Twitter icon
Facebook icon
LinkedIn icon
RSS icon

You are here

Call for Proposals: Photographs on the safety of journalists and the issue of impunity

Unesco Most Programme - Mon, 03/13/2017 - 10:32
13 March 2017

UNESCO is inviting professional photographers from all over the world to send a sample of their best photographs illustrating journalists while doing their job and in particular on the issues of the safety of journalists and impunity for crimes against them.

UNESCO is looking for images that illustrate journalists working in different situations, for example, international and/or local journalists covering demonstrations, trials, major public events, investigations on corruption, citizen journalists, journalists  embedded with police or the military, journalists reporting from a conflict zone, journalists in protected vehicles or in front of media houses with protection or any other case in which journalists, including women reporters, are at work in sensitive situations.

As the United Nations agency with a specific mandate to promote “the free flow of ideas by word and image”, UNESCO aims to promote freedom of expression and its corollary of press freedom, to reinforce journalists’ safety and tackling impunity, in the framework of the United Nations Plan of Action on The Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. The safety of journalists and combatting impunity are central elements to support freedom of expression and press freedom. On average, every five days a journalist is killed for bringing information to the public. Over the last 10 years, 827 journalists have been killed according to UNESCO statistics.

The selected photographs will help to raise awareness on the working conditions of journalists and to illustrate activities and programs contributing to the safety of journalists and the fight against impunity.

The photographs will be chosen for their artistic, creative and original content. UNESCO will establish a contract with the photographers, purchasing the selected photographs, whereby non-exclusive rights for the selected photographs will be granted to UNESCO.

Requirements for proposals:

  • Maximum of 12 photographs;
  • Color, minimum resolution: 350 dpi, minimum size: A4;
  • Photo caption in English or French for each photograph with information (place, time, subject);
  • Price per single photograph.

Proposed photographs can be send to Michelle Salomons:

Applications are due by 5PM (GMT) on 15 April 2017.

Categories: News

Governance of maritime space, conference organized by UNESCO and the European Commission

Unesco Most Programme - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 19:46
10 March 2017

UNESCO and the European Commission are hosting an international conference on marine spatial planning, a process that seeks to regulate human activities in the waters bordering coastal areas so as to preserve marine ecosystems, avoid conflicts between sectors of commercial and industrial activity, and promote international cooperation. (UNESCO Headquarters, 15 to 17 March).

Organized by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO (IOC) and the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission, the conference will bring together more than 350 experts from all over the world. It will provide an opportunity to take stock of existing marine spatial planning (MSP) to date, exchange best practices, encourage cooperation among countries sharing coastal and marine waters, and establish priorities for the coming years.

On the sidelines of the conference, participants will be invited to take part in a role- game, the MSP Challenge. It is designed to improve the players’ understanding of the marine spatial planning process by getting them to take on the parts of environmental activist, industrialist and decision-maker.

Marine spatial planning has become increasingly important due to the intensification of activities beside traditional fishing and shipping. Recent decades have seen the development of marine aggregates extraction, offshore aquaculture, renewable marine energy generation and more. MSP aims to bring together all users to help them coordinate decision-making, avoid inter sectoral conflicts and resource overexploitation.

Marine spatial plans today cover almost 10% of the world's exclusive economic zones (marine areas stretching over 200 nautical miles from the coastline on which States exercise sovereign rights, notably with regard to the exploitation of resources)

Since 2006, IOC has been assisting countries in implementing this type of ecosystem-based management through its Marine Spatial Planning initiative. In 2009, IOC published Marine spatial planning: a step-by-step approach to ecosystem-based management a guide to support  countries implementing management plans for their marine regions [available in English, Spanish and Vietnamese].

In 2014, the European Union adopted legislation to create a common framework for maritime spatial planning in Europe. Since then, the European Commission has funded cross-border planning projects worth €18 million.

The conference is expected to pave the way for the adoption of a road map by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO and the Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of the European Commission to encourage marine spatial planning in all seas and oceans of the globe. The objective is to triple the surface of marine areas benefiting from spatial planning by 2025 to cover one third of total waters under national jurisdictions.


More information about the conference

More information on the European directive on MSP

More information on the MSP Challenge
(An event open to journalists accredited by UNESCO and invited experts only)

Media contact: Agnès Bardon, UNESCO Press Service. Tel: +33 (0) 1 45 68 17 64,

Categories: News

UNESCO Forum on Global Citizenship Education provides a platform for innovative teaching

Unesco Most Programme - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 17:18

The Third UNESCO Forum on GCED, which opened on 8 March 2017 in Ottawa, Canada, brought together leading experts, practitioners and policymakers from around the world to examine pedagogical approaches and teaching practices, and to ensure that practical change is brought into classrooms.

“Teachers are on the frontlines of bringing GCED into learning environments. Without confident, qualified and well-prepared teachers, we cannot advance GCED,” said UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education, Qian Tang, at the official opening of the Forum.

Ambassador Elaine Ayotte, Permanent Delegate of Canada to UNESCO, underlined the essential contribution of educators in building competencies that foster awareness of today’s realities that affect all peoples from all cultures.

Ambassador Choong-hee Hahn, Deputy Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea to the United Nations, described the momentum building among policy makers at the global level, and Member States’ commitment to equip the next generation with the tools of tolerance and cultural literacy.

