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Song, dance, celebrations and traditional know-how on the agenda for the Intangible Heritage Committee in the Republic of Korea

Unesco Most Programme - 10 hours 7 min ago
24 November 2017

The Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage will meet from 4 to 9 December on Jeju Island (Republic of Korea) and will be chaired by H.E. Mr Byong-hyun Lee, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of the Republic of Korea to UNESCO.

The Committee, made up of the representatives of 24 States Parties to the UNESCO Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003), meets once a year. It ensures the implementation of this legal instrument, which has been ratified by 175 States who have integrated the safeguarding of intangible heritage into their national legislation. In its 14 years of existence, the Convention has led 140 safeguarding living heritage projects in 107 countries.

During this session, the Committee will discuss topics including intangible cultural heritage situations of emergency, the impact of the Convention and the use of resources from the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund. Three requests for International Assistance, filed by Colombia, Uganda and Zambia, will be examined to finance projects for the safeguarding of intangible heritage.

The Committee will also decide upon six requests for inscription on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding, as well as 34 requests for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

In addition, three projects have been proposed for the Register of Good Safeguarding Practices, which seeks to highlight the projects, programmes and activities which best reflect the objectives of the 2003 Convention.

For the first time, an element – Xoan singing of the Phú Thọ province (Viet Nam) – which has been inscribed on the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding in 2011, could be withdrawn and inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

The List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in Need of Urgent Safeguarding features elements of living heritage whose viability is considered under threat. There are currently 47 elements inscribed on this List, which allows State Parties to the Convention to mobilize the necessary international cooperation and assistance to strengthen the transmission of these cultural practices, in agreement with the concerned communities.

The following elements have been proposed this year:

  • Botswana: Dikopelo folk music of Bakgatla ba Kgafela in Kgatleng District
  • Colombia; Venezuela (Bolivarian Republic of): Colombian-Venezuelan llano work songs
  • Mongolia: Mongolian traditional practices of worshipping the sacred sites
  • Morocco: Taskiwin, martial dance of the western High Atlas
  • Turkey: Whistled language
  • United Arab Emirates: Al Azi, art of performing praise, pride and fortitude poetry

There are currently 365 elements inscribed on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. It seeks to enhance visibility for the traditions and know-how of communities without recognizing standards of excellence or exclusivity.

The nominations for 2017 for the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity are:

  • Armenia - Kochari, traditional group dance
  • Azerbaijan - Dolma making and sharing tradition, a marker of cultural identity 
  • Bangladesh - Traditional art of Shital Pati weaving of Sylhet       
  • Bolivia (Plurinational State of) - Ritual journeys in La Paz during Alasita        
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina - Konjic woodcarving    
  • Bulgaria; The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; Republic of Moldova; Romania - Cultural practices associated to the 1st of March     
  • Côte d’Ivoire - Zaouli, popular music and dance of the Guro communities in Côte d’Ivoire
  • Cuba - Punto
  • Germany - Organ craftsmanship and music
  • Greece - Rebetiko     
  • India - Kumbh Mela 
  • Indonesia - Pinisi, art of boatbuilding in South Sulawesi   
  • Iran (Islamic Republic of) - Chogān, a horse-riding game accompanied by music and storytelling      
  • Iran (Islamic Republic of); Azerbaijan - Art of crafting and playing with Kamantcheh/Kamancha, a bowed string musical instrument      
  • Ireland           - Uilleann piping
  • Italy - Art of Neapolitan ‘Pizzaiuolo’
  • Kazakhstan - Kazakh traditional Assyk games      
  • Kyrgyzstan - Kok boru, traditional horse game      
  • Lao People’s Democratic Republic - Khaen music of the Lao people    
  • Malawi - Nsima, culinary tradition of Malawi
  • Mauritius - Sega tambour of Rodrigues Island      
  • Netherlands - Craft of the miller operating windmills and watermills
  • Panama - Artisanal processes and plant fibers techniques for talcos, crinejas and pintas weaving of the pinta’o hat
  • Peru - Traditional system of Corongo’s water judges        
  • Portugal - Craftmanship of Estremoz clay figures 
  • Saudi Arabia - Al-Qatt Al-Asiri, female traditional interior wall decoration in Asir, Saudi Arabia       
  • Serbia - Kolo, traditional folk dance
  • Slovakia - Multipart singing of Horehronie
  • Slovenia - Door-to-door rounds of Kurenti
  • Switzerland - Basel Carnival           
  • Tajikistan - Falak     
  • The former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia; Turkey - Spring celebration, Hıdrellez
  • Turkmenistan - Kushtdepdi rite of singing and dancing   
  • Viet Nam - The art of Bài Chòi in Central Viet Nam         

