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UNESCO attends the opening ceremony of the West India Committee’s exhibition in London

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 10/24/2017 - 14:35
news_241017_london.jpg © UNESCO 24 October 2017

A number of eminent participants attended the opening ceremony of the exhibition entitled: West Indians: Forefathers of the Metropolitan Police organized by the West India Committee’s at the Museum of London, Docklands last week. The title reflects the fact that it is both a little known and surprising fact that modern policing was introduced by the West India Committee in London in 1798 in the guise of the Marine Police, who are recognised as being the oldest continuously serving police force in the world, having merged with the subsequently formed ‘Peelers’ who were a land based force, to create the Metropolitan Police as known today.  The West Committee not only induced the founding of the river police to guard against millions of pounds worth of theft of expensive goods imported from the Caribbean, but in so doing funded the introduction of a modern approach to law enforcement – preventative policing.

A wide range of stakeholders contributed to the multi-facetted project, including the Thames Police Association that have been custodians of much of the heritage of the Marine Police force that is still based in what was the first police station of its kind, Wapping Police Station, still in use today. Other partners included the Metropolitan Police Service, The Prince’s Trust, Inside Times newspaper, and the Heritage Lottery Fund whose support fuelled the project.

Ms Blondel Cluff, Chief Executive of the West India Committee, remarked on that occasion that heritage was an adhesive force that we should all capture and use for our mutual benefit. She went on to encourage everyone to unleash the potential of the bright young people of the next generation in whom we must entrust the future. On the advice of the Museum of London, Ms Blondel had saved the West India Committee from being wound up several years ago, and has since gathered its extensive library and collection, which had been recently inscribed on the UNESCO Memory of the World International register. There, the founding documents of modern policing are held, together with those of historic initiatives such as the voyage of HMS Bounty, and the building of West India Quay, the longest brick building in the world at the time of its opening in 1802.

Chief Superintendent Dr Victor Olisa, Head of Diversity at the Metropolitan Police, recognized that society had not given due consideration to the fact that the West Indian community had made such an influential contribution to the creation of the Metropolitan Police and global policing. 

Dr Boyan Radoykov, the representative of UNESCO’s Knowledge Societies Division, underscored that this initiative perfectly encompasses what UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme stands for. The MoW Programme, argued Radoykov, seeks to identify and preserve documentary heritage in order to ensure that different communities could use it as a source of information and knowledge.

 The material from the WIC’s MoW-inscribed collection is a repository of historical insights into how policing amalgamated with commerce and industry at the end of the eighteenth century. More importantly, it demonstrates how documentary heritage can, in fact, be a source of shared memory between different peoples.

 He added that the WIC collection “helps us to comprehend the Transatlantic Slave Trade, providing insight into many unacknowledged innovations, institutions and inventions derived directly from the trade.”

 Dr Radoykov ended his intervention by saying: “People and societies must realize that documentary heritage in all its forms, and especially the one of outstanding and universal value, is constantly under attack and threat of destruction, and that consenting to its disappearance would be the biggest failure of our times. For many years, UNESCO, together with its members and partners is striving to raise the awareness of national authorities and other relevant stakeholders about the necessity to improve the conditions for the preservation of, and the increased access to the common heritage of humanity. Your endeavor is the perfect illustration of effective and fruitful institutional efforts deployed to that end, for which I again congratulate you.”

This year, the MoW Programme is celebrating its 25th anniversary, underpinned by a three-fold vision of preserving documentary heritage, providing universal access to it, and raising public awareness of its shared cultural value. 

Categories: News
news_241017_pretoria.jpg UNESCO’s Guy Berger shortly to address participants.© UNESCO 24 October 2017UNESCO kicked off a three day seminar in Pretoria, South African, on Monday 23 October, with participation of judges from 13 countries and the Economic Community of West Africa court. The judges came from countries including Cameroon, Ethiopia, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Mauritania, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, South-Sudan, Uganda, Tanzania, and Zambia.

A total of 20 judges discussed issues ranging from the importance of freedom of expression, journalists’ safety and ethics, through to defamation and Internet shut-downs.

The course is being held in partnership with the Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, with the contribution of the  African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights. The seminar received the support of Denmark and the Open Society Organization.

“You, the African judges, are of great importance for the defence of human rights on the continent,” said UNESCO Assistant Director General for Communication and Information, Frank La Rue, in a welcoming video message.

Elaborating further in person at the course, UNESCO official Guy Berger explained the importance of press freedom in the context of building knowledge societies as a means to sustainable development.

Berger, who is UNESCO’s director for Freedom of Expression and Media Development, stated that courts’ roles in limiting expression to curb abuses should be seen against the broader imperative needing to defend legitimate expression.

