Twitter icon
Facebook icon
LinkedIn icon
RSS icon

You are here

Andrés Roemer to be designated UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Societal Change and the Free Flow of Knowledge

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 16:21
05 September 2017

The Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova, will designate the Mexican writer and public figure Andrés Roemer as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Societal Change and the Free Flow of Knowledge in a ceremony at UNESCO’s Headquarters on 8 September at 6.30 pm.

The appointment comes in recognition of Mr Roemer’s commitment to promoting free and pluralistic societies as a contribution to peace and human rights. It also recognizes his support for the sciences, culture and sustainable development, and his dedication to the ideals and aims of the Organization.

In his capacity as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Mr Roemer will notably support UNESCO’s Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme and activities related to the humanities and philosophy.

UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors are an outstanding group of advocates who promote the ideals of the organization. They extend and amplify UNESCO's work and mission and have generously accepted to use their talent and status to help focus the world's attention on the work of the Organization.

****

Journalists wishing to attend the ceremony are requested to contact Djibril Kebe at UNESCO’s Media Services: d.kebe@unesco.org, +33(0)145681741

Categories: News

Andrés Roemer to be designated UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Societal Changes and the Free Flow of Knowledge

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 16:21
05 September 2017

The Director-General of UNESCO, Ms Irina Bokova, will designate the Mexican writer and public figure Andrés Roemer as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Societal Changes and the Free Flow of Knowledge in a ceremony at UNESCO’s Headquarters on 8 September at 6.30 pm.

The appointment comes in recognition of Mr Roemer’s commitment to promoting free and pluralistic societies as a contribution to peace and human rights. It also recognizes his support for the sciences, culture and sustainable development, and his dedication to the ideals and aims of the Organization.

In his capacity as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Mr Roemer will notably support UNESCO’s Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme and activities related to the humanities and philosophy.

UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors are an outstanding group of advocates who promote the ideals of the organization. They extend and amplify UNESCO's work and mission and have generously accepted to use their talent and status to help focus the world's attention on the work of the Organization.

****

Journalists wishing to attend the ceremony are requested to contact Djibril Kebe at UNESCO’s Media Services: d.kebe@unesco.org, +33(0)145681741

Categories: News

Literacy in a digital world at heart of International Literacy Day, 8 September 2017

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 13:17
ild_visual2.jpg © UNESCO 30 August 2017

This year’s UNESCO International Literacy Prizes will be awarded to laureates from Canada, Colombia, Jordan, Pakistan and South Africa on the occasion of International Literacy Day, celebrated on 8 September. This year’s Literacy Prizes and celebration will focus on literacy in a digital world.

The prize-giving ceremony will be organized at UNESCO Headquarters and be part of the Organization’s  global celebration of the Day, held in the context of the 2030 Education Agenda by which the international community has pledged to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and lifelong learning for all.

This year’s event will bring together stakeholders and decision-makers from different parts of the world to examine how digital technology can help close the literacy gap and gain better understanding of the skills needed in today’s societies. This is particularly important considering that 750 million illiterate people around the world, 63% of whom are women, still lack basic reading and writing skills. This population includes 102 million young people (aged 15-24), of whom 57% are female, according to UNESCO Institute for Statistics.

“Digital technologies permeate all spheres of our lives, fundamentally shaping how we live, work, learn and socialize,” says UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova in her message for the Day. She emphasizes the importance of rethinking and improving skills required to take part in the digital world: “These new technologies are opening vast new opportunities to improve our lives and connect globally—but they can also marginalize those who lack the essential skills, like literacy, needed to navigate them.”

At 5 pm on the Day, Ms Bokova will host the International Literacy Prizes ceremony during which each laureate will present their programmes and receive a medal and a monetary award.

The two awards of the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize dedicated to mother-tongue literacy education and training, sponsored by the Republic of Korea, will be given to:

Centre for the Study of Learning & Performance (CSLP) at Concordia University (Canada), for the Using Educational Technology to Develop Essential Educational Competencies in Sub-Saharan Africa project, which develops and distributes its material internationally free of charge.

We Love Reading (Jordan), a programme with a virtual community that offers online read-aloud trainings for parents,  mobilizes volunteers to read aloud in community spaces to children and provides age-appropriate material through a digital library.

The three awards of the UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy, supported by the Government of the People’s Republic of China and rewarding work that benefits rural populations and out-of-school youth, particularly girls and women, will be given to:

AdulTICoProgram of the Secretariat of Information and Communications Technologies of the city of Armenia (Colombia), for teaching digital competencies to seniors.