Utak Chung, Director of the Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding, renewed the Centre’s support towards global advancement of GCED and reaffirmed that fostering global citizenship is not just the UN or UNESCO’s agenda, but ultimately a global agenda.

Teachers’ crucial role for achieving Target 4.7

With teachers as the central theme of the third UNESCO GCED Forum, the focus has been to draw attention to educators’ fundamental role in improving learning about, and for, global citizenship.

In a context where learners are increasingly learning through a diversity of channels, the role of teachers is bound to evolve. Teachers are not only the transmitters of knowledge. They have a role to play in developing learners’ knowledge, skills and attitudes that promote peace and sustainable development. Teachers are the agents of change who can ensure countries achieve of Target 4.7 of the SGD on Education.

The event also included the active participation of teachers from UNESCO’s Associated Schools Network (ASPnet) along with 50 youth delegates selected by the Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP).
The UNESCO Week for Peace and Sustainable Development: the Role of Education (6-10 March 2017) also included the GAP Review Forum, as well as a joint day where the official opening took place.  

The UNESCO Week is organized jointly by UNESCO and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO with financial support from UNESCO, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan through the UNESCO Japanese Funds-in-Trust for ESD. Additional support for the Week is provided by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, the Global Centre for Pluralism and the Canadian Museum of History.

Follow the GCED Forum on Twitter using #UNESCOweekED.


Categories: News

New eAtlas of Gender Inequality in Education shows progress and pitfalls in countries around the world

Unesco Most Programme - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 16:47

The UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) has launched a new edition of the eAtlas of Gender Inequality in Education to show where girls and women are making progress and where they are being left behind at every level of education. A series of interactive maps and charts bring to life an extraordinary range of data for about 200 countries produced by the UIS, which is the official data source for the global goal on education.

“The eAtlas is an indispensable resource in efforts to eliminate gender disparities by 2030 as part of the Sustainable Development Goals,” said Silvia Montoya, Director of the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. “We are putting data in the hands of policymakers, activists and engaged citizens striving to take down the barriers that prevent girls and women from tapping into the transformative power of education.”

Data show progress but persistent barriers

Despite all the efforts and progress made over the past two decades, girls are still more likely than boys to remain completely excluded from education. According to UIS data, 15 million girls roughly between the ages of 6 and 10 will never set foot in a classroom compared to about 10 million boys if current trends continue.

The eAtlas shows the trouble spots where girls struggle to start school. In Afghanistan and Sudan, there are only about 70 girls enrolled in primary school for every 100 boys while large gaps persist in countries like Chad (77 girls for 100 boys), Yemen (84 girls) and Pakistan (85 girls).  Moreover, the gaps tend to widen with higher levels of education in many countries.

The good news is that girls who do manage to enroll tend to persist even if they must repeat grades. The same number – 14 million – of boys and girls enrolled in primary education repeated a grade in 2014, according to the eAtlas. However, about 20 million boys left school that year compared to about 17 million girls.  

Looking at regional trends over time, remarkable progress has been made in Southern Asia, where a girl starting school today can expect to receive 11 years of education compared to 6 years in 1990. In contrast, a girl in sub-Saharan African can only expect to receive about 9 years of schooling while boys can expect 10 years (including some time spent repeating grades).
Connecting data to policies

Numerous studies show the positive effects that female teachers can have on girls’ learning. Yet the region facing the greatest challenges – sub-Saharan Africa – is the only one to have mostly men teaching. In countries like Liberia only 13% of primary school teachers are women while more than half of girls are out of school.

The data also underscore the need to encourage girls and women to pursue the highest levels of education. Considerable progress has been made, with the balance tipping in favour of young women in many middle- and high-income countries. But these trends need a closer look. While there are now more women pursuing Bachelor's degrees globally than men, data show the persistence of gender barriers in advanced levels of study, which result in women accounting for less than 30% of the world’s researchers.

The UNESCO eAtlas of Gender Inequalities puts these data at the fingertips of education advocates and policymakers to help ensure that girls and women benefit fully from the promises of the Sustainable Development Goals.


Categories: News

Celebrating Women in Oceanography on International Women’s Day

Unesco Most Programme - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 16:37

Young women engaged in ocean sciences from around the world had the chance to exchange with some of Oceanography’s women leaders during a webinar organized by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).

The webinar sought to give the floor to three women oceanographers to share their compelling personal and professional narratives with younger generations about working and rising in a mostly male-dominated field. The forum was animated by IOC’s Ocean Literacy Programme Specialist, Francesca Santoro.

All participants had the opportunity to directly interact with the three speakers: Wendy Watson-Wright, Chief Executive Officer of the Ocean Frontier Institute; Dr Paola Cessi, Professor of Oceanography at the University of California; and Dr Suchana Apple Chavanich, Assistant Professor at Chulalongkorn University’s Department of Marine Science.

“There is much work to do, but a lot of it has to do with inspiring confidence in junior scientists … and offering a form of discussion or advice when needed”, said Paola Cessi.

Discussion in the webinar forum embraced a spirit of mutual help that the participants, coming from five different continents, had the opportunity to share and learn about mentoring, employability, challenges faced by disabled women in ocean sciences, and much more.

