Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Science, technology and innovation endorsed for UNESCO’s 2006-2007 program

In October 2005, UNESCO’s General Conference (33rd Session) adopted Commission III’s Report, highlighting unanimous agreement that science, technology and innovation are the basis for economic growth, development and ultimately poverty eradication in cooperation with the social and human sciences to provide the necessary ethical, social and cultural framework.

During Commission III discussions on Major Programme II (Natural Sciences), speakers emphasized that in the field of basic and engineering sciences the following deserved particular attention:
• capacity-building in science and technology
• UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD),
• access of young girls and women to science
• promotion of international cooperation in basic and engineering sciences through the International Basic Sciences Program (IBSP)
• promotion and management of renewable sources of energy.

The majority of speakers called for greater emphasis on improving water-related disaster mitigation, including floods and droughts, as well as enhancing water management capacity at regional and national levels. Member States spoke of a worrying trend of falling student enrolment in science and engineering disciplines.

The Commission fully endorsed the creation of two centers: (1) the Regional Center for Biotechnology Training and Education in India; (2) the International Center for Biological Sciences in Venezuela. It also recommende granting of the status of a regional institute under the auspices of UNESCO (Category II) to the Instituto de Matematica Pura e Aplicada (IMPA) in Brazil. With regard to the centre in India, Member States noted that there was now a strong desire among nations to develop capacities in the utilization of biotechnology to address food insecurity; several delegates felt that the centres and the institute would help to promote South-South co-operation.

In response to general concerns about the strength of UNESCO’s commitment to capacity-building on the African continent, it was noted that the Second African Ministerial Conference on Science and Technology had decided (on 30 September) that NEPAD would establish a high-level working group involving the African Union, the New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and UNESCO to prepare a comprehensive program for establishing and funding centres of excellence on the African continent. The member nations also wanted to see the Regional Bureau for Science in Europe retain its existing geographical scope and primary function as a science office directed by a scientist.

Speakers underscored the responsibility falling to all five scientific programmes to provide the basic scientific information for understanding global change and incorporation into policy-making. With regard to the fifth scientific programme, many speakers commended UNESCO for the new IBSP. Stressing the importance of basic sciences for endogenous development and the need to revitalize both basic sciences and science education, Member States expressed satisfaction at the priority given to Africa in this programme.

The cross-sectoral nature of many UNESCO programmes (e.g. sustainable development, science education, climate change, natural disaster prevention and preparedness, etc.) was underlined, and a large number of delegations called for an increased level and scope of interdisciplinarity and intersectorality in the design and implementation of UNESCO’s programmes, as multidisciplinarity eventually constituted one of the Organization’s main comparative advantages.


Draft report Commission III, 18 October 2005

Draft Programme and Budget 2006-2007 revised (33 C/5rev.)

Monday, December 26, 2005

UNESCO's World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology (COMEST*)

Go to the COMEST website.

COMEST is an advisory body and forum composed of 18 members. The Commission is mandated to formulate ethical principles that could provide decision-makers with criteria other than purely economic.

COMEST members, appointed by the Director General, serve for four-year terms in their personal capacities. The members come from many nations.

A U.S. citizen is now a member: Midge Decter is an author and editor. She serves as a member of the board of trustees of the Heritage Foundation, the board of Security Policy, Institute on Religion and Public Life, Philadelphia Society and is chairperson of the Clare Booth Luce Fundation.

The Heritage Foundation website describes her as follows:

Decter’s incisive writing on a range of topics has proven invaluable to the conservative movement. A former editor at Basic Books, her writing has graced the pages of Commentary, First Things, Harper’s and a number of other publications. Her books include "The New Chastity", "Liberal Parents, Radical Children". and the recent "Rumsfeld: A Personal Portrait". A Senior Fellow at the Institute on Religion and Public Life in New York City, Decter previously served as Executive Director of the Committee for a Free World, a powerful voice for anti-communism that she voluntarily disbanded after the fall of the Berlin Wall and collapse of Soviet communism.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

UNESCO Official criticises Delhi refusal to share data on low-magnitude quakes

Read the full story in The Peninsula Online (Qatar). (12/17/2005)

"India said yesterday it would not share information on earthquakes below a magnitude of six on the Richter scale due to security concerns, drawing criticism from the United Nations.

