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Europaid - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 20:10
Categories: News

Hard Rain Project wins UNESCO education prize with dazzling mix of arts and science

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 16:44
hard_rainproject_c-mark_edwards-hard_rain_project-news.jpg © Mark Edwards/Hard Rain Project 18 October 2017

“We cannot be ordinary people any more,” says Mark Edwards, founder of the Hard Rain Project, one of three winners of the UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) 2017. “Our global problems are too serious.”

The prize, which is funded by the Government of Japan, consists of three annual awards of USD 50,000 for each recipient.

Featuring exhibitions, a film, books, a documentary talk and educational materials, the UK-based winning project, brings together art and science to engage audiences in dealing with the challenges around sustainable development. 

The original 60-metre long Hard Rain exhibition, which links the words of Bob Dylan’s iconic song ‘A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall’ to a series of Mark’s photographs, is a moving and involving experience that shows how our problems are linked by cause and effect and need to be tackled together.

Since its start in 2006, some 15 million people have seen the exhibition at over 150 venues in Europe, the USA, Africa and Asia and tens of thousands of people have emailed the project in response.

The successor exhibition WHOLE EARTH?, which grew out of the debate sparked by those mails, focuses on the opportunities provided in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the areas of climate, energy, fresh water, oceans, agriculture, poverty and education, and ways to participate. It has been shown at over 50 universities in Europe, Africa and Asia with venues in Europe, the United States and South America to come.

Mark was the first photographer to specialise in environment and development issues and spent 30 years travelling to over a hundred countries. “I have learnt about the SDGs from people at the sharp end of the debate. The idea in our exhibitions is to give these people a voice, and work with leading figures in the arts and science, together with students, to reach out to a wide public and show the solutions hidden in our global problems.”

The exhibitions, books and Mark’s talk show how, “We can reinvent the modern world so it is compatible with nature. We can all live more sustainably in our own lives, but we also need to bolster the resolve of political leaders to act in favour of the future. They want to help create a secure world - they have kids and grandchildren, but they need widespread public support to make this extraordinary transition to a more sustainable world.”

Despite the huge numbers who have seen both exhibitions, the Hard Rain Project has so far been largely funded by the sale of Mark’s photos.

“The prize is absolutely marvellous. It’s really helpful to have the stamp of approval from UNESCO and the funding means we can start work on our next exhibition, set in a maze. And we can rebuild our awful website!

“The Whole Earth Maze will bring alive the SDGs. Achieving the goals demands solutions to the problems highlighted in the original Hard Rain exhibition. Poverty, hunger, climate change, inequality, and the destruction of ecosystems are among the challenges the planet’s governments have signed up to deal with by 2030.

“Visitors are moved to leave feedback and to re-visit. The uncertain path through the Maze will add a further element of fun and interactivity to the exhibition. The passages through the Maze illustrate the Goals.

“Cul-de-sacs show viewers our current problems; taking a wrong turn puts a visitor face-to-face with a sustainability issue in a novel manner. Reaching the core, visitors will see proven solutions - from governments, business, civil society and citizens - that illustrate how the Goals can actually be delivered. Visitors will get lost, find their way, and leave transformed!”

The ceremony to award the recipients will be held at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris on 3 November 2017. As with all winners of the UNESCO-Japan Prize, UNESCO will invite the Hard Rain Project to join its Partner Networks of the Global Action Programme on ESD (GAP) and foster close, long-term collaboration.

Categories: News

Director-General deplores attack on"telewi{ion executive in Afghanistan

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 14:19
18 October 2017

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the attack of 12 October on television executive Shir Mohammad Jahish in Afghanistan’s Baghlan Province that left the television channel director injured and his bodyguard, Amanullah Haqiar, dead.

“I condemn the attack on Shir Mohammad Jahish and Amanullah Haqiar, during which the latter was killed,” said the Director-General. “Attempts on the life of media workers threaten journalists’ ability to carry out their work, which is essential for democracy and good governance.”

Unidentified gunmen opened fire on the vehicle of Shir Mohammad Jahish, director of the local television channel Tanweer TV, as he was driving home with his bodyguard Amanullah Haqiar, who died in the attack. Mr Jahish sustained light injuries during the shooting, which took place in the town of Pul-i-khumri, in northeastern Afghanistan.

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,, +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

Director-General urges investigation into killing of journalist Efigenia Vásquez Astudillo in Colombia

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 12:57
18 October 2017

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the killing of radio journalist Efigenia Vásquez Astudillo on 8 October in Tumaco, in the southwest of Colombia.