The webinar also explored the different ways in which UNESCO and IOC could further promote gender equity in the ocean sciences. Opening the webinar, IOC’s Executive Secretary Vladimir Ryabinin reinforced the importance of embracing and celebrating women for their amazing contribution to the ocean sciences throughout modern history.

“The IOC should be the conscience of its member states by constantly reminding them of the need to take advantage of 100% of the population’s talents rather than only 50%,” emphatically mentioned Wendy Watson-Wright.

The following outputs of the “Women in Oceanography” webinar are available online:

Video recording

Forum chat transcription

For more information, please contact: Francesca Santoro ( or Kirsten Isensee (

Categories: News

New Guide for Monitoring Toxin-Producing Microalgae

Unesco Most Programme - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 12:36

A new guide on the monitoring of toxin-producing microalgae was released by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and the UN International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to foster the effective management of harmful algal blooms (HABs).

HABs constitute a serious threat to public health as well as coastal and marine development. Reports on the socio-economic impacts of HABs from around the globe are increasing in parallel with increased tourism, aquaculture exploitations and artisanal fisheries. Observations on HAB occurrences and associated biotoxins can be used as valuable data to document and understand both natural and human-driven changes in ecosystems.

Prompted by the concerns of countries about the increasing impacts of HABs, this guide was devised as a tool to strengthen countries and marine professionals’ capacity to control and mitigate the consequences of harmful algal blooms. The guide is an introduction to basic analytical techniques for designing sampling protocols of microalgae and biotoxin vectors such as fish and shellfish.

The Guide for Designing and Implementing a Plan to Monitor Toxin-Producing Microalgae is a collaborative product of IOC UNESCO and the IAEA, within the context of the international programme on HABs established by the IOC in 1992.

The full guide in available in both English and Spanish.

For more information, please contact: Henrik Enevoldsen (

Categories: News

Wastewater: The Untapped Resource

Europaid - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 11:41
Categories: News

Palestine Refugees in the West Bank

Europaid - Fri, 03/10/2017 - 11:21
Categories: News

UNESCO celebrating women in the arts on International Women’s Day

Unesco Most Programme - Thu, 03/09/2017 - 12:53
infocus_womens_day_02.jpg © UNESCO/C. Alix 09 March 2017

Pioneering artists who have pushed back boundaries or become agents for social change were honoured at the International Women’s Day events at UNESCO Headquarters yesterday. Whilst gender equality is a top priority for UNESCO, the focus of this year’s celebration was on the creative sector. The official UN theme for this year was “Women in the Changing World of Work” so UNESCO also organised activities encouraging the next generation of young women.

The Deputy Director-General of UNESCO, Getachew Engida, opening the 2017 edition of the exhibition for International Women’s Day showcasing artwork from photographers, painters and sculptors from around the world, set the tone of the day when he remarked that “throughout human history, women have used their creativity in their quest for equality, justice and dignity” and that the exhibition was a further representation of that tradition. Based on the theme “creativity of young women in shaping our future”, the 11 artists whose work was displayed are not only renowned in their region and internationally, but have also been commended for their work relating to gender equality and social justice.

Co-organised by UNESCO and the French National Committee of UN Women, a dynamic debate gathered artists, musicians, filmmakers, cultural entrepreneurs and experts to address the challenges facing women artists, as well as to harness creativity to overcome gender stereotypes and achieve gender equality.

French Minister for Families, Children and Women Rights, Laurence Rossignol said “we are seeing serious threats to women’s rights worldwide and arts are an important vehicle to resist these threats.” Various female artists, including Deeyah Khan, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for artistic freedom and creativity, described the difficulties of being a woman in this profession. But Khan added that “freedom of women’s artist expression means greater freedom for all” and she praised the aims of the UNESCO 2005 Convention for the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expression for promoting artistic freedom.

The exhibition and debate were topped off by a public concert of young French singer-songwriter Louane and self-described “feminist” male duo “Her”. Speaking before the concert, Victor Solf of Her said that without the women that they work with – particularly their manager and video-maker – they would not be so developed artistically and that it was important for men to be involved in promoting women’s equality in the arts.

Women in all spheres of activity

UNESCO does not only encourage gender equality in the arts, but in all spheres of human activity. This was the message of four female diplomats, journalists and musicians who have excelled in their field, during a UNESCO Campus attended by 400 young people. “To me, it is important to see how these women have succeeded and to understand the hurdles they have had to overcome. I hope someday to go into journalism and to know that I can do the job just as well being a woman” commented one young woman after the event.

To help young women like her, UNESCO also launched the 2017 Women Make the News campaign which aims to improve the representation of women both in newsrooms and in media reporting. The campaign is organized by UNESCO, with the collaboration of the Global Alliance on Media and Gender and UN Women, targeting editors-in-chief, journalists, bloggers, journalism schools, intergovernmental and nongovernmental organizations.

Female oceanographers also spoke to young people interested in careers in another field: marine sciences. The Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO organized an online conference to answer questions and encourage young people to join the profession.

The importance of educating girls and women

Education is at the heart of women’s empowerment and in recognition of this, UNESCO launched its second edition of the UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education. The prize honours outstanding innovation and contributions to this field by individuals, institutions and organizations.

