s your message for young people today to encourage them to achieve their dreams?

    To each young individual, I’d say: “Don’t be afraid, you can do anything now with internet and with communication.” To young people as a collective group, I’d say: “Encourage each other.” For example, I found it lonely to launch my own company - I was the sole founder and everyone else in my team is older than me. If you have a mate who’s really interested in what you do, collaborate and help each other out along the way. It really does have help to have one or two other people your age who have the same interests. You guys can learn together and reach for your dreams as one.

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    30-10-2013

    UNESCO Youth Forum: Speak up, speak out!

    © UNESCO
    When, local time: 
    Wednesday, 30 October 2013 - 5:45pm

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    30-10-2013

    UNESCO Roadmap for Long Term Access to Digital Heritage

    As a continuation of the implementation of the outcomes of the conference “Memory of the World in the Digital Age: Digitization and Preservation” (Vancouver, 26 to 28 September 2012), the National Archives and the Royal Library of the Netherlands will host the inaugural meeting of the UNESCO Digital Roadmap project. The meeting will be held on 5 and 6 December 2013 in The Hague, where experts from various backgrounds will introduce current and future challenges facing heritage institutions worldwide in providing reliable long-term access to digital information.

    This initiative was one of the recommendations formulated in the UNESCO/UBC Vancouver Declaration which mentions the:

      pressing need to establish a roadmap proposing solutions, agreements and policies that ensure long term access and trustworthy preservation. This roadmap should address issues like open government, open data, open access and electronic government. It should dovetail with national and international priorities and be in full agreement with human rights.

    Although the 2003 UNESCO Charter for the Preservation of the Digital Heritage recommended that partners from the heritage sector, government and industry should cooperate and learn to understand each other's position, it seems that little solid progress has been made. Projects and conferences abound, but it has proved to be very difficult to bring the major players from these three sectors together. In The Hague, discussion will focus on inaugurating a platform where this will be possible, and where cooperation on shared issues will help to bridge the divides between state and non-state, as well as between profit and not-for-profit.

    High level representatives from UNESCO, the European Union and the Netherlands Ministry of Education, Culture and Science will react to the issues raised by the experts from the point of view of government. The heritage sector will be represented by the President of the International Council of Archives (ICA) and by the former President of the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). Global companies, including Microsoft and Google that participated in the Vancouver Memory of the World Conference, have been asked to represent industry. The programme will be posted online at a later date.

    The meeting on Thursday afternoon is open to the public. Participation is free, but as the number of places is limited, registration is necessary. This should be done through email to scunesco(at)unesco.nl with “UNESCO Digital Roadmap” in the email header and the name, professional affiliation, address and telephone number in the body text.

    The meeting is organized by The Netherlands National Commission for UNESCO, ICA, IFLA, UNESCO, The Netherlands Ministry of Education, Culture and Science, DEN Foundation, National Library of the Netherlands, Netherlands National Archives and LIBER.

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    30-10-2013

    The Director-General is taking part in the annual World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE)

    © UNESCO

    The Summit is organized in Doha, on 29-31 October 2013, under the theme ‘Reinventing Education for Life.’ This forum offers a unique opportunity for participants from over 100 countries to explore and share cutting-edge practices in education, to dialogue and network and to take an active part in building the future of education.

    On 31 October, the Director-general will address the joint WISE-UNESCO Special Plenary Session ‘Education Challenges in a Changing World’. This Special Plenary Session is intended to broaden the current debates on education in the post-2015 international development framework and to help shape the vision of the future of learning. This will be done by exploring how a humanistic and integrated vision of lifelong learning may be best reflected in the global education agenda.

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    30-10-2013

    UNESCO Director-General deplores murder of Honduran cameraman Manuel Murillo Varela

    UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today denounced the murder of cameraman Manuel Murillo Varela, found shot dead on 24 October in the capital city of Tegucigalpa.

    “I deplore the murder or Manuel Murillo Varela,” said the Director-General. “Such acts must not go unpunished. I urge the authorities to thoroughly investigate this crime and bring the perpetrators to justice.”

    Manuel Murillo Varela, 32, worked as an official cameraman for several public figures and, more recently, for TV Globo. According to IFEX, an NGO defending freedom of expression, he had been kidnapped and tortured in 2010 by men searching for some of his video footage. Since then, the authorities had provided him with special protection.

    Manuel Murillo Varela is the 8th Honduran journalist whose death has been condemned by UNESCO since 2012. He is remembered on the dedicated web page page UNESCO Condemns Killing of Journalists.

                                                          ****

                                          Media contact: Sylvie Coudray

                                             Tel: +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

                                                  s.coudray(at)unesco.org


    UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”

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    29-10-2013

    UNESCO empowers indigenous women in Central America through ICT

    © UNESCO

    “Fear” was the word used often by women from Ngöbe-Buglé indigenous community in Costa Rica when they talked about their first experience in front of a microphone, computer or video-camera. Even more crippling than fear to speak in public or ask someone a question is a profound belief that a woman’s role should be limited to taking care of children and homes.

    The exercise which solicited ideas for radio stories about Ngöbe-Buglé home-makers revealed that, although women practice traditional cooking, handicrafts and medicine on a daily basis, they do not consider themselves as guardians of traditions. Usually this role is reserved to sukia, a healer in indigenous societies across Central America. On their way to the knowledge society, Ngöbe-Buglé, Sutiaba, Nahoas-Nicarao, Chorotegas-Nahuas-Mangues y Cacaopera-Matagalpa and Guna communities have to count with illiteracy, unemployment and poverty. High rate of teenage pregnancies affects the number of girls continuing their studies.