The Citizens Foundation (Pakistan) for its Aagahi Literacy Programme for Women and Out-of-School Girls, which conducts digital educational needs assessments and provides teaching services to support the education of younger girls and older women.

FunDza (South Africa) for its readers and writers project to develop a culture of reading and writing for pleasure through an online platform that provides reading courses and writing competitions as well as connecting readers and writers.

As part of International Literacy Day, the UNESCO-Pearson Initiative for Literacy: Improved Livelihoods in a Digital World, a partnership between UNESCO and Pearson, will present its first batch of case studies on how inclusive digital solutions can improve livelihoods.

****

To cover International Literacy, journalists Day should request accreditation from Djibril Kebe, UNESCO Media Section, d.kebe@unesco.org, +33145681741

Feature stories concerning literacy are being posted daily on the International Literacy Day website (from 28 August to 8 September) and you can follow #LiteracyDay on UNESCO’s social media accounts, @UNESCO, for literacy updates. 

Categories: News

Director-General and First Lady of China Award Girls’ and Women’s Education Prize

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 12:17
dg-girls-womens-ed-prize-first-lady-china-infocus.jpg © UNESCO

Before over 1,000 cheering students, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and the First Lady of China and UNESCO Special Envoy awarded the Girls’ and Women’s Education Prize to laureates from Thailand and Peru, during a ceremony at the University of Xiamen on 5 September.

“Today the Government of the People’s Republic of China hosts this Ceremony during the BRICS Summit. I see this as a symbol of a clear political choice to nurture gender equality as a development multiplier for all,” said the Director-General, thanking China for its generous support to the Prize, now in its second edition. 

“The face of the new global agenda must be that of a young girl in school, learning, not forced to marry or work. For this, we need champions to break new ground and this is the story of our laureates today. 

China’s Minister of Education Mr Chen Baosheng, expressed his country’s strong support for the advancement of gender equality and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

“It is hoped that, through this Prize, successful experience will be shared and more people will be encouraged to join efforts to promote gender equality worldwide.” 

He outlined a range of measures in place to provide assistance to disadvantaged girls in rural areas, as well as to eliminate disparities in the workplace, including through technical and vocational education and training, and lifelong learning opportunities. “Girls and women’s education is important for all societies and we will continue to work with UNESCO and Governments to deliver the 2030 agenda on education.” 

The Director-General and Professor Peng, UNESCO Special Envoy for the Advancement of Girls’ and Women’s Education, awarded the certificates to the two laureates, from Thailand and Peru. 

The Development and Education Programme for Daughters and Communities Center in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region  in Thailand 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 project provides education and life skills training to protect migrant girls and women from the risks of human trafficking and sexual or labour exploitation, and has benefited more than 7,000 learners directly and 100,000 women indirectly. 

The Mini Academy of Science and Technology – MaCTec Peru is commended for “Mobile MaCTec Bus Labs/Mini Academy of Science and Technology” project to empower girls from rural areas through quality science education and reduce the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The project has been developed in partnership with state authorities, private donors and the academic community. 

In the context of the BRICS Summit, a special mention was also jointly given to South Africa’s WomenEng programme for empowering girls to pursue STEM subjects through unique pedagogies and mentoring. 

The award ceremony ended with performances by the arts troupe and choir of Xiamen University choreographed for the occasion, accompanied by the institution’s Symphony Orchestra. Entitled “Beautiful Dream,” the dances celebrated the nations present at the BRICS Summit, as well as the engagement of students in voluntary services. 

In this regard, the Director-General toured with Professor Peng Liyuan and the First Ladies of  Guinea, Mexico, Thailand and South Africa an exhibition on HIV/AIDS Prevention on Campus – My Youth, My Decision.” This Red Ribbon Campaign has been held on universities across China, bringing public figures to raise awareness about HIV prevention. Activities include health education, voluntary HIV counseling and testing, as well as the championing of HIV prevention through student led-actions, including art works. 

The UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education was established by the Executive Board of UNESCO at its 197th session in October 2015. It consists of two annual awards of USD 50,000 to honour outstanding contributions made by individuals, institutions, non-governmental organizations or other entities engaged in advancing girls’ and women’s education.

Categories: News

Director-General and First Lady of China Award Girls’ and Women’s Education Prize

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 12:17
dg-girls-womens-ed-prize-first-lady-china-infocus.jpg © UNESCO

Before over 1,000 cheering students, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and the First Lady of China and UNESCO Special Envoy awarded the Girls’ and Women’s Education Prize to laureates from Thailand and Peru, during a ceremony at the University of Xiamen on 5 September.