"Indian seismologists at an UN tsunami conference said sharing seismic data had security implications as seabed terrain could be mapped, possibly helping others learn about the nation's submarines and warships......

"Patricio Bernal, assistant director general of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (Unesco), rejected India's argument and said the organisation wanted a free flow of data.

"'The small quakes are important because we never know what they may lead to. It might be the signal for a bigger one,' he told AFP.

"'India is the only country which has put up such a request (to refuse to share such data),' he added."

UNESCO’s Global Ethics Observatory launched

Read the full news release from UNESCO.

UNESCO’s Global Ethics Observatory
– a database of all currently available resources on ethics worldwide – was officially launched last week, at the meeting of the International Bioethics Committee (IBC) in Tokyo.

Through the Portal, everyone can now access direct and free of charge, four databases covering the fields of bioethics.

# Database 1: Who's Who in Ethics (Individual experts in ethics around the globe)
# Database 2: Ethics Institutions (Institutions, centers, commissions, and committees in the area of ethics)
# Database 3: Ethics Teaching Programs (Descriptions of existing teaching programmes within the field of ethics)
# COMING SOON - Database 4: Ethics Related Legislation and Guidelines

"South Asia: U.S. provides hazard warning expertise to Indian Ocean nations"

Read the full article by Cheryl Pellerin on ReliefWeb.

"India meeting produces implementation outline for regional system"

"The yearlong international effort to secure Indian Ocean coastal populations against the ravages of another deadly tsunami is paying off, as members of the UNESCO International Oceanographic Commission (IOC) Intergovernmental Coordination Group (ICG) converge on basic principles of an operational early warning system for the region.

"Along the way, many countries, including the United States, have offered financial and technical support for the complex undertaking, which includes hazard and risk assessment for each nation, ocean observations and data management, forecasting, forecast and warning dissemination and capacity building.

"Over the past 12 months, the United States has provided $840 million in emergency recovery and reconstruction assistance to the region, according to the U.S. Agency for International Development. Private U.S. assistance amounts to $1.8 billion in cash and in-kind donations.

"Through the U.S. Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning System (IOTWS) program, U.S. agencies will spend $16.6 million over two years to help develop early warning capabilities for tsunamis and other hazards in the Indian Ocean, and support the IOC’s lead in developing an international warning system with data sharing for 16 countries."

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Happy Holidays!

"UNESCO Designates Chaco Biosphere Reserve"

Men on the Chaco Biosphere Reserve
prepare to perform a traditional dance.

Read the full article in USAID Frontlines. (December 2005)

A Great Example of Cooperation between USAID and UNESCO!

"The U.N. Education Social and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) approved the designation of almost 7.5 million hectares of forest lands as the Chaco Biosphere Reserve this June.

"The Paraguayan government had been moving since 2001 toward making the Chaco a biosphere reserve. Since then, USAID, though the Fundacion DeSdel Chaco and The Nature Conservancy, has helped prepare the scientific work required to prove that an area should be a reserve.

"Researchers made maps of the soil, vegetation, and topography of the Chaco, a massive plains region on the border of Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina, and Bolivia. They also researched the local infrastructure and social setting, considering things like the construction of an administrative office and control posts and operating costs for the reserve.

"USAID also helped local governments to promote public participation, transparency, organization, and decentralization. Several workshops were held educating the public about the Chaco. And USAID helped with the writing and submission of the proposal to UNESCO."

Friday, December 23, 2005

Earth Charter/UNESCO musical CDs on iTunes

Go to the iTunes website.

UNESCO and Earth Charter have sponsored the production of CD's that would make good holiday gifts, or indeed good listening all year. There are three (so far). The cost per album is US$9.95. Not only are they a bargain, but a significant part of the profits goes to good causes.