    To organize a series of workshops on ICTs, radio and video for women from indigenous communities in Costa Rica, Panama and Nicaragua, UNESCO partnered with the Sustainable Development Network (RDS) NGO and the Indigenous Movement of Nicaragua, as well as Centre for Social Development Studies (CEDES) NGO in Panama. From July to October 2013, the workshops were taking place in San Felix, Chiriqui province in Panama; La Casona, Punta Arenas province in Costa Rica; and in Managua for participants from Pacific, Centre and North regions of Nicaragua.

    After theoretical and practical courses, women recorded and edited stories about traditions, legends, cosmology as well as everyday community life. In the Rural College of La Casona, trainees scripted, played, filmed and edited socially-important messages. In Nicaragua, training yielded 12 audiovisual products and 20 radio and audiovisual pieces in Panama and Costa Rica. More than 75 women, mostly mistresses of families, acquired a combined set of competencies (knowledge, skills and attitude), graduating from users of mobile phones to potential producers of information and media content, who can make their voice heard. More workshops and exchange meetings are planned until December 2013.

    UNESCO will continue strengthening communication capacities of indigenous communities, in particular women, with objective of introducing audiovisual content generated by the communities into media at provincial and national levels.

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    29-10-2013

    UNESCO unveils guidebook for climate change journalism in Africa

    Twenty-three African experts, including academics and journalists, took time to review a manuscript for a forthcoming UNESCO publication entitled “Reporting on Climate Change in Africa: A Practical Guide for Journalists”. Held from 22 to 23 October at the UN Complex in Gigiri, Kenya, the guide is aimed primarily at helping journalists to acquire knowledge and skills on how to better report on the multifaceted subject of climate change in Africa.

    More importantly, as Fackson Banda, programme specialist at UNESCO Headquarters, put it in his welcome remarks, “The publication is meant to contribute towards developing transnational and interdisciplinary climate literacy among media professionals and especially journalists, in an attempt to demystify efforts at climate change mitigation and adaptation”.

    The workshop brought together various African experts from Botswana, Ghana, Namibia, Nigeria, Rwanda, South Africa, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. Co-authored by the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED) and INTERNEWS, the manuscript stimulated intense debate focused on the “interdisciplinary” basis of climate change knowledge, and how it could be appropriated by journalists in the “African” context.

    Speaking as a journalism educator, Emily Brown, Head of the Media Technology Department of the Polytechnic of Namibia, insisted on the need to underscore truthfulness when reporting on climate change. She added that it was important for news stories to have meaning so as to arouse the readers’ interest. Citing a content-analytical study she carried out, she further highlighted how the media in Namibia tended to bury climate change and environmental stories in the back pages, saying there was need for journalists to actively set the agenda on climate change adaptation and mitigation.

    Bonny Alams, contributing to the discussion as a Nigerian journalist, noted: “For us to achieve [such] reportage, we must work to change people’s perception of the daily consumption of what Nigerians refer to us ‘juicy’ stories that revolve under political, economic and social life”.

    For his part, drawing on what he called “the African worldview”, Prof. Workineh Kelbessa of Addis Ababa University challenged the authors to take into account issues of ethics and environmental justice as part of the interdisciplinary core of climate change journalism, emphasizing the need to correlate the environment and humanity. He added that the manuscript needed to reflect a better link between indigenous knowledge and science.

    The participants also agreed that radio was an important vehicle in the struggle to better report on climate change in Africa. They thus called upon UNESCO and the authors to ensure that the publication addressed aspects that would make it more usable by radio journalists.

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    29-10-2013

    Director-General’s call to youth everywhere: “Take control. Speak up and speak out”

    © UNESCO

    On 29 October 2013, the UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova opened the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum, which will take place from 29 to 31 October 2013 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France.

    The Youth Forum brings together 500 young women and men from over 150 countries, in order to exchange views, to share experiences, to reflect together and to identify common concerns and problems.

    “The world needs your ideas, your vision more than ever before,” stated the Director-General “You are not the subjects of change – you are its greatest leaders.”

    In her address, Irina Bokova appealed to all Youth Forum delegates:

    “Take control. Speak up and speak out. Be bold and be audacious.”

    The 8th UNESCO Youth Forum will be more interactive than previous editions, and focus on supporting concrete projects. Delegates will be invited to identify 15 Action Projects (three per region), from amongst 45 projects shortlisted by an international jury, as a result of a call by UNESCO to youth organizations from around the world in July and August.

    The Youth Forum will feature also a range of interactive workshops and side events, including also the award ceremony for the UNESCO / Juan Bosch Prize for the Promotion of Social Science Research in Latin America and the Caribbean, presented by the Director-General to the young researcher Karen Nathalia Cerón Steevens from Columbia. In addition, the Youth Forum will hold a concert by the Finnish sign language rap artist "Signmark".

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    29-10-2013

    School students get chance to act as archaeologist at Thang Long Imperial Citadel(Viet Nam)

    Country: 

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    29-10-2013

    YouthMobile Workshop at 8th UNESCO Youth Forum

    © UNESCO

    UNESCO Knowledge Societies Division is organizing a comprehensive presentation on the new YouthMobile Initiative at the 2013 UNESCO Youth Forum on Thursday, 31 October at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France. The YouthMobile Initiative aims to directly engage young people to develop mobile applications for sustainable development and employment. The YouthMobile presentation will focus on the global mobile phone phenomenon including the latest mobile technologies and mobile applications that have had a huge global impact on youth worldwide.