Yet there is work still to be done, as the new edition of the eAtlas for Gender Inequality in Education shows. The eAtlas, created by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, shows that girls and women are making progress but they are still left behind at every level of education.  

Whilst gender equality has been a Global Priority of UNESCO since 2008, the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development has given new impetus to the promotion of girls and women’s opportunities. UNESCO strives year round to contribute to the achievement of the  SDGs of this Agenda to improve the economic, social and environmental conditions of women and men around the globe. Only through fully harnessing the talents of girls and women in all walks of life can we hope to achieve these goals. 

Categories: News

Cooperation with Kingdom of Saudi Arabia reinforced through “King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Programme for a Culture of Peace and Dialogue”

Unesco Most Programme - Thu, 03/09/2017 - 11:51
kacnd_march2017_drupal.jpg © UNESCO

The fourth Steering Committee Meeting on the “King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz International Programme for a Culture of Peace and Dialogue”, organized by UNESCO and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, was held in Riyadh, on 6 March 2017.

UNESCO and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have agreed to further strengthen the partnership in future through a potential new phase of the programme which would focus on priority countries such as Iraq, Syria and Yemen, and implement core activities in the area of conflict prevention and peace building, thus linking up to the current review of the UN’s work on peace.

The Chair of the meeting, H.E. Mr Faisal Bin Abdulrahman bin Muammar, former Vice-Minister of Education and Secretary-General of the King Abdulaziz Center for National Dialogue (KACND), praised UNESCO’s outstanding support and informed about the satisfactory cooperation between the KACND, UNESCO Headquarters and Beirut Office. He emphasized that the Center takes pride in this most successful partnership and expressed appreciation for UNESCO’s credibility and global networks.

“I am positive that the Programme has been a valuable support to UNESCO’s work to promote a culture of peace, dialogue and harmony between cultures,” he said, also emphasizing the important role played by KACND in the development of dialogue awareness at the national level, as well as through the Centre’s cooperation with UNESCO Beirut on curriculum development in the Arab world.

Chairing the meeting on UNESCO’s side, Mr Dendev Badarch, Director of the Division of Social Transformations and Intercultural Dialogue in UNESCO’s Social and Human Sciences Sector, emphasized the importance of the partnership and the obvious relevance of the Programme in the current international context. He highlighted that the holistic approach adopted by the Programme was a highly positive aspect of the cooperation, as also set out in the recent external evaluation. He also drew attention to the clear linkage between the Programme and the 2030 Development Agenda, notably Goal 16.

Dr Al-Sultan, Deputy Secretary-General of the KACND, also expressed satisfaction with the programme’s accomplishments and highlighted the good team spirit characterizing the partnership at all levels of cooperation. Mr Talal Alotaibi, Administrative and Financial Director, represented the Permanent Delegation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the Meeting, which was equally attended by several programme specialists both from KACND and UNESCO.

Categories: News

Education connects peace and development in sustainable ways says Director-General at UNESCO Week opening

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 03/08/2017 - 20:18
unescoweeked_688px.jpg © Canadian Commission for UNESCO 08 March 2017

UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova officially opened the UNESCO Week for Peace and Sustainable Development: The Role of Education in Ottawa, Canada on 8 March together with Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change, Government of Canada, and Mitzie Hunter, Minister of Education, Government of Ontario.

The 5-day event is gathering more than 400 experts, practitioners and policymakers from across the world to examine pedagogical approaches and teaching practices to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Global Citizenship Education (GCED). Teachers of UNESCO’s Associated Schools Network (ASPnet) are also attending the event, along with 50 young delegates from all around the world.

“We need new forms of education that promotes understanding between cultures, that strengthens the resilience of societies and provides the relevant skills to navigate the future,” said Ms Bokova, emphasizing the need to promote human rights, dignity, diversity and inclusion. “We now have to reinforce efforts, translate results into educational practices, into teacher training and into concrete transformations of curricula. To succeed, we need teachers equipped with the skills and confidence to foster these competences. We must share, analyse and innovate – this is the aim of this Week.”

The Week brings together the Global Review Forum for the Global Action Programme on ESD (GAP) and the Third UNESCO Forum on GCED. ESD and GCED represent UNESCO's two major educational approaches that strive to provide everyone with the opportunity to acquire the knowledge, skills, attitudes and values needed to shape a just, peaceful and sustainable future.

All speakers of the opening acknowledged the important role of women and indigenous knowledge in achieving a sustainable future. “I know the transformative power of education and what it does for my people”, said Maliseet Elder Mac Saulis, who offered a welcome to the traditional territory.

Minister McKenna affirmed that “No change will be more monumental than that of climate change. It won’t be easy to overcome this challenge but it should not be passed on to the generations that follow us.”

Ambassador Dessima Williams, Special Adviser for Implementation of the SDGs, also spoke at the opening on behalf of the President of the Seventy-First Session of the United Nations General Assembly. “There can be no sustained peace without sustainable development”, she said. “The work of UNESCO and its partners are both commendable and encouraging. We cannot do such a job of transforming the world alone, but together, we are able to achieve much.”

