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New online portal promotes tsunami awareness and education in the Caribbean

Unesco Most Programme - Fri, 11/10/2017 - 11:09

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)

Categories: News

At UNESCO, Experts Urge Improved Protection for Artists and their Freedoms

Unesco Most Programme - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 16:36
creativity_unesco_2_688px.jpg © UNESCO 09 November 2017

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

Categories: News

Fighting for Breath

Europaid - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 12:07
Categories: News

Launch of new web series “13.11” on migration in Europe

Unesco Most Programme - Thu, 11/09/2017 - 10:55
1311_web_series_800px.jpg © UNESCO

“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

Watch the teaser (English subtitles)

Contact: Linda Tinio, l.tinio(at)unesco.org

Categories: News

A stronger right to seek and receive information, but more curbs on the right to impart, says new UNESCO study

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 17:56
news_wtr_081117.jpg Christian Leffler, Deputy Secretary-General of the European External Action Service; Alice Bah Kuhnke, Swedish Minister for Culture and Democracy; and Frank La Rue, Assistant Director-General of for Communication and Information of UNESCO© UNESCO 08 November 2017

UNESCO unveiled the key findings of the World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development: Global Report 2017/2018, to its 195 Member States at a side event to the Organization’s General Conference this week.

Among the major media trends over the past five years identified by this study are:

  • A stronger right to seek and receive information, but more restrictions on the right to impart. 
  • More plurality of information, but no change in gender inequality in and through the media.
  • Strains on business models mean more dependence on outside influence, although media institutions – as well as Internet companies – are giving greater attention to self-regulatory standards.
  • Growing attacks on journalists – a trend that may have been even worse if it were not for the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

These key findings of the UNESCO World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development: Global Report 2017/2018 were presented alongside the Communication and Information Commission of the 39th session of the General Conference.

In their opening remarks, Assistant Director-General Frank La Rue; Swedish Minister for Culture and Democracy, Ms Alice Bah Kuhnke; and Deputy Secretary-General of the European External Action Service, Mr Christian Leffler, spoke about the importance of press freedom and the safety of journalists.

UNESCO’s Director of Freedom of Expression and Media Development, Mr Guy Berger, presented the study’s key findings to an audience of over 150 Member State representatives, civil society activists and academics. Mr Berger emphasized the unique scope of the study, and highlighted the link between freedom of expression and media development in achieving the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The World Trends Report analyzes developments across the four key focus areas of media freedom, pluralism, independence and the safety of journalists since 2012.

Over the period, large internet companies have emerged as key platforms for individuals to access news and information, while also facilitating the proliferation of unverified news across their networks. Assessing this issue, Swedish Minister Alice Bah Kuhnke called for efforts to boost media and information literacy to counteract propaganda and disinformation.

“Now more than ever, critical thinking and source criticism are so important to see through the façade of false information,” she said.

Tunisian journalist and media expert, Ms Chadia Khedir, moderated an expert panel who commented on the significance of trends within the World Trends Report’s key focus areas.

Zoe Titus, Strategic Coordinator at the Namibia Media Trust, argued that the “single greatest challenge to media pluralism on the African continent is financial sustainability and independence of the media.”

The long-time activist for freedom of expression urged policymakers to prioritize the rights of citizens. She emphasized that the establishment of a sustainable and vibrant media is not just for the good of the media, but for the benefit of the broader public in their ability to access information. 

Marius Dragomir, Director of the Center for Media, Data and Society at Central European University, highlighted the systemic underrepresentation of women in the media as a key factor undermining media pluralism.

Quoting the Global Media Monitoring Project, the World Trends Report highlights that only one in three reporters and only one in four media decision-makers are women. Moreover, the ongoing issue of online harassment of women journalists can have a chilling effect on women working in the media, further detracting from media pluralism. 

Carlos Lauria, Head of the Free and Safe Journalism programme at Open Society Foundations, stressed the importance of joint action. He called for greater coordination among Member States, the media, academia and civil society to ensure a safe and enabling environment for journalists. Increased collaboration among key stakeholders has been a significant and positive outcome of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity.

For Lauria, “journalists who come together to push back against violence would prove to be one very effective weapon against those who want to silence them.” 

UNESCO’s Chief of Section for Freedom of Expression, Sylvie Coudray, concluded the session by underlining the opportunity the World Trends Report provides to exchange views among stakeholders and promote debate at the national level and among national policymakers around the world. 