    The UNESCO YouthMobile Initiative attempts to answer the question: How can we give next 1 billion young people with new Internet-connected mobile phones the skills and the confidence to develop dynamic mobile applications (or apps) that resolve issues of sustainable development and youth employment?

    The YouthMobile Initiative builds on the experience of many worldwide initiatives that introduce young people to computer science programming (learning-to-code) and problem solving (coding-to-learn).

    It also seeks to build on experiences targeting young women who are vastly underrepresented in this field.

    Finally it builds on the consideration that for millions of young people, the smartphone in their pocket is a very powerful computer, it will be their only computer, and they use it for nearly every aspect of their lives: communicating, learning, taking pictures and playing games.

    The YouthMobile presentation will be delivered by Ms Dorothy Gordon, Director-General of the Ghana-India Kofi Annan Centre of Excellence in ICT.

    Dorothy is a specialist in international development with over 20 years’ experience in working throughout Africa, US, Europe and Asia in executive and consulting positions.

    Her main field of action has been within the United Nations, but she has also been engaged several times with the private sector and civil societies organizations.

    Dorothy will be assisted by two young, female, brilliant mobile app developers: Martha Chumo from Nairobi, Kenya, and Patricia Duangcham from Bangkok, Thailand.

    Martha Chumo is a 19-year old developer who currently runs a Hacker School in her home-city of Nairobi, Kenya.

    "My vision for it is to have a three months programme where developers from Africa can come and learn new technologies and become world-class developers," says Chumo, adding that she's already found a space to host the aspiring programmers. "Not just doing small kinds of technology but getting Africa to get the new Google, the big technologies, these will be things to come from Africa."

    Patricia Duangcham is a computer animation student, who has developed several sustainable mobile applications. Currently working as an intern at Microsoft Thailand, Patricia is an award-winning, fully-qualified developer who formed her own Computer Club in Bangkok.

    The YouthMobile presentation will take place in Room 6 of the Fontenoy Building of UNESCO on 31 October 2013 from 9:30 a.m. to – 11 a.m. in French, and from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in English.

    The UNESCO Youth Forum takes place every two years. Since 1999 the Forum has served as a space for open and dynamic dialogue among young participants from all Member States of UNESCO to formulate strategic recommendations on UNESCO’s youth programmes.

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    28-10-2013

    UNESCO approves emergency funds for inventory of Mali’s intangible heritage

    The Bureau of the Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of Intangible Heritage, meeting at UNESCO’s Paris Headquarters, approved an emergency assistance package of $307,307 for the preparation of an inventory of the Mali’s intangible cultural heritage.

    The project will evaluate the state of intangible heritage (knowledge and practices related to nature, oral traditions, rituals, festivals and traditional crafts) in all parts of Mali, and will be carried out in two, year-long phases. The first  will cover the three northern regions (Gao, Kidal and Timbuktu), along with Mopti in the east-central region of Mali. These regions have suffered most directly from the recent armed conflict and occupation. The second phase will take in the rest of the country, including the four southern regions (Kayes, Koulikoro, Segou and Sikasso).

                The project also includes training workshops to strengthen capacities through training workshops in inventory techniques and intangible heritage management methods that will benefit 190 people. Finally, to raise public awareness  about intangible cultural heritage for inter community dialogue, two plays will be produced along with, a documentary film (in the Tamashek, Maure and Sonrhai languages) and a radio programme for local and regional broadcast.

                The Bureau’s decision, adopted today, encourages Mali to “implement the project in close cooperation with UNESCO and the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA, and with the widest possible participation of the communities concerned”.

     

                The Bureau also approved $25,000 for the safeguarding  in Vet Nam of indigenous knowledge linked to the environment of the Black Ha Nhi, an ethnic minority from the Lao Cai province.

    ****

    More information at: http://www.unesco.org/culture/ich/index.php?lg=fr&pg=671

     

     

    Media Contact

    Lucia Iglesias Kuntz

    Tel: +33 1 4568 1702

    Country: 

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    28-10-2013

    A Day in the Life – catching up with the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus

    John Lennon Educational Tour Bus
    © UNESCO/Emilien Urbano
    Article type: 
    When, local time: 
    Monday, 28 October 2013 - 11:15am

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    28-10-2013

    A Day in the Life – catching up with the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus

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    28-10-2013

    A Day in the Life – catching up with the John Lennon Educational Tour Bus


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    28-10-2013

    Arabic Language Day 2013

    This text exists only in arabic.

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    28-10-2013

    Arabic Language Day 2013

    This text exists only in arabic.

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    25-10-2013

    UNESCO, ICANN and ISOC to launch development of Glossary on Internet Governance for Arabic speakers

    UNESCO, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) and the Internet Society (ISOC) are finalizing a framework to establish an Arabic glossary of Internet governance terms to support engagement in multistakeholder Internet governance processes by Arabic-speaking communities.

    Participation of all stakeholder and geographical communities is essential for a healthy and vibrant Internet ecosystem. Evidence shows that speakers of languages where Internet terminology does not exist tend to be increasingly disadvantaged in everyday conversation and professional settings, as well as in being able to participate actively in Internet governance processes.

    Internet governance sees a constant and rapid introduction of new terms and concepts. This new glossary will help ensure that Arabic-speakers have the necessary language tools to fully participate in and contribute to multistakeholder policy-making processes on various platforms, including the World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) and Internet Governance Forum (IGF).