Focusing on those who are on the frontlines in the classroom, Fred van Leeuwen, Secretary-General of Education International said: “Teachers create bonds within groups and build bridges across groups and communities. It is clear that efforts to improve teaching and learning will not succeed unless we trust, value and support teachers. We see this Conference as a clear token of UNESCO to support the teaching profession worldwide". ”

Minister Hunter, together with Ms Bokova, inaugurated an exhibition of 42 booths showcasing a wide variety of practices and approaches to ESD and GCED, stating that “for students to achieve excellence, they must be in an environment that enables them to do so.”

The opening was followed by “Talking Across Generations,” an event gathering youth from all regions, policymakers and academics, including several UNESCO Chairs, organized by the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP). A rich diversity of voices shared views on the 21st century classroom, how to empower teachers to promote peace and global citizenship, use technology and drive transformative change. The Director-General emphasized the importance of support to teachers, through training, professional development, decent salaries and respect for their status in society.

World Rescue”, an SDG-inspired video game, was launched by MGIEP at the event. It allows players to take the role of young heroes to help solve global problems such as displacement, disease, deforestation and pollution in their communitiesUNESCO also presented a new publication “Education for Sustainable Development Goals: Learning Objectives”, which highlights recommendations for classroom activities to address each of the SDGs as well as guidance on how to integrate ESD into policies and teaching.

In support of the Week, the UNESCO Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report has launched a youth photo contest on ESD and GCED.

The Week will run until 10 March when the GCED Forum examines good policies and practices for educators and teacher trainers to empower learners to become global citizens. Follow the conversation on Twitter under #UNESCOweekED

The UNESCO Week is organized jointly by UNESCO and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO with financial support from UNESCO, the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan through the UNESCO Japanese Funds-in-Trust for ESD. Additional support for the Week is provided by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, the Global Centre for Pluralism and the Canadian Museum of History.

Categories: News

Experts Meeting on the Memory of the World Programme Review held in Berlin

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 03/08/2017 - 17:43
news_080317_berlin.jpg © German Federal Foreign Office 08 March 2017The meeting, jointly organized by UNESCO and the German Federal Foreign Office in cooperation with the German Commission for UNESCO and took place from 1 to 4 March 2017 at the Staatsbibliothek zu Berlin. The meeting, chaired by Dr. Abdulla Alraisi, Director-General - Under Minister of the National Archives of UAE, and Chair of the International Advisory Committee (IAC) of the MoW Programme, brought together IAC experts and members of the two working groups tasked to review the Statutes, Rules and overall functioning of the Programme.

The objective of the meeting was to exchange and consolidate the expressed views on the review process and the future directions for improvement of the Memory of the World Programme. The meeting also formulated specific recommendations to the Director-General for consideration by Member States on how to address a range of issues, including those relating to procedures for nominations that have been called into question, and new challenges created by the global move to digitization, in order to achieve the full potential of this important Programme.

The MoW Programme has grown significantly since 1992, date of its establishment, with the proliferation of activities, events, committees and registers, and the accumulation of operational experience. The adoption of the Recommendation on the preservation of, and access to, documentary heritage including in digital form by the General Conference in 2015 also required that the General Guidelines of the Programme be modified in accordance with the provisions of this unique normative instrument.

The MoW Programme Review is undertaken as a result of the decision of the International Advisory Committee (IAC) taken in October 2015.  It seeks to explore means for further strengthening the Programme by improving visibility, resource mobilization, transparency and dialogue and was welcomed by the UNESCO Executive Board at its meeting in April 2016. The MoW Review is conducted on a global scale, including a wide process of inclusive consultation both with experts and with Member States. The set of recommendations formulated in Berlin synergize the different views expressed  by the IAC and the experts of the two working groups, taking into consideration the comments made by Member States during the online consultation.

On the occasion of this meeting the experts had the opportunity to openly exchange views with State Minister Professor Maria Böhmer on a variety of questions related to the Memory of the World Programme and to the needs for preservation of the global documentary heritage by conservation and education.

This year the Memory of the World Programme celebrates its 25th anniversary. UNESCO launched the Memory of the World Programme in 1992 to guard against collective amnesia calling upon the preservation of the valuable archive holdings and library collections all over the world ensuring their wide dissemination. The Programme vision is that the world's documentary heritage belongs to all, should be fully preserved and protected for all and, with due recognition of cultural mores and practicalities, should be permanently accessible to all without hindrance. The Programme is intended to protect documentary heritage, and to help networks of experts to exchange information and raise resources for the preservation of, and the access to, documentary and archival collections of valuable records.

Categories: News

L'Oréal and UNESCO recognize 15 young women researchers for their outstanding contribution to science

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 03/08/2017 - 14:56
focus_irts_fwis2017-en.png © UNESCO 08 March 2017

Fifteen outstanding young women researchers, selected among more than 250 candidates in the framework of the 19th edition of the L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science awards, will receive the International Rising Talent fellowship during a gala on 21 March at the hotel Pullman Tour Eiffel de Paris. By recognizing their achievements at a key moment in their careers, the For Women in Science programme aims to help them pursue their research.

Since 1998, the L’Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science programme has highlighted the achievements of outstanding women scientists and supported promising younger women who are in the early stages of their scientific careers. Selected among the best national and regional L’Oréal-UNESCO fellows, the International Rising Talents come from all regions of the world (Africa and Arab States, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America).