The Register of Good Safeguarding Practices currently includes 17 projects. The proposals to be examined this year are:

  • Belgium: Remembrance education and safeguarding the Last Post Ceremony at the Menin Gate Memorial in Ypres, City of Peace
  • Bulgaria: Bulgarian Chitalishte (Community Cultural Centre): practical experience in safeguarding the vitality of the Intangible Cultural Heritage
  • Uzbekistan: Margilan Crafts Development Centre, safeguarding of the atlas and adras making traditional technologies


The Committee meeting will take place in the International Convention Centre (IC Jeju), Jeju Province, Republic of Korea

For more information and webcast:

Press ressources:


Media contacts:

Lucía Iglesias Kuntz, UNESCO press service, Tel: +33 (0) 145 68 17 02 ; +33 (0) 6 80 24 07 29.

Agnès Bardon, UNESCO press service, Tel: +33 (0) 1 45 68 17 64, +33 (0) 6 80 24 13 56.


Follow the meeting on Twitter: @unesco, #IntangibleHeritage #12COM

Categories: News

Building momentum for Media and Information Literacy (MIL)

Unesco Most Programme - Thu, 11/23/2017 - 17:53
news_231117_morocco.jpg Chairperson of Moroccan regulator HACA, Amina Lemrini Elouahabi, between her counterparts from Niger Abdourahamane Ousmane (left), and Cote D'Ivoire Ibrahim Sy Savane (right)© UNESCO 23 November 2017Morocco’s commemoration of the Global MIL Week in Rabat this week put Media and Information Literacy at the centre-stage of stakeholder.

It took place against the backdrop of the world’s first RADIOMIL, operating on a temporary broadcast licence and engaging a team of young people with listeners in Rabat on the subject what competencies were needed to be on top of today’s information environment.

During the week, UNESCO officials interacted with national government, civil society actors, and academics, as well as representatives of African communications regulatory bodies.

“MIL is not a luxury. It is a lifeskill in the digital age”, said Guy Berger UNESCO’s Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development in a keynote address at the official opening event.

As an example, he stated that: “MIL can help each of us understand that free services and apps are a business model where you, the user, are the product, with your data being harvested and valorised. It’s a price we pay for these wonderful facilities, and we need to be aware of it and avoid being over-exploited”.

Instead of being overwhelmed, or manipulated by the unavoidable engagement with an ever-expanding information environment, MIL empowered people to engage with the diverse mass of communications they receive, share and produce, he noted.

Part of the week included a special conference of African communications regulators, assessing the link between the protection of children and MIL. It was opened by Amina Lemrini Elouahabi, chair of the Moroccan communications regulatory authority, and Kwasi Gyan-Apenteng, president of 

Speaking to the regulators, Berger drew attention Sustainable Development Goal 16.10, which calls for public access to information and fundamental freedoms. “It is in relation to achieving this wonderful objective, that that you the regulators can see how important it is to have MIL.”

MIL is also a way that regulators can help to address the rights of children to expression, access to information, and to protection, said Berger. “It is about preparing children for this new world of information, something that only seeking to shield them from it cannot do.  It is about building defenses in the minds of children, and strengthening their capacity to use communications for individual and societal benefit,” he added.

The Director encouraged the regulators to expand their outreach to the public to explain the why and how of their regulatory activities, and to consider inserting into broadcast licenses the obligation of contributing to MIL in one way or another.

Partners in the MIL Week included four ministries, the communications and telecommunications regulatory authorities, national commissions, educational institutes, and the country’s journalist union. Financing for many of the events came from the European Union Netmed project, Spain, Sweden and Finland.

Categories: News

UNESCO girls’ and women’s education prize-winner provides stateless girls with life skills and education

Unesco Most Programme - Thu, 11/23/2017 - 17:36
gwe-prize-laureate-c-depdc-gms-news.jpg © DEPDC/GMS 23 November 2017

“Girls have the right to be taught,” says Sompop Jantraka, founder of the Development and Education Programme for Daughters and Communities Center in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (DEPDC), northern Thailand, one of the two laureates of the 2017 UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education.