“Today the Government of the People’s Republic of China hosts this Ceremony during the BRICS Summit. I see this as a symbol of a clear political choice to nurture gender equality as a development multiplier for all,” said the Director-General, thanking China for its generous support to the Prize, now in its second edition. 

“The face of the new global agenda must be that of a young girl in school, learning, not forced to marry or work. For this, we need champions to break new ground and this is the story of our laureates today. 

China’s Minister of Education Mr Chen Baosheng, expressed his country’s strong support for the advancement of gender equality and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. 

“It is hoped that, through this Prize, successful experience will be shared and more people will be encouraged to join efforts to promote gender equality worldwide.” 

He outlined a range of measures in place to provide assistance to disadvantaged girls in rural areas, as well as to eliminate disparities in the workplace, including through technical and vocational education and training, and lifelong learning opportunities. “Girls and women’s education is important for all societies and we will continue to work with UNESCO and Governments to deliver the 2030 agenda on education.” 

The Director-General and Professor Peng, UNESCO Special Envoy for the Advancement of Girls’ and Women’s Education, awarded the certificates to the two laureates, from Thailand and Peru. 

The Development and Education Programme for Daughters and Communities Center in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region  in Thailand 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 project provides education and life skills training to protect migrant girls and women from the risks of human trafficking and sexual or labour exploitation, and has benefited more than 7,000 learners directly and 100,000 women indirectly. 

The Mini Academy of Science and Technology – MaCTec Peru is commended for “Mobile MaCTec Bus Labs/Mini Academy of Science and Technology” project to empower girls from rural areas through quality science education and reduce the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The project has been developed in partnership with state authorities, private donors and the academic community. 

In the context of the BRICS Summit, a special mention was also jointly given to South Africa’s WomenEng programme for empowering girls to pursue STEM subjects through unique pedagogies and mentoring. 

The award ceremony ended with performances by the arts troupe and choir of Xiamen University choreographed for the occasion, accompanied by the institution’s Symphony Orchestra. Entitled “Beautiful Dream,” the dances celebrated the nations present at the BRICS Summit, as well as the engagement of students in voluntary services. 

In this regard, the Director-General toured with Professor Peng Liyuan and the First Ladies of  Guinea, Mexico, Thailand and South Africa an exhibition on HIV/AIDS Prevention on Campus – My Youth, My Decision.” This Red Ribbon Campaign has been held on universities across China, bringing public figures to raise awareness about HIV prevention. Activities include health education, voluntary HIV counseling and testing, as well as the championing of HIV prevention through student led-actions, including art works. 

The UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education was established by the Executive Board of UNESCO at its 197th session in October 2015. It consists of two annual awards of USD 50,000 to honour outstanding contributions made by individuals, institutions, non-governmental organizations or other entities engaged in advancing girls’ and women’s education.

Categories: News

Nowhere to Run

Europaid - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 11:39
Categories: News

Reducing the digital gap for senior citizens in Colombia

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 10:26
reducing-digital-gap-senior-citizens-colombia-c-unesco-adulticoprogram.jpg ©UNESCO/AdulTICoProgram 05 September 2017

The Colombian ‘AdulTICoProgram’ is awarded the 2017 UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy for providing digital skills to seniors.

The literacy prize goes to the Secretariat of Information and Communications Technologies in the city of Armenia in Colombia, located in the department of Quindío.

The Secretariat works to provide better online services to reduce the digital gap among the residents of the city of Armenia. In 2014, it launched the ‘AdulTICoProgram’ to teach digital competencies to seniors. In 2016, more than 2,275 learners aged between 54 and 80 benefited from the AdulTICoProgram.

The programme includes the teaching of basic computing skills, literacy, the use of social networks, and the appropriate use of mobile devices. The learners participate in interactive trainings through seminar-workshops that are based on a learning-by-doing approach.

Mr Bernardo Arango Restrepo, the Secretary of the Secretariat, says: “Literacy is an important process for the quality of life of every person. Without it, there are many opportunities that one cannot access. Older adults who have not had the opportunity to be literate feel that, as they advance in age, they are rejected and sometimes forgotten. Many consider that adults no longer have the ease of learning, this denies them the opportunity to integrate fully in society.”

Besides being taught digital skills, the learners are also introduced to the opportunities that the internet provides. This increases their ability to use consultation, information and networking services. This skillset positively increases the independence and autonomy of the seniors, and broadens their perspectives and knowledge.