Together with the five laureates of the 2017 L'Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science awards, they will participate in a week of events, training and exchanges that will culminate with the award ceremony on 23 March 2017 at the Mutualité in Paris.

The 2017 International Rising Talent are recognized for their work in the following five categories:

Watching the brain at work

  • Doctor Lorina NACI, Canada
    Fundamental medicine
    In a coma: is the patient conscious or unconscious?
  • Associate Professor Muireann Irish, Australia

Clinical medicine
Recognizing Alzheimer’s before the first signs appear.

On the road to conceiving new medical treatments

  • Doctor Hyun Lee, Germany
    Biological Sciences
    Neurodegenerative diseases: untangling aggregated proteins.
  • Doctor Nam-Kyung Yu, Republic of Korea
    Biological Sciences
    Rett syndrome: neuronal cells come under fire
  • Doctor Stephanie Fanucchi, South Africa
    Biological Sciences
    Better understanding the immune system.
  • Doctor Julia Etulain, Argentina
    Biological Sciences
    Better tissue healing. 

Finding potential new sources of drugs

  • Doctor Rym Ben Sallem, Tunisia
    Biological Sciences
    New antibiotics are right under our feet.
  • Doctor Hab Joanna Sulkowska, Poland
    Biological Sciences
    Unraveling the secrets of entangled proteins.

Getting to the heart of matter

  • Ms Nazek El-Atab, United Arab Emirates
    Electrical, Electronic and Computer Engineering
    Miniaturizing electronics without losing memory.
  • Doctor Bilge Demirkoz, Turkey
    Piercing the secrets of cosmic radiation.
  • Doctor Tamara Elzein, Lebanon
    Material Sciences
    Trapping radioactivity.
  • Doctor Ran Long, China
    Unlocking the potential of energy resources with nanochemistry.

Examining the past to shed light on the future – or vice versa

  • Doctor Fernanda Werneck, Brazil
    Biological Sciences
    Predicting how animal biodiversity will evolve.
  • Doctor Sam Giles, United Kingdom
    Biological Sciences
    Taking another look at the evolution of vertebrates thanks to their braincases.
  • Doctor Ágnes Kóspál, Hungary
    Astronomy and Space Sciences
    Looking at the birth of distant suns and planets to better understand the solar system.



Media Contact : Agnès Bardon, Unesco Press Service , Tel : +33 (0) 1 45 68 17 64,

Categories: News

On International Women’s Day, a focus on gender-based violence in school

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 03/08/2017 - 12:19

Every year, an estimated 246 million children are subject to some form of gender-based violence – mistreatment, bullying, psychological abuse and sexual harassment in or on the way to school. Agenda 2030 places gender equality and inclusive and equitable quality education at the heart of its concerns, and addresses violence against girls and boys as a cross-cutting concern. It also includes concrete commitments particularly under Target 4.a with the provision of gender-sensitive education facilities, and safe, non-violent, inclusive and effective learning environments for all.

Understanding gender inequality and gender norms, and their role in driving many acts of violence, is a critical step to breaking down cycles of violence. Bringing a gender lens to the analysis of data on school violence, and to the implementation of prevention and response measures, is a major first step in understanding the root causes of violence, identifying  those who are most at risk and ways of protecting those learners.

Girls are particularly vulnerable

School-related gender-based violence (SRGBV) is defined as threats of sexual, physical or psychological violence occurring in and around schools, perpetrated as a result of gender norms and stereotypes, and enforced by unequal power dynamics. It is a violation of children’s fundamental human rights and is a form of gender discrimination. While SRGBV affects all children, girls are particularly vulnerable.

  • SRGBV is associated with the loss of 1 primary grade of schooling, translating to a yearly cost of around $17 billion to low and middle income countries
  • In Uganda, 78% of primary and 82% of secondary school students reported having experienced sexual abuse at school 67% perpetrated by male teachers. Fear for girls’ safety in countries such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea have led parents to withdraw girls from school
  • Girls are more likely to experience psychological bullying, cyber0bullying, sexual violence and harassment. Boys, often face higher rates of corporal punishment and physical violence.

New Global Guidance published by UNESCO and UN Women to address SRGBV recommends a holistic set of strategies to support countries wishing to achieve their ambitious goals on education for all and gender equality. These include recommendations for strengthening monitoring systems to collect reliable data, improved indicators to track progress and formative research methods that give contextual data on the scale and experience of violence. The Guidance also notes the particular ethical and safety considerations for measuring SRGBV, focussing on the ethical issues of working with children and young people on sensitive issues of violence and the deeply entrenched norms around gender and sexuality.

Categories: News

Experts and practitioners discuss way forward for Education for Sustainable Development at global forum in Canada

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 03/08/2017 - 12:10

More than 250 practitioners, policymakers, experts and stakeholders of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) from more than 90 countries are gathering in Ottawa, Canada, from 6 to 8 March for the Review Forum for the UNESCO Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD: Implementation and Innovation. The event is part of the UNESCO Week for Peace and Sustainable Development: the Role of Education (6-10 March 2017).