    The partners in this project seek to provide methodological assistance to Arabic-speaking countries and communities – particularly national and regional professional organizations working in the field of language policy development and Internet governance. The project will be a collaborative process involving multiple stakeholders, and will also include a public consultation.

    As an open, inclusive and fully multistakeholder process, the next step will be a call for national and regional professional organizations in the field of language policies, experts on Internet governance issues and any other volunteer experts to join efforts and consult on the development of terms for the glossary.

    If you are interested to contribute to the implementation of this project, please send your expression of interest to Ms Irmgarda Kasinskaite-Buddeberg by email at: i.kasinskaite(at)unesco.org.

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    25-10-2013

    Science at the UNESCO Youth Forum

    © UNESCO

    Science, Technology and Innovation for Social Inclusion, Civic Engagement, Dialogue and Skills Development at the UNESCO Youth Forum

    The theme of the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum is “Youth and Social Inclusion: Civic Engagement, Dialogue and Skills Development” and it will be held from 29 to 31 October 2013 at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris. The forum gathers about 500 young women and men from around the world to exchange views, share experiences and identify solutions to the challenges they face.

    Science, Technology and Innovation are important pillars for social inclusion and can be used to promote dialogue and skills among the youth. This year’s Youth Forum will feature practical ways in which STI provides a number of new and emerging career, skills and entrepreneurial opportunities for the youth and equips young people with the skills necessary to be leaders, innovators and good citizens. Two capacity building sessions on natural science related issues will be organized; a) ‘Water cooperation: it’s your turn’ and, b) ‘Engineering in Action for Youth and young women; Hands-on Experiments in Engineering’. The importance of STI in facilitation social inclusion and dialogue was also reinforced by the STI related questions included in the online discussion. A number of Young Scientists and Innovators networks such as WFEO Youth Forum and South African Women in Engineering were mobilized to participate in the online discussion, register as observers and/or have stands to publicize their work at the forums. The Science Sector also recommended over 20 young scientists and innovators as possible speakers for the ‘15 minutes feature’ of which 5 youth innovators were selected to speak. Additionally, the science sector will have a stand at the ‘marketplace’ at the Forum which will display items about UNESCO’s work in the Natural Sciences.

    Water cooperation: it’s your turn!- An interactive session to learn about water issues and careers in water fields, 29 October 2013, 14:30 - 17:30, Room XI

    This capacity building session aims to reinforce the water-related capacities of youth by exploring the main issues affecting freshwater resources and the role of youth in resolving current and future challenges through cooperation. The session is organized within the context of the International Year of Water Cooperation and will focus on the skills needed for cooperation and professional opportunities for young people in the field of freshwater. The session will be facilitated by young professionals from different backgrounds who will share their experience and engage the participants in an interactive way. Youth from high schools will also share their experiences in water cooperation. The session includes practical exercises which focus on the development of skills in water cooperation.

    Engineering in Action for Youth and young women; Hands-on Experiments in Engineering, October 30, 2013, 10am-12pm, Room VI

    This session is organized in partnership with EWB UK, the World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) Youth Committee and SAWomeEng. It will be open to young women, and young men, who wish to participate in fun, hands-on engineering activities that will involve group work as well as building models and scenarios that influence life and choices of today. The workshop will involve activities like building a bridge, discussing fracking and solving a problem currently faced as well as other hands-on tasks. There will also be an open discussion on the involvement and role that youth particularly, young women play in the future of Science and Engineering with a view of getting ideas about how we can get more youth interested in careers in Science and Engineering. A part of the session will also be used to show the EPCA film “Science: Where can it take you” after which, participants can discuss issues explored in the film and propose solutions to address them. A film by Intel on girls in science will also be screened.

    The importance of technical skills for engineering cannot be argued, but often, softer skills such as presentation and pitching ideas and new concepts are often neglected, but an important part of the skills sets of engineers. A session on personal development and creating an elevator pitch for new ideas will be hosted to complement the technical nature of the workshop. The session will be facilitated by Emma Thompson, Engineers Without Borders UK (EWB UK) and Zainab Larabi, World Federation of Engineering Organizations (WFEO) Youth Committee Chair.

  • |
    25-10-2013

    Addressing online hate speech in South East European media

    © UNESCO

    Over 90 participants took part last week, 16 and 17 October, in the regional conference “Addressing online hate speech in South East Europe and Turkey: the role of media accountability mechanisms” organized by UNESCO in partnership with the South East European Network for Professionalization of Media (SEENPM) and the Sarajevo Media Centre. The event gathered international and national media experts, as well as journalists, academics and civil society representatives from Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey and Kosovo (as defined under UN Security Council Resolution 1244).

    Having examined the professional, legal and political conditions in which the media in the region work, conference participants confirmed that one of the greatest challenges facing media and policy makers is the growth of intolerance in online communication, which often turns into hate speech.

    The conference discussions underlined how the changing nature of journalism in the online environment and the participation of the audience in gathering and disseminating information have added new challenges for ethical journalism.

    Pointing to areas where efforts could be directed, participants stressed that laws pertaining to hate speech should be harmonized and clearly defined so that no one is penalized for the dissemination of hate speech unless it is shown that they published information with the intention of inciting discrimination, hostility or violence.

    Participants also called on media to agree on common standards and a common approach for dealing with hate speech, particularly concerning the moderation and management of user-generated content and online comments on journalistic work, which should involve reaching agreement on editorial guidelines and acceptable codes.

    Such codes should be followed up with self-regulatory mechanisms that ensure their implementation and should be tailored to meet the needs of a converged media environment with particular attention to online communications.