Mr Carlos Fernando Benitez, former Secretary of the Secretariat explains that the project started in 2014 when he met with Cabildo el Mayor, a union representing interests of older adults in the city of Armenia. As the traditional paperwork started being digitized, there was a growing need for not only providing tablets but also deliver the necessary literacy and skills training to use the e-services efficiently.

“Thus began a serious and structured digital literacy project that has been in existence for four years and that has allowed seniors to advance in their technological independence,” says Mr Benitez.

About the lessons learned from the programme, Mr Bernardo Arango Restrepo says: “The Adult program teaches us that every day, regardless of age; we must give ourselves the opportunity to learn. Technology gives us infinite possibilities of communication and access to information that the seniors of the City of Armenia in Quindío, Colombia, have been taking advantage of to overcome barriers related to age and especially with the prejudices about that adults cannot learn new skills.”

This year’s UNESCO International Literacy Prizes will be awarded to laureates from Canada, Colombia, Jordan, Pakistan and South Africa on the occasion of International Literacy Day, celebrated on 8 September. The prize-giving ceremony will be organized at UNESCO Headquarters and be part of the global event. This year’s Literacy Prizes will focus on Literacy in a digital world.

Categories: News

The UNESCO Science Report finds a new public on Wikipedia

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 09/05/2017 - 08:36
focus_wikipedia_t3.jpg © UNESCO

A staggering 500 million people worldwide visit Wikipedia each month, according to John Cummings, who has been Wikimedian in Residence at UNESCO for the past three years. There are currently 354 Wikipedia pages which use text from UNESCO publications. In June 2017, these pages were viewed over 3.2 million times.

Since January this year, a growing amount of information and data from the latest UNESCO Science Report (2015) has been added to this online encyclopedia. ‘UNESCO has been working with the Wikimedia Foundation to extend the report’s reach to the general public’, explains Editor-in-Chief Susan Schneegans. ‘Since the report tracks the level of support for science, technology and innovation worldwide from different social, economic, political and environmental perspectives, it provides information that can appeal to a wide audience’, she says.

As yet, few Wikipedia articles describe trends in the governance of science and technology in developing countries, so remedying this oversight has been an initial priority of the project. Articles from the report have been added, for example, on science and technology in Armenia, Brazil, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Cabo Verde, the five Central Asian republics (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan), the Pacific Islands, United Republic of Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

Articles have also been added to Wikipedia on a variety of topics covered by the report, including south–south cooperation in science, scientific mobility, higher education in Afghanistan, the West Africa Institute, the Gaborone Declaration for Sustainability in Africa, innovation in Malaysia and the European Union’s scientific cooperation with third countries. In parallel, existing Wikipedia articles have been improved through the addition of information and data from the report, such as those on women in science and on science policy in the United States of America. Each of these articles links to the full report on the report portal.

Twenty-five pages have been created, so far, and a further 27 existing pages have been enriched. According to John Cummings, ‘the newly created and improved pages are being very widely read on Wikipedia, collectively receiving 500,000 page views per month, on average’. The great majority of articles appear as the first result in Google searches. This is particularly true for the enriched articles, since these have already established a following among visitors to Wikipedia over time.

John Cummings puts this work in perspective. ‘Over the past 16 years, the English-language Wikipedia has grown to 5.4 million articles’, he says, ‘but it is estimated that 105 million articles are needed for Wikipedia to cover all notable subjects, which at the current rate would take around 150 years!’

It is planned to add more articles from the UNESCO Science Report to Wikipedia over the coming months. As the report profiles 140 countries and provides data on trends in research for as many as 189 countries, there is great potential for adding or enriching more ‘science and technology’ pages. Hundreds of graphics from the report are also being gradually added to Wikimedia Commons. UNESCO is hoping to enlist volunteers to translate these pages into other languages, as part of its outreach strategy. Initially, the focus will be on French and Russian, as the full report also exists in these languages. The report should also be available soon in Arabic and Chinese.

The Wikipedia project has been made possible by UNESCO’s policy of placing its recent publications under a Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike license. These publications are stored in the central UNESDOC repository. The Creative Commons Share Alike (CC-BY-SA) license entitles internauts to use text from any UNESCO publication that carries this logo on its legal page, as in the case of the UNESCO Science Report.

Other articles have been created on Wikipedia using other UNESCO reports, including The United Nations World Water Development Report 2016 and Rethinking Education: towards a Global Common Good? Pages are also being created using the descriptions on UNESCO’s portal of biosphere reserves established by countries through UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme.