Funded by the government of China, the Prize supports outstanding work to advance girls’ and women’s education globally by awarding USD 50,000 annually to each recipient.

Prevention through education

In northern Thailand, the Golden Triangle is an area sharing the borders with Laos and Shan State connected to Myanmar where many stateless people are struggling for survival. “We cannot wait until a country becomes safe,” says Sompop. Hundreds of thousands of young children, girls more than boys, are not in school. Many start work as young as 10 years old.

“Prevention has good value because you can bring a big change to the lives of girls,” explains Sompop. The DEPDC is founded on prevention and provides stateless children, in particular girls, with safety and access to education. “We are a boarding school. We have buildings. We have a house, class, playground.” Through this effort, families understood that sending their children to work at a young age is not the answer. Sompop found that many girls supported by DEPDC have gone on to become teachers or village leaders.

Flexible learning, survival education

Given the situation facing stateless children in the area, DEPDC has established flexible teaching methods that can more effectively help children obtain life skills. Based on the Flexible Learning Strategies for Out of School Children and Youth developed by UNESCO Bangkok, the DEPDC provides various forms of non-formal education and vocational training adapted to children’s background and needs. On top of teaching reading, writing, mathematics and science, “the curriculum is focused on safety, how to save your life, how to identify at-risk situations, how to live your life in a very hard situation. It’s survival education.”

The project is also providing counselling as well as rehabilitation programmes. Sompop explains that “[stateless] children need more than education, they need care, love and support.”

Expanding across borders

Collaborating with the government and national authorities is crucial for the work of the DEPDC. The Centre works with national authorities and immigration officers to ensure children can come into the State and attend school. It has also developed partnerships with domestic and international organizations.

Winning the Prize will help the DEPDC be recognized for their work and offer a platform to discuss sensitive issues. Many children on the other side of the border work on the streets or cross to find a job each day. The Prize will support the expansion of the project to reach these children and facilitate the adaptation of the project to other communities, and across the border.

Sompop initiated this project rescuing and rehabilitating 19 underage girls at-risk of sexual exploitation. Today, more than 7,000 girls along the borders of Thailand have enrolled in the Center, the Half Day School and the Youth Leadership Training Programme and over 100,000 children and women have indirectly benefited from the Center’s programmes and training activities. Almost all children and youth (90%) involved in the project have built strong life and social skills, and are protected from all forms of exploitation. The DEPDC is also raising awareness globally by hosting 10 groups of international students with backgrounds in social development, law, and psychology who contribute to this project as volunteers.

Sompop firmly believes that “if more and more people recognize the importance of education and the equal rights of girls, the next generation can benefit more equally from social and economic development.”


The Development and Education Programme for Daughters and Communities Center in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (DEPDC) is recognized for its project entitled “Education and Life Skills Training Programme to Help Stateless Children and Women Migrating from Shan State to Thailand”. The innovative project uses education and life skills training to protect stateless and migrant girls and women from the risks of human trafficking and sexual or labour exploitation. It also works on the rehabilitation of girls and women who have fallen prey to these abuses.

Categories: News

UNESCO to commemorate International Day of Persons with Disabilities

Unesco Most Programme - Thu, 11/23/2017 - 16:28
news_231117_pwd.jpg © Patrick Baldwin 23 November 2017

Under the theme “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies for all”, UNESCO, in cooperation with the Permanent Delegation of the Russian Federation and the Inclusion Arts Centre, will celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 4 December 2017.

Since 1992, the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) has been celebrated annually on 3 December around the world. IDPD mobilizes support for critical issues relating to the inclusion of persons with disabilities, promotes awareness-raising about disability issues and draws attention to the benefits of an inclusive and accessible society for all. UN agencies, civil society organizations, academic institutions and the private sector are encouraged to support IDPD by collaborating with organizations for people with disabilities to arrange events and activities.

This year’s theme embodies UNESCO’s vision to create resilient and sustainable societies building on the empowerment of persons with disabilities. UNESCO is convinced that the inclusion of persons with disabilities through arts, music, dance and other cultural expressions using digital tools is essential to meet the promise of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development to “leave no one behind”.