“I condemn the killing of Efigenia Vásquez Astudillo,” said the Director-General. “I call on the authorities to investigate this crime, which undermines both freedom of expression and freedom of information, rights that are crucial to any democracy.”

Efigenia Vásquez Astudillo, a reporter and presenter for community radio station Renacer, was shot while covering clashes in Tumaco.

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,, +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

Is science starting to oil the wheels of Ghana’s development?

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 10:56
focus_flickr_5130081_t3_en.jpg © UNESCO

Science, technology and innovation (STI) will be the bedrock for Ghana's socio-economic transformation in the coming years, if the new government’s policy statements are anything to go by. So says George Essegbey, Director of the Science and Technology Policy Research Institute (STEPRI) of Ghana’s Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) andlead author of the chapter on West Africa in the UNESCO Science Report. He delivers the following account of developments in Ghana since the report was published in November 2015.

Things have been moving fast in Ghana, since Nana AddoAkufo-Addowon the presidential election in December 2016. One of the government’s priorities has been to revise the National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy adopted in 2010. The Minister for the Environment, Science and Technology (MESTI), Prof. Kwabena Frempong-Boateng, chairs the Technical Committee in charge of the revision. The minister’s deputy and chief directors also sit on the committee, along with representatives of stakeholder groups and the Director of STEPRI.

In August this year,MESTI organized a national consultative workshop of stakeholders to engage industrial players, civil society organizations and the media in discussing the Draft National, Science, Technology and Innovation Policy and to solicit their input.

The draft policy will be approved and adopted by the Cabinet once it has passed through Parliament. A science, technology and innovation bill is currently been drawn up to take the policy forward. It makes provision for establishinga Presidential Advisory Council on Science, Technology and Innovation (PACSTI).

PACSTI will strengthen the linkages between the central point of decision-making in Flagstaff House (the Presidency) and MESTI and its agencies. PACSTI is fundamentally an effort to embed science, technology and innovation (STI) at the pinnacle of Ghana's governance structure in the hope that STI will be more proactively harnessed and exploited in the national interest, in future.

PACSTI will be responsible for coordinating and monitoring implementation of the revised policy and other national STI programmes. It will also draw on the expertise of academia and other key stakeholders, including the diaspora.

A national fund for science, technology and innovation

The draft policy makes provision for setting up a National Science, Technology and Innovation Fund. The scientific community has been calling forsuch afund for years.

The previous government had set the wheels in motion forsucha research fund but its main purpose would have been to appease the academic community following the government’s decision to cancel the payment of research allowances to academic staff. The present government intends to pursue this policy. All research allowances will be cancelled and the new Research Fund will be placed under the Ministry of Education.

In parallel, the new National Science, Technology and Innovation Fund will be placed under MESTI. This fund will be accessible to researchers and all potential inventors and innovators from both the public and private sectors. Thus fund should help Ghana to reach its goal of raising investment in research and development (R&D) from 0.38% of GDP in 2010 to 1% of GDP in the short-to medium-term.

Investment in astronomy and space science

President Akufo-Addo reiterated this goal at the inauguration of the Ghana Radio Astronomy Observatory in Kuntunsenear Accra on 24 August this year.(1)

Ghana is collaborating with eight other African countries(3) to build the world’s largest radio telescopein South Africa, the Square Kilometre Array (SKA). Each of the partners has committed to converting their redundant telecommunications dishes into satellite dishes as part of their contribution to the project. Once Ghana completes this process in 2019,it will becomeonly the second country on the continent after South Africa to host a Radio Astronomy Observatory. The Ghana Atomic Energy Commission and SKA Africa have cosponsored the dish, whichhas beenbuilt by Ghanaians trained by South African expertswithin the SKA’s Human Capital Development Programme.(1)(2)

When Ghana joined the SKA project in 2007, it had no astronomy programme. Since then, numerous Ghanaian scientists and engineers have been trained in Ghana, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Although there were no articles on astronomy recorded in international journals between 2008 and 2014, the output of Ghanian scientists across other scientific disciplines almost tripled over this period.