    Finally, participants highlighted the importance of investing in media and information literacy programmes for raising awareness at all levels of society, through the educational system and media, to encourage public responsibility in the use of information. Such programmes should also encourage media to engage with the audience in raising awareness of the dangers of intolerant and hateful speech, particularly in the online environment.

  • |
    25-10-2013

    18th SEAPAVAA Conference: Audiovisual Archives: Why They Matter

    © UNESCO

    Organized in cooperation with the Lao Department of Cinema, the 18th conference of South East Asia-Pacific Audio Visual Archive Association (SEAPAVAA) will explore and discuss the myriad of issues related to audiovisual archives on 26 and 27 May 2014 in Vientiane, Lao People’s Democratic Republic.

    The discussion will be constructed around a series of questions including, but not limited to:

    In what ways do AV archives matter? To whom and for whom do these archives matter? Do the importance and relevance of AV archives cross national boundaries? If AV archives matter, what must archivists do in terms of their advocacy and branding, engagement with stakeholders, community outreach, provision of access, appraisal, selection, acquisition, documentation and preservation? What resources, opportunities and inspirations are there for archivists to tap on and propel them to garner greater recognition for AV archives and the archiving profession? What challenges do archivists face in their endeavours? How are these challenges being addressed?

    The nature, purpose and potential use of AV archives, the cultural value and memories which these archives hold for nations and their peoples are generally recognized but not always properly appreciated. For a variety of reasons, AV archival institutions have not been particularly successful in making their work and themselves better known to their stakeholders and the general public, and the conference will seek to address these issues.

    SEAPAVAA has issued a Call for Papers from members and interested participants to express their views on these topics.

    UNESCO has been invited to deliver the keynote address during this important event. Its position is that AV archives are an integral part of documentary heritage and must be afforded equal protection. SEAPAVAA maintains formal relations with UNESCO and the conference is expected to contribute to better awareness of the Organization’s work in the region, its connection with global audiovisual archiving and the Memory of the World (MoW) Programme.

    SEAPAVAA is a member of the Co-ordinating Council of Audiovisual Archives Associations (CCAAA) which is a network of international non-governmental organizations involved in all aspects of audiovisual archiving including films, broadcast television and radio, and audio recordings of all kinds. CCAAA also manages the official website for the UNESCO World Day for Audiovisual Heritage celebrated annually on 27 October.

  • |
    25-10-2013

    Digital Heritage 2013: International Congress in Marseilles

    A large international congress on digital heritage will take place under the patronage of UNESCO, in Marseilles (France) from 28 October to 1 November 2013. Digital Heritage 2013 will bring together a wide range of stakeholders to discuss digital technology and how it relates to the protection, documentation and understanding of the shared heritage of humanity. The congress is open to all, and researchers, professionals in the cultural and digital heritage field, students and policy makers are especially welcome.

    The Congress will examine all forms of heritage, from the built (World Heritage), to cultural traditions and expressions (Intangible), museums and objects, and documentary heritage (Memory of the World).

    Archaeologists, architects, artists, historians, museologists, planners, conservationists, anthropologists, engineers, environmentalists, computer scientists, new media experts, film makers, and more will jointly explore the best of digital heritage. Over four days, parallel tracks will see presentations of best practices and innovative solutions, as well as panels, educational workshops, and policy debates. A public exhibition and video screening will also be organized.

    This congress represents a follow-up to the key initiative which UNESCO, and particularly the Communication and Information Sector, launched a year ago in Vancouver, Canada, in order to find solutions to the challenges affecting long-term and reliable access to digital heritage. In his remarks during the opening ceremony, Mr Jānis Kārkliņš, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, spoke of his expectations from the Congress and of the need to ensure that digital heritage issues are placed on the global development agenda.

    Throughout the week, panelists and other speakers will propose their findings concerning knowledge management and preservation in order to obtain a better understanding of legal and technical issues relating to digital objects. The results of the Congress will provide the basis for the development of policy advice that can be made available to the governments of UNESCO Member States.

    Full details on the programme, the panel discussions, the exhibition as well as organizational details can be found on the Congress website. For further information please contact: info(at)digitalheritage2013.org.

  • |
    25-10-2013

    UNESCO promotes protection of journalists and other media actors in the digital age at the Internet Governance Forum

    © UNESCO

    Almost 100 participants from around the world debated the safety of online media actors at a workshop convened by UNESCO, Article 19 and CELE-UP (Center for Studies on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, Universidad de Palermo) as part of the 8th Internet Governance Forum in Bali this week.

    UNESCO presented its preliminary exploration of a global research on online safety in a series of thematic areas ranging from illegitimate surveillance and digital attacks to a gender perspective, digital literacy and safety training.

    Panelists from Latin America and Indonesia assessed major challenges of protecting journalists and bloggers in their respective regions, pointing to problem of impunity for those who attacked journalists, new threats posed by digital technology, and the lack of awareness and training about digital literacy.

    “Bloggers should be protected as they face many challenges - licensing issues, protection of sources, accreditation, ethical responsibility - just like journalists, but no organization protects them,” was the message from Indonesian and other bloggers, who highlighted the contribution to public debate made by their output.

    Reference was made to the UN Human Rights Committee’s defining of journalism as “a function shared by a wide range of actors, including professional full-time reporters and analysts, as well as bloggers and others who engage in forms of self-publication in print, on the Internet or elsewhere”.

    Article 19 shared its recent policy brief on “The right to blog” which stated that the main protections that apply to journalists should apply to bloggers (including the right to protect sources, accreditation and guarantee of safety).

