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In Liège: a new vision for the humanities in the 21st Century

Fri, 08/18/2017 - 09:57
17 August 2017

For one week in August 2017, Liège, in Belgium, became the “world capital of humanities”, to quote Paul-Émile Mottard, President of the Provincial College of Liège. The World Humanities Conference (WHC), which ran from 6 to 12 August, ended with the adoption of a new vision for the humanities for the 21st century. Participants agreed that, the humanities’ capacity to engage substantive long term reflection was indispensable to our societies in steering the environmental, technological, and cultural dynamics that are transforming them.

The outcome document of the WHC, which went through public consultation over several weeks in advance of the Conference, calls on UNESCO, through its Secretariat and Member States, and on its partners, to “ensure the strong presence of humanities within the Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme, notably by promoting the establishment of a network of UNESCO Chairs in all regions of the world”; “to take into consideration the outcomes of the World Humanities Conference in particular in devising research and education policies”; and to “ensure that the outcome of the World Humanities Conference is taken into account by the 39th session of the UNESCO General Conference in November 2017”.

More than 1,000 participants, from all continents and all disciplines of the humanities, social sciences and natural sciences, came together in Liège for a rich one-week programme that dealt with such diverse themes as environment, migrations, history, memory, languages, cultural identities and digital technologies. The Conference included seven keynote addresses, six thematic plenary sessions and more than 100 parallel sessions.

Onsite participation was very strong. Equally so online thanks to the live interviews on the WHC Facebook page, which attracted more than 200,000 views. More than 750,000 people worldwide looked at the live segments on their Facebook news feed. The participants also enjoyed a rich artistic, cultural and musical programme, integrated into the substantive discussions.

The World Humanities Conference, chaired by H.E. Adama Samassékou, former Minister of Education of Mali, and jointly organized with the International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences (CIPSH) is the outcome of a worldwide process preceded by the organization of preparatory meetings in all regions (Brazil, China, Colombia, France, Jamaica, Mali, Lebanon, Portugal and Korea).

Categories: News

Director-General condemns killing of journalists Leo Diaz and Rudy Alicaway in the Phillippines

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 14:37
16 August 2017

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today urged the authorities to investigate the killings of journalists Rudy Alicaway and Leo Diaz in the Philippines’ island of Mindanao on 6 and 7 August respectively.

“I condemn the murder of Leo Diaz and Rudy Alicaway,” said the Director-General. “The impunity that meets the majority of crimes against journalists and media workers emboldens their perpetrators and undermines freedom of information and freedom of expression. I therefore call on the authorities to spare no effort in investigating these crimes and bringing their perpetrators to trial.”

Leo Diaz, a correspondent of Manila tabloid Balita (News) and a contributor to local newspaper Sapol News and Radio Mindanao-Cotabato, was fatally shot on Monday 7 August in President Quirino, a town in Sultan Kudarat province.

Rudy Alicaway, a volunteer presenter on DXPB 106.9 Radio, was shot in Molave, a town in Zamboanga del Sur province.

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, s.coudray@unesco.org, +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

Categories: News

Early literacy: the key to fluency

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 12:43
courier_promotion_6_.jpg © Patricia Willocq / Save the children 16 August 2017
Categories: News

Humanitude, or how to quench the thirst for humanity

Wed, 08/16/2017 - 11:01
courier_03_web.jpg © Dima Vazinovich 03 August 2017
Categories: News

Promoting health education among youth in Nairobi’s Kibera informal settlement

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 15:05
promoting-health-education-youth-nairobi-drupal-c-unesco.jpg © UNESCO

Linda* was born and raised in Nairobi’s Kibera informal settlement, one of the largest and most densely populated areas in Kenya. “Life is so challenging here,” she says. Like many youth in her surrounding, this young woman did not get a chance to finish her secondary education due of her unintended pregnancy. “I can say I was a bright student. I think it was just teenage peer pressure that got to me. I met this guy and we were so in love. In the process, I got pregnant and had to drop out of school to take care of the child.”

Linda* was born and raised in Nairobi’s Kibera informal settlement, one of the largest and most densely populated areas in Kenya. “Life is so challenging here,” she says.  Like many youth in her surrounding, this young woman did not get a chance to finish her secondary education due of her unintended pregnancy. “I can say I was a bright student. I think it was just teenage peer pressure that got to me. I met this guy and we were so in love. In the process, I got pregnant and had to drop out of school to take care of the child.”