“Press freedom, which is vital for African development, can be understood as a 4 point model,” he added. “In terms of this model, a package of media freedom, pluralism, independence and safety creates a healthy media environment for a society”.

A further 4 point model was also proposed for the judges to approach Internet issues. This the ROAM framework which takes account of the extent to which the online world can be structured through the package of human rights, openness, accessibility, and multi-stakeholder governance.

Lively discussions featured in this and other presentations which dealt with the African Human Rights System, as well as on Self-Regulation and its relevance to the judicial sector.

In mid-November, a follow-up online course will be launched for other judicial actors who could not make it to Pretoria this week. This initiative builds on experience of such a course in Latin America where more than 5000 judges and and legal professionals have been trained in over three years.

Categories: News

Director-General condemns assassination of journalist Haroon Khan in Pakistan

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 10/24/2017 - 11:19
24 October 2017

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has called for an investigation into the killing of broadcast journalist Haroon Khan in the town of Swabi in the northwestern Pakistani province of Khyber Pakhtunwa on 12 October.

“I condemn the killing of Haroon Khan,” said the Director-General. “I call on the authorities to investigate this crime and bring its perpetrators to justice. It is essential that acts of violence against the media be punished as such crimes limit journalists’ ability to carry out their work and the public’s right to be kept informed.”

Haroon Khan, a journalist for several local television broadcasters including Waqt News TV and Mashriq TV, was shot by unidentified gunmen outside his home.

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

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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

TeachHer Regional Teacher Workshop in Panama

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 10/24/2017 - 11:16
604cc38476.jpg © UNESCO 24 October 2017
Categories: News

The National Parks Board of Singapore to receive UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 10/24/2017 - 10:19
24 October 2017

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has named the National Parks Board of Singapore as the laureate of the 2017 UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation. The prize-giving ceremony will be held in Jordan on 7 November as a side event of the World Science Forum that will take place there from 7 to 11 November.

An international jury selected to honour the Singapore government agency in charge of nature reserves and parks for its significant contribution to environmental preservation. The National Parks Board promotes biodiversity in an urban environment through the restauration of habitats and species. It also supports teaching on biodiversity at all levels of education. The applied research conducted by the Board has also helped identify new endemic species of plants and terrestrial invertebrates.

The National Parks Board manages the World Heritage site of the Singapore Botanical Gardens alongside 350 parks and four natural reserves. Working with the Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity, it has developed the Singapore City Biodiversity Index, a self-assessment tool for cities’ biodiversity conservation efforts.

Created 25 years ago thanks to a donation by Sultan Qabus Bin Said Al Said of Oman, the UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation consists of a financial reward of $70,000 dollars, a diploma and a medal. It is awarded every two years.

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Media contact: Djibril Kébé, UNESCO Media Section +33 (0)1 45 68 17 41, d.kebe@unesco.org

 

Categories: News

Don’t just blame the teacher when the system is at fault, says UNESCO

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 10/24/2017 - 02:01
gem_2017_688px.jpg © David Tett Photography / GEM Report 24 October 2017

UNESCO’s 2017/8 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report highlights the responsibility of governments to provide universal quality education and stresses that accountability is indispensable in achieving this goal. The Report, released today, warns that disproportionate blame on any one actor for systemic educational problems can have serious negative side effects, widening inequality and damaging learning.

“Education is a shared responsibility between us all– governments, schools, teachers, parents and private actors,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. “Accountability for these responsibilities defines the way teachers teach, students learn, and governments act. It must be designed with care and with the principles of equity, inclusion and quality in mind.”

Accountability in education: meeting our commitments, the second in the GEM Report series, which monitors progress towards the internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goal for Education (SDG4), looks at the different ways people and institutions can be held accountable for reaching that goal, including regulations, testing, monitoring, audits, media scrutiny, and grass-roots movements.

The Report demonstrates that blaming teachers for poor test scores and absenteeism is often both unjust and unconstructive. It shows, for example, that nearly half of teacher absenteeism in Indonesia in 2013/14 was due to excused time for study for which replacements should have been provided. Similarly, in Senegal, only 12 of the 80 missed school days in 2014 were due to teachers avoiding their responsibilities. People cannot be held accountable for outcomes that depend on the actions of others.

“Using student test scores to sanction teachers and schools makes it more likely they will adjust their behaviour to protect themselves, which may mean leaving the weakest learners behind,” explains Manos Antoninis, Director of the GEM Report. “Accountability must start with governments. If a government is too quick to apportion blame to others, it is deflecting attention away from its own responsibility for creating a strong, supportive education system.”

Whereas transparency would help identify problems, only one in six governments publish annual education monitoring reports. Strong independent bodies such as ombudsmen, parliaments and audit institutions are also needed to hold governments to account for education.