In noting that 2018 will be the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Ms Coudray stated, “the promotion freedom of expression is as indispensable as ever.”

The Government of Sweden supported the World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development: Global Report 2017/2018. UNESCO will further disseminate the study’s findings through regional seminars supported by the Government of Norway in collaboration with Oslo and Akershus University College.

The full study will be published in December alongside the Internet Governance Forum, which will be held in Geneva from 18 to 21 December 2017. 

Links:

https://en.unesco.org/world-media-trends-2017

Categories: News

Improving European Coordination in Fragile States

Europaid - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 15:44
Categories: News

Director-General condemns murderous attack on Shamshad TV in Afghanistan

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 11/08/2017 - 10:30
08 November 2017

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the killing of a media worker during an armed attack on the offices of Shamshad Television in Kabul, Afghanistan, on 7 November.

“I condemn the cold-blooded killing of a Shamshad TV guard and the injuring of a shocking number of the station’s personnel,” said the Director-General. “I hereby extend my sincere sympathy and support to the staff of Shamshad Television and my condolences to the bereaved. I must also salute the courage of Shamshad staff who resumed broadcasting so quickly after enduring the trauma of a full blown terror attack.”

Gunmen disguised as policemen stormed the offices of Shamshad TV killing a guard at the gate and injuring between one and two dozen television workers, six of whom were reported to be in a critical condition at the time of writing. Shamshad TV is a commercial educational, news and entertainment satellite television channel broadcasting 24 hours a day.

The Director-General of UNESCO issues statements on the killing of media workers in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” These statements are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists

****

Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray@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…”

Categories: News

UNESCO and the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz consolidate their cooperation through a Memorandum of Understanding

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 15:12
dg-thomas-carter.jpg © UNESCO

On 6 November 2017, at the Organization’s Headquarters, the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, and the President of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, Thomas R. Carter, signed a Memorandum of Understanding, aimed at strengthening the cooperation between the two institutions in the context of the International Jazz Day, held annually since 2012.

“The spirit of jazz, and its ability to bring people together from all parts of the world and from all walks of life, is unique”, said the Director-General. “The several successful editions of the International Jazz Day strongly testify to the power of this art as a language that speaks to every culture, across generations, joining them together around shared values of respect, understanding and creativity”, added Ms Bokova. “UNESCO has been extremely proud to cooperate with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, to promote common values of tolerance, respect for human rights and social inclusion, and we are glad to be able to deepen our partnership and make it sustainable”, stated Irina Bokova.

“The cooperation existing since 2011 with UNESCO is very dear to us all at the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz”, said Mr Carter. “We are looking forward to consolidating further our fruitful alliance, which emphasizes the exceptional power of jazz in all regions of the world, with annual celebrations held at UNESCO, at the United Nations, in the United States of America, Japan, Turkey, France, Cuba, and, for the years to come, in the Russian Federation and Australia”, added the President of the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. “We need to keep this remarkable momentum, and I am very encouraged by the signature of this MoU that offers a perfectly-relevant setting to this end”, concluded Mr Carter.

Late 2011, UNESCO designated 30 April as International Jazz Day in order to highlight jazz and its diplomatic role of uniting people. International Jazz Day is pioneered by the Director-General of UNESCO and by Herbie Hancock, UNESCO Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue. This major event brings together communities, schools, artists, historians, academics, and jazz enthusiasts all over the world to raise awareness of the need for intercultural dialogue and mutual understanding, and reinforce international cooperation.

Categories: News

Addressing the urgency of action on ocean issues at COP23

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 14:29
infocus_cop23_oceansactionday_drupal.jpg © UNESCO

An all-day event on 11 November 2017, the Oceans Action Day at COP23, will bring together Heads of State, ministers, financial organizations, international agencies, civil society and other key stakeholders to focus attention on the issues related to the ocean and climate and on the practical actions being taken to address these issues.

The Oceans Action Day, part of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action, will focus on: 1) concrete actions and commitments with a special attention to SIDS; 2) linkages of actions with the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) of the signatories to the Paris Agreement; and 3) specific requirements for capacity development.

The Day, co-organized by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, will feature nine sessions on: high-level perspectives on the way forward, science and the ocean, resilience of fisheries and aquaculture to climate change, ocean renewable energy, Blue Carbon, financial resources, ecosystem-based adaptation in ocean and coastal zones, migration and displacement, and keynote addresses on what must be done now to attain a sustainable future. See the detailed program here.

