The 2017 World Science Forum brought together more than 3,000 delegates from 120 countries to discuss critical global issues and the potential of science to address them holistically on 07-10 November in Jordan. The concluding Science for Peace Declaration represents a global call for action to science and society to build a future that promises greater equality, security and opportunity for all, and in which science plays an increasingly prominent role as an enabler of fair and sustainable development.
The Science for Peace Declaration is a call for the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals, and a reflection on “the role of science in building a future that promises greater equality, security and opportunity for all, and in which science plays an increasingly prominent role as an enabler of fair and sustainable development.”
The Declaration defines peace as “far more than the absence of conflict. It implies an absence of fear and the full realization of a whole and healthy life. It encompasses an equal access to the resources and potential of our planet.”
It is built on five principles:
The Declaration, adopted by the representatives of the scientific community, policy-makers, industry and civil society together, is a commitment to the responsible and ethical use of scientific knowledge in addressing the great challenges facing humankind.
The 8th World Science Forum was organized under the leadership of the Royal Scientific Society of Jordan, together with the founding organisations: UNESCO, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the International Council for Science (ICSU). Organized every two years, the World Science Forum is one of the leading events of global science policy today. It serves as a platform for dialogue between the scientific community, policy-makers and representatives of industry and the civil society on emerging issues affecting science, policy and society, to set out the common tasks ahead in tackling these issues.
Within framework of his visit to the 39th session of UNESCO’s General Conference, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Paraguay, Eladio Loizaga, handed today to the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, the National Order of Merit “Don José Falcón”. The Director-General received this distinction in recognition of “her contribution, her great work and her continuous efforts in favor of the cooperation between the Republic of Paraguay and the Organization."
During the award ceremony, held on 10 November at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, Foreign Minister Loizaga underscored that the commitment and “sincere friendship that the Director-General has forged with Paraguay over the years”, are reflected in the numerous common initiatives and in the official visit the Director-General undertook to Paraguay in June 2016.
In turn, the Director-General highlighted the active participation of Paraguay in the Executive Board of UNESCO, of which it is a member since 2015 and until 2019.
In particular, the Director-General referred to the "the collaboration with the three branches of Paraguay, the executive, the legislative and the judiciary, to advance freedom of expression and the safety of journalists", and their "active participation in UNESCO’s International Hydrological Programme, through the International Center of Hydro-informatics for the integrated management of water resources created within the ITAIPÚ Binacional".
At the award ceremony, in addition to the Minister, his secretary, Carlos Ruckelshaussen, the head of international visits of the Ministry, Américo Cajes, and Leticia Casati, Minister and Chargée d'Affaires a.i. of the Permanent Delegation of Paraguay to UNESCO and Sila Estigarribia, Deputy Permanent Delegate of Paraguay, were also present.
The General Conference of UNESCO today named Audrey Azoulay (France) to the post of Director-General of the Organization. Ms Azoulay was nominated on 13 October to take the place of outgoing Director-General Irina Bokova (Bulgaria) by UNESCO’s Executive Board.
The President of the 39th session of the General Conference Zohour Alaoui, congratulated the new Director-General at the end of a vote that endorsed the choice of the Executive Board.
“I now think of all the people I met in recent months, or had met in my various professional capacities, who have great expectations from UNESCO,” declared Ms Azoulay to the General Conference. “I think of UNESCO’s mandate, which is strikingly modern. I think of all of you who are aware of the difficulties of the Organization but who know that it is irreplaceable, that it is essential, in facing current global challenges and who aspire to the unity and serenity necessary to let it exercise its mandate to best effect.”
Born in 1972, Ms Azoulay was France’s Minister of Culture and Communication from February 2016 to May 2017. She has occupied senior positions in France’s public broadcasting sector and then served as rapporteur to France’s public auditing authority, the Cour des compte, and as a European Commission legislative expert on issues of culture and the media.