Lack of accountability opens the door to corruption. In the European Union in 2009-2014, 38% of education and training tenders only had one bidder, compared to 16% of tenders in the construction sector, indicating that the risk of corruption is higher in education than in the building industry.

Setting and enforcing regulations ranging from contract tendering to teacher qualifications are also crucial, argues the Report. Fewer than half of low and middle-income countries had standards for early childhood education and just a handful had mechanisms to monitor compliance. There are no regulations on class sizes in almost half of countries.

Government regulations are often too slow to keep up with the fast growth of private schools and universities. In Lagos, Nigeria, only 26% of private schools in 2010/2011 had been approved by the State Ministry of Education. In countries with weak accreditation processes, thousands of students graduate with unrecognized degrees. In Kenya and Uganda, private schools were operating without qualified teachers and with inadequate infrastructure before regulations were put in place and courts shut them down.

Where formal mechanisms fail, citizens play a vital role in holding governments to account for meeting their right to education. In Colombia, a citizens’ campaign successfully challenged the government in court leading to the establishment of free education. In the United States, parents and media successfully lobbied for the removal of climate change denial from textbooks, and students in South Africa were able to halt university tuition hikes.

The Report emphasizes the importance of accountability in addressing gaps and inequalities. Globally, fewer than 20% of countries legally guarantee 12 years of free and compulsory education. There are 264 million children and youth out of school and 100 million young people currently unable to read.

The Report cites an accountability vacuum with donors not delivering on their aid commitments for those in need. The share of aid to education has fallen for six years in a row. At the same time, donors increasingly demand that in exchange for aid, countries achieve results that sometimes divert energy away from systemic improvements in the education system.

No approach to accountability will be successful without a strong enabling environment that provides actors with adequate resources, capacity, motivation and information to fulfil their responsibilities. The Report calls on governments to:

  1. Design accountability mechanisms for schools and teachers that is supportive and avoid punitive mechanisms, especially those based on narrow performance measures.

  2. Allow for democratic participation, respect media freedom to scrutinize education and set up independent institutions to handle complaints.

  3. Develop credible and efficient regulations with associated sanctions for all education providers, public and private, that ensure non-discrimination and the quality of education.

  4. Make the right to education justiciable, which is not the case in 45% of countries. 

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Media contact Kate Redman on +33(0)67178 6234, k.redman@unesco.org

Notes to Editors:

Join in the conversation online @GEMReport / #CountOnMe #GEM2017

See also: https://gemreportunesco.wordpress.com/

The Global Education Monitoring Report (GEM Report) is developed by an independent team and published by UNESCO. It has the official mandate of monitoring progress in meeting the Sustainable Development Goals for education.

Categories: News

Director-General condemns killing of journalists Dilshan Ibash and Hawker Faisal Mohammed in Syria

Unesco Most Programme - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 11:57
20 October 2017

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has denounced the killing of journalists Dilshan Ibash and Hawker Faisal Mohammed in Syria on 12 and 13 October respectively.

“I condemn the attack that killed journalists Dilshan Ibash and Hawker Faisal Mohammed along with many other civilians,” said the Director-General. “I call on all to protect the safety of journalists, their right to carry out their work and society’s right to be kept informed, which can be vital in conflict situations.”

Dilshan Ibash died in a car bomb explosion in Abu Fas, in eastern Syria, while Hawker Faisal Mohammed sustained head injuries in the blast and died in hospital the following day. Both victims were reporters of the Hawar News agency. A large number of civilians, many of them internally displaced people, died in the blast, and many more were injured.

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

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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

The Current Urban Transition – Focus on Africa

Europaid - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 11:44
Categories: News

SWITCH Africa Green

Europaid - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 11:29
Categories: News

Justicia juvenil indigena Panamá

Europaid - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 01:25
Categories: News

Justicia juvenil indigena Panamá

Europaid - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 01:22
Categories: News

Indigenous juvenile justice in Panama

Europaid - Fri, 10/20/2017 - 00:32
Categories: News

Director-General condemns Mogadishu bomb attack that claimed hundreds of lives including that of journalist Ali Nur Siad-Ahmed

Unesco Most Programme - Thu, 10/19/2017 - 17:31
19 October 2017

Irina Bokova, the Director-General of UNESCO today denounced the bomb attack in the capital of Somalia that killed hundreds of people, including freelance journalist Ali Nur Siad-Ahmed.

“I condemn this horrendous attack and the death of Ali Nur Siad-Ahmed,” said the Director-General. “There can be no justification for the slaughter of civilians and it is essential that violence should not be allowed to curtail freedom of expression and the media’s ability to do their work.”