The Health Literacy for Behavior Change is a pilot project implemented from September 2014 to December 2016 by UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa, in partnership with the Kenya Ministry of Education and with the financial support from the Government of Azerbaijan. It aims to promote health education of students and youth between the ages of 10-19 in Nairobi’s Kibera informal settlement through effective delivery of health information at the classroom level.

High rate of urbanization in Kenya has seen a tremendous increase in the number of people living in informal settlements, especially in Nairobi. The city’s slums officially referred to as informal settlements, houses nearly 70% of its residents. Kibera, with over a million residents most of whom live on less than a dollar per day, is reputed to be the largest slum in Africa.

“From a very tender age, if a child is not prepared, nourished and given access to health facilities, it will impair learning,” says Ms. Ann Therese Ndong Jatta, Regional Director at UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa, based in Nairobi, Kenya. . “It’s a project targeting adolescent girls. Because of the social issues in Kibera, most girls tend to be exposed to child sexual exploitation and teenage pregnancy.” 

The Health Literacy for Behaviour Change  project revealed a range of various sexual risk indicators for girls such as lack of guidance and counselling at school and home, poverty, peer pressure, orphan-hood, insecurity, poor sanitation at school, poor housing and overcrowding, lack of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information and services among others. These indicators reportedly predispose and exacerbate girls’ vulnerability to child labour, rape, unintended pregnancy, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). It is on these premises that the health literacy project in Kibera aimed at enhancing access to health literacy information among adolescent girls to so that they could make informed decisions and boost their opportunities in achieving their educational potential.

“The project is creating awareness in the region, where you have a lot of other actors in place, focusing especially on the health of the child,” says Ms Ndong Jatta. It is also developing health education learning materials for use in schools and providing training to educators.

Through a consultative process, the project developed 12 sets of health literacy materials that were approved by Kenya Institute Curriculum Development, the mandated body to vet all teaching and learning materials at basic level. The project also trained 30 masters trainers and 195 teachers (90 more teachers were trained recently) to strengthen the teaching of health literacy in schools.

Although Kenya has put in place national policies by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health that outline strategies to improve girls’ education, girls in Kibera are significantly less likely to be attending school than boys. A study conducted by Population Council (2007) shows that 43% of girls in the sample were out of school, compared to 29% of boys.

“I stayed out of school for four years,” says Linda. “But fortunately, my family helped me to go back to school and register. And hopefully, I’ll pass.”

*name has been changed.

Categories: News

Promoting health education among youth in Nairobi’s Kibera informal settlement

Mon, 08/14/2017 - 15:05
promoting-health-education-youth-nairobi-drupal-c-unesco.jpg © UNESCO

Linda* was born and raised in Nairobi’s Kibera informal settlement, one of the largest and most densely populated areas in Kenya. “Life is so challenging here,” she says. Like many youth in her surrounding, this young woman did not get a chance to finish her secondary education due of her unintended pregnancy. “I can say I was a bright student. I think it was just teenage peer pressure that got to me. I met this guy and we were so in love. In the process, I got pregnant and had to drop out of school to take care of the child.”

Linda* was born and raised in Nairobi’s Kibera informal settlement, one of the largest and most densely populated areas in Kenya. “Life is so challenging here,” she says.  Like many youth in her surrounding, this young woman did not get a chance to finish her secondary education due of her unintended pregnancy. “I can say I was a bright student. I think it was just teenage peer pressure that got to me. I met this guy and we were so in love. In the process, I got pregnant and had to drop out of school to take care of the child.”

The Health Literacy for Behavior Change is a pilot project implemented from September 2014 to December 2016 by UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa, in partnership with the Kenya Ministry of Education and with the financial support from the Government of Azerbaijan. It aims to promote health education of students and youth between the ages of 10-19 in Nairobi’s Kibera informal settlement through effective delivery of health information at the classroom level.

High rate of urbanization in Kenya has seen a tremendous increase in the number of people living in informal settlements, especially in Nairobi. The city’s slums officially referred to as informal settlements, houses nearly 70% of its residents. Kibera, with over a million residents most of whom live on less than a dollar per day, is reputed to be the largest slum in Africa.