Professor Dickson Adomako, Director of the Ghana Science and Technology Institute, explained at a media briefing how Ghana’s central geographical position enabled astronomers to observe both the northern and southern hemispheres, a drawcard for foreign astronomers. The data collected by the antenna would also help Ghanaian institutions to plan better in a wide range of domains, he said.(2)

Anita Loots, Head of the Africa Planning Office for the SKA project, described Ghana’s observatory as a ‘timely facility’, since attaining the Sustainable Development Goals would depend ‘very much’ on Africa’s ability to gather data in areas such as agriculture and sanitation to make informed decisions.(2)

President Akufo-Addo spoke of the role that the National Science, Technology and Innovation Fund would play in supporting research at the country’s public and private institutes and universities. He added that the government would be making an effort to ‘increase collaboration among research institutions, industry, especially the private sector, and political authorities at all levels. ‘These measures, I hope, will make the transition from research to product development and industrial production much easier’, he said.(1)

A need to diversify the economy

Ghana is one of several West African countries with industries producing value-added goods, according to the regional Policy on Science and Technology adopted by the Economic Community of West African States in 2011. The policy observes that both Ghana and Nigeria have specialized institutes for aeronautics, chemistry, metallurgy and other industries, as well as technology parks and cyber villages.

Ghanian exports are dominated by only a handful of products, however. Gold and cocoa alone accounted for about 53% of exports in 2013, according to the UNESCO Science Report.

Ghana has only been exporting petroleum since 2011 but this accounted for 22% of exports by 2013. A 2014 study by the Institute of Statistical, Social and Economic Research at the University of Ghana pondered whether ‘the increased importance of oil in GDP signaled the risk of Ghana becoming oil-dependent. The study observed that ‘the advent of oil production seems to be changing the pattern of the country’s exports’ and questioned whether Ghana was ‘teetering toward an oil-dominant country, or might the proceeds be employed wisely to diversify the economy?’

Mixed signals coming from government

As recalled by the UNESCO Science Report, the main objectives of the original National Science, Technology and Innovation Policy (2010) were to use STI to reduce poverty, increase the international competitiveness of enterprises and promote sustainable environmental management and industrial growth. The revised policy builds on this foundation.

If there are some strong signals that the government intends to match actions to its words, there have also been some weaker signals. The most obvious one is the exclusion of the Minister of Environment, Science and Technology from the Cabinet (although he is entitled to attend Cabinet meetings). This suggests that STI may not be considered such a top priority, after all.

How financial resources will be allocated to the agencies responsible for STI is another issue that is yet to be addressed appropriately. The old order of frugal and stringent government funding for research institutes, in particular, has not changed. Only when it does will the government be seen to be following through on its pledges.

Nevertheless, on the whole, there appears to be a lot of goodwill towards science, technology and innovation in Ghana at the highest levels of decision-making. The scientific community should be able to capitalize on this goodwill to pursue the country’s necessary socio-economic transformation.

1 Akufo-Addo launches Ghana Radio Astronomy Observatory. 24 August, Accra.

2 Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (2017), Launch of Ghana radio astronomy observatory. Government news, Accra, 24 August.

3 Botswana, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa and Zambia; see Box 20.3 of the UNESCO Science Report (2015) for details

Source : George Essegbey, with excerpts from the UNESCO Science Report : towards 2030.

Categories: News

Security Cooperation in Panama (SECOPA)

Europaid - Wed, 10/18/2017 - 01:27
Categories: News

Shahida Hasnain (Pakistan) and Samir Saha (Bangladesh) to receive Carlos J. Finlay UNESCO Prize for Microbiology

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 18:59
17 October 2017

Professor Shahida Hasnain of Pakistan and Dr Samir Saha of Bangladesh have been named as the two laureates of the 2017 Carlos J. Finlay UNESCO Prize for Microbiology. The Prize will be presented to them on 6 November during the 39th session of the General Conference of UNESCO, which will bring together the Organization’s 195 Member State from 30 October to 14 November.

Founder and Chairperson of the Department of Microbiology and Molecular Genetics at the University of Punjab in Lahore (Pakistan), Shahida Hasnain has won numerous distinctions for her work. Her department is today recognized as a centre of excellence both for its equipment and expertise.

Professor Hasnain significantly contributed to advances in research in environmental, agricultural and medical microbiology. She has notably worked on the heavy metal detoxification mechanisms, salt stress tolerance mechanisms, and bacterial morphogenesis.

Dr Samir Saha is the head of the Microbiology Department of the Dhaka Shishu Hospital for children (Bangladesh). He is also the Executive Director of The Child Health Research Foundation at the Bangladesh Institute of Child Health.

