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Europaid - Tue, 04/25/2017 - 10:58
Categories: News

Director-General launches first-ever policy guide on Education about the Holocaust and Preventing Genocide at World Jewish Congress Assembly

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 16:34
infocus_holocaust_education_guide_2017_688px.jpg © UNESCO 24 April 2017

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova today launched a new policy guide for educators on teaching about the Holocaust and, more broadly, genocide and mass atrocities. Speaking at the 15th Plenary Assembly of the World Jewish Congress in New York, the Director-General characterized the guide as an important tool, which seeks to promote education about the history of genocide as a tool for peace.

“With this innovative and one of a kind policy guide, UNESCO speaks to the next generation of leaders, of teachers, of citizens around the world. We must empower future generations with the lessons from the Holocaust, equip our children and grandchildren with the tools they need to vanquish intolerance and hate, bigotry and anti-Semitism, racism and prejudice,” said Ms. Bokova.

Education about the Holocaust and preventing genocide” is the first step in a series of projects conducted in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and with the support of the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The new guide is designed to be a resource for policy-makers, curriculum developers and textbook writers to engage in or reinforce education about the Holocaust and the prevention of genocide. UNESCO’s policy guide provides effective responses and recommendations to facilitate debate on these issues in classrooms.  

UNESCO’s publication aims to help young people gain a better understanding of the historic dynamics, which have fueled violence. Although examining the difficulties of the past is challenging, understanding the emergence of these phenomena is essential to encourage learners to identify the roots of prejudice, enhance their critical thinking and help them turn their back to all forms of racism, anti-Semitism and prejudice.

“UNESCO is the only United Nations agency to run a dedicated global teaching programme on the history of the Holocaust as a lever against anti-Semitism today, the Director-General said. “We place the fight against xenophobia, racism and anti-Semitism at the heart of our action for peace. I am convinced education, culture and knowledge have become core security issues in the world today to combat violent extremism built on distortions of faith or history.”

United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who was also in attendance, said he would be on the frontlines in the fight against anti-Semitism. In a video message to the plenary, U.S. President Donald Trump spoke of the necessity to combat new forms anti-Semitism.

The World Jewish Congress is an international organization representing Jewish communities and associations in 100 countries around the world. It has been an official partner of UNESCO since 1962. The 15th Plenary Assembly brought together more than 600 Jewish community leaders and representatives to assess and discuss major issues of concern around the world, including anti-Semitism and the rise of extremist political movements.

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For more information on the main points of the guide click here.

Media contact: George Papagiannis, g.papagiannis@unesco.org, +33 1 45 68 17 06

Categories: News

Watch Live interviews for the post of Director-General on 26 - 27 April

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 14:27
Exboard-room.jpg Executive Board Room© UNESCO 24 April 2017
Categories: News

Teaching and Learning about the history of genocide

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 12:20

UNESCO‘s new policy guide on Education about the Holocaust and preventing genocide provides effective responses and a wealth of recommendations for education stakeholders.

What is education about the Holocaust?

Education about the Holocaust is primarily the historical study of the systematic, bureaucratic, state-sponsored persecution and murder of six million Jews by Nazi Germany and its collaborators.

It also provides a starting point to examine warning signs that can indicate the potential for mass atrocity. This study raises questions about human behaviour and our capacity to succumb to scapegoating or simple answers to complex problems in the face of vexing societal challenges. The Holocaust illustrates the dangers of prejudice, discrimination, antisemitism and dehumanization. It also reveals the full range of human responses - raising important considerations about societal and individual motivations and pressures that lead people to act as they do - or to not act at all.

Why teach about the Holocaust?

Education stakeholders can build on a series of rationales when engaging with this subject, in ways that can relate to a variety of contexts and histories throughout the world. The guide lists some of the main reasons why it is universally relevant to engage with such education.