In the concluding session of the Oceans Action Day, the Because the Ocean Signing Ceremony will take place, chaired by the Government of Chile. The Because the Ocean Declaration was launched at COP22 to highlight the relevance of ocean protection in the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and makes a call for all Parties to include ocean protection in their NDCs. Through this event, the Declaration aims to reach more than 30 expressions of support from governments from all regions.

The Oceans Action Day is organized by IOC-UNESCO, FAO, Global Ocean Forum, IUCN, Ocean and Climate Platform, Ocean Policy Research Institute of the Sasakawa Peace Foundation (Japan), and Oceano Azul Foundation/Oceanário de Lisboa (Portugal). Collaborators include Conservation International, Future Ocean Alliance, Government of Chile, Government of Grenada, Government of Seychelles, International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Roadmap to Oceans and Climate Action (ROCA) Initiative, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, The Nature Conservancy, University of Delaware, and World Bank.

For updated information on Oceans Action Day at COP23, please visit: https://roca-initiative.com/oceans-action-day-at-cop-23/

For more information, please contact:

Julian Barbière (j.barbiere(at)unesco.org)

Categories: News

Utilisation des langues nationales et des TIC dans la formation professionnelle au Sénégal (in French)

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 13:13
menuisier.jpg © UNESCO

Dans le cadre de la mise en œuvre du modèle pédagogique formation professionnelle, alphabétisation et TIC initié par l’UNESCO, la Direction de la formation professionnelle du Sénégal (DFPT) a organisé un atelier à Thiès regroupant des experts provenant du domaine du langage, de l’alphabétisation et des nouvelles technologies, du 23 au 28 octobre 2017.

Dans le but de réduire le taux d’analphabètes au Sénégal, le ministère de la Formation professionnelle de l'Apprentissage et de l'Artisanat (MFPAA), en appui avec l’UNESCO Dakar a décidé d’adapter le référentiel du métier de menuisier bois, dont la formation initiale peine à trouver des apprentis. Ce nouveau modèle d’apprentissage espère ainsi promouvoir davantage les formations et les rendre plus attractives auprès d’une population locale et surtout auprès de jeunes apprenants.

Cette rencontre, qui a vu la participation de méthodologues, de linguistes, d’experts en informatique (L’Agence de l’informatique de l’Etat/ADIE, la Direction des TIC, New Africa Consulting…), du directeur de la formation professionnelle et de représentants de l’UNESCO Dakar, avait pour objectif d’adapter les référentiels de formation en menuiserie bois en langue nationale wolof et d’y intégrer les TIC.

Lors de cet atelier l’UNESCO a réitéré son engagement à accompagner le processus d’élaboration de ce modèle jusqu’à la certification des apprenants et des formateurs dans la formation professionnelle. Quant à l’ADIE et la Direction des TIC, elles ont pris l’engagement de doter le projet d’outils informatiques (Tablettes, téléphones android…) de dernière génération afin de permettre aux bénéficiaires d’accéder aux différentes ressources numériques qui seront mises à leur disposition à cet effet.

Enfin, une feuille de route exhaustive des différentes activités a été élaborée. Elle concerne la mise à jour du référentiel du contenu de formation du métier de menuisier Bois (traduction en wolof de toutes les disciplines d’apprentissages, et en intégrant la dimension informatique), élaboration d’un guide du formateur, création d’une plate-forme internet à l’encontre des formateurs et des apprenants, une partie évaluation des compétences des apprenants à venir.

Categories: News

La Voix des Jeunes du Sahel

Europaid - Tue, 11/07/2017 - 11:53
Categories: News

UNESCO and Partners stand against Cultural Cleansing and Violent Extremism

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 23:38
06 November 2017

On the occasion of UNESCO’s General Conference, an international high-level panel on 6 November 2017, brought together Ministers from Iraq and Mali, the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC) and international experts to strengthen cooperation in response to cultural cleansing and violent extremism.

Opening the panel, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, highlighted the key role of heritage protection in forging new strategies for peace and social cohesion in situations of conflict.