UNESCO’s event will focus on the role of inclusive arts in creating sustainable and resilient societies, where persons with disabilities will be entirely integrated among the main actors. This event echoes the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD), promotes the cultural rights of persons with disabilities to participate in cultural and artistic activities and recognizes their right to have the opportunity to develop and utilize their creative, artistic and intellectual potential. The artistic and cultural integration of persons with disabilities is interconnected with the improvements of other disability-related issues and gender equality.

The event’s agenda will include:

  • A high-level roundtable discussion on the role of inclusive arts for persons with disabilities, with speakers working in the fields of art and digital inclusion.
  • A theatrical performance by the artistic project group “In Touch”. In Touch is part of a long-term programme between the Inclusion Theatre Company and the State Theatre of Nations (Russian Federation), using the arts to connect deaf-blind, sighted and hearing people through professional theatre, humanitarian actions and cultural projects.
  • A concert by UNESCO Artist for Peace, Ms Zarifa Mgoyan. Ms Mgoyan, known as Zara, has a long-standing commitment to programmes helping people with disabilities. The aim of these charities and programmes is to involve children, who are visually impaired and hard of hearing, in artistic activities and to raise awareness of the difficulties they encounter.
  • A brief learning session of sign languages.

All participants are kindly requested to complete the online registration.

Simultaneous interpretation will be available in English, French and Russian.

More information is available on the official website of the event:

English :

French :

Russian :

Categories: News

Collaborating to save the global ocean

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 16:21

Paris, 22 November 2017 - Effectively managing the world’s ocean and safeguarding it for future generations is not achievable alone. Partnerships are now more important than ever to address the issues challenging the health of the ocean and threatening human well-being on a global scale.

This is the basis for the discussions that will take place during a meeting entitled “Building International Partnership to Enhance Science-Based Ecosystem Approaches in Support of Regional Ocean Governance” to be held in Cape Town, South Africa from 27-28 November 2017. The meeting’s purpose is to strengthen collaboration among Large Marine Ecosystem (LME) Programmes, Regional Seas Programmes and Regional Fisheries – existing frameworks for regional management of ocean and coastal resources.

“The challenge of sustainable management of the ocean is global but in order to achieve it, one has to act regionally. Only on the regional scale it is feasible to effectively engage key players, such as stakeholders in governance, fisheries, and, of course, scientists. In my view, partnerships between Regional Seas, Large Marine Ecosystems and Fisheries offer the most logical and effective way forward,” says Vladimir Ryabinin, Executive Secretary of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC-UNESCO).

The meeting will highlight best practices in existing collaborations across the different regional ocean governance frameworks, including how regional institutes and projects are utilizing science to support the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Andrew Hudson, Head of the Water and Ocean Governance Programme, UNDP, reflects on the challenges in ocean management and how a collective effort would be a step in the right direction: “SDG14 presents an ambitious and critically important mandate to move the world towards sustainable ocean use. Recognizing that ocean resources and processes don’t observe political boundaries, a range of regional ocean governance mechanisms have emerged over the years, some with overlapping mandates and boundaries. For the first time, this meeting brings many of these mechanisms together, with the aim to promote dialogue, exchange of good cooperation practice, and development of new partnerships. Working together, these regional mechanisms can accelerate progress on SDG14 implementation towards achieving the 2030 Agenda.”

More than 130 participants from 40 countries will convene in Cape Town. They represent UN agencies, a variety of international organizations, the private sector, NGOs and representatives from national governments around the world to promote partnerships for sustaining the ocean.

Lisa Emelia Svensson, Head of the Regional Seas Co-Ordination Unit, UN Environment, described the collaboration work between the Large Marine Ecosystem Programmes, Regional Seas Conventions and Regional Fisheries Bodies as “essential for the sustainable management of ocean resources and the delivery of the Sustainable Development Goals. UN Environment is making a pollution free ocean as its priority goal for the year ahead.”

During the two-day event, participants will discuss their roles and responsibilities in ocean governance. Presentations on the science to policy interface and how science can inform effective regional ecosystem-based ocean governance will support and provide some context for the discussions. The meeting will be the first time that key players in ocean management come together to build further regional collaboration for ocean governance.

Árni M. Mathiesen, Assistant Director-General, FAO, expressed support for the meeting: “Ocean governance cuts across the interventions that are needed to address fisheries challenges, as in other sectors such as transport and seabed mining, and FAO is pleased to be part of the discussions.”

The Cape Town meeting aims to serve as the platform for mobilizing existing regional governance frameworks towards partnerships and integrated action to protect an ocean in distress.