Categories: News

UNESCO names laureates from Thailand and Peru for its 2017 Prize for Girls and Women’s Education

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 09/04/2017 - 12:36
04 September 2017

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova has announced the names of the two laureates for the 2017 edition of the UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education. An International Jury recommended the two laureates for their innovative and sustainable projects in advancing girls’ and women’s education.

The Development and Education Programme for Daughters and Communities Center in the Greater Mekong Sub-Region (DEPDC/GMS) in Thailand 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 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. It is recognized as a model that can be replicated in the country and elsewhere in the world.

The Mini Academy of Science and Technology – MaCTec Peru is commended for its “Mobile MaCTec Bus Labs/Mini Academy of Science and Technology” project to empower girls from rural areas through quality science education and reduce the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). The project has been developed in partnership with state authorities, private donors and the academic community. It is scalable and can be replicated in other countries.

The two organizations will each receive an award of USD 50,000 at an official ceremony in Xiamen, People’s Republic of China, on 5 September 2017.

The UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education rewards innovative, outstanding projects advancing girls’ and women’s education. It contributes to two Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): “Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all” (Goal 4) and “Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls” (Goal 5).

Established in 2015 by the UNESCO’s Executive Board, the Prize is funded by the Government of the People’s Republic of China and was awarded for the first time in 2016 to two outstanding projects from Indonesia and Zimbabwe.

****

Media contact: Lucia Iglesias, UNESCO Media Service l.iglesias@unesco.org, +33(0)145681702

Categories: News

China: Kulangsu Celebrates World Heritage Nomination with Director-General

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 09/04/2017 - 12:17
dg-kulangsu-certificate8x6.jpg © UNESCO

Celebrating an exceptional example of cultural fusion, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova presented the certificate of inscription of « Kulangsu : A Historic International Settlement » on the World Heritage List to the Mayor of Xiamen, Mr Zhuang Jiahan, on 4 September, 2017.

The site, inscribed in July 2017 on the World Heritage List, is a tiny island of 13,000 inhabitants, located on the estuary of the Chiu-lung River, facing the city of Xiamen, Fujian Province, China.

After becoming an international settlement in 1903, the island grew into a vibrant center for Sino-foreign exchanges, reflected today in an extraordinary diversity of architectural styles and a fusion of  influences, known as the Amoy Deco Style, a synthesis of early 20th century Modernist and Art Deco.

«This island may be tiny in size, but it is great by the values and spirit it carries, » said the Director-General, before an enthused audience gathered in the Huang Family Villa complex, that exemplifies the fusion of Chinese, Southeast Asian and art deco styles. «This Island gives us hope that the coexistence of architectural styles can inspire us and lead us to the peaceful coexistence of cultures. It offers physical proof of intercultural richness, and we need this message more than ever today. »

In a message published upon the site’s inscription and posted at the entrance to an exhibition on the history of Kulangsu, President Xi Jinping said that «the aim of the inscription is to better protect and utilize the heritage property. Based on its own success, Xiamen should learn from international practices and establish a long-term well rounded mechanism to preserve the cultural heritage handed down from our ancestors and pass the legacy on to the future generations. »   

Xiamen Mayor Zhuang Jihan referred to these words, noting that «we have adopted measures and politices for the sustainable protection of our cultural heritage. We will fulfill our promise made at the Conference for international practices to protect  our heritage like our own life. »

Entirely pedestrian, Kulangsu has preserved the authenticity of its historic buildings and courtyards, together with its natural landscape, with shaded gardens and a lush tropical variety of trees, plants and flowers, to form a harmonious ensemble of outstanding universal value.

Ms Bokova toured some of the Island’s emblematic edifices, including mansions turned into museums, music schools, art galleries, bookstores and coffee parlours, some of which have remained in the same family for several generations. She also visited the Kulangsu Gallery of Foreign Artefacts, the only branch of the Palace Museum outside Beijing, which houses a collection of precious official gifts given over the centuries to Chinese emperors.

The historic settlement where East meets West was a magnet for fertile cultural exchanges, reflected in the rich musical heritage of the Island, which houses a museum dedicated to a unique collection of pianos dating back from the 18th century, as well as one on organs, along with a concert hall and music school. Women from the community gathered to celebrate the inscription with the Director-General, dancing together to local compositions played outdoors on piano and guitar.