“Violent extremists target culture because they know that cultural heritage is a force for resilience. They attack heritage and persecute communities in an overall strategy of ‘cultural cleansing’, because they know the power of culture to delegitimize their claims and false promises. In the face of this threat, we must respond with the ‘hard power’ of military measures. This also calls for the ‘soft power’ of culture and the transmission of history, as a moral and intellectual shield against hatred,” she said.

“Extremists have destroyed many archaeological sites, religious buildings, museums and libraries across Iraq and communities have been deeply affected by this. Rebuilding this cultural heritage is the way for people to leave behind what they have suffered and open a new door; it is essential to national and local reconciliation”, said Faryad Rawandozi, Minister of Culture of Iraq.

“The attacks on Mali’s cultural heritage, whether mausoleum or ancient manuscript, were attacks on our beliefs and way of life in an attempt to undermine us. Our response is to engage everyone in safeguarding, revitalization, rehabilitation and education for the future of Timbuktu”, stressed N’diaye Ramatoulaye Diallo, Minister of Culture of Mali.

Ms Bokova also underscored recent, historic progress in including heritage protection in strategies for peace and security, recalling the adoption of major UN Security Council resolutions (2199, 2347, 2354 and 2379) on the role of heritage protection in the event of armed conflict.

The Director-General reiterated the importance of UNESCO’s cooperation with the ICC, referring to the conviction of Ahmad Al Faqi Al Mahdi for the destruction of heritage in Timbuktu, the first ICC trial that qualified the deliberate destruction of cultural heritage as a war crime.

ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda noted the links between dignity, human rights and cultural heritage and the importance of accountability for crimes against cultural heritage. “When cultural property or buildings dedicated to religion and education are attacked, the adverse impact can also be devastating for associated rights, including freedom of thought, conscience and religion, the right to education, and even economic rights. These serious crimes need to be addressed through the law and deterrence. At my Office, we are dedicated to do our part strictly within the Rome Statute legal framework”, she stated.

Karima Bennoune, Special Rapporteur in the Field of Cultural Rights, further emphasized the need to ensure the right of access to and enjoyment of cultural heritage. “This is a human experience, and it is a fundamental human right. People have died defending their cultural heritage. Going forward we need prevention, accountability and inclusive decision-making”, she said.

Mohamed Elmoctar Cissé, Director of the Library of the Manuscripts of Al Aquib in Timbuktu, spoke of his experience under violent extremist occupation in the city in 2012. “We lived under sweeping prohibition.  When the extremists left, we worked to restore our activities and our buildings, and engaged and educated the youth.  Reconstruction efforts have proven essential to the resilience, reconciliation and recovery of people,” he stressed.

The panel was one of a series of events organized under the theme “UNESCO’s Soft Power Today", highlighting the Organization’s use of soft power across its mandate, in response to today’s challenges to sustainable development and peace building. 

On the same day, UNESCO Director-General and ICC Chief Prosecutor signed a Letter of Intent to strengthen cooperation between the two institutions, in the field of heritage protection.

As part of the awareness-raising efforts, UNESCO’s Director-General unveiled a full-size 3D replica of the monumental Lamassu (winged bull) Statue of Nimrud (modern day Iraq), which was destroyed by extremists in 2015. The unveiling took place in the presence of Faryad Rawandozi, Minister of Culture of Iraq, Francesco Rutelli, President of the Incontro di Civiltà Association (Italy) and Vincenza Lomonaco, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Italy to UNESCO, and Chairperson of the Culture Commission of UNESCO's 39th General Conference.

The statue will be displayed at UNESCO Headquarters for the duration of the General Conference, standing as a symbol of the Organization’s commitment to share history and transmit the values it carries to future generations. 

Categories: News

Ghana accepts Garuda bird to mark handover of World Press Freedom Day

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 17:48
news_06112017_handover_ceremony_wpfd.jpg Hotmangaradja Pandjaitan, Ambassador of Indonesia, hands over Garuda bird statue to Kojo Opong Nkrumah, Deputy Minister of Information of the Republic of Ghana, as host of WPFD 2018. © UNESCO/S.McCabe 06 November 2017

Ghana was officially handed over the organization of the 2018 World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) at a ceremony that took place today in Paris within the framework of the UNESCO General Conference, the biennial meeting of UNESCO’s highest governing body.