As leading researcher in paediatrics, he played a key role in introducing to Bangladesh  vaccines against two bacteria that cause meningitis, which had a direct positive impact on the health of children in the country. He has also led research into the resistance to treatment of some pneumococcal diseases.

The two laureates were named by Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the recommendation of an international jury of experts in microbiology.

The Carlos J. Finlay Prize for Microbiology has an endowment of $10,000, which will be divided between the two laureates. Created in 1977 by UNESCO at the initiative of the Government of Cuba, the Prize rewards scientists whose research has made an outstanding contribution to microbiology and its applications.

Categories: News

Director-General condemns murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia in Malta

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 18:00

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Categories: News

Stimulate youth civic engagement through media and information literacy

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 17:14
news_171017_mil_week.jpg © UNESCO 17 October 2017

The Global Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Week 2017 Youth Agenda Forum will take place on the first day of the Global MIL Week 2017 Feature Conference, on 24 October 2017, in the Caribbean School of Media and Communication (CARIMAC) of the University of the West Indies.

The Youth Forum is an extension of the UNESCO Global Youth Forum in Paris and will include thematic panels and hands-on workshops by various young people and youth organizations and leaders. Workshops will be innovative and creative, incorporating music, memes, poetry etc.

It will be held under the same theme as Global MIL Week 2017, Media and Information Literacy in Critical Times: Re-imagining Ways of Learning and Information Environments.

Building the MIL CLICKS Cloud

One of the main outcomes of the Youth Agenda Forum will be the MIL CLICKS Youth Pact, a commitment of youth to thinking critically and clicking wisely and engage in related advocacy through involvement in UNESCO MIL CLICKS social media innovation.  Youth will bond together to “building the MIL CLICKS Cloud”

MIL CLICKS is a social media innovation powered by UNESCO, partners, and you. It aims to share knowledge, tips, and resources on MIL so that people can acquire MIL competencies in their day-to-day use of social media in an atmosphere of playing, relaxing and connecting. Just as the internet grows and flourished organically.  More information about MIL CLICKS can be found at:

If you will not be able to attend the Youth Agenda in person, you can still get involved by building the MIL CLICKS Cloud or join the MIL CLICKS webinar. The Webinar will take place on 28 October on Twitter!

Global Youth Video Contest

In the framework of the Youth Agenda, UNESCO support our local partners who have launched a Global Youth Video Contest. Youth are invited around the world to create a 2-minute video of them explaining what MIL means to them and how MIL has touched their lives. Three winners will be announced at the Youth Agenda Forum.

Prize: 20,000 JMD (approx. 150 USD)

Deadline for submission: 20 October 2017

See how to submit a video here:

Feature Conference in Jamaica

The Global MIL Week 2017 Feature Conference, the Seventh MIL and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) Conference, will be held from 24 to 27 October, in the Jamaica Conference Centre, in Kingston, Jamaica.

If you have not yet registered for the conference, you can still do so, last minute registration is open until 9 October 2017. Register here

The draft conference agenda is now available online.

Plan and Register an event/activity to join the Global MIL Week Movement to put MIL on the Development Agenda

Your MIL-related event/activity can be online or offline to take place before, during or soon after the designate period of Global MIL Week 2017.

Your event/activity will be showcased on the Global MIL Week 2017 global events map as above, as part of the global celebrations!

Register your event/activity now. When we stand/sing together, we draw attention and create collective and positive change!

UNESCO and partners suggest to media, schools and libraries around the world respectively with 6 low-cost ways to celebrate Global MIL Week 2017. See below the links to the posters in multiple languages:

Low-cost Ways for Media (English, French, Spanish, Chinese), Libraries (English, French, Spanish, Chinese) and Schools (English, French, Spanish, Chinese) to Celebrate Global MIL Week 2017.

Global MIL Week 2017 official website: (English) (Français) (Español) (中文) (Русский)


Contacts: Alton Grizzle,; Isabel Viera,; and Jing Xu,

Categories: News

“Sulitest” results highlight level of awareness on challenges addressed by SDGs

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 10:45
17 October 2017

The Sustainable Literacy Test (Sulitest) evaluates knowledge about the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) among students ij higjeb education. The  findings of 2017 report emphasizes a relative homogeneity in the level of awareness amongst the 17 SDGs, even if significant differences are identified with average scores of expected  correct answers ranging from 34% to 67%. The SDG4 stands at 57% meaning that the challenges addressed by this specific SDG need to be tackled more urgently in terms of education and awareness.