Freelance video journalist Ali Nur Siad-Ahmed was reportedly on duty when a car bomb exploded at a busy intersection in Mogadishu on 14 October killing some 270 people. Among the hundreds of injured were at least four other journalists, Abdulkadir Mohamed Abdulle , who worked for the Voice of America, Mohamed Omar Bakay of Goobjoog Radio, Abdullahi Osman of Mandeeq Radio, and two freelancers, Abdiqani Ali Adan and Ahmed Abdi Hadi.

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

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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

How can UNESCO better engage with youth – let’s ask them!

Unesco Most Programme - Thu, 10/19/2017 - 14:54
19 October 2017

Former child soldiers, young refugees, social entrepreneurs and environmental activists are all set to come together at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris from 25 to 26 October 2017 for the 10th edition of the UNESCO Youth Forum – Rethinking youth engagement with UNESCO.

In a shift from past practice, UNESCO is bringing a smaller group of 60 young change-makers to the global discussion table, treating them as actors and partners, and not just mere recipients of its work. The Forum will serve as a hub for concrete suggestions about how UNESCO can improve its engagement with young people. This represents a considerable change in direction for the Organization’s biennial event, and is the first forum organized in this way by a UN agency.

 “There are currently 1.8 billion young people between the ages of ten and 24 in the world. This is the largest youth population ever, and a huge opportunity to harness the power of younger generations to drive positive change,” says UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova.

One in ten of the world’s children live in conflict zones and 24 million of them are out of school. Political instability, lack of jobs and limited space for political and civic participation have led to increasing isolation of young people around the world.

The new format of the Youth Forum will connect young women and men from all over the world, who are already leading initiatives in their communities on some of these primary challenges, to UNESCO with the aim of ensuring better collaboration and more responsive programming.

“We often ask ourselves how we can better respond to the needs of youth, but who understands these needs better than the young? It is therefore vital that we take the lead in moving away from treating young people as mere beneficiaries of our work to engage them as actors and partners in developing concrete solutions that meet the challenges they face,” added Irina Bokova.

This step towards working more closely with young change-makers factored into the 2030 Development Agenda – Leaving no one behind. UNESCO’s decision to transform the 10th UNESCO Youth Forum into a springboard for youth on the front lines of the world’s most pressing issues marks an important step towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Starting in 1999, the UNESCO Youth Forum has been an integral part of the Organization’s General Conference. At the end of the two-day Forum, the youth participants will compile a series of recommendations on how UNESCO can better engage with youth, as well as concrete suggestions for collaboration. The Forum will also help determine ways that UNESCO can continue working with young change-makers at a regional and sub-regional level.

 

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Selection of participant profiles

Maha AlSalehi is a young researcher and activist from Yemen who leads #IAmYemen – a media campaign to advocate for peace and promote conflict resolution in the country. Maha also participated in the progress study on Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security.

Jose Pedro Gioscia is a young man from Uruguay who harnessed the power of video-gaming to encourage young men and boys to take a stand against the street harassment faced by many women in the region, by providing them with a virtual experience of what it is like to walk in a woman’s shoes.

Manyang Reath Kher is a young orphan from Sudan. Manyang lived in a refugee camp for 13 years before moving to the United States to study. He founded his own coffee company in Ethiopia to provide employment opportunities for Sudanese refugees.

Mark Lozano is a young social entrepreneur from the Philippines, who founded “One Million Lights”. This organization provides rural communities with solar-powered lighting, enabling children to do better in school and adults to work in safe environments away from the dangers of kerosene lamps.

Moitshepi Matsheng is a young woman from Botswana. Orphaned by AIDS, Moitshepi persisted with her education and co-founded Young 1ove, an organization that provides proven effective sexuality education to young women in southern and eastern Africa.

Temi Mwale is a young woman from the United Kingdom and a Forbes “30 under 30”. She grew up in one of the country’s most notorious public housing complexes where she particularly witnessed youth gang, violence from a young age. She currently leads the 4Front Project, which aims to address the root causes of youth urban violence.

Saddam Sayyleh is an orphan who grew up in a Palestinian refugee camp in Jordan. With no family support and suffering from both physical and emotional abuse at the hands of adults in the camp, he dropped out of school as a teenager. As an adult Saddam returned to education and founded ILearn, a programme that meets the very specific educational needs of young refugees and children that have been left behind.  He has since been awarded a US State Department fellowship and Ilearn has grown to serve 12,000 people in eight locations across Jordan and within refugee communities.

 

 

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Journalists wishing to participate in the Conference should comtact: Djibril Kébé, UNESCO press service, +33 (0) 1 45 68 17 41, d.kebe@unesco.org

For more information about the Forum, please contact: Ashley Baldwin, a.baldwin@unesco.org

 

Categories: News

Pollution: Global Impact, Global Solutions

Europaid - Thu, 10/19/2017 - 11:33
Categories: News

Indigenous juvenile justice in Panama

Europaid - Thu, 10/19/2017 - 01:31
Categories: News

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