Receiving a symbolic Garuda bird statue on behalf of last year’s host, Indonesia, Kojo Opong Nkrumah, Deputy Minister of Information of the Republic of Ghana, emphasized the importance of free media’s contribution to society, and the need to ensure that journalists can exercise their work safely, free of threats. “So much more can be achieved in governance, in an economy and in quality of life when the people and the media are free. And using the Ghanaian success story, we look forward to showcasing this when you join us for this celebration”.

Hotmangaradja Pandjaitan, Permanent Delegate of Indonesia to France, recalled the success of WPFD 2017, which brought together 1500 participants from over 90 countries and led to the Jakarta Declaration, which spells out the media’s role in advancing peaceful, just and inclusive societies. “We stand ready to share our experience with Ghana in order to prepare this momentous event”, he added.

Aki Enkenberg, Senior Adviser at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Finland, referred to his own country’s contribution to the Day in 2016, when Finland was the host country:  “In Helsinki, we brought onboard our long history in securing public access to information, a research conference on safety on journalists and links to artistic and scientific freedom. We are pleased to see the event return to Africa, in Ghana, 27 years after the Windhoek Declaration.”

The global celebration in Accra will feature vibrant debate, discussion, understanding and awareness about current freedom of expression challenges and achievements in Africa and worldwide. 

This year’s theme for the event, ‘Keeping Power in Check: Media, Justice and the Rule of Law’, will explore the interplay between a free press, the judiciary and the rule of law, within the context of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The awarding ceremony of the 2018 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize, one of the most prestigious international awards in this area, will take place on 3 May.  

The event will mark the 25th anniversary of the Day, whose origins lie in the Windhoek Declaration on promoting free, independent and pluralistic media, adopted in Namibia in 1991 and later endorsed by UNESCO’s General Conference.

Categories: News

Coup de projecteur sur les Cercles mégalithiques de Sénégambie (in French)

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 17:33
cerclesmegalithiques.jpg © UNESCO

Paysage sacré qui s’est constitué sur plus de 1500 ans, les Cercles mégalithiques de Sénégambie représentent une référence majeure de l’Histoire sénégambienne qui reste pourtant méconnue, les Cercles étant encore souvent entourés de mystère. Ces dernières années sont néanmoins marquées par l’accumulation de nouvelles connaissances, ainsi que par des efforts pour rendre accessibles ces découvertes à un large public. C’est le cas actuellement à l’Alliance Française de Kaolack, où l’exposition « Mégalithes du Sénégal et de Gambie : dix ans de recherches archéologiques concernant la nécropole mégalithique de Wanar » propose de lever le voile sur ce précieux témoignage du passé.

Inscrits sur la Liste du patrimoine mondial en 2006, les quatre sites de Sine Ngayène, Wanar, Wassu et Kerbatch – répartis le long de la frontière sénégambienne – représentent une concentration unique de plus de 1000 monuments porteurs d’une valeur universelle exceptionnelle. En effet, ces assemblages de pierres de latérite soigneusement taillées et leurs monticules funéraires associés – les tumili – permettent d’en apprendre davantage sur les vestiges d’une société prospère et organisée, à travers sa maîtrise de techniques précises sophistiquées mais aussi ses pratiques sépulcrales anciennes : rites de mise au tombeau, funérailles, ancestralisation du défunt…

Des efforts croissants sont à l’œuvre depuis plusieurs années pour conserver et mettre en valeur ces mégalithes. En tant que site inscrit sur la Liste du patrimoine mondial, les Cercles mégalithiques ont dernièrement été dotés d’un plan de gestion afin de mettre en œuvre une stratégie de conservation durable, suivant une logique d’inclusion des communautés locales vivant autour. Ce travail qui a reçu le soutien du Fonds du patrimoine mondial, est le fruit d’une coopération entre le Centre national pour l’Art de la Gambie et la Direction du Patrimoine Culturel du Sénégal.

De plus, l’exposition qui se tient à l’Alliance Française de Kaolack du 2 novembre au 4 décembre 2017 : « Mégalithes du Sénégal et de Gambie : dix ans de recherches archéologiques concernant la nécropole mégalithique de Wanar » est le résultat de plusieurs campagnes de fouilles archéologiques à l’œuvre depuis 2005. Elle propose ainsi de mieux comprendre la recherche archéologique, mais aussi de lever le voile sur la vie spirituelle et la conception du monde de cette civilisation éteinte. Ces fouilles sont une source de connaissance primordiale sur les temps primitifs et ont permis des avancées notables, toutefois beaucoup de questions restent encore en suspens ou soulèvent des interrogations nouvelles. Par ailleurs, ces monuments protohistoriques restent très peu connus alors même qu’ils représentent un témoignage essentiel de l’histoire protohistorique sénégambienne. En effet, ces impressionnantes édifications sont encore souvent entourées de mystère et font l’objet de nombreuses spéculations.