“From a very tender age, if a child is not prepared, nourished and given access to health facilities, it will impair learning,” says Ms. Ann Therese Ndong Jatta, Regional Director at UNESCO Regional Office for Eastern Africa, based in Nairobi, Kenya. . “It’s a project targeting adolescent girls. Because of the social issues in Kibera, most girls tend to be exposed to child sexual exploitation and teenage pregnancy.” 

The Health Literacy for Behaviour Change  project revealed a range of various sexual risk indicators for girls such as lack of guidance and counselling at school and home, poverty, peer pressure, orphan-hood, insecurity, poor sanitation at school, poor housing and overcrowding, lack of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) information and services among others. These indicators reportedly predispose and exacerbate girls’ vulnerability to child labour, rape, unintended pregnancy, Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs). It is on these premises that the health literacy project in Kibera aimed at enhancing access to health literacy information among adolescent girls to so that they could make informed decisions and boost their opportunities in achieving their educational potential.

“The project is creating awareness in the region, where you have a lot of other actors in place, focusing especially on the health of the child,” says Ms Ndong Jatta. It is also developing health education learning materials for use in schools and providing training to educators.

Through a consultative process, the project developed 12 sets of health literacy materials that were approved by Kenya Institute Curriculum Development, the mandated body to vet all teaching and learning materials at basic level. The project also trained 30 masters trainers and 195 teachers (90 more teachers were trained recently) to strengthen the teaching of health literacy in schools.

Although Kenya has put in place national policies by the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health that outline strategies to improve girls’ education, girls in Kibera are significantly less likely to be attending school than boys. A study conducted by Population Council (2007) shows that 43% of girls in the sample were out of school, compared to 29% of boys.

“I stayed out of school for four years,” says Linda. “But fortunately, my family helped me to go back to school and register. And hopefully, I’ll pass.”

*name has been changed.

Categories: News

Women who are making a real impact in STEM

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 15:09
stem-socia-media.jpg © UNESCO 11 August 2017
Categories: News

Women who are making a real impact in STEM

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 15:09
stem-socia-media.jpg © UNESCO 11 August 2017
Categories: News

Director-General condemns killing of Syrian media worker Bassel Khartabil Safadi

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 12:21
10 August 2017

Paris, 10 August—The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has condemned the killing of Syrian media worker and open-web promoter Bassel Khartabil Safadi, whose death in a Syrian prison was confirmed last week.

“I condemn the killing of media worker Bassel Khartabil,” said the Director-General. “Bassel Khartabil carried out important work to support freedom of expression, and to help the people of Syria benefit from, and contribute to, the internet. His death is a loss to those committed to the sharing of knowledge across open channels. I call on the Syrian authorities to disclose information regarding the circumstances of his death.”

Bassel Khartabil Safadi was arrested in 2012 in connection to his work as an open-source software developer and promoter of access to information on an open and free internet. In 2015, he was moved to an unknown location where he is said to have been executed.

On 21 April 2015, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention called for Bassel Khartabil’s release, describing his detention as a violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

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, s.coudray@unesco.org, +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

Categories: News

Director-General condemns killing of Syrian media worker Bassel Khartabil Safadi

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 12:21
10 August 2017

Paris, 10 August—The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, has condemned the killing of Syrian media worker and open-web promoter Bassel Khartabil Safadi, whose death in a Syrian prison was confirmed last week.

“I condemn the killing of media worker Bassel Khartabil,” said the Director-General. “Bassel Khartabil carried out important work to support freedom of expression, and to help the people of Syria benefit from, and contribute to, the internet. His death is a loss to those committed to the sharing of knowledge across open channels. I call on the Syrian authorities to disclose information regarding the circumstances of his death.”

Bassel Khartabil Safadi was arrested in 2012 in connection to his work as an open-source software developer and promoter of access to information on an open and free internet. In 2015, he was moved to an unknown location where he is said to have been executed.

On 21 April 2015, the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention called for Bassel Khartabil’s release, describing his detention as a violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

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, s.coudray@unesco.org, +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

Categories: News

Director-General calls on authorities to shed light on the killing of journalist Luciano Rivera Salgado in Mexico

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 11:34
10 August 2017

Paris, 10 August—The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the killing of journalist Luciano Rivera Salgado in Playas de Rosarito, in the Mexican state of Baja California on 31 July.

“I condemn the killing of Luciano Rivera Salgado,” said the Director-General, adding: “I urge the Mexican authorities to investigate his murder and shed light on the circumstances and motives behind this crime.”