Christian Holde Severin, International Waters Focal Area Coordinator and Senior Environmental Specialist, the GEF, provided his thoughts on the aims of the meeting: “The ultimate key to success will be the ability of the GEF International Waters partnership to illustrate, to all levels of society, that the myriad of ecosystem services provided by the marine ecosystems, not only depend on cooperation frameworks and agreed actions, but also hold the key to local, national and regional economic development.”

Following centuries of overuse and neglect, marine ecosystems and the blue economy will fail if we do not collectively respond.

This meeting falls within the framework of the GEF LME:LEARN Project, which promotes learning and partnership building, knowledge and experience sharing, and information management among projects in the GEF marine and coastal focal areas. It is funded by GEF, implemented by the UNDP and managed by IOC-UNESCO.

For more information, please visit:

Or contact:

Natalie Degger (n.degger(at)

Categories: News

UNESCO links media self-regulation with Media and Information Literacy in Morocco

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 15:25
news_221117_morocco.jpg Planning for Morocco's National Press Council© UNESCO 22 November 2017Bridging the worlds of journalists and the public was the purpose of a recent round table on “Media deontology in Morocco and Media and Information literacy”, organized by the Moroccan journalists union SNPM (Syndicat National de la Presse Marocaine) and UNESCO.

The seminar represented the kick-off event of the project “Preventing Violence and Promoting Gender Equality through media in Morocco and Senegal," supported by the Spanish Agency of International Cooperation for Development (AECID).

The project is implemented by UNESCO's International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), and involves, inter alia, support to Morocco's Conseil national de la presse (CNP), which is in the process of being set up. 

Hosted by the Institut supérieur de l'information et de la communication (ISIC) in Rabat, the event took place on 21 November 2017. The seminar was attended by more than 70 journalists, media managers, students of journalism as well as representatives of national institutions and the academia.

Speakers assessed how the National Press Council of Morocco, once established, could play a logical role in empowering the public with media and information literacy competencies that could help reinforce its own work in promoting ethical journalism.

The opening speech was delivered by Mr Abdallah Bakkali, President of the SNPM, who stressed the importance of upholding journalistic professional standards for the credibility of the media before its public.

Guy Berger, Director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development at UNESCO, delivered a keynote address, which underlined that a press council in current times should do more than simply address complaints and uphold professional standards.

“A press council should always help to promote press freedom, which is a necessary condition for self-regulation rather than state regulation,” said Berger.

“Today, and even more importantly, a press council needs to help citizens understand how media operates, and how society can interact with media and information in general, so that the public can demand and support quality journalism.”

Especially in a time where an unprecedented quantity of information can be overwhelming, it is important that the journalistic standards and ethics in the public interest should be understood by everyone, from media professionals to the public, said the UNESCO director.

During the roundtable, Mr Younes Mjahed, Secretary-general of the SNPM and 1st Vice-president of the International Federation of Journalists, recalled the milestones which over the last decade characterized the advocacy of Moroccan journalists for the media self-regulation.

Ms Muriel Hanot, Secretary-general of the Belgian Conseil de déontologie journalistique (CDJ)shared the challenges and achievements in the establishment of the CDJ, as well as its current functioning. Ms Hanot also highlighted the participatory and pedagogical role that a press council can - and should - have towards its public who, thanks to the press council's mediation, could themselves contribute to the quality of information. 

Professor Abdellatif Bensfia, ISIC's Deputy Director, provided a comparative analysis of several media self-regulatory mechanisms around the world, while Ms Zouhour Himmich, Ombudsperson of the Morocco public broadcaster SNRT, introduced newsroom-based self-regulation mechanisms.

Held in the framework of the Moroccan edition of the global Media and Information Literacy Week 2017, the round table was inaugurated by Mr José Eugenio Thovar Lozano, Counsellor at the Embassy of Spain in Morocco. 

The creation of the CNP as a statutory self-regulation mechanism in Morocco is envisaged by the recently-approved law n°90.13, and soon the elections of its members are expected by the representatives of media professionals and publishers.

Categories: News

Portugal equipped with new national tsunami warning provider

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 11:51
article_neamportugal.jpg © UNESCO

After France, Turkey, Italy and Greece, Portugal is the latest country in the North-Eastern Atlantic, Mediterranean and Connected Seas (NEAM) region to be equipped with a new National Tsunami Warning Provider that will issue alert messages in case of a tsunami on or nearby Portuguese shores. This new Portuguese provider will considerably increase Europe’s capacity to issue tsunami alerts to its citizens.