Il apparaît donc essentiel aujourd’hui de continuer à apporter une attention accrue aux Cercles mégalithiques de Sénégambie, de poursuivre la recherche, mais aussi de s’efforcer de transmettre aux populations les clés pour comprendre et s’approprier la vie de leurs ancêtres à travers ce passé qui représente un pan de l’histoire précoloniale encore insuffisamment mis en valeur.

Ressources :

Les Cercles mégalithiques de Sénégambie sur le site du Centre du Patrimoine mondial

Plan de gestion 2017-2021 des Mégalithes de Sénégambie

Alliance Française de Kaolack

Site de la mission archéologique de Wanar

Categories: News

International Criminal Court and UNESCO Strengthen Cooperation on the Protection of Cultural Heritage

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 16:44

Paris, 6 November--Recognizing the importance of protecting cultural heritage from attack in times of conflict, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, and Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), today signed a Letter of Intent formalizing and further enhancing their collaboration.

The signing of the Letter of Intent took place in the margins of an international high-level panel on “Responding to Cultural Cleansing, Preventing Violent Extremism” at UNESCO Headquarters, in which both Ms Bokova and Prosecutor Bensouda participated.

“The deliberate destruction of cultural heritage not only affects peoples’ historical identity but fuels sectarian violence and hampers post-conflict recovery and peacebuilding. UNESCO and the ICC must strengthen their cooperation for the protection of cultural property in armed conflicts, as this is a humanitarian and security imperative”, said Ms Bokova.

Praising UNESCO for its crucial work, Prosecutor Bensouda emphasized that more can be done, adding that “an effective strategy to address the destruction of cultural heritage requires a multi-faceted and collaborative approach.  UNESCO is a natural partner for my Office and, the ICC more broadly, in confronting the scourge of attacks against cultural heritage within the Rome Statute framework. This Letter of Intent is a recognition of that important relationship and paves the way for continued cooperation.” She added: “cultural heritage is the embodiment of the continuity of the human story, a celebration of our commonality and the richness of our diversity.  We all have a duty to protect cultural heritage. With close collaboration with UNESCO, we hope to make a difference.”

The recent historic ruling of the ICC in the case of the destruction of shrines and mausoleums in Timbuktu (Mali), the first of its kind before the Court, sent a clear signal that intentional targeting of cultural heritage is a serious crime that causes significant suffering to those immediately affected and beyond, and should not go unpunished. The Court subsequently issued a Reparation Order, establishing that the victims of such crimes were entitled to compensation.

The importance of prosecuting those responsible for war crimes against cultural heritage was echoed in the ground-breaking UN Security Council Resolution 2347, adopted in March 2017, the first ever to condemn the unlawful destruction of cultural heritage.  These unprecedented developments have led over the past years to frequent exchanges and collaboration between UNESCO and the ICC Office of the Prosecutor, based on the convergence of aims within their respective independent mandates.

As attacks against culture have regrettably become more frequent, the need for a stronger and more articulated framework of cooperation has become apparent.  In addition to expertise UNESCO has provided in the context of the Al Mahdi case, cooperation has also been at the non-operational level, for example through participation in the ICC Office of the Prosecutor’s new policy initiative on cultural heritage, which is scheduled for finalization and adoption in 2018.  The Letter of Intent signed today builds on these efforts, further solidifying the existing relationship, with a view to establishing a comprehensive cooperation agreement in the near future. 

Categories: News

International Criminal Court and UNESCO Strengthen Cooperation on the Protection of Cultural Heritage

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 16:05
06 November 2017

Recognizing the importance of protecting cultural heritage from attack in times of conflict, Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, and Fatou Bensouda, Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), today signed a Letter of Intent formalizing and further enhancing their collaboration.

The signing of the Letter of Intent took place in the margins of an international high-level panel on “Responding to Cultural Cleansing, Preventing Violent Extremism” at UNESCO Headquarters, in which both Ms Bokova and Prosecutor Bensouda participated.