The Higher Education Sustainability Initiative (HESI), a partnership between United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs, UNESCO, United Nations Environment, UN Global Compact’s Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) initiative, United Nations University (UNU), UN-HABITAT and UNCTAD, was created in 2012 in the run-up to the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio+20).

The Sulitest is introduced as an international initiative aimed at raising awareness on sustainability and assessing sustainability literacy through an online training and assessment tool: The Sustainability Literacy Test. The 2017 report was launched in July 2017.

Average awareness on challenges addressed by the 17 SDGs (% of expected correct answers)

The trends highlighted in the above graph rely on the results of the Core Module during the 2016 – 2017 academic year. The Sulitest Core Module uses 30 questions covering a comprehensive scope of sustainability. The Core Module uses the same question bank for every respondent worldwide.

In addition, each question is attached to one or up to 3 SDGs so that the results can be interpreted in line with the SDG framework. Taking the 30 questions used in the Core Module allows the full scope of the 17 SDGs to be covered. The sample of respondents for the academic year 2016-2017 is 16,575 students from 170 universities in 31 countries.

This global result indicates that the level of conscious on challenges addressed by the SDGs is relatively homogenous: there are neither SDGs with a very low level of awareness (i.e. under  10%) nor SDGs with complete awareness (i.e. over 90%). This heterogeneity highlights the need for the development of education and initiatives to raise awareness on specific SDGs.

The Sulitest has been created to make sure current and future decision-makers have sufficient awareness on sustainability challenges to take informed and effective decisions and to collectively build a sustainable future.

UNESCO remains committed to monitoring the progress towards the achievement of Target 4.7, with a focus on Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship. Regular reports, news, analyses, publications and links to data sets produced by UNESCO and its partner provide evidence that indicate how the world is progressing towards the achievement of the Target.

Categories: News

Zimbabwean ‘green oasis’ school wins UNESCO sustainability education prize

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 10:03
zimbabwe_green_oasis-c-sihlengeni_primary_school-drupal.jpg © Sihlengeni Primary School 17 October 2017

A ‘whole institution’ approach to sustainable development has turned a primary school in an arid stretch of Zimbabwe into an oasis with a rehabilitated forest, fruit trees, nutrition garden and livestock. The project, which has improved the local environment while generating income, has been awarded the 2017 UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD).

The prize, which is funded by the Government of Japan, consists of three annual awards of USD 50,000 for each recipient.

Sihlengeni Primary School in Umzingwane District, in the heart of the arid Matabeleland South Province of Zimbabwe, was awarded for its remarkable Permaculture Project. The initiative has transformed not only the school but also the surrounding areas with practical and learning activities involving everyone from the 17 teachers and 738 learners to their parents and members of a neighbouring community.

Head teacher and project manager Sibanga Ncube said of the win: “We are very delighted especially as it was so unexpected. It is a tribute to the many sacrifices made by our teaching staff and to the tremendous cooperation of our parents, most of whom are low-income subsistence farmers who need assistance with so many aspects of their lives. They do everything from dig ditches to carrying out agricultural tasks.”

The project began in 1995 after the school received training in permaculture, a system of agricultural and social design, which draws on patterns and features in the natural ecosystem to develop and maintain the environment.

In a school situation, it uses the principles of ESD to provide quality education as well as increased access to a clean environment, food and water. It impacts on the alleviation of hunger and increases knowledge on food consumption habits.

In practice, this means that learners, parents and teachers at Sihlengeni plant exotic and indigenous trees, grass, millet and maize. They also introduce ground cover to mitigate land degradation and deforestation. They have rehabilitated a forest and also kept chickens and pigs. Some of the food produced is used to feed infants with the rest being sold locally.

“Visitors are so surprised that we have created this oasis with oranges, pawpaws and tomatoes and they want to know how they can do the same in such a dry area,” said Mr Ncube. “And as far as learning activities go the Sustainable Development Goals are at the heart of everything that our teachers do.”  

The school promotes inclusive and quality education, lifelong learning and gender equality through all of its activities. Alongside a conventional curriculum, it offers formal and informal instruction in crop and animal husbandry, horticulture, cookery and ICT training. This often leads to students forming their own small-scale businesses when they leave.

The school got its initial funding from small levies from parents as well as larger funding and is currently self-sustaining. This new boost will go towards expanding existing agricultural activities with more plant and animal husbandry.  There are plans to use manure from the pigs to produce biogas, keep bees, rear goats, cultivate mushrooms, fence the rehabilitated forest as well as undertake additional training and research.