    Other speakers addressed complexities of the legal frameworks including criminal defamation cases and whether media self-regulatory bodies could incorporate bloggers who agreed to work by the relevant code of ethical standards.

    The session was chaired by Mr Guy Berger, UNESCO Director of Freedom of Expression and Media Development. He pointed to the relevance to online media actors of the UN Action Plan of Safety of Journalists and Issue of Impunity.

  • |
    24-10-2013

    Director-General deplores murder of radio chief Cláudio Moleiro de Souza in Brazil

    Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO, today denounced the murder of radio manager Cláudio Moleiro de Souza in Jaru, in the north of Brazil, on 12 October and called for an investigation into the crime..

    “I condemn the murder of Cláudio Moleiro de Souza,” the Director-General said. “ I trust the authorities will spare no effort in investigating this case, which is essential for the preservation of press freedom and the protection of journalists’ right to carry out their professional duties.”

    Cláudio Moleiro de Souza, manager of Rádio Meridional was shot by a lone gunman who entered the radio station and also shot at one of Souza’s colleagues, presenter Alberto Duran Duran, whose life is not in danger.

     

    Cláudio Moleiro de Souza is the sixth Brazilian media professional this year whose killing is recorded in the dedicated webpage UNESCO Condemns the Killing of Journalists.

                                                   ****

    Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at)unesco.org,  +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

    UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”

     

  • |
    24-10-2013

    More than 12 million adults are enrolled in literacy and adult education programmes in Latin America and the Caribbean

  • |
    24-10-2013

    Internationalized Domain Names still to reach full potential

    – Despite important advances more work is needed by all parties if Internationalized domain names are to foster the growth of multilingualism online, according to the 2013 EURid-UNESCO World Report on Internationalized Domain Names published today with the support of Verisign.

    The Report was presented at the Internet Governance Forum 2013 (IGF), in Bali, Indonesia, on 24 October.

    Internationalized domain names (IDNs) are those that include characters from non-Latin scripts, such as Cyrillic or Arabic.

    According to the Report only 2% of the world’s registered domain names are IDNs.  This slow uptake is in stark contrast to the burgeoning of multilingual online content.

    Improving usability in web-based email and services

    Most if not all IDN implementations underperform because of poor user awareness and experience, which lead to poor uptake.

    However, where IDNs are used, there is a 99% correlation between the language or script of the domain name and the language of associated website content, a clear indication that IDNs have a vital part to play in fostering a multilingual internet.

    "Languages are who we are,” stated Janis Karklins, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information in the Report’s Foreword.  “By protecting them, we protect ourselves; by promoting them, we sustain cultural diversity. This must be true also for cyberspace. To have maximum impact, to be sustainable and to be beneficial to all, cyberspace must be inclusive. Every woman and every man should be able to speak and write in their mother tongue, and this is why Internationalized Domains Names, IDNs, are so important.”

    The future of IDNs

    The launch of new IDN generic top level domains (gTLDs) in late 2013, early 2014, particularly the large number of top-level domains using Chinese characters, is expected to boost the market, providing an incentive for investors to update Internet infrastructure and improve user experience on popular web applications in order to access potentially valuable markets.  The new gTLDs may also help to raise end users’ awareness that domain names can be in languages other than English.

    The statistics presented in the 2013 EURid –UNESCO World Report are based on a data set of 228 million domain names. They include detailed information on how over one million IDNs from the .com, .net and .eu registers are used.  The report also includes case studies of the IDN country code Top Level Domain (ccTLDs such as .uk, .fr, or .es,) registry experiences from the People’s Republic of China, the Republic of Korea, Viet Nam, Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and the Russian Federation.

    Download the full report at www.eurid.eu.

    About .eu and EURid

    The .eu domain ranks among the largest top-level domains in the world, connecting 500 million people in 28 EU countries to one Internet identity. More than 3.5 million .eu names have been registered since the domain opened in 2005. Many companies and brands—including the likes of Fairtrade International, Foot Locker, Louis Vuitton, the MAN Group, Microsoft Corporation, Orangina and Toyota–use a .eu website as a practical way to express a clear European identity or  European marketing strategy..

    EURid is the not-for-profit organization that operates the .eu top-level domain, following a tender process and appointment by the European Commission. EURid works with over 750 accredited registrars and provides support in the 24 official EU languages. EURid is registered by the EU Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS), which is an expression of EURid’s environmental commitment. EURid has its headquarters in Brussels (Belgium), and regional offices in Pisa (Italy), Prague (the Czech Republic) and Stockholm (Sweden). More information at: http://www.eurid.eu.

                                                ****

    Media contact:s

    EURid

    Email: press(at)eurid.eu

    Press room: http://www.eurid.eu/en/press-room     

    UNESCO: Sue Williams

    Chief, Media Relations Section

    Division of Public Information UNESCO

    Phone: +33 (0) 1 45 68 17 06

  • |
    24-10-2013

    Open Access Campaign to mark Open Access week in Mexico

    © UNESCO

    UNESCO, Autonomous University of the State of Mexico (UAEM) and Redalyc have launched a campaign to celebrate the Open Access Week in Mexico. The campaign is launched under a concept developed in UAEM and is aptly titled “Open a 'Can-Do' attitude”.

    Launching the campaign, Dr Jorge Olvera-García, UAEM Rector, stated: “the campaign echoes the vision of Senator Ana Lilia Herrera to make Open Access a reality in Mexico and to make the accumulated knowledge available to each and everyone. We invite all to join this endeavour..."