“The deliberate destruction of cultural heritage not only affects peoples’ historical identity but fuels sectarian violence and hampers post-conflict recovery and peacebuilding. UNESCO and the ICC must strengthen their cooperation for the protection of cultural property in armed conflicts, as this is a humanitarian and security imperative”, said Ms Bokova.

Praising UNESCO for its crucial work, Prosecutor Bensouda emphasized that more can be done, adding that “an effective strategy to address the destruction of cultural heritage requires a multi-faceted and collaborative approach.  UNESCO is a natural partner for my Office and, the ICC more broadly, in confronting the scourge of attacks against cultural heritage within the Rome Statute framework. This Letter of Intent is a recognition of that important relationship and paves the way for continued cooperation.” She added: “cultural heritage is the embodiment of the continuity of the human story, a celebration of our commonality and the richness of our diversity.  We all have a duty to protect cultural heritage. With close collaboration with UNESCO, we hope to make a difference.”

The recent historic ruling of the ICC in the case of the destruction of shrines and mausoleums in Timbuktu (Mali), the first of its kind before the Court, sent a clear signal that intentional targeting of cultural heritage is a serious crime that causes significant suffering to those immediately affected and beyond, and should not go unpunished. The Court subsequently issued aReparation Order, establishing that the victims of such crimes were entitled to compensation.

The importance of prosecuting those responsible for war crimes against cultural heritage was echoed in the ground-breaking UN Security Council Resolution 2347, adopted in March 2017, the first ever to condemn the unlawful destruction of cultural heritage.  These unprecedented developments have led over the past years to frequent exchanges and collaboration between UNESCO and the ICC Office of the Prosecutor, based on the convergence of aims within their respective independent mandates.

As attacks against culture have regrettably become more frequent, the need for a stronger and more articulated framework of cooperation has become apparent.  In addition to expertise UNESCO has provided in the context of the Al Mahdi case, cooperation has also been at the non-operational level, for example through participation in the ICC Office of the Prosecutor’s new policy initiative on cultural heritage, which is scheduled for finalization and adoption in 2018.  The Letter of Intent signed today builds on these efforts, further solidifying the existing relationship, with a view to establishing a comprehensive cooperation agreement in the near future. 

***

 

 

Categories: News

2017 Global Media and Information Literacy Award: Organizations in four countries recognized

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 11/06/2017 - 15:26
news_06112017_global_mil_week_award.jpg Carolyn Wilson, Chair of GAPMIL International Steering Committee; Prof. Jesus Lau, Award Winner; and Alton Grizzle, UNESCO.© UNESCO 06 November 2017

The 2017 Global Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Awards from the Global Alliance for Partnership on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL) have been awarded to the Media Initiatives Centre, Armenia; Professor Jesus Lau of the Veracruzana University, Mexico; The MIL Project France; and the Media Support Centre, Kyrgyzstan.

The Awards ceremony was held at the Global MIL Week 2017 Feature Conference in Kingston, Jamaica.

The Media Initiatives Centre (MIC) received the top prize. MIC’s mediainitiatives.am website is the main platform for media critique and analysis in Armenia.

MIC develops lesson plans, tips, educational games for schools and works closely with the Ministry of Education to integrate what the organization calls media literacy (ML) into school program. The Ministry of Education approved its “Media Literacy” teachers’ handbook.  MIC’s has created “Media Battle”, a media literacy computer game, which has been translated into Ukrainian, Belorussian, Romanian.  MIC also cooperates with libraries and museums combining media aspects with information and library for a comprehensive approach lending to the composite concept of MIL promoted by UNESCO.  

MIC’s joint projects with Azerbaijani and Turkish partners illustrate how films and MIL can be used for better communication, collaboration, and intercultural dialogue.

Professor Jesus Lau received the second place award. He has been a key actor in promoting and advocating MIL in education in Mexico, in Latin America and at the international level.  

He has been an active contributor to the fields of information science and library and information science since 1977.  His research focuses on information literacy and the development of information competencies, and this work has expanded to include competencies in Media and Information Literacy.

He is the author of the International Federation of Library Associations’ International Guidelines on Information Literacy for Life-Long Learning, that has been translated into 11 languages. He coordinated several UNESCO-funded projects: including InfoLit/IFLA, a web-based International Information Literacy Resources Directory. Professor Lau founded the International Information Literacy Conference - the first and oldest in Mexico and in the Spanish-speaking world.