The International Earth Charter/UNESCO musical CD on iTunes

This international musical CD initiative, initiated by the Earth Charter Secretariat and with UNESCO sponsorship, has been coordinated by the French NGO "Pour la Terre". The songs, which reflect the diversity of the world, have been selected for their musical quality and the messages that they transmit.

The international CD features major artists representing the five continents, including Youssou N'Dour, Chico and the Gypsies, Tokiko Kato, Maná, Maria Emilia, Raffi, Rosie Emery, Meiway. Each song revolves around one or more Earth Charter principles. Contributing artists and songs for the international CD are as follows:
- We Are One (Earth Mama)
1. Justicia, Tierra y Libertad (Maná)
2. Xaley Reew Mi (Youssou N> '> Dour)
3. The River (Nicole Redner)
4. Viva la Vida (Chico and the Gypsies)
5. Now is the Time (Tokiko Kato)
6. Turn This World Around (Raffi)
7. Dolphin Teach Us To Play (Rosie Emery)
8. What> '> s That, Habitat? (Remy Rodden)
9. I Like to Recycle (The Young and Elderly Recycling Stand Band)
10. Forgive Me (Clear Blue 22)
11. A Lua Escureceu (Maria Emilia/Tete Espinela)
12. H.I.V. (Daromax & Ethymos)
13. Flying Earth Song (Chen Yuan Yuan)
14. Assez (Meiway)
15. Peace and Love (Zehava Ben)
The international CD is now accessible on: iTunes U.S site/children's

The CD can also be accessed by entering UNESCO or Earth Charter in the
iTunes Music Store Search window.

The San Francisco Earth Charter/UNESCO CDs, School Kit and future Concert

Association Pour la Terre completed production of a 2 CD set, one directed toward children up to 14 and the other for young people over that age. (There will be an accompanying School Kit which contains the basic philosophy of Sustainable Development and the Earth Charter principles. The Kit will also have one page devoted to each artist-group, with lyrics, association of meaning of song with Earth Charter principle(s), brief bio, student exercises and relevant web pages. It will be a teaching tool which will be distributed freely by secure FTP download to San Francisco School District teachers for classroom use.)

Sale of this music will benefit UNESCO and the Earth Charter Secretariat, as well as providing royalties for the artist, and positive promotion for all concerned. 25% of the net profit is for SF school music programs (devoted to sustainable development and the Earth Charter principles) and 25% is to be shared equally by UNESCO/Earth Charter/Pour la Terre.

Young People's CD:

1. Grateful Dead (live version of Touch of Grey)
2. Mana/with special SF guest artist (Justicia, Tierra, y Libertad)
3. Mickey Hart (Light Over Shadow)
4. Kitaro
5. Huey Lewis (Small World, Pt. 1) (hard disc only)
6. Ozomatli (Quando Canto)
7. Shana Morrison (More Than I Need)
8. Country Joe (Peace on Earth)
9. Tommy Castro (Anytime Now)
10. Dan Hicks (You Gotta Believe)
11. Maria Muldaur (Never Swat a Fly)
12. Doobie Brothers (People Gotta Love Again)
13. Luna Angel (Unconditional Love)
14. Billy Farlow (The Rain Don't Shine on Me)

Children's CD:

1. Wavy Gravy (Basic Human Needs)
2. Rowan Brothers/w David Grisman (Circle of Friends)
3. Linda Arnold (All Kinds of People; One Earth)
4. Banana Slug String Band (What Animals Need)
5. Bonnie Lockhart (Water Cycle)
6. Lisa Atkinson (Is Anybody Listening)
7. Chris Molla (Pick it Up, Stand Up)
8. Gary Lapow (All Kinds of People)
9. Nancy Schimmel ("Playing Winnie-the-Pooh") - song about equality of sexes
(Malvina Reynolds' daughter)
10. Candy Forest ("All in This Together")
11. Blame Sally ("La Llorona") Mexican folk song about importance of home
to children)
12. John Stewart (The Man Who Would Be King)
13. William Florian ("'I'm Declaring Peace")

The CD can be accessed by entering UNESCO or Earth Charter in the iTunes Music Store Search window.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Science and the World Heritage Sites

Manchu Pichu, a World Heritage Site
Photo by VFowler via Flickr

Go to the Study page on the InterAcademy Council website.