“We would also like to improve water harvesting techniques by adding more reservoirs serving the school,” said Mr Ncube.

The school, which has already won a string of awards, has held two field days to share their achievements with others in the surrounding provinces and prize money from the UNESCO award will also be used for wider promotion.

UNESCO’s Director-General and the Japanese Minister of Education will award the Prize in a ceremony at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris on 3 November 2017. As with all winners of the UNESCO-Japan Prize, UNESCO will invite Sihlengeni Primary School to join its Partner Networks of the Global Action Programme on ESD (GAP) to foster close, long-term collaboration.

Categories: News

Upcoming Event: ASEAN Forum of National Boiethics Committees (NBCs) on Haze Pollution in Jakarta, Indonesia

Unesco Most Programme - Tue, 10/17/2017 - 09:50

The ASEAN Forum of National Bioethics Committees (NBCs) on Haze Pollution will be hosted by UNESCO Jakarta Office on the 6th and 7th of December 2017.

The Forum will focus on the application of bioethical and human rights principles contained in the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights to the social and environmental aspects of haze pollution in Southeast Asia. Participants of the Forum will include:

  • Members of the National Bioethics Committees from ASEAN countries
  • Representatives of other relevant national entities, such as the Environmental Agencies from the region
  • Regional and international environmental NGOs
  • Representatives of the private sector
  • International and national experts

The Forum is organized in the framework of Malaysian Funds-in-Trust project on addressing the problem of haze from bioethical and sustainability science perspectives. It uses the Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights, adopted with acclamation by UNESCO in 2005, to frame the debate on haze pollution, and to generate evidence-based, ethically derived recommendations for relevant actors and stakeholders.

To facilitate the discussions and to guide the generation of evidence-based recommendations during the Forum, UNESCO is partnering with institutions in Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia to conduct collaborative research on the ethical, social and legal implications of haze in the region.

As a preparation for the Forum, two expert group consultations were held at the national level:

For more details of the background on the ASEAN Forum of National Bioethics Committees on Haze Pollution, please click here.

Categories: News

Coopération Sud-Sud : la Mauritanie s’inspire de l’expérience sénégalaise en matière d’alphabétisation (in French)

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 18:25
alphabetisationsenegal.jpg © UNESCO

Grâce au programme de renforcement des capacités (CapED) de l’UNESCO, le Sénégal a obtenu, ces dernières cinq années, d’importants résultats dans l’amélioration de la qualité des programmes d’alphabétisation, et notamment la professionnalisation du personnel d’alphabétisation.

Parmi les principaux résultats on notera : la conception de modules de formation pour les facilitateurs et enseignants polyvalents, la formation de 2.260 enseignants polyvalents dont 655 femmes (2015 et 2016), la mise en place d’un dispositif de Validation des Acquis de l’Expérience (VAE) pour les facilitateurs, l’élaboration d’un modèle pédagogique de formation professionnelle pour les jeunes analphabètes et la définition d’un modèle d’éducation bilingue pour le système formel. Ces résultats démontrent un réel engagement de l’Etat du Sénégal, qui, suivant les orientations de l’Objectif de Développement Durable 4 (ODD4), et grâce à son savoir-faire avéré, sert ainsi de modèle.

Fort de ce constat, une délégation d’une quinzaine de personnes, composée essentiellement de cadres du ministère de l’Education Nationale et du ministère des Affaires islamiques et de l’Enseignement originel, séjournera à Dakar du 16 au 20 Octobre 2017. Cette visite d’étude permettra d’échanger les bonnes pratiques en matière de programmes d’alphabétisation entre les deux pays et de renforcer les capacités dans le domaine du dispositif de pilotage et suivi et évaluation.

Cette opportunité de coopération sud-sud a été facilitée par les bureaux de l’UNESCO à Dakar et à Rabat dans le cadre du programme CapED.

Pour plus d’informations, consultez notre page Facebook.

Alphabétisation et éducation non-formelle

Renforcement des capacités nationales de formation, de supervision et de gestion des enseignants

Le programme de renforcement des capacités (CapEFA) des enseignants au Sénégal

Categories: News

Underwater glider on record-breaking scientific exploration of the Indian Ocean

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 17:22
rsz_challenger_flags_typo_news.jpg © UNESCO

The underwater glider Challenger broke the world record for longest ocean glider nonstop journey after covering 6,200 kilometers between Fremantle, Australia, and the coast of Sri Lanka.