Tsunamis are rare events that happen mostly in Asia and Americas, but not only. Portugal was hit by a devastating earthquake measuring 8.5 to 9 on the Richter scale back in 1755, which killed more than 70,000 people and triggered tsunami waves up to 5-6 meters high in Lisbon.

Experts predict that another earthquake may occur again and could destroy part of Southwest Portugal and Spain, affecting hundreds of thousands of people who live in the increasingly urbanized shores of the Iberian Peninsula.

The new Portuguese service provider housed at the Portuguese Institute for Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA), will be able to detect any earthquake striking the region and send the relevant information to Portuguese authorities, who will then be able to alert people at risk within 8 minutes before any tsunami happens, to allow thousands of people to evacuate to safer areas.

“The system provider relies on hundreds of sensors installed along the Portuguese shores that will be able to detect any ground shaking movement or water displacement,” said Fernando Carrilho, Director of the IPMA. “These sensors will send the information to the Portuguese authorities who will issue a tsunami message to communities and people at risk via messages and sirens.”

The Portuguese coast is extensive, with more than 943 km of coastlines in continental Portugal and some other 667 km of coasts in the archipelagos of the Azores and 250 km in Madeira. Not all are at earthquake risk but many are located along the Africa-Eurasia plate boundary, which makes them very vulnerable to seismic activities. The country suffered two recent major earthquakes and tsunamis, the first in February 1969 in continental Portugal and the second in January 1980 in the Azores, killing some eighty people altogether.

Currently, there are four operational Tsunami Early Warning Service Providers in the NEAM region under the coordination of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO. However, only 16 countries out of the 39 NEAM countries at risk of tsunami have subscribed to at least one of these providers.

“It is up to each country to subscribe to an early warning provider. As an example, the new service provider in Portugal will allow countries in the North-Eastern Atlantic region such as Mauritania, Morocco, Ireland, the United Kingdom and France to benefit from our service if they subscribe,” continued Fernando Carrilho.

The NEAM Early Warning System is one of the four main early warning systems existing in the world, with the Indian Ocean Early Warning System built just after the 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, which killed more than 230,000 people, the Pacific Early Warning System and the Caribbean Early Warning System.

It is estimated that more than 130 million people live around the Mediterranean and more than 230 million tourists visit the region every year, people who could be potentially at risk if a tsunami were to happen today.

The increase of availability of and access to multi-hazard early warning systems and disaster risk information is one of the 7 targets of the Sendai Framework (target G) adopted in Japan in 2015 that world leaders have agreed to achieve by 2030.

Since the year 2000, more than 11 million people have been affected by tsunamis and these have resulted in some 250,000 deaths with the highest death tolls in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Japan, India, and Thailand.

For more information, please contact:

Denis Chang Seng (d.chang-seng(at)

Categories: News

Property Taxation

Europaid - Wed, 11/22/2017 - 11:50
Categories: News

At the heart of creating knowledge for change

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 16:33
news_211117_milid_1.jpg © UNESCO 21 November 2017

“Universities are sisters of freedom,” noted Mr. Marco Antonio Zago, Rector of the University of São Paulo in a keynote speech at the opening session of Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2016.

This profound truth was retransmitted at the Global MIL Week 2017 Feature Conference in Jamaica where the six-year progress report of the Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) Network was unveiled.

“This vision must never be allowed to die, never!” said Professor Esther Hamburger of the University of Sao Paulo, the outgoing Chair/Lead (2016/17) of the MILID Network as she presented the report.

She passed on the baton to the Co-Chairs (2017/18), Dr Paulette Kerr and Dr Paulette Stewart of the University of the West Indies.

Birth of a vision

At a time when academic freedom is at risk in many parts of the world, collaboration and setting up consortiums for change needs a rebirth. The vision and dream of the UNESCO University Twinning Programme (UNITWIN) are thus renewed.

That vision is to stir cooperation among university from different parts of the wolrd in connection with knowledge for sustainable development. All 17 sustainable development goals (SDG) and their indicators are of relevance here. Two are foregrounded here in connection with the MILID Network, SDG 4, Quality Education and SDG 16 Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions.

The MILID network is a conduit that affords youth and adults a with critical information and media competencies for quality education.  