"The UNESCO, World Heritage Centre wishes to promote increased scientific research and scientific activities related to management at World Heritage sites. At their request, the InterAcademy Council (IAC) will undertake a study to review the role of science at both World Heritage natural and mixed Sites. The study�s goal will be to outline opportunities to increase the involvement of science at the sites including opportunities to; i) bolster pure research, including the use of scientific information in identifying potential sites and designing nomination strategies; ii) increase sciences� role in applied activities related to site conservation and management, and iii) generate technical information to facilitate decision making by national policy makers on issues affecting World Heritage."

The IAC was created by the world's science academies to mobilize the best scientists and engineers worldwide to provide high quality advice to international bodies - such as the United Nations and the World Bank - as well as to other institutions.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The UNESCO E-Card service

Food for Thought, Thought for Action

Go to the UNESCO E-Card website.

Find colorful e-greetings for the Holidays that you can personalize and send by e-mail to family, friends or colleagues.

UNESCO Chairs/UNITWIN Networks

Go to the Program website with links to all the networks and chairs.

UNITWIN is the abbreviation for the UNIVERSITY TWINNING and networking scheme. The Program creates networks, each built around one or more University Chairs. (A UNESCO Chair in Bioethics was established in 2005 at the Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington D.C.)

The Program was established in 1992 with the aim of developing interuniversity cooperation, while emphazing the transfer of knowledge among universities and the promotion of academic solidarity across the world.

The Networks in Education are:

Civics & values education
Distance Education
Early Childhood
Higher Education
Lifelong Education
Preventive Education
Teacher Training
Technical/Vocational Education

Those dealing with Culture are:

Civic Education
Cultural Development
Cultural Diversity
Cultural Heritage
Cultural Policy
Cultural Tourism
Culture of Peace
Intangible Heritage
Intercultural & Interreligious Dialogue
International Understanding
Resolution of Conflicts

There are also a number of "Special Focus" networks:

Human Rights
Lifelong Education
Gender and Women Issues

Friday, December 16, 2005

"UN meets in India on tsunami early warning system"

Read the full story from the December 14, 2005 edition of Sify. (India)

"Top scientists and government officials from over 25 nations launched talks on Wednesday aimed at setting up a tsunami early warning system for the Indian Ocean countries by next year.

"The UN's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, holding its second session on the system, will review progress made by the nations involved in the project and seek to plug implementation gaps.

"'The main objective is to find out ways to establish the early warning system,' P S Goel, India's highest-ranking bureaucrat in the department of ocean development, said on the sidelines of the three-day meeting."

"What do bibliometric indicators tell us about world scientific output?"

Read the full issue of the Bulletin.

"Bibliometric indicators discussed in this bulletin show that the distribution of scientific production around the world is changing: developed countries’ share of world scientific publications has declined over the last 20 years. Some developing regions are increasing their production in this field (Latin America, Asia) but others are not (Africa)."

This issue of the UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS) Bulletin on Science and Technology Statistics presents a bibliometric analysis of 20 years of world scientific production (1981-2000), with a particular emphasis on developing countries. UIS Bulletin on Science and Technology Statistics, Issue No. 2, September 2005. (PDF, 6 pages.)

Resolutions of the 33rd session of the General Conference of UNESCO

Resolutions of the 33rd session of the General Conference of UNESCO, which took place in Paris, 3-21 October 2005.

This is the formal report of the resolutions taken at the General Conference in October. (PDF, 243 pages.)


Read the full U.N. press release.

"For the first time in the history of both entities, the Directors of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW), Koïchiro Matsuura and Carmen Moreno, respectively, signed a memorandum of understanding to increase their mutual cooperation towards the achievement of their common objectives of promoting gender equality and the empowerment of women.....

"In addition to technical cooperation, both entities endeavour to foster mutual consultation by informing each other of programmes and projects, promoting reciprocal representation in meetings and activities, and facilitating the exchange of information and documents. According to this agreement, all areas relating to the empowerment of women and gender equality in the fields of education, science, culture and communication will be covered."