Ms Azoulay served France’s National Cinema Centre (CNC), first as Deputy Audiovisual Director, then as Director of Financial and Legal Affairs, and finally as Deputy Director-General. She is a graduate of the Ecole National d’Administration and the Paris Institut d’études politiques. Ms Azoulay also holds a Masters degree in Business Administration from the University of Lancaster (UK).
Ms Azoulay is the 11th Director-General of UNESCO and the second woman to occupy this position. She will take office on 15 November.
On 9 November 2017, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO and Sabrina Ho, a rising young cultural entrepreneur and philanthropist based in Macau and Hong Kong, signed a strategic partnership agreement to empower young women and men by investing in their creative potential.
The Director-General described the agreement as an important step forward, saying, “The cultural and creative industries employ more young people than any other sector. Supporting young artists and cultural entrepreneurs is one of the best investments we can make, for our societies and for our future.”
As UNESCO’s youngest strategic partner, Ms Ho said, “I firmly believe partnership is the new leadership and will, to the best of my abilities, mobilize others to invest in our future by taking on innovative educational approaches to introduce sustainable opportunities for young creative entrepreneurs.”
The partnership will support UNESCO’s International Fund for Cultural Diversity (IFCD), which, since 2010, has provided nearly $7 million in funding to projects that support the emergence of dynamic cultural industries in developing countries. In line with both parties’ shared commitment to the advancement and empowerment of youth, the partnership will sponsor IFCD projects that build the entrepreneurial skills of young creators and entrepreneurs through innovative training and education initiatives, support and nurture new creative start-ups and businesses, and foster access to markets for young entrepreneurs in the cultural sector.
As a young cultural entrepreneur herself, Ms Ho’s partnership with UNESCO is the natural outgrowth of years of advocacy for the arts, especially on behalf of Macau’s emerging cultural sector and her involvement with museums around the world.
In 2015, Ms Ho launched Chiu Yeng Culture Limited to promote artistic and cultural developments of Macau, to fortify synergies in the local community and create a sustainable employment environment for young local artists and creative entrepreneurs. Youth are equally fundamental to UNESCO’s programmes and activities, including those at the nexus of culture and sustainable development. With more than 73 million young people currently facing unemployment, UNESCO and Ms Ho are united of the belief that expanding access to the cultural industries and supporting young cultural entrepreneurs is more vital than ever.
The Caribbean and neighboring regions will get a brand new online portal aimed at promoting greater awareness and understanding of tsunamis and other coastal hazards.
The portal developed by the Caribbean Tsunami Information Center (CTIC) to support its initiatives will ensure that all persons in vulnerable coastal communities are prepared and respond appropriately and in a timely manner to a tsunami or another coastal hazard. The overall objective is to inform communities and citizens in order to save lives and mitigate socio-economic impacts of destructive ocean hazards.
Officially hosted by the Government of Barbados, the Caribbean Tsunami Information Center is an initiative of the Caribbean Member States, under the auspices and coordination of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO and its Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Tsunami and other Coastal Hazards Warning System for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions (ICG/CARIBE EWS).
The new CTIC website will be hosted and maintained by UNESCO’s IOC, connecting users to IOC’s global expert network to complement the focus on tsunami hazards.
The CTIC website joins two other regional and international online portals created to promote tsunami preparedness and education:
Visit the new website here: http://ctic.ioc-unesco.org/
For more information, please contact:
Alison Brome (a.brome(at)unesco.org)
In 2016, 1,028 artists in 78 countries around the world came under attack or had their rights violated, according to Freemuse. The nongovernmental organization says this figure represents a two-fold increase compared to 2015 in violations that include harassment and persecution, censorship, imprisonment and even murder.
Artists clearly need and deserve better protection, experts who examined threats to artistic freedoms and ways to secure them at an international panel debate at UNESCO Headquarters on 8 November agreed.