Teaching and learning about the Holocaust can:

  • Demonstrates the fragility of all societies and of the institutions that are supposed to protect the security and rights of all. It shows how these institutions can be turned against a segment of society. This emphasizes the need for all, especially those in leadership positions, to reinforce humanistic values that protect and preserve free and just societies.
  • Highlights aspects of human behaviour that affect all societies, such as the susceptibility to scapegoating and the desire for simple answers to complex problems; the potential for extreme violence and the abuse of power; and the roles that fear, peer pressure, indifference, greed and resentment can play in social and political relations.
  • Demonstrates the dangers of prejudice, discrimination and dehumanization, be it the antisemitism that fuelled the Holocaust or other forms of racism and intolerance.
  • Deepens reflection about contemporary issues that affect societies around the world, such as the power of extremist ideologies, propaganda, the abuse of official power, and group-targeted hate and violence.
  • Teaches about human possibilities in extreme and desperate situations, by considering the actions of perpetrators and victims as well as other people who, due to various motivations, may tolerate, ignore or act against hatred and violence. This can develop an awareness not only of how hate and violence take hold but also of the power of resistance, resilience and solidarity in local, national, and global contexts.
  • Draws attention to the international institutions and norms developed in reaction to the Second World War and the Holocaust. This includes the United Nations and its international agreements for promoting and encouraging respect for human rights; promoting individual rights and equal treatment under the law; protecting civilians in any form of armed conflict; and protecting individuals who have fled countries because of a fear of persecution. This can help build a culture of respect for these institutions and norms, as well as national constitutional norms that are drawn from them.
  • Highlights the efforts of the international community to respond to modern genocide. The Military Tribunal at Nuremberg was the first tribunal to prosecute “crimes against humanity”, and it laid the foundations of modern international criminal justice. The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, under which countries agree to prevent and punish the crime of genocide, is another example of direct response to crimes perpetrated by Nazi Germany. Educating about the Holocaust can lead to a reflection on the recurrence of such crimes and the role of the international community.

What are the teaching and learning goals?

Understanding how and why the Holocaust occurred can inform broader understandings of mass violence globally, as well as highlight the value of promoting human rights, ethics, and civic engagement that bolsters human solidarity. Studying this history can prompt discussion of the societal contexts that enable exclusionary policies to divide communities and promote environments that make genocide possible. It is a powerful tool to engage learners on discussions pertaining to the emergence and the promotion of human rights; on the nature and dynamics of atrocity crimes and how they can be prevented; as well as on how to deal with traumatic pasts through education.

Such education creates multiple opportunities for learners to reflect on their role as global citizens. The guide explores for example how education about the Holocaust can advance the learning objectives sought by Global Citizenship Education (GCED), a pillar of the Education 2030 Agenda. It proposes topics and activities that can help develop students to be informed and critically literate; socially connected, respectful of diversity; and ethically responsible and engaged.

What are the main areas of implementation?

Every country has a distinct context and different capacities. The guide covers all the areas policy-makers should take into consideration when engaging with education about the Holocaust and, possibly, education about genocide and mass atrocities.  It also provides precise guidelines for each of these areas. This comprises for example curricula and textbooks, including how the Holocaust can be integrated across different subjects, for what ages, and how to make sure textbooks and curricula are historically accurate.  The guide also covers teacher training, classroom practices and appropriate pedagogies, higher learning institutions. It also provides important recommendations on how to improve interactions with the non-formal sector of education, through adult education, partnerships with museums and memorials, study-trips, and the implementation of international remembrance days.

Categories: News

Candidates for post of Director-General to be interviewed on Wednesday and Thursday

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 11:16
24 April 2017

The 58 members of the Executive Board of UNESCO, chaired by Michael Worbs (Germany), will interview the candidates proposed by Azerbaijan, China, Egypt, France, Guatemala, Iraq, Lebanon, Qatar, and Viet Nam, for the post of Director-General of the Organization on Wednesday 26 April and Thursday 27 April at UNESCO Headquarters, starting at 9.45 am on each day.

The interviews, webcast in high definition, will be accessible at http://en.unesco.org/executive-board/dg-candidates-2017, where the order of the interviews will be posted after 6pm on 24 April) along with other relevant information.

Each candidate will have an opportunity to meet the press right after her or his interview at a designated press area at UNESCO.

The webcast will also be available at the press area and UNESCO will supply an SDI 1080i50 (HQ) video signal for journalists wishing to record interviews, provided they bring their own recording equipment. Recordings of the interviews will be available here as of the early evening of Friday, 28 April.