    From 21 to 27 October, a series of distance as well as face-to-face lectures on Open Access will be organized in different parts of Mexico. This will involve setting up of billboards at strategic locations with an image to support the theme. This image is already being used in the UAEM official bulletins, radio and television spots, as well as in posters and postcards.

    The objective of the campaign is to encourage and invite universities and general public to join the Open Access movement and appreciate its benefits to the society. The campaign also utilizes social networks and provides the graphical options of “Open a 'Can-Do' Attitude”. Seven themes - one for every day of the week - have been developed to provide a concrete message on Open Access each day. The dissemination also utilizes other media such as university radio and television stations.

    For a decade, the Autonomous University of the State of Mexico is fostering Open Access with the Redalyc.org System of Scientific and scholarly communication. Since its creation, Redalyc is committed to give visibility to the scientific production generated in Ibero-American region. UAEM also hosted the First Discussion and Analysis Forum on Open Access to Knowledge, convened by the Senate of the Republic and spearheaded by Senator Anna Lilia Herera.

    UNESCO, through its Open Access Strategy, is backstopping the efforts spearheaded by the Senate Committee of Mexico with the support of CONACYT. UNESCO is supporting Open Access Policy Development efforts in Mexico to allow the easy flow of scientific knowledge by increasing its accessibility.

    Open Access is the immediate availability of works of scholars on the Internet for free - permitting any user to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search or link to the full text of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software or use them for any other lawful purpose.

    All applications of the 2013 UNESCO-UAEM Open Access International Week can be downloaded at: http://www.uaemex.mx/acabaconlalata.

  • |
    23-10-2013

    Innovative drought monitoring project for sub-Saharan Africa featured in IFRC World Disasters Report 2013

    © UNESCO

    The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) released its annual World Disasters Report on 17 October 2013 focusing on how technology can directly reduce vulnerability and strengthen resilience against disasters. This year's report presents individuals and organizations that are actively engaged in relevant work towards disaster prevention. Among these, the report highlights two innovative UNESCO projects on Disaster Risk Reduction (DRR): the World Map of UNESCO's Points of Interest and a Drought monitoring and prediction project for sub-Saharan Africa.

    Drought is one of the leading impediments to development in Africa. Much of the continent is dependent on rain-fed agriculture, which makes it particularly susceptible to climate variability. Recurring drought conditions in many regions of Africa, most recently in eastern Africa, have had devastating humanitarian impacts and impose significant reductions in gross domestic product for countries whose economies are tied to agriculture. Climate change and population pressures make the prospect for continued drought impacts and water scarcity more worrisome. Alleviating the impacts of drought across sub-Saharan Africa requires a transition from crisis management to risk management and reduction, including developing national drought policies, increasing coping capacity and adapting to likely future changes at local levels.

    A key element in managing drought risk is the provision of early warning of developing drought conditions and impacts. Such information can provide governments with the lead-time necessary to implement drought management policies and reduce impacts at all levels. However obtaining the data needed to identify drought risks is challenging, especially in remote areas with unreliable monitoring networks and insufficient national capacity.

    In collaboration with the UNESCO, Princeton University has developed an experimental drought monitoring and forecast system for sub-Saharan Africa. The system merges climate predictions, hydrological models and remote sensing data to provide timely and useful information on drought in regions where institutional capacity is generally lacking and the access to information and technology prevents the development of systems locally. The system’s key elements are the provision of near real-time evaluations of the terrestrial water cycle and an assessment of drought conditions.

    A key element of the system’s development is the transition and testing of the technology for operational usage by African collaborators. In 2012, workshops were held in two regional centres – in Niger (for West African countries) and in Kenya (covering countries of the Greater Horn of Africa) – to train local scientists to run the system and interpret the data output. A third workshop will be held in southern Africa. Several challenges have been identified through ongoing discussion with African collaborators for the continued development and use of the system, which could become a key step forward in building capacity through technology and knowledge transfer. In particular, the application of hydrological and climate research into transferable technology with minimal overhead has been made possible and has the potential to reduce the impacts of drought across Africa.

    Related links:

  • |
    23-10-2013

    Intangible cultural heritage: A force for sustainable development

    © UNESCO
    When, local time: 
    Wednesday, 23 October 2013 - 4:15pm

  • |
    23-10-2013

    Financial Report & Audited Consolidated Financial Statements - 2012

  • |
    23-10-2013

    Bringing together the world’s youth at UNESCO, 29 – 31 October

    Youth from more than 150 countries, including well-known personalities and young leaders, will come together in Paris on 29 October to participate in the 8th Youth Forum of UNESCO, which will run until 31 October at the Organization’s Headquarters under the general theme of “Youth and Social Inclusion: Civic Engagement, Dialogue and Skills Development.”

    Over three days, participants at the 8thUNESCO Youth Forum will debate the challenges faced by young people on all continents, and review the main objectives of the Organization's youth programmes, to verify their relevance and enhance their effectiveness.

    They will be invited to make policy recommendations that will be submitted directly to the 195 Member States of UNESCO at the 37th General Conference of the Organization, which will open the following week (5-20 November).

    For the first time, participants will also be invited to identify 15 Action Projects (three per region), from amongst the 45 projects shortlisted by an international jury from replies to a call by UNESCO to youth organizations from around the world in July and August.

    The Forum will feature another important innovation: a more interactive format than in previous editions. Following proposals by the young people themselves, through online consultations conducted in early 2013, the Forum will last three days instead of four, and will focus on working sessions by regional and thematic groups, as well as direct exchanges.