“The challenge is to get verified information and data, and then translate that into positive action on the ground, through national policies and laws protecting artists’ rights”, said Srirak Plipat, Executive Director of Freemuse. “Supporting artists at risk by providing safe havens outside of their counties is very helpful, but we need to address the root causes of attacks on artists. Creating spaces of dialogue between governments and civil society is key”, he added.
Artistic freedom is essential not only to let artists and cultural professionals do their work, but also to the wellbeing and development of people and societies. Yet artists are being silenced and audiences threatened.
In a 2016 survey in Sweden sent to over 6,000 writers and visual artists, one in three respondents reported having come under threat, most often through social media channels. “Even though Sweden has a strong legislative framework and an Action Plan in place protecting artistic expression, these threats often translate into self-censorship by artists,” said Elin Rosenström of the Swedish Arts Council.
Katja Holm, actress, and Vice-President of the International Federation of Actors (FIA), emphasized the importance of empowering artists and civil society. “To monitor violations and get the stories out, the artists themselves need to understand their rights. We also need to better explain why these rights are crucial to our democratic systems”, she said.
A key message from the debate is that strategic partnerships are needed to bring about change. Artists and international artist associations can raise awareness and advocate, but they need governments and the international community to enforce laws and facilitate the movement of artists between countries.
“We need a more systematic, inclusive and international approach to this issue, with all stakeholders involved,” explained Diana Ramarohetra, Artwatch Africa Project Manager of the Arterial Network. “We are now including lawyers and the judiciary in our work. Artists need to be a part of the process, but they need help to organize and engage, especially those from the Global South.”
Much like the frameworks in place to protect journalists, the panel considered development of a UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Artists as a possible way forward. While UNESCO, the European Union and the UN Human Rights Council, among others, work within their respective mandates to secure the right to artistic expression, guaranteed by international human rights conventions, more monitoring and better policies are needed to bring about change. An important contribution is UNESCO’s Global Report “Re-Shaping Cultural Policies” on the implementation of the 2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression. The 2018 edition of the Report, to be launched on 14 December next at UNESCO, will include an up-to-date analysis of policies and measures to support artistic freedom.
The international experts’ panel was organized by UNESCO with Denmark’s, Finland’s, Norway’s, and Sweden’s Permanent Delegations to the Organization within the framework of the 39th session of UNESCO’s General Conference
“13.11” is a six-episode web series dedicated to six life stories of migration rooted within the background of a changing Europe, which goes live on 13 November 2017. The episodes are set in six European cities: Toulouse, Seville, Riga, Hamburg, Lisbon and Bologna on 13 November 2015, the day of the terrorist attack in Paris. “13.11” tells everyday life stories of people linked one to another, no matter their ethnicities and backgrounds.
Themes of our times like migration, development, global interdependence and inequalities between populations are depicted through the feelings of the main characters, highlighting the importance of the “human face” of migration.
On 13 November 2015, Paris experienced one of the worst terrorist attacks in recent European history. That moment created a shift in perception of the central issues surrounding the migration debate from welcome and integration issues towards control and security issues. Out of this context, the web series “13.11”, directed by six directors, was born.
This new web series produced by EleNfant Film is part of the AMITIE Code project developed under the leadership of the City of Bologna, lead city of the European Coalition of Cities against Racism (ECCAR), with the support of UNESCO’s International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities – ICCAR.
The AMITIE Code (Awareness raising on MIgrations, developmenT and human rIghts through local partnErships) is a project which aims to raise awareness among citizens on migration, development and human rights and to train key actors on these issues, including teachers and civil servants working in local authorities.
ECCAR is the regional chapter of the International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities – ICCAR, launched by UNESCO in 2004. ICCAR promotes international cooperation between cities to strengthen advocacy for global solidarity and collaboration, and promote inclusive urban development free from all forms of discrimination, by sharing good practices, knowledge and expertise, and by advancing joint action through the development of participatory city-level policies and initiatives.
You can access the series here