Launched on 5 November 2016, the Challenger reached its first recovery point off the Sri Lanka coast on 27 September 2017, completing the longest journey of an ocean glider to-date.

The Challenger Glider Mission is the first science expedition to circle the entire globe by completing a 128,000-kilometer-journey across the five ocean basins. Alongside UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC), scientists and institutions made up a global team able to push the limits of technology to capture an unprecedented wealth of undersea data for the benefit of international scientific research.

The Challenger Mission has been conceived as an international concerted response to the urgent need for better understanding of our ocean’s critical role in regulating the changing climate. The scientific data collected will ultimately benefit the people who rely on the ocean for their livelihoods and wellbeing. In the Indian Ocean, alone, this means approximately three billion people affected by ocean currents and weather systems. Exploring the Indian Ocean is crucial to unveil trends and information needed for effective science-based management and decision-making.

The Challenger initiative also has an educational dimension, providing open access and real-time data that help improve ocean literacy all over the world. Ocean literacy – awareness of one’s impact on the ocean and the ocean’s impact on our wellbeing – is a theme of growing interest to scientists and policy-makers alike, as they seek to educate citizens about the importance of protecting and sustainably using the ocean and its resources, many of which are threatened by human activities.

From Sri Lanka, the Challenger will then move towards South Africa where it will be recovered and set on return course bound to Australia.

The Challenger Glider Mission was made possible by the collaboration of the University of Western Australia and Rutgers University, with support of UNESCO’s IOC and over 20 institutions across 13 nations. It is has also been endorsed by the Second Internaional Indian Ocean Expedition (IIOE-2) as an activity of key relevancy to the IIOE-2 Science Plan.

For more information, please contact:

Nick d’Adamo (nick.dadamo(at)

Categories: News

UNESCO and ICCROM Join Forces to Protect Cultural Heritage

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 14:43

Paris -- The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property (ICCROM) signed a landmark agreement on Friday 13 October in a new effort to address mounting threats to cultural properties worldwide.

Under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed at UNESCO’s Paris headquarters, the two agencies agreed to intensify efforts to implement the 1972 World Heritage Convention. They will also boost cooperation in addressing a number of specific challenges, including destruction of cultural property in armed conflict, disaster risk management, illicit trafficking in heritage objects and new risks to intangible cultural heritage.

“The agreement stems from our joint commitment to protect cultural heritage endangered by ever-increasing hazards of both natural and human origin, including pillage and neglect,” said ICCROM’s Director-General, Dr Stefano De Caro.

“UNESCO and ICCROM have intensified their cooperation to respond to the new threats of cultural cleansing and systematic destruction of heritage. This agreement is a step further to foster new and long-term responses to protect sites and share a narrative about our shared heritage as a force for peace,” declared UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova.

The agreement represents a new milestone in the long-term partnership between UNESCO and ICCROM, who for many years have worked together to protect cultural heritage and preservation, most notably for the implementation of the World Heritage Convention. Under the agreement, the agencies will increase their cooperation on training and capacity-building, especially in the Middle East, the Arab world and sub-Saharan Africa, as well as on creating and sharing information resources and on public outreach and advocacy to support heritage conservation work.

The two organizations also agreed to work closely to integrate fundraising activities and streamline management and administrative processes, so as to make their joint programmes more cost efficient and better aligned with the priorities of Member States and the donor community.

ICCROM was created as a result of a 1956 decision of UNESCO's General Conference in New Delhi to establish a centre dedicated to the study of questions related to heritage conservation and protection. ICCROM is located in Rome, Italy, and has a Regional Office in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.  UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, established in the aftermath of the Second World War, based in Paris, France and with 53 field offices around the world.


Categories: News

At Vatican, Director-General Affirms Education as Ethical Imperative

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 10/16/2017 - 12:21

On 16 October 2017, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova shared her vision of education as a public, moral and societal responsibility in a special session on “Ethics in Action” organized at Casino Pio IV, seat of the Pontifical Academy of Sciences at the Vatican.

Gathering religious leaders from different faith traditions, academics, business and labor leaders and development practitioners, the session entirely dedicated to education was part of the “Ethics in Action” initiative, hosted by the Pontifical Academies, in partnership with the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Religions for Peace and the University of Notre Dame.