It also responds to the need to increase peoples’ critical awareness of access to information, their own communications power in this regard, and their fundamental freedoms through enabling their information and media literacy.

It was with this foresighting of how media and information literacy (MIL) can be a sustainable response to contemporary opportunities and challenges that six years ago the UNESCO-UNAOC UNITWIN Cooperation Programme on MILID was born.

UNESCO and UNAOC combined our individual but shared vision with that of several universities. Many partners and beneficiaries are now reaping the fruits of this cooperation.

It started with eight universities representing each region of the world. Since then, the network expanded to include 19 full members and 21 associate members around the world.

Some of the issues the MILID Network has addressed have proven to be at the heart of contemporary opportunities and challenges: promoting gender, race, cultural and religious diversity, the right to privacy, exposing misinformation, and disarticulating hate speech.

This global agenda suggests that MILID will be strategic in the coming years.

MILID Yearbooks – focus on MIL as tool for positive change

Every year since 2013, UNESCO collaborates with UNAOC and the International Clearinghouse on Children, Youth and Media at NORDICOM to publish the MILID Yearbook series, tackling various subjects related to MIL and intercultural dialogue.

This research and knowledge base has promoted global awareness, influenced policy and expressed a variety of MIL experiences taking place around the globe.

The focus of various volumes bring to light localized MIL experiences in the following topics: MIL and Intercultural Dialogue (2013), Global Citizenship in a Digital World (2014), MIL for the Sustainable Development Goals (2015) and MIL: Reinforcing Human Rights, Countering Radicalization and Extremism (2016).

Please see the full six-year progress report for more details on actions carried by the MILID Network.

Global celebration of Media and Information Literacy Week

The MILID Network under the leadership of UNESCO formed the backbone for the Global MIL Week Feature Conference. To broaden the reach and impact of MIL initiatives, UNESCO initiated the Global Alliance on Partnerships for Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL) in 2013.

The MILID Network was incorporated into GAPMIL as its research arm but maintains its distinctive mandate.  

Besides engaging in the activities of the network, participation in the network gave impetus to other MIL-related activities in universities that already had organized research groups dedicated to the subject.

“National MIL-related associations are becoming active in many countries. It is through movements like these that increased awareness of the importance of MIL will be achieved,” said Alton Grizzle, Programme Specialist, UNESCO. 

Become a MILID member

All interested universities and higher education institutions can join the MILID Network. For more information, contact or consult a MILID member in your region on this list.

Categories: News

When Media and Information Literacy becomes critical

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 15:50
news_211117_global_mil_1.jpg © UNESCO 21 November 2017It is evident that the necessity of media and information literacy (MIL) is bellowed in more and more gathering relating to information, media, technology, education and development in general. This is promising, noted a UNESCO representative.

However, we still have a long road ahead. MIL is still not firmly planted on the international development agenda.

Unlike Global MIL Week that has grown each year, the diffusion of MIL at the national level has been riding the highs and lows of different waves connected to social challenges.

Presently, MIL is buoyed by public concerns about fake news, hate speech and violent extremism. However, do we need crises to justify the necessity of MIL as an integral part of literacy and education in general?

The annual Global MIL Week is designed to entrench MIL as a permanent action on the international development agenda. This year’s celebration took place from 25 October to 1 November 2017, under the theme “Media and Information Literacy in Critical Times: Re-imagining Ways of Learning and Information Environments”.

The theme could not have been more poignant. Its Feature Conference, the Seventh Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) Conference was organized in Kingston, Jamaica from 24 to 27 October 2017. The University of the West Indies, Mona was the host.

Close to 100 celebration events around the globe

As a major occasion for stakeholders worldwide to celebrate and advance the achievements and progress towards “MIL for all”, UNESCO encouraged its partners to plan and organize local events online and offline.

This year, the message of Global MIL Week was transmitted across borders, mountains and communities with 97 celebration events around the globe from 40 countries, covering all the regions of the world. This made it the biggest Global MIL Week ever since its first edition in 2012.

Despite lack of resources, stakeholders in Africa and the Caribbean have strived to organize over 15 local events. Many of them have expressed their strong willingness to be part of stimulating MIL awareness notwithstanding the difficult financial situations they were facing.

In Trinidad and Tobago, an online news organization mobilized their staff members to run around the town of Chaguanas in T-shirts that marked “MIL” in order to sensitize the citizens on MIL.