The GAP was launched in 2014 as the official follow-up to the United Nations Decade of ESD (2005-2014) with the aim to scaling ESD approaches. The Review Forum provides the opportunity to take stock of progress achieved since its launch and examine the way forward with a focus on pedagogical approach. Soo-Hyang Choi, Director of UNESCO’s Division for Inclusion, Peace and Sustainable Development, said: “The preparation of the post-GAP period has already started. We have launched a consultation process, which will continue at this meeting.”

Algonquin Elder Claudette Commanda opened the meeting by offering a welcome to the traditional territory. She and Christina Cameron, President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, highlighted the role of indigenous knowledge in understanding how to protect our planet and how to live together in peace. “Education is the most efficient tool to achieve the 17 Sustainable Development Goals,” Cameron said. “This gathering is an opportunity to collectively roll up our sleeves and find innovation.”

A new publication, “Education for Sustainable Development Goals: Learning Objectives”, was also launched at the Forum. It was developed by UNESCO to support policy-makers, curriculum developers and educators to promote learning for the SDGs. The publication contains learning objectives and suggestions for classroom activities to address each of the SDGs as well as guidance on how to integrate ESD into policies and teaching. Anantha Kumar Duraiappah, Director of the UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP): said: “Knowledge itself is not sufficient. We have to trigger empathy and compassion in people.”

Isao Kiso, former Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Japan to UNESCO, emphasized the role of the UNESCO Associated Schools Network (ASPnet) to multiply and scale up ESD approaches. “ASPnet is used in Japan very strategically as the focal tool to promote ESD at the local level,” he said. “The number of Japanese Associated Schools has increased since 2005 from 20 schools to over 1,000.” Worldwide, there are more than 1,000 ASPnet member schools in more than 180 countries that serve as multipliers of transformative education and whole-school approaches.

In a panel discussion entitled “What makes a good ESD teacher”, several ASPnet teachers presented pedagogical approaches to ESD in their countries and schools. Josephine Udonsi from Nigeria said: “I apply the three ‘Is’: Integrate, initiate, innovate’ to teach my students about sustainable development.” Jean-Marc Septsault from France said that schools should “be more open to dialogue with all local actors” to enrich teaching and learning about sustainable development.

The 3-day Forum is mainly organized along interactive concurrent sessions and town hall debates on different topics such as “Effective teaching and learning for transformation”, “Preparing educators for ESD” and “Emerging global issues for ESD”. Participant and workshop facilitator Bianca Bilgram from the German National Commission for UNESCO said: “The content and format are giving us many new ideas and inspiration for our work.”

The GAP Review Forum will be followed by the Third UNESCO Forum on Global Citizenship Education (GCED) with a joint day and official opening of the UNESCO Week on 8 March. This is the first time that UNESCO is bringing together under one banner these two of its main educational programmes, ESD and GCED.

The UNESCO Week is organized jointly by UNESCO and the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, with additional financial support from the Canada Council for the Arts and the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan through the UNESCO Japanese Funds-in-Trust for ESD. Additional support for the Week is provided by the Council of Ministers of Education, Canada, the Global Centre for Pluralism and the Canadian Museum of History.

Follow the event on Twitter under #UNESCOweekED.


Categories: News

In Indonesia, learning about gender equality from an early age

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 03/08/2017 - 10:50

The children giggle as they line up in their costumes. Among them, a girl is dressed up as a chef, and a boy is looking like a sailor. Two others are dressed up as army generals and one girl is wearing sunglasses. At the PAUD KM 0 ‘Mekar Asih’ early childhood education centre in Jakarta, Indonesia, children are taught to dream big and told that they can be whatever they want to be.

The center began as a pilot project to promote gender equality in early childhood, and the model is gradually expanding to tens of thousands of early childhood centers in more than 300 districts and cities across 34 provinces in Indonesia. Initiated by the Directorate of Early Childhood Education Development of the Ministry, it was awarded the UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education in 2016 for its innovative approach.

Ella Yulaelawati, who received the Prize on behalf of the Directorate, says a gender-responsive early childhood education centre uses teaching methods and learning materials that are free of stereotypes and gender bias in a safe environment that engages students equally. “Previously, textbooks and storybooks always portrayed women in subordinate position or domestic level,” she says. “For example, ‘Mother is cooking, Father is reading newspaper, Ani (daughter) is watering plants, and Ali (son) is bicycling.’ This created stereotypes about girls and women in domestic roles, as opposed to as diplomats or in other public sector jobs in the future.”

Tackling gender stereotypes

The center has introduced learning materials that are free from gender stereotypes, including a role-playing room where children dress up in outfits representing different professions. Teachers are supported to be effective change agents for gender equality, and parents are engaged in different ways including through father storytelling sessions. “As most of the teachers in playgroups and kindergartens are women, we encourage the presence of fathers in class, to be role models for students, especially boys,” said Ms Yulaelawati.

The Directorate also engages mothers and women’s associations. It works together with large women’s groups in provinces, districts and cities providing training, workshops and multimedia campaigns. The programme has already significantly increased girls’ attendance in five provinces around the country. The Ministry of Education and Culture has also established ‘Bunda PAUD,’ Mothers of Early Childhood Education, which engages government spouses, from First Lady Irina Jokowi, to the wives of governors, mayors and regents, in promoting access to quality and inclusive early childhood care and education.