«The beauty of the natural landcape and the heritage and cultural wealth has made Kulangsu a common treasure cherished by mankind, » said Education Vice-Minister and Chair of the National Commission of the People’s Republic to China Mr Tian Xuejun. « This inscription will be a shining nameword for Kulangsu to be known by the nation and the world. »

Already a popular tourist destination, the World Heritage label could add further pressure to the site, which authorities plan to address by restricting the number of visitors to the island to 35,000 visitors a day.

The ceremony took place as the 9th BRICS summit got underway in the city of Xiamen.

Categories: News

Cuba issues postage stamps commemorating the 70th anniversary of relations between Cuba and UNESCO

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 09/04/2017 - 12:02
04 September 2017

Two commemorative postage stamps were presented on 29 August at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Havana as part of the celebrations honouring the 70th Anniversary of the Caribbean nation’s entry to the Organization and the founding of the Cuban National Commission for UNESCO (CNCU).

Presiding over the ceremony were Cuban Deputy-Minister of Foreign Affairs, Abelardo Moreno, the First Deputy-Minister of Communications, Jorge Luis Perdomo, the Director of the UNESCO Regional Office for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean, Katherine Muller-Marin, the President of the Union of Writers and Artists of Cuba, Miguel Barnet, and CNCU President Oscar León González.

Representatives of national agencies and institutions working in UNESCO’s areas of competence and programmes, attended the ceremony alongside former presidents of the Cuban National Commission for UNESCO, former ambassadors of Cuba to the Organization and former members of the Executive Board, as well as Cuban personalities who have collaborated with the CNCU.

The 29th of August marked the 70th anniversary of Cuba’s entry to UNESCO, while 17 November will mark the 70th anniversary of the creation of the CNCU, an entity that has since been responsible for the development of close relations between Cuba and the Organization.

The postage stamps depict the nine Cuban sites inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and the country’s two inscriptions on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity: Tumba Francesa (inscribed in 2008) and Rumba in Cuba, a festive combination of music and dance and associate cultural practices (inscribed in 2016).

The 70th anniversary of relations with UNESCO and the creation of the CNCU, have been the subject of celebrations in Cuba throughout this year, which notably included the sixth edition of International Jazz Day in April and the Rumba Route 2017, which has been travelling to different parts of the country in August.  

Categories: News

Community engagement and online literacy empower girls and women in Pakistan

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 09/04/2017 - 12:00
community-engagement-online-literacy-girls-women-pakistan-c-unesco-citizens-foundation.jpg ©UNESCO/The Citizens Foundation 04 September 2017

A Pakistani literacy programme with an online platform for women and out-of-school girls has been awarded the 2017 UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy.

The Citizens Foundation, a literacy programme with an online platform for women and out-of-school girls in Pakistan, has been awarded the 2017 UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy.

The Citizens Foundation was created in 1995 by a group of citizens concerned about the poor state of education in Pakistan. It has since generated positive social change in the country by building and managing schools. Today, the foundation runs 1,441 school units in over 100 of the poorest slums and villages across Pakistan. The community runs 85 % of the foundation’s literacy centres.

“The inspiration for starting an adult literacy programme emerged from the gap in home-school communication as mothers could not read or write, and teachers had no way of reliably communicating with parents,” said Amna Waheed Khalid, the Executive Advisor at The Citizens Foundation.

The programme offers a chance for acquiring literacy, numeracy and basic life skills to help learners become independent and manage everyday tasks related to household management, budgeting and reading and writing. In 2016, the programme enrolled 14,020 girls and women with a completion rate of 77 %.

The benefits of online presence and community engagement for literacy

By going digital, the programme has been able to reach new and wider learner groups through its ‘Aagahi Online’ platform. The management and monitoring has become easier by tracking location, recruiting staff and providing enrolment details of the literacy centres.

The digital platforms open up new possibilities for literacy learning, but the community engagement is as important to advance literacy. “Literacy course materials can be provided at all private schools, they are ready to be downloaded through the website or ordered online,” said Ms Waheed Khalid “If each literate person over the age of 15 years were to teach only one other illiterate person, we would eradicate illiteracy in less than a year.”

An ‘Aagahi’ student, Gul Bano, who mobilized other women and girls in her community to enrol and whose daughter is now a teacher at one of the schools of The Citizens Foundation, stressed on the importance of literacy teaching and learning.

“Everyone feels the need and the will to be literate, but only a few get this opportunity,” he said. “The challenges are the lack of schools, poverty, and social taboos on girls’ education. I think that teaching someone to be literate is a greater service to humanity.”