Professor Lau received his award in person and noted that it was time for information and library science professionals and media, communication, and technology professionals and practitioners to stand together sustain MIL for all.

There was tie for the third place between the MIL Project France and the Media Support Centre, Kyrgyzstan.

The MIL Project in France is innovative. Rose-Marie Farenella who was present at the Global MIL Week 2017 feature Conference to collect the MIL Award leads the project. “I am so elated to receive this recognition,” she said. “We have worked with passion and looked into the eyes of the young girls and boys who demonstrated such excitement and pride in their creation”.

It focuses on supporting MIL in young people from the age of 10 years old.  The objective of the project is to give young people the MIL competencies needed to distinguish real news from fake news online.

It aims to sharpen pupils’ critical thinking, to give them intellectual self-defence tools at a critical age, and to help them become cyber citizens who counter racist and xenophobic ideas online. 

The Media Support Center Foundation in Kyrgyzstan is a pioneer in the field of Media Information Literacy (MIL) development in the Central Asian region. It has created a mechanism for MIL integration in the education system.  

The Centre played a lead role in the development of curricula and resource books for teachers, and it developed and piloted programmes for high school youth.

The most innovative part of the project is an online platform for students and teachers named “Media Sabak”.  It provides opportunities for online learning and testing in MIL, where participants can share the results of their learning and earn a certificate.   An upcoming project is the establishment of Media Literacy regional centers for support and mentorship.

The Awards Committee led by GAPMIL deliberated long and hard to select the awardees from among 170 nominations submitted.

GAPMIL promotes international cooperation to ensure that all citizens have access to media and information competencies. It currently has over 500 member organizations from over 110 countries.

 

 

Contact: Alton Grizzle, a.grizzle@unesco.org

Categories: News

Mobilizing ocean science and civil society for sustainable development

Unesco Most Programme - Sat, 11/04/2017 - 12:11
article_ioc_gc39_sideeventfollowup.jpg © UNESCO

On 2 November 2017, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, with the support of the Government of Norway, hosted a side event to mobilize more coordinated efforts across nations and sectors for generating new knowledge and understanding of the ocean, and therefore improve management, stewardship and sustainable development of 71% of our planet.

Organized during UNESCO’s 39th General Conference, this side event benefited from the special participation of Ms Irina Bokova, UNESCO Director-General; Mr Peter Thomson, the United Nations Secretary-General’s first-ever Special Envoy for the Ocean; and Mr. Bjørn Haugstad, Vice-Minister of the Ministry of Education and Research of Norway.

In their opening remaks, they called jointly for a United Nations Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030): The Ocean We Need for the Future We Want. Peter Thomson argued that now more than never, “we need good science to make good decisions” to protect our ocean.

The side event promoted this major effort by the IOC of UNESCO and many other stakeholders to achieve Sustainable Development Goal 14 on the conservation and sustainable use of the oceans, seas and marine resources. Ms. Bokova emphasized that “scientific cooperation and diplomacy are essential” to creating the collective framework needed to achieve SDG14 by 2030. 

A round table panel complemented the high level and special addresses, featuring IOC Executive Secretary Vladimir Ryabinin; IOC Chairperson Peter Haugan (Norway); the Vice-Chancellor of the Universiti Malaysia Terengganu, Prof. Nor Aieni Haji Mokhtar; and the Executive Director of Tara Foundation and representing the Ocean and Climate Platform, Romain Troublé.

Panelists notably discussed the need to boost international cooperation in ocean observations and mapping – only 10% of the ocean has been mapped and less than 0.05% of the ocean floor has been mapped at highest resolution – as well as capacity development and transfer of marine technology.

The Global Ocean Science Report, the flagship UNESCO publication published earlier this year, was also mentioned as it provides a comprehensive assessment of the status of ocean science and trends, and will greatly contribute to track progress on SDG14 and the Decade of Ocean Science.

Questions from the audience, including those following via webcast, addressed mainly how the Decade proposes to integrate the private sector and civil society more largely in its programme of work. Peter Thomson concluded the side event with a promise that as Special Envoy for the Ocean, he will seek to bring all ocean stakeholders together in an alliance to support the Decade of Ocean Science.

Around 110 people participated in the side event, both in the room and online following the webcast.

For more information, please contact:

Julian Barbière (j.barbiere(at)unesco.org

Categories: News

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