Welcoming participants, Monsignor Marcelo Sanchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academy highlighted the importance of changing education to integrate new learning methods and foster inclusion.

Recalling the words of His Holiness Pope Francis when they met in 2016 when he affirmed that “education is an essential dimension of human dignity and for the fight against exclusion and poverty,” Ms Bokova traced the stakes of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, and in particular SDG4.

 “Today more than ever, we must educate for inclusion, for dialogue and tolerance, for living together -- we need to teach solidarity, mutual respect and peace. I see this as the frontline in our struggle to build a more just, more peaceful world.”

 “Education must be about more than transmitting information. It is about values, critical thinking, the ethics of development,” she affirmed.

 She warned that the exclusion of children and youth from education – especially of girls and young women – compounded by the humanitarian crisis - is “throwing a shadow over the development of entire societies.”

 She emphasized the fundamental role of faith leaders and community leaders for changing mindsets and speaking out against violence and intolerance.

 “We share with Pope Francis the idea that education is about practicing a ‘grammar of dialogue,” which is a foundation for exchange, for mutual understanding and respect, to make the most of cultural and religious diversity as a strength.”

She outlined UNESCO’s work to empower girls and women through education, advance the concept and practice of global citizenship as well as education for sustainable development.

Citing from Laudato Si, Pope Francis’ encyclical, in which he calls for “a distinctive way of looking at things” to find urgent responses to environmental decay, she affirmed that UNESCO’s leadership on education for sustainable development “is fundamentally about each of us leading the way through our behaviours, attitudes, consumption patterns and commitment to solidarity.”

Professor Jeffrey Sachs, Director of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, focused his intervention on the urgency of access for all and scaled up financing, pointing to the direct correlation between education and economic growth.

"For hundreds of millions of children there is practically no way to get a rudimentary education. There is nothing more central to the SDG agenda than this, " he said, highlighting the $40 billion annual financing gap. "You would think it would be an easier sell, " he said, warning that development cannot be expected when less than 30% of African youth complete secondary school.

In a further keynote, Professor Dan Wagner, UNESCO Chair on Learning and Literacy at the University of Pennyslvania, defined the ethical  challenge as focusing on those at the bottom of the pyramid. "We need a learning equity agenda and index to reduce social gaps. We need to convince ministers of education  to invest in the bottom of the pyramid. Majority approaches will likely maintain and increase inequalities in the future."

The two-day programme encompasses sessions on social inclusion, science and technology, university and youth leadership, and a new ethical education, and will close with the adoption  of a shared statement.



Categories: News

Audrey Azoulay nominated by UNESCO Executive Board for the post of Director-General

Unesco Most Programme - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 01:26
img_4124.jpg Audrey Azoulay© UNESCO / C. Alix 13 October 2017

Paris — The 58 members of UNESCO’s Executive Board on 13 October nominated Audrey Azoulay of France for the position of Director-General of the Organization, replacing outgoing Director-General Irina Bokova.

The nomination will be submitted to the vote of the General Conference that brings together all 195 Member States of the Organization every two years on 10 November.

After five rounds of voting that began on 9 October, the Board’s Chairperson, Michael Worbs (Germany), announced the outcome congratulating Ms Azoulay: "Your previous experience as a government minister and in other senior national and international positions gives you the expertise, competence and depth of knowledge you will need if you are entrusted with the supreme leadership of our Organization."

Born in 1972, Audrey Azoulay served as France’s Minister of Culture from February 2016 to May 2017. She began her career in the offices in charge of supporting public broadcasting in France and went on to serve as rapporteur for the French public audit authority, Cour des Comptes, and legal expert for the European Commission in the fields of culture and communication. She successively held the positions of Deputy Director for Multimedia Affairs, Chief Financial and Legal Officer and Deputy Director-General of the French National Centre of Cinematography (CNC). Ms Azoulay is a graduate of France’s school of public administration, the Ecole nationale d’administration, and holds an MA in Business Administration from the University of Lancaster (UK) and a degree in political science from the Institut d’Etudes Politiques (France).

UNESCO Member States presented nine candidates for the position: Polad Bülbüloglu (Azerbaijan), Qian Tang (China), Moushira Khattab (Egypt), Audrey Azoulay (France), Juan Alfonso Fuentes Soria (Guatemala), Saleh Al-Hasnawi (Iraq), Vera El-Khoury Lacoeuilhe (Lebanon), Hamad bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari (Qatar), Pham Sanh Chau (Viet Nam).

Categories: News