The journalist, a TV presenter for local channel CNR and director of the online news portal El Dictamen, was shot in a bar in Playas de Rosarito.

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, s.coudray@unesco.org, +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

Categories: News

Director-General calls on authorities to shed light on the killing of journalist Luciano Rivera Salgado in Mexico

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 11:34
10 August 2017

Paris, 10 August—The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, today denounced the killing of journalist Luciano Rivera Salgado in Playas de Rosarito, in the Mexican state of Baja California on 31 July.

“I condemn the killing of Luciano Rivera Salgado,” said the Director-General, adding: “I urge the Mexican authorities to investigate his murder and shed light on the circumstances and motives behind this crime.”

The journalist, a TV presenter for local channel CNR and director of the online news portal El Dictamen, was shot in a bar in Playas de Rosarito.

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, s.coudray@unesco.org, +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

Categories: News

UNESCO-EU-Government of Spain Consultative meeting on strengthening the Middle Zambezi Biosphere Reserve (MZBR) in Zimbabwe

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 10:45
img_zimababwe_workshop.jpg © UNESCO

The UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa (UNESCO ROSA) successfully hosted a one-day partnership meeting with the European Union (EU), the Embassy of Spain and the Zimbabwe Man and Biosphere (MAB) Committee in July 2017 at the UNESCO Gardens.

The purpose of the meeting was to identify areas of synergy for work and funding mobilization opportunities for issues relating to climate change, environmental research, natural resources, wildlife management and youth employment using the UNESCO MAB concept.

Dr Peggy Oti-Boateng, Senior Science Programme Specialist for Science Technology and Innovation at UNESCO ROSA made a presentation on MAB’s Biosphere Reserve (BR) concept. She explained that the concept promotes the conservation of landscape and ecosystems, territorial spatial management, national and regional integration, peace building especially in transboundary BRs, scientific and technical research cooperation, and long-term interactive and participatory processes with strong local community engagement. These various activities are divided across three zoned areas: the transition zone, the buffer zone and the core area.

‘Biospheres seek to halt the loss of biodiversity and promote sustainable development, and provide a good model for climate change and biodiversity conservation studies and eco-tourism, which Zimbabwe is currently pursuing’, explained Dr Peggy Oti-Boateng.

Professor Chris Magadza gave an update on the only nominated BR located in the Middle Zambezi in Zimbabwe. The National MAB Committee emphasized the limited available human and financial resources and the effective lack of government support to run the Lower Zambezi BR since its nomination. It also underlined the absence of legal instruments to prevent encroachment on the Middle Zambezi Biosphere Reserve (MZBR).

Zimbabwe’s Middle Zambezi Valley was among 13 new international sites given enhanced conservation status as biosphere reserves by UNESCO in June 2010. The Middle Zambezi Biosphere Reserve extends from Lake Kariba and the Matusadona National Park through various national parks and safari areas adjacent to the Zambezi River, including Mana Pools, Sapi and Chewore, which have already been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site (see Figure 2). Of particular concern is the high rate of loss of biodiversity as a result of over-population, water insecurity and wildlife poaching, especially in Chirundu and Kariba. These threats highlight the need for proper conservation measures to protect the rich biodiversity and natural resources of the MZBR. Mrs Beula Chipoyera, Science Programme Officer of the Zimbabwe National Commission of UNESCO, drew attention to government support for the National MAB Committee to help finalize the ongoing assessment of the MZBR in order to report on the status of the reserve – a condition of the nomination.

Mr Andrea Janoha, Programme Manager for Natural Resource Management, Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Zimbabwe, expressed his appreciation to UNESCO for providing a platform to better understand the biosphere reserve concept. He also asked how the concept might be integrated into ongoing discussions on the EU-Government of Zimbabwe survey regarding the effective operation of national parks to promote conservation, cohabitation of humans and wildlife, and green jobs. He underlined the need to introduce a legal instrument to ensure the designated zones of the MZBR are maintained, and to prevent encroachment on the core zone, thereby ensuring its international significance is maintained. Ms Ana Álvarez López, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Spain in Harare, Zimbabwe, also supported the need to work together as partners to promote the BR concept and to link it to education for sustainable development for young people. The partners agreed to work together to mobilize funds to ensure the effective operations of the MZBR and to maintain its attributes as a true biosphere reserve in Zimbabwe.