 In terms of the benefits of winning the Prize award and the future of the literacy programme, Ms Waheed Khalid enthusiastically said:

“We have already gotten calls from the Ministry of Education in the Government of Pakistan, wanting to learn more about our literacy programme! The global recognition of our project is such a wonderful and unique opportunity for us to mobilise national and international support for eradicating illiteracy in Pakistan. We plan to use the prize money to help us scale further while focusing on cost efficiencies through digitization of training content and better inventory management.”

This year’s UNESCO International Literacy Prizes will be awarded to laureates from Canada, Colombia, Jordan, Pakistan and South Africa on the occasion of International Literacy Day, celebrated on 8 September. The award ceremony will be organized at UNESCO Headquarters and will be part of the global event. This year’s Literacy Prizes will focus on Literacy in a digital world.

Categories: News

Sustainable cooling

Europaid - Mon, 09/04/2017 - 11:47
Categories: News

Director-General to Award Girls' and Women's Education Prize

Unesco Most Programme - Sun, 09/03/2017 - 18:00

From 3 to 5 September 2017, the Director-General is paying an official visit to the People's Republic of China, where she will participate in the second Award Ceremony of the UNESCO Prize for Girls' and Women's Education.

The ceremony honouring two laureates takes place in Xiamen, Fujian Province, in the margins of the 9th BRICS Summit that is being held under China's chairmanship, on the theme "Stronger Partnership for a Brighter Future."

During this visit, the Director-General will hand over to Chinese authorities the certificate designating "Kulangsu, a Historic International Settlement" as a new World Heritage site, inscribed in July 2017.

Categories: News

Celebrating Ahmedabad’s World Heritage Inscription

Unesco Most Programme - Fri, 09/01/2017 - 19:51
dg_india_3_800px.jpg © UNESCO

Before a fervent audience, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova presented the certificate of inscription of the Historic City of Ahmedabad on the World Heritage List, the first urban center in India to be inscribed, on 1 September 2017.

“The beauty of Ahmedabad is breathtaking, but the significance of this city lies beyond the physical beauty of its architectural heritage – it lies in its historical symbolism of religious tolerance and peaceful coexistance. The harmony it embraces through its diversity tells a story of religious and cultural exchange and dialogue,” said the Director-General. 

Inscribed on the World Heritage List in July 2017, the walled city founded by Sultan Ahmad Shah in the 15th century, on the eastern bank of the Sabarmati river, presents a rich architectural heritage of mosques, densely packed traditional houses in gated street, as well as Hindu and Jain temples from a later period. 

“We understand that with the World Heritage recognition for the City, greater responsibility has fallen on us to conserve and preserve the heritage value associated it,” said the Chief Minister of Gujarat Shri Vijay Rupani. “We are firmly committed to ensure the authenticity, integrity and conservation of the Historic City of Ahmedabad as required by the UNESCO. I am sure that this first World Heritage City inscription from India will usher urban heritage conservation movement in India in a big way.” 

The Mayor of Ahmedabad, Shri Gautam Shah, affirmed that the city “wants to be a standard to be followed for conservation and management. We should leave no stone unturned to safeguard the outstanding universal value of the city.” 

Ms Sujata Prasad, Additional Secretary to Minister of Culture of the Government of India said that “the world heritage recognition was a living testimony to the multiculturalism of the city and will revitalize our approach to conservation,» noting the need for a paradigm shift to protect cities and save them from encroachment and unplanned settlement.” 

Accompanied by cultural heritage expert Profesor Ravindra Varavada and local authorities, the Director-General toured the Bhadra Fort and Sidi Sayeed Mosque, characteristic of Indo-Islamic architecture. 

«At a time when all socieites are looking for new ays to foster sustainable development, boost innovation and build inclusive societies, we must harness the role of culture and heritage to strengthen the social contract, to create jobs, and most importantly, to celebrate dignity and diversity, » said Ms Bokova. 

In presenting the World Heritage Certificate, the Director-General also recalled that Ahmedabad was the landmark city from where Mahatma Gandhi launched his struggle for freedom. Ms Bokova visited the Sabarmati Ashram Preservation and Memorial Trust – the site of Gandhi’s first ashram founded in 1915, where she viewed one of the largest collections of his original manuscripts, with some 35,000 catalogued items. The Ashram has also developed the Gandhi Heritage Portal, the largest online, open source digital archive on Gandhi’s life and thoughts. 

On September 2, the Director-General will travel to Rani-ki-Vav (the Queen’s Stepwell), a World Heritage Site located in Patan, Gujarat.