The Director-General is nominated by the Executive Board and appointed by the General Conference for a period of four years. The person to be nominated by the Executive Board shall be chosen by secret ballot, in a vote that will take place during the Board's 202nd session in October 2017. Subsequently, the Chairperson of the Board will inform the General Conference, during its 39th session in November 2017, of the candidate nominated by the Board. The General Conference shall consider this nomination and then elect, by secret ballot, the person proposed by the Executive Board.

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Journalists wishing to cover the process at UNESCO should request accreditation from UNESCO’s Media Section, Djibril Kébé, d.kebe@unesco.org

Categories: News

Director-General condemns the murder of broadcaster Famous Giobaro in Nigeria

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 10:38
24 April 2017

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today condemned the killing of radio journalist Famous Giobaro in Yenagoa, Nigeria, on 16 April.

“I condemn the murder of Famous Giobaro,” said the Director-General. “Criminal attacks on journalists and media workers seek to silence the voices of those whose vocation it is to keep society informed. Such attacks weaken the media’s capacity, and undermine free speech and the rule of law. Their perpetrators must be brought to justice.”

Famous Giobaro, a desk editor for public radio Globe FM, was killed in his home by unknown assailants.

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

Director-General urges Russian authorities to investigate the death of journalist Nikolay Andrushchenko in St Petersburg

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 04/24/2017 - 10:30
24 April 2017

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today called on the authorities to investigate the attack that led to the death of Russian journalist Nikolay Andrushchenko on 19 April, some six weeks after he was beaten by unknown assailants.

“I condemn the attack on Nikolay Andrushchenko,” said the Director-General. “I call on the authorities to carry out a thorough investigation into this act of violence, which is a blow to freedom of expression, and bring its perpetrators to justice.”

Seventy-three-year-old Nikolay Andrushchenko, co-founder and editor of the newspaper Novy Petersburg, was hospitalized in St Petersburg on 9 March following a beating by unknown assailants.

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

Arab cities united against racism, discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance

Unesco Most Programme - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 18:41

Members of the Coalition of Arab Cities against Racism, Discrimination, Xenophobia and Intolerance gathered during a planning workshop focusing on "Facing Social Transformations, Inclusive and Sustainable Cities" held in Tunis, Tunisia, from 6 to 7 April 2017. With the aim to unite Arab Cities in a complex global context, member cities of the Coalition and other interested cities exchanged good practices of urban policies aimed at managing diversity and preventing and combating discrimination.

In the Tunis Declaration which was adopted, participants affirmed their commitment to work and collaborate on the following priority areas:

  • Conducting territorial diagnosis and data collection on racism, discrimination, xenophobia and intolerance issues in our cities;
  • Undertaking awareness-raising and sensitization initiatives related to the mandate of the Coalition, to the benefit of our constituency and administration; and
  • Enhancing collaboration with the civil society actors for joint initiatives.

These commitments are part of a one-year revitalization plan of the Coalition of Arab Cities against Racism, Discrimination, Xenophobia and Intolerance, which will be jointly assessed at the next regional meeting in April 2018. Participants also agreed to revisit the terms of governance of the Coalition, and establish a roadmap to ensure its impact and sustainability.

Organized in collaboration with the Arab Institute for Human Rights (AIHR) in Tunis, the meeting gathered around 50 participants, including 14 cities, 4 mayors (Essaouira, Sayada, Sharm el-Sheik and Tripoli) and several representatives of NGOs and international organizations, including the International Organization for Migration (IOM), National Human Rights Institutions (NHRIs), the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the UN Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UNWomen), United Cities and Local Governments-Africa (UCLG-A), the European Training and Research Centre for Human Rights and Democracy - ETC Graz, and the European Coalition of Cities against Racism (ECCAR), represented by the City of Nancy, France.

The Coalition of Arab Cities against Racism, Discrimination, Xenophobia and Intolerance was officially launched in 2008, in Casablanca, Morocco. Member cities collectively developed and adopted a “Ten-Point Plan of Action”.  Faced with societal phenomena which endanger social cohesion, members of the Coalition of Arab Cities have expressed the need to revitalize it. The Coalition should find new momentum and become a dynamic platform for long-term solutions in the current context of growing inequalities, social and economic marginalization, urbanization and ghettoization, emigrations and immigrations, violence and discrimination.