Categories: News

UNESCO-EU-Government of Spain Consultative meeting on strengthening the Middle Zambezi Biosphere Reserve (MZBR) in Zimbabwe

Thu, 08/10/2017 - 10:45
img_zimababwe_workshop.jpg © UNESCO

The UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa (UNESCO ROSA) successfully hosted a one-day partnership meeting with the European Union (EU), the Embassy of Spain and the Zimbabwe Man and Biosphere (MAB) Committee in July 2017 at the UNESCO Gardens.

The purpose of the meeting was to identify areas of synergy for work and funding mobilization opportunities for issues relating to climate change, environmental research, natural resources, wildlife management and youth employment using the UNESCO MAB concept.

Dr Peggy Oti-Boateng, Senior Science Programme Specialist for Science Technology and Innovation at UNESCO ROSA made a presentation on MAB’s Biosphere Reserve (BR) concept. She explained that the concept promotes the conservation of landscape and ecosystems, territorial spatial management, national and regional integration, peace building especially in transboundary BRs, scientific and technical research cooperation, and long-term interactive and participatory processes with strong local community engagement. These various activities are divided across three zoned areas: the transition zone, the buffer zone and the core area.

‘Biospheres seek to halt the loss of biodiversity and promote sustainable development, and provide a good model for climate change and biodiversity conservation studies and eco-tourism, which Zimbabwe is currently pursuing’, explained Dr Peggy Oti-Boateng.

Professor Chris Magadza gave an update on the only nominated BR located in the Middle Zambezi in Zimbabwe. The National MAB Committee emphasized the limited available human and financial resources and the effective lack of government support to run the Lower Zambezi BR since its nomination. It also underlined the absence of legal instruments to prevent encroachment on the Middle Zambezi Biosphere Reserve (MZBR).

Zimbabwe’s Middle Zambezi Valley was among 13 new international sites given enhanced conservation status as biosphere reserves by UNESCO in June 2010. The Middle Zambezi Biosphere Reserve extends from Lake Kariba and the Matusadona National Park through various national parks and safari areas adjacent to the Zambezi River, including Mana Pools, Sapi and Chewore, which have already been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site (see Figure 2). Of particular concern is the high rate of loss of biodiversity as a result of over-population, water insecurity and wildlife poaching, especially in Chirundu and Kariba. These threats highlight the need for proper conservation measures to protect the rich biodiversity and natural resources of the MZBR. Mrs Beula Chipoyera, Science Programme Officer of the Zimbabwe National Commission of UNESCO, drew attention to government support for the National MAB Committee to help finalize the ongoing assessment of the MZBR in order to report on the status of the reserve – a condition of the nomination.

Mr Andrea Janoha, Programme Manager for Natural Resource Management, Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Zimbabwe, expressed his appreciation to UNESCO for providing a platform to better understand the biosphere reserve concept. He also asked how the concept might be integrated into ongoing discussions on the EU-Government of Zimbabwe survey regarding the effective operation of national parks to promote conservation, cohabitation of humans and wildlife, and green jobs. He underlined the need to introduce a legal instrument to ensure the designated zones of the MZBR are maintained, and to prevent encroachment on the core zone, thereby ensuring its international significance is maintained. Ms Ana Álvarez López, Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Spain in Harare, Zimbabwe, also supported the need to work together as partners to promote the BR concept and to link it to education for sustainable development for young people. The partners agreed to work together to mobilize funds to ensure the effective operations of the MZBR and to maintain its attributes as a true biosphere reserve in Zimbabwe.

Categories: News

High-level multi-stakeholder partnership for SDG4 Education 2030

Wed, 08/09/2017 - 17:58
sdg4_education2030_sc_july_2017_c_unesco-joel_sheakoski.jpg © UNESCO / Joel Sheakoski 09 August 2017

The third meeting of the SDG-Education 2030 Steering Committee was organized in New York on 29-30 June 2017 back to back with the High Level SDG Action Event on Education, convened by Peter Thompson, President of the UN General Assembly (PGA).

The PGA event provided an opportunity to highlight the growing synergy around the implementation of SDG 4 and to raise awareness about the opportunities and obstacles for achieving universal access to quality education. It focused on: more and better financing; innovation in teaching and learning; Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Global Citizenship Education (GCED); and Education in post-conflict and disaster-affected countries. Throughout the event, representatives from Ministries of Education and education advocates shared experiences and put forward strategies to achieve SDG4.