Categories: News

Low-cost ways for media, libraries and schools to celebrate Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2017

Unesco Most Programme - Fri, 09/01/2017 - 17:18
news_040817_mil_week.jpg © Shutterstock 01 September 2017

In the present political, social and economic climate globally, promoting media and information literacy (MIL) has never been more crucial. There are simple ways for all stakeholders to get involved and advance the process of “MIL for all”.

As the dates of Global MIL Week 2017 are coming closer, UNESCO is calling all partners and stakeholders from around the globe to join in the Week and celebrate. Global MIL Week celebration will take place from 25 October to 1 November 2017.

Plan a simple MIL-related activity/action, online or offline, around the time of the Week.

Follow our suggestions for low-cost ways to celebrate the Week:

For other types of stakeholders, see 10 ways to celebrate Global MIL Week.

Share your creative actions and promote them globally! Let us know what you are doing! Planned activities/events (online or offline) to celebrate Global MIL Week 2017 should be registered on the website of Global MIL Week 2017.  They will be showcased on the Global MIL Week Global Events Map and shared with the global MIL community. 

This global call is open across the world. While the Global MIL Week celebration will take place from 25 October to 1 November, its Feature Conference will be held in Kingston, Jamaica from 24 to 27 October 2017.

UNESCO spearheads Global MIL Week 2017 in cooperation with the Media and Information and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) University Network, the University of the West Indies, the Global Alliance for Partnerships in Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL), the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC), and many other partners

 

Contact: a.grizzle@unesco.org and ji.xu@unesco.org

Categories: News

Access to Information is the leveler for all inequalities

Unesco Most Programme - Fri, 09/01/2017 - 15:50
news_010917_ipdc_talks.jpg Nnenna Nwakanma promotes access to information and technology platforms for women in Nigeria© UNESCO 01 September 2017

“Access to information is like access to life, information is life. Access to information […] is the leveler for all inequalities,” said Nnenna Nwakanma as she delivered a speech at last year’s IPDCtalks in Paris.

Nnenna is a free and open-source software activist, community organizer and development adviser. Her interest in information technologies and her determination to make them accessible — especially to women — can be traced to her early childhood. She was born the last of three girls in the Eastern part of Nigeria. “My uncles decided they did not want my mother. They did not want the three girls, because the investment has come to zero.” Nnenna explains. “So I was this kind of unwanted and un-named child. Nobody will invest in your education; you get the gift of poverty, and early marriage. You would not have access to water, or electricity or health service. And most definitely, you would not have rights to inheritance or own property”.     

Initially destined to lead such a life, Nnenna’s story is one of a dramatic turnaround. Her father, who had been separated from the family, came back and supported his youngest daughter to establish her own identity. He gave her a name and sent her to the best school the family could afford. Today Nnenna holds several degrees in the fields of social sciences, linguistics, religion, law and international relations.

However, a good education is not the only factor behind Nnenna’s success. “I was one of the very early proponents in Africa to click and to connect. And when I understood the power of technology to give me an identity, to make me a global citizen, and to even serve as a job for me, then I thought: This is me”, explained Nnenna in her speech during the last year’s IPDCtalks.

Today Nnenna is the Senior Policy Manager of the World Wide Web Foundation, an organization founded in 2008 by Sir Tim Berners-Lee to fight for a world where everyone has access to the web and can use it to improve their lives. While the web has been instrumental in Nnenna’s life, many people around the world are still unable to access its benefits. One Web Foundation study shows more than half of the world’s population is still unconnected, with women particularly affected.

With the goal of bridging the online gender gap, Nnenna is deeply involved in fighting for online rights for women, providing relevant content to help women understand their basic human rights, and making the web a safe place in general. To this end, Nnenna strongly advocates for the open data agenda across Africa. She recently pioneered TechMousso, a competition using gender data to bring the tech community together with civil society working on women’s issues in Cote d’Ivoire.

For Nnenna, global efforts to expand internet access, education and online rights can’t come quickly enough. “Let us make it a point of duty that all the people, especially women, should be free and able to access all parts of the Internet all the time.”

In recent years, Nnenna co-founded several organizations working on information-technology issues such as The Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa, The Africa Network of Information Society Actors, and the African Civil Society for the Information Society. She has served as a board member of the Open Source Initiative and as the Information officer for Africa at the Helen Keller Foundation.

Join this year’s IPDCtalks on 28 September at the Paris HQ in order to listen to more stories like the one from Nnenna Nwakanma. For more information on the IPDCtalks, please visit our website: http://en.unesco.org/ipdc-talks

Categories: News

Pages