Contacts

Categories: News

Fresh updates available on UNESCO’s Global Database on the Right to Education

Unesco Most Programme - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 17:22

The Global Database on the Right to Education is a rich resource and powerful tool offering 195 country profiles and an online library of over 1,200 documents to learn more about the status of implementation of the right to education around the world.

Although education is a well-established and universally recognized human right under international law, it remains out of reach to many. Globally millions of children are out-of-school and millions of adults are deprived of learning opportunities. Despite advances in improving access to education through the adoption of strong national legal and policy frameworks, there is still much work to be done.  

In this context, the Global Database on the Right to Education exists as a powerful tool for monitoring, research and advocacy. The Database hosts examples of measures taken by all UNESCO Member States to implement legal and policy frameworks to ensure the right to education. Besides individual profiles for each country, the Database hosts a library of over 1,200 official documents, including constitutions, legislations and policies on education from nations across the globe.

This online platform, which is enriched continuously, aims to inform key players on the legal status of education worldwide and foster regional and international cooperation.

In the context of the Education 2030 Agenda, the sharing of information on the database can also help improve the quality of education. UNESCO’s Member States are strongly encouraged to inform the UNESCO’s Right to Education Programme of any recent information so as to further update their country profile and to offer access to the latest national laws and policies.

Categories: News

Root causes of violence can be tackled by city networks

Unesco Most Programme - Fri, 04/21/2017 - 13:07

UNESCO participated in the World Forum on Urban Violence and Education of Coexistance and Peace, held in Madrid, from 19 to 21 April 2017. It gathered mayors, governors and city authorities, urban networks, civil society actors and international organization to reflect upon the root causes of urban violence and strategies to address it. Several representatives from the UNESCO International Coalition of Inclusive and Sustainable Cities – ICCAR cities were present.

Organized by the city of Madrid, with the support of the city of Paris, the Forum was opened by H.M. the King of Spain who highlighted the importance of a culture of peace to counter violence and the key role of cities in building effective and accountable institutions. He acknowledged the role of city networks in tackling the root causes of violence, including ICCAR. The Mayor of Madrid, Manuela Carmena, stressed the importance of turning cities into spaces for dialogue, avoiding a rhetoric shaped by prejudice that leads to violence. The Mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, emphasized how inclusive urban planning and accessible housing is key to guaranteeing ‘access to the city’, and therefore to mitigate violence.

Representatives of ICCAR participated in a plenary on violence caused by racism and xenophobia. The Mayor of Montevideo, lead city of ICCAR’s Coalition of Latin American and Caribbean Cities against Racism, Discrimination and Xenophobia, Daniel Martinez pointed that structural economic inequalities foster urban violence, especially affecting minority groups in Uruguay. The Vice-Mayor of Tangiers, Mr Driss Temsamani, member of the Coalition of Arab Cities against Racism, Discrimination, Xenophobia and Intolerance, highlighted the role of multilingualism to foster coexistence and showcased Tangiers as an example of a multicultural and welcoming city. Golda El-Khoury, ICCAR Secretary and Chief of the Inclusion and Rights Section of UNESCO, emphasized the role of youth participation in preventing violent extremism, and how global citizenship education provides young women and men with the soft skills and opportunities to play positive roles in their communities towards building a culture of peace.

An ICCAR Side-event brought together Mayor Martinez, Vice-Mayor Temsamani, Pam McConnell, Deputy Mayor of Toronto, representing the Canadian Coalition of Municipalities against Racism and Discrimination, Benedetto Zacchiroli, President of the European Coalition of Cities against Racism (ECCAR) and Don Lupo, Director of the Office of Citizens Assistance of the City of Birmingham, representing the US Coalition of Cities against Racism and Discrimination.

They engaged in a debate with young people about the challenges facing local authorities in developing and implementing inclusive polices and providing quality public services, highlighting how inequalities could lead to exclusion and fostered violence, sharing stories on promoting youth participation in their communities.

Categories: News

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