At the Steering Committee meeting the members examined successes and challenges in the implementation of SDG4 since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda. The gathering highlighted the critical role of regional organizations as policy peer learning mechanisms in enhancing effective implementation of SDG4-Education 2030. 

Recommendations for improved implementation

During this third global meeting, the Steering Committee endorsed a set of recommendations for improved implementation of SDG4 in 2018 and 2019.

The Steering Committee endorsed specific messages and actions including strengthening of national ownership of the SDG 4 targets and commitments, coordination and national implementation efforts as well as national and sub-national capacities on monitoring and evaluation and the use of data.

It affirmed calls for increased domestic financing, improving financing data, strengthening ODA (bi-lateral and multilateral aid), and support for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) replenishment and increased finances for the Education Cannot Wait Fund.

The Steering Committee provided an update on the development of global frameworks to monitor the SDGs and SDG4 including: IAEG; the UN Statistical Commission; the Technical Cooperation Group; the Global Alliance to Monitor Learning; and the UN reporting process through the High-level Political Forum (HLPF).  It went on to review follow-up actions to the 2016 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report recommendations.

It also examined the criteria and issues to be considered for the possible prioritization of indicators and the development of a global lead indicator for education. In doing so, the Committee deliberated on the issue of benchmarking and thresholds for global education indicators.

The SDG-Education Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is an inclusive high-level multi-stakeholder partnership, the SDG-Education 2030 Steering Committee provides a global forum for consultation and a mechanism to coordinate and harmonize global education efforts. It is mandated to provide strategic guidance to Member States and the education community, make recommendations for catalytic action, advocate for adequate financing, and monitor progress toward SDG4 targets through the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and the Global Educational Monitoring (GEM) Report. 

Read the full report.

Categories: News

High-level multi-stakeholder partnership for SDG4 Education 2030

Wed, 08/09/2017 - 17:58
sdg4_education2030_sc_july_2017_c_unesco-joel_sheakoski.jpg © UNESCO / Joel Sheakoski 09 August 2017

The third meeting of the SDG-Education 2030 Steering Committee was organized in New York on 29-30 June 2017 back to back with the High Level SDG Action Event on Education, convened by Peter Thompson, President of the UN General Assembly (PGA).

The PGA event provided an opportunity to highlight the growing synergy around the implementation of SDG 4 and to raise awareness about the opportunities and obstacles for achieving universal access to quality education. It focused on: more and better financing; innovation in teaching and learning; Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Global Citizenship Education (GCED); and Education in post-conflict and disaster-affected countries. Throughout the event, representatives from Ministries of Education and education advocates shared experiences and put forward strategies to achieve SDG4.

At the Steering Committee meeting the members examined successes and challenges in the implementation of SDG4 since the adoption of the 2030 Agenda. The gathering highlighted the critical role of regional organizations as policy peer learning mechanisms in enhancing effective implementation of SDG4-Education 2030. 

Recommendations for improved implementation

During this third global meeting, the Steering Committee endorsed a set of recommendations for improved implementation of SDG4 in 2018 and 2019.

The Steering Committee endorsed specific messages and actions including strengthening of national ownership of the SDG 4 targets and commitments, coordination and national implementation efforts as well as national and sub-national capacities on monitoring and evaluation and the use of data.

It affirmed calls for increased domestic financing, improving financing data, strengthening ODA (bi-lateral and multilateral aid), and support for the Global Partnership for Education (GPE) replenishment and increased finances for the Education Cannot Wait Fund.

The Steering Committee provided an update on the development of global frameworks to monitor the SDGs and SDG4 including: IAEG; the UN Statistical Commission; the Technical Cooperation Group; the Global Alliance to Monitor Learning; and the UN reporting process through the High-level Political Forum (HLPF).  It went on to review follow-up actions to the 2016 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report recommendations.

It also examined the criteria and issues to be considered for the possible prioritization of indicators and the development of a global lead indicator for education. In doing so, the Committee deliberated on the issue of benchmarking and thresholds for global education indicators.

The SDG-Education Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is an inclusive high-level multi-stakeholder partnership, the SDG-Education 2030 Steering Committee provides a global forum for consultation and a mechanism to coordinate and harmonize global education efforts. It is mandated to provide strategic guidance to Member States and the education community, make recommendations for catalytic action, advocate for adequate financing, and monitor progress toward SDG4 targets through the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and the Global Educational Monitoring (GEM) Report. 