See all the global events on the event map:

Creating knowledge together on MIL

In parallel with the satellites events, the Global MIL Week Feature Conference assembled close to 200 participants from over 40 countries in Jamaica. They explored how they interpreted ways of educating citizens about MIL in all types of environments. They shared their experience, good practices, knowledge and recommendations for future actions.

It also served as an important platform to strengthen international multi-stakeholder cooperation and partnerships on MIL. The participants were representatives of governments, media, libraries, broadcasting unions, universities, international organizations, and NGOs etc.

Many stakeholders are willing to sacrifice to realize the vision of MIL society. One young woman spoke of how she quit her job to follow her vision by starting an NGO. That vision is to empower youth through information. The demands for the services of the NGO have grown rapidly through the years.

Collaborative knowledge to ensure the great impact of MIL on peoples’ lives cannot happen without diverse stakeholders’ inputs. The Feature Conference demonstrated the vision for a marriage between actions on the side of information, libraries, media, and technology, to ensure that a holistic approach to MIL is taking root.

For the first time, organizations like the International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, the International Association of School Librarianship, the Association of Caribbean University, Research and Institutional Libraries, the Jamaica Library Service contributed to Global MIL Week and committed to put their hands to the sledgehammer needed to dismantle the mountain blocking MIL for all.

Youth as leaders

As was the case of the previous edition, the Global MIL Week 2017 Feature Conference kicked off with the Global MIL Week Youth Agenda Forum, an event designed by youth and dedicated to youth.

The Youth Agenda provided an opportunity for young people, youth organizations and leaders, especially youth from the Caribbean region, to get involved in Global MIL Week; it put an emphasis on the role of youth leaders to promote critical civic engagement via MIL.

The Youth Agenda gathered close to 250 local and international youth leaders from over 10 countries. These include social media influencers, young entrepreneurs, leaders of youth organizations, local young journalists and students, shared their life experience related to MIL, as well as their understanding on MIL.

Among many memorable life stories told by the young speakers, Adama Lee-Bah, a young woman from Gambia passionately shared her story of how she became a MIL activist in a radio station in her teenage years, and encouraged young boys and girls in Gambia to learn MIL to change their lives. She started her study in New York and has been steadily pursuing her dream while shouldering the responsibility of being the Chair of the Youth Committee of the Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL).

One key outcome of the Youth Agenda is the MIL CLICKS Pact, which is a self-commitment to engage in critical thinking and influencing their peers in this regard online and offline. It was crafted in dialogue with the Youth Committee of GAPMIL.

Download the MIL CLICKS Pact in multiple languages: English, French, Spanish, Arabic

People who embrace the MIL CLICKS Pact are invited to fill in this simple form and commit to be a MIL CLICKer.

See more on the outcome of the Youth Agenda here. Information about the GAPMIL Global MIL Award 2017 is available here. Follow UNESCO website for a report that will outline the key recommendations that came out of the Global MIL Week Feature Conference.

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Categories: News

5th African Union - European Union Summit

Europaid - Tue, 11/21/2017 - 14:25
Categories: News

Improving measurement and policies for gender equality in science and engineering

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 11/20/2017 - 18:32
20 November 2017

A new UNESCO publication launched during the eight World Science Forum in Jordan on 9 November provides a series of tools to integrate, monitor and evaluate gender equality in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). The publication ‘Measuring Gender Equality in Science and Engineering: the SAGA Toolkit’ was developed as part of the project “STEM and Gender Advancement (SAGA)”, a global UNESCO project supported by the Government of Sweden through the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency"(Sid`)&

The SAGA Toolkit is not only intended to assist policy-makers in the design of gender-sensitive and evidence-based policies, but also aims help them evaluate gender-related Science,Technology and Innovation (STI) policy coverage and strengthen national gender policy agendas in STI. In so doing, the SAGA Toolkit establishes a new basis for evidence-based policy-making in STI by setting standard definitions and classifications to address the gender gap in STEM more effectively.

The SAGA Toolkit is part of the SAGA methodology on measuring gender equality in science and engineering described in a series of working papers, freely available on the SAGA project website.

Currently, only 28% of the scientific research and workforce worldwide are women. The SAGA project is helping countries in reducing the gender gap and promoting girls’ and women’s participation in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Today, the tools are being piloted in several  countries and institutions across the world. A final version of the methodology is expected at the end of 2018.

Categories: News