“The goal of gender mainstreaming at an early age is to build children’s character so that they can understand gender equality,” says Kurniati Restuningsih, Head of the Sub-Directorate of Curriculum, “The Ministry of Education and Culture promotes gender mainstreaming at an early age as a way to improve equality and diversity, and eliminate gender discrimination which unfortunately still occurs in many communities.”

Highlighting girls’ access to education, Ms Yulaelawati said: “In some areas of Indonesia, girls still have limited access to school. Women’s empowerment needs to begin at early childhood. This includes a holistic approach to boost the participation and confidence of girls in schools.” 

To learn more about the UNESCO 2016 Prize Laureate’s work, see the video here. Learn more about the UNESCO Prize on Girls’ and Women’s Education.

Categories: News

UNESCO hosts First International Coordination Meeting for the recovery of Aleppo’s heritage

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 03/08/2017 - 10:48
aleppo-the_great_umayyad_mosque.jpg © C.Menegazzi/UNESCO 08 March 2017

UNESCO brought together Syrian stakeholders and international experts to evaluate damage to historic monuments including the citadel, madrasa al-sultaniya, grand serail, and souk of the Ancient City of Aleppo, a World Heritage site, and to strategize Aleppo’s recovery during a Technical and Coordination Meeting convened by UNESCO in Beirut, Lebanon from 2-3 March, 2017.

The meeting also aimed to map existing national coordination mechanisms, overview ongoing and planned national and international initiatives, and reflect on a common framework for the rehabilitation and safeguarding of Aleppo’s cultural heritage. 

Representatives of the Syrian Directorate General of Antiquities and Museums (DGAM), the Aleppo City Council, the Ministry of Tourism, the Directorate of Aleppo Awqaf (Ministry of religious endowments), NGOs and universities, presented the legal, technical and scientific initiatives undertaken to safeguard Aleppo’s cultural heritage, including damage assessment, documentation, and first-aid measures for unstable structures facing collapse or further degradation.  The Director of the UNESCO Regional Office in Beirut, Hamed Al Hammami, stressed that “Syria’s national and local stakeholders have successfully started working in a tremendously difficult context, and future recovery and rehabilitation efforts must advance in order, with extreme care and precision.”

Syrian stakeholders requested that local, national and international efforts be coordinated on the ground, to ensure that urgent safeguarding measures for cultural heritage are undertaken as soon as possible. “UNESCO is fully committed to the protection, conservation, and rehabilitation of the cultural heritage of Aleppo and is ready to facilitate technical guidance and coordination which has been requested by Syrian stakeholders, in line with the needs and priorities identified by them,” said Lazare Eloundou, Deputy Director of the Division for Heritage and the World Heritage Centre at UNESCO Headquarters.

Among the main outcomes of the meeting, it was agreed that UNESCO will provide the framework for the coordination of all culture-related recovery efforts for Aleppo. A specific UNESCO unit is being set up in Aleppo to serve as a consultation mechanism, and a comprehensive Action Plan will be finalized in a follow-up meeting, which will take place in Aleppo on 15 March.

The Beirut meeting was supported by UNESCO’s Heritage Emergency Fund.  

Categories: News

Promoting women working with sustainable energy

Europaid - Wed, 03/08/2017 - 09:32
Categories: News

Empowering women through literacy and numeracy skills in Mozambique

Unesco Most Programme - Wed, 03/08/2017 - 09:24
empowering-women-literacy-mozambique-copyright-unesco-d-moussa-elkadhum-drupal.jpg © UNESCO

Women’s lives are improving as they build literacy and numeracy skills in Mozambique, with support from the UNESCO Malala Fund for Girls’ Right to Education.

Globally, two-thirds of the 758 million illiterate adults in the world are women. This proportion has remained steady over the past 20 years, despite declining numbers of illiterate adults.

In Mozambique, where the illiterate rate among women is also high (57.8 per cent), UNESCO is trying to close this gender gap for women in rural communities through adult literacy and education programmes supported by the UNESCO Malala Fund for Girl’s Right to Education.

Since 2015, UNESCO has been working with the Ministry of Education and Human Development of Mozambique in Eráti, Memba and Boane, districts from the Nampula and Maputo provinces, to implement programmes that expand women’s reading and writing, as well as entrepreneurial and financial skills. With this skill set, women are able to break out of poverty and increase opportunities for themselves and their families. Some participants have already initiated income generation activities, such as the production and sale of craft mats.

Active participation of men and community leaders

Ilda Faustino, 38 years old, explained how her life has changed as a direct result of her engagement in the programme: “I feel really happy because now I can read and write, and I am even able to manage easily my own income and bank account”.

An important component of the project’s success has been the extremely active participation of men and community leaders, who play a key role in sensitizing and mobilizing the community’s participation. “Engaging men in women’s educational and economic empowerment is a critical strategy to achieve gender equality,” said Dulce Domingos Mungoi, Programme Officer at the UNESCO Office in Maputo, “We are promoting strategies where communities work side by side with women and girls, to redress gender norms that are hindering progress”.

Community members have expressed a desire to further their study at higher levels. UNESCO will continue to support this lifelong learning initiative that is empowering women and their communities for a better future.

Categories: News