Read the full report.

Categories: News

UNESCO Internet Universality Indicators consulted at the 8th Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum

Wed, 08/09/2017 - 16:42
news_090817_bangkok.jpg Gayatri Khandahai, APC; Xianhong Hu, UNESCO; Chat Garcia Ramilo, APC; Winston Roberts, IFLA; Piyawan Suwattanathum, UNESCO, at the Internet indicators consultation, 8th Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF), Bangkok, July 2017© Asad Baig 09 August 2017“Internet Universality indicators should measure broad social implications of the Internet and serve as a powerful tool to foster sustainable development,” was a strong message delivered by Asia-Pacific stakeholders at UNESCO consultation to develop Internet Universality indicators during the 8th Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) in Bangkok (Thailand), 29 July 2017.

The Bangkok consultation event,  co-moderated by Ms. Xianhong Hu (UNESCO) and Ms. Chat Garcia Ramilo (Association for Progressive Communications, APC), brought multi-stakeholders and experts from the Asia Pacific region to contribute to prioritizing issues within the five categories indicators along the Internet Universality R.O.A.M principles, namely on human Rights, Openness, Accessibility, Multi-stakeholder participation, as well as concerning Crosscutting issues.

“Rights entail a number of digital rights including freedom of religious and political expression and right to assembly and association online. Privacy concerns on the Internet are extremely important as well”, stated Ms Gayatri Khandahi from APC on human Rights indicators. In addition, she noted the importance of social and economic rights exercised on the Internet, such as the right to work and the right to political participation, and the jurisdiction challenges of these rights in the pretext of Internet. She emphasized the need to consult also with vulnerable groups, such as women, trans-gender groups and migrants.

Dr. Anja Kovacs from Internet Democracy Project pointed out that rights have impact on other themes or indicators, for instance online abuse of women impacts access in India. She also noted that in the course of developing these indicators, it is crucial to take into account future trends because digital rights are evolving and these indicators might not be useful in 10 years.

“Open Internet is a top concern since it is being limited by many localized requirements.  Thus openness requires open and transparent policy and decision making process which is at the core of multi-stakeholder approach”, commented by Prof. Xue Hong from Beijing Normal University on Openness indicators. She suggested “open access” needs to consider people’s various barriers to access Internet, including legal barriers. She suggested that “open source”, “open innovation” and “open market” are also important aspects to measure the level of openness.

On Accessibility indicators, Mr Winston Roberts from the International Federation of Library Associations & Institutions (IFLA) suggested that the definition of universal access needs to be updated and access in various forms can be used as an indicator, such access to broadband. He stressed the importance to include quality access and access in rural areas.

“Access and accessibility should be defined clearly. Access should include indicators to assess quality of service and openness should include assessment of the market”, stated Ms. Bishakha Datta. Mr. Naveed Haq from Internet Society suggested those accessibility indicators could check how many government websites are available to people with disabilities.

“Internet is a classic example where various communities are represented and thus multistakeholderism becomes important”, said Mr. Naveed Haq from Internet Society on Multistakeholder indicators.  Mr. Sunil Abraham from Center for Internet Society raised challenges that the government needs to deregulate policies and laws and redo them with a multi-stakeholder process, but on the other hand, private sectors fail to mitigate harm through the self-regulatory model. Mr. Joyce Chen, ICANN representative, highlighted the importance to engage with governments, who need to facilitate more dialogue.

“The rights and interest of those vulnerable groups, such as transgender and women should be considered by the indicators, particularly to assess how rights, such as the right to privacy intersect with their agenda”, suggested by Ms. Bishakha Datta from Point of View on Crosscutting dimension indicators.  Dr Anja Kovacs pointed out that it is crucial not miss out groups of people whose interests might not be directly aligned with their governments, for instance refugees or migrants.”

In addition to the ongoing on-site Multistakeholder consultation sessions, UNESCO is now also offering the possibility for interested actors, including Member States, to participate in the consultation online at https://en.unesco.org/internetuniversality.

As an ongoing project developed by UNESCO, Internet Universality Indicators aims to serve as a recognized and authoritative global research tool for national assessing Internet development along the lines of UNESCO’s Internet Universality concept as endorsed by UNESCO 38th General Conference in 2015. The final indicators will be presented in 2018 and will be submitted to the UNESCO Member States in the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) for endorsement.