    The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, will open the Forum in the morning of 29 October and will award, at 6 p.m. on the same day, the first UNESCO / Juan Bosch Prize for the Promotion of Social Science Research in Latin America and the Caribbean to Karen Nathalia Ceron Steevens, a 25-year-old Colombian sociologist, for her work on the prevention of youth violence in Central America.

    Numerous side events will be held throughout the three days of the Forum, both at UNESCO and outside.

    Furthermore, in cooperation with the International Music Council, one of UNESCO’s partner NGOs, the “John Lennon Tour Bus 2013”, is stopping in Paris since 22 October until the end of the Youth Forum, right outside the main entrance of UNESCO Headquarters, Place de Fontenoy.

                                                               ****

    Journalists wishing to cover the Forum should request accreditation from

    Isabelle Le-Fournis, UNESCO Press Service, +33 (0) 1 45 68 17 48 i.le-fournis(at)unesco.org

  • |
    23-10-2013

    Honduras ratifies the Convention against Discrimination in Education

    In September 2013, Honduras became the hundredth State party to the Convention against discrimination in Education.
    This instrument, as well as the Recommendation against discrimination in education, which celebrated their fiftieth anniversary in 2010, express the fundamental principles of non-discrimination and equality of educational opportunities. As such, they cover the right to education in its various dimensions.
    The Convention and Recommendation reflect UNESCO’s mission to promote and support collaboration among nations to “advance the ideal of equality of educational opportunities without regard to race, sex or any distinctions, economic or social.”
    The Convention will enter into force with respect to Honduras in December.

    In September 2013, Honduras became the hundredth State party to the Convention against discrimination in Education.

    This instrument, as well as the Recommendation against discrimination in education, which celebrated their fiftieth anniversary in 2010, express the fundamental principles of non-discrimination and equality of educational opportunities. As such, they cover the right to education in its various dimensions.

    The Convention and Recommendation reflect UNESCO’s mission to promote and support collaboration among nations to “advance the ideal of equality of educational opportunities without regard to race, sex or any distinctions, economic or social.

    The Convention will enter into force with respect to Honduras in December.

  • |
    23-10-2013

    Combating discrimination in education

    UNESCO’s Executive Board examined the results of the 8th Consultation of member states on the measures taken to implement the UNESCO Convention and Recommendation against Discrimination in Education.
    Launched in 2011, the Consultation involved 58 member states and was conducted in line with the guidelines for the preparation of periodic state reports submitted every four years to UNESCO.
    The objective is to illustrate the actions taken to implement the Convention and Recommendation, take stock of progress and identify the difficulties within countries.
    The Report is available online: AR | EN | FR | ES | CH | RUAn extensive Report on the results of this Consultation is also available: AR | EN | FR | ES | CH | RUUNESCO webpage dedicated to the 8th ConsultationReporting guidelines

    UNESCO’s Executive Board  examined the results of the 8th Consultation of member states on the measures taken to implement the UNESCO Convention and Recommendation against Discrimination in Education.

    Launched in 2011, the Consultation involved 58 member states and was conducted in line with the guidelines for the preparation of periodic state reports submitted every four years to UNESCO.

    The objective is to illustrate the actions taken to implement the Convention and Recommendation, take stock of progress and identify the difficulties within countries.

  • |Norden
    01-02-2013

    Alfarådet - Verksamhetsplan 2014

    Virksomhetsplan for Nordisk alfaråd 2014
    Målgruppe for det nordiske alfaråd er voksne med kort eller ingen skolegang som ikke har noen av de nordiske språk som morsmål.

  • |
    08-10-2012

    Nordisk konferens 2012 - Den profesjonelle alfabetiseringslæreren

    19.-21. september 2012, Sandefjord Park Hotell
    Alfabetiseringskonferansen er et ledd i det nordiske alfaråds arbeid og er knyttet til formålsparagrafen for rådet og til de styringsdokumentene som hvert år urarbeides i tilknytning til den overordnede virksomhetsplan for  NVL.

  • |
    04-10-2012

    Nordisk konferens 2012 - tabeller

    Nordisk konferens 2012 - tabeller

  • |
    07-10-2010

    Nordisk konferens 2010

    Nordisk konferens 2010

  • |
    04-08-2009

    Formål/syfte

    Formål/syfte

  • |
    09-12-2008

    Nordiska alfabetiserings-konferenser

    Nordiska alfabetiserings-konferenser

  • |
    03-11-2008

    Lenker

    Lenker

  • |
    03-11-2008

    Læringsressurser

    Læringsressurser

  • forskning |
    03-11-2008

    Forskning/artikler

    Ett angeläget område för Alfarådet är att få kunskap om den nordiska forskningen rörande vuxnas alfabetisering och lågutbildades utbildningssituation. Alfarådet har via ett utskick till universitet och högskolor, gjort en första inventering av vetenskapliga arbeten inom detta område.

  • |
    03-11-2008

    Tidligere årsplaner og konferanser

    Tidligere årsplaner og konferanser

  • |
    03-11-2008

    Medlemmar

    Medlemmar

  • baskunskaper läs- och skrivkunnighet |Norden
    03-11-2007

    Kartlegning av alfabetisering i Norden

    Kartläggning av alfabetisering i Norden (KAN) är, som namnet visar, en nordisk kartläggning av utbildningssituationen för studerande som inte har något av de nordiska språken som sitt modersmål och som dessutom är helt utan eller har mycket kort formell skolutbildning.

  • |
    30-08-2007

    Alfarådet

    Alfarådet