Categories: News

UNESCO Internet Universality Indicators consulted at the 8th Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum

Wed, 08/09/2017 - 16:42
news_090817_bangkok.jpg Gayatri Khandahai, APC; Xianhong Hu, UNESCO; Chat Garcia Ramilo, APC; Winston Roberts, IFLA; Piyawan Suwattanathum, UNESCO, at the Internet indicators consultation, 8th Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF), Bangkok, July 2017© Asad Baig 09 August 2017“Internet Universality indicators should measure broad social implications of the Internet and serve as a powerful tool to foster sustainable development,” was a strong message delivered by Asia-Pacific stakeholders at UNESCO consultation to develop Internet Universality indicators during the 8th Asia Pacific Regional Internet Governance Forum (APrIGF) in Bangkok (Thailand), 29 July 2017.

The Bangkok consultation event,  co-moderated by Ms. Xianhong Hu (UNESCO) and Ms. Chat Garcia Ramilo (Association for Progressive Communications, APC), brought multi-stakeholders and experts from the Asia Pacific region to contribute to prioritizing issues within the five categories indicators along the Internet Universality R.O.A.M principles, namely on human Rights, Openness, Accessibility, Multi-stakeholder participation, as well as concerning Crosscutting issues.

“Rights entail a number of digital rights including freedom of religious and political expression and right to assembly and association online. Privacy concerns on the Internet are extremely important as well”, stated Ms Gayatri Khandahi from APC on human Rights indicators. In addition, she noted the importance of social and economic rights exercised on the Internet, such as the right to work and the right to political participation, and the jurisdiction challenges of these rights in the pretext of Internet. She emphasized the need to consult also with vulnerable groups, such as women, trans-gender groups and migrants.

Dr. Anja Kovacs from Internet Democracy Project pointed out that rights have impact on other themes or indicators, for instance online abuse of women impacts access in India. She also noted that in the course of developing these indicators, it is crucial to take into account future trends because digital rights are evolving and these indicators might not be useful in 10 years.

“Open Internet is a top concern since it is being limited by many localized requirements.  Thus openness requires open and transparent policy and decision making process which is at the core of multi-stakeholder approach”, commented by Prof. Xue Hong from Beijing Normal University on Openness indicators. She suggested “open access” needs to consider people’s various barriers to access Internet, including legal barriers. She suggested that “open source”, “open innovation” and “open market” are also important aspects to measure the level of openness.

On Accessibility indicators, Mr Winston Roberts from the International Federation of Library Associations & Institutions (IFLA) suggested that the definition of universal access needs to be updated and access in various forms can be used as an indicator, such access to broadband. He stressed the importance to include quality access and access in rural areas.

“Access and accessibility should be defined clearly. Access should include indicators to assess quality of service and openness should include assessment of the market”, stated Ms. Bishakha Datta. Mr. Naveed Haq from Internet Society suggested those accessibility indicators could check how many government websites are available to people with disabilities.

“Internet is a classic example where various communities are represented and thus multistakeholderism becomes important”, said Mr. Naveed Haq from Internet Society on Multistakeholder indicators.  Mr. Sunil Abraham from Center for Internet Society raised challenges that the government needs to deregulate policies and laws and redo them with a multi-stakeholder process, but on the other hand, private sectors fail to mitigate harm through the self-regulatory model. Mr. Joyce Chen, ICANN representative, highlighted the importance to engage with governments, who need to facilitate more dialogue.

“The rights and interest of those vulnerable groups, such as transgender and women should be considered by the indicators, particularly to assess how rights, such as the right to privacy intersect with their agenda”, suggested by Ms. Bishakha Datta from Point of View on Crosscutting dimension indicators.  Dr Anja Kovacs pointed out that it is crucial not miss out groups of people whose interests might not be directly aligned with their governments, for instance refugees or migrants.”

In addition to the ongoing on-site Multistakeholder consultation sessions, UNESCO is now also offering the possibility for interested actors, including Member States, to participate in the consultation online at https://en.unesco.org/internetuniversality.

As an ongoing project developed by UNESCO, Internet Universality Indicators aims to serve as a recognized and authoritative global research tool for national assessing Internet development along the lines of UNESCO’s Internet Universality concept as endorsed by UNESCO 38th General Conference in 2015. The final indicators will be presented in 2018 and will be submitted to the UNESCO Member States in the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) for endorsement.

Categories: News

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