Information and communication technologies at UNESCO

Go to the entire In Focus report.

"UNESCO gives a high priority to the use of ICT for more equitable and pluralistic access to information and knowledge in various spheres of human endeavour. In particular, UNESCO focuses its attention on the impact of ICT on education, gender, indigenous communities, people with disabilities and youth.....

UNESCO image
"The use of ICT in and for education is rapidly expanding in many countries and is now seen worldwide as both a necessity and an opportunity. UNESCO is giving a high priority to the use of ICT for more equitable and pluralistic development in education. The broad questions on which UNESCO focuses are:
* How can one use ICT to accelerate progress towards education for all and throughout life?
* How can ICT bring about a better balance between equity and excellence in education?
* How can education prepare individuals and society to master and benefit from "ICT that increasingly permeate all spheres of life?

UNESCO imageThe benefits of knowledge and technology are not available to the large majority of the world's population. Women find themselves in most cases excluded from opportunities offered by ICT. Their capacity to take advantage of ICT depends on the extension of communications infrastructure to where women live and on the increase of their educational level. To bridge the gender divide UNESCO fosters the broadest possible participation of decision-makers, professional communities, civil society, bilateral and multilateral partners and the private sector.

"UNESCO places a high value on programmes aimed at mutual understanding, tolerance and respect for the rights of individuals to a cultural identity and to self-determination. Part and parcel of this strategy is the reinforcement of a free flow of communication both within and between indigenous societies and, in turn, between them and the rest of the world. UNESCO therefore welcomes activities which create and reinforce the indigenous media and which promote their participation in an international dialogue.

"Over 10% of the world’s population suffers from a variety of disabilities. However, ICT can offer individuals the ability to compensate for physical or functional limitations, thus allowing them to enhance their social and economic integration. UNESCO promotes the use of ICT for access to information and knowledge for all persons, including those with disabilities."

Tuesday, December 13, 2005

"INDIAN OCEAN TSUNAMI: Girding for the Next Killer Wave"

Read the full article by Richard Stone and Richard A. Kerr in Science (subscription required.

The Indian Ocean tsunami killed some 230,000 people in a dozen nations, including 168,000 in Indonesia's Aceh province at the tip of the island of Sumatra. The lesson in ill-preparedness has sparked a multinational effort "to create a tsunami warning system for the Indian Ocean. As the first anniversary of the disaster approaches, an alarm network is beginning to emerge--a loose web of deep ocean sensors, tide gauges, and seismic stations operated by individual countries, along with mechanisms for sharing data and disseminating public warnings.

"Last month, for example, Indonesia, the country deemed most vulnerable to the next big Indian Ocean tsunami, deployed two sea-floor pressure sensors and associated buoys, the vanguard of a 10-sensor network.....By establishing warning centers, Thailand and other countries have begun to fill a lethal void.......

"Representatives of Indian Ocean nations met in Bangkok last January to begin planning for a tsunami alert system. Discussions bogged down over who would host a regional warning center. By spring it was clear that each country would establish its own center, although the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO was invited to coordinate an Indian Ocean Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System, the subject of an IOC meeting next week in Hyderabad, India. It is expected to cost $200 million to bring the system online over the next few years.

"IOC is counting on five nations--Australia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand--to cover the entire Indian Ocean, with other nations enhancing the coverage. "No single nation can protect itself or provide protection to others alone," says IOC executive secretary Patricio Bernal. Real-time data will stream into one or more "sub-regional centers," he says, where it will be rapidly processed and fed back to national warning centers, which would decide on their own whether to issue tsunami advisories to their citizens......

"the network won't come cheap, nor will it come quickly: The U.S. factory that produces the buoys was inundated by Hurricane Katrina, so production is lagging, sources say. Thailand plans to buy two and have them in place in the Andaman Sea by early 2007. India expects to deploy up to a dozen, and Malaysia will place three more in the Straits of Malacca, the South China Sea, and the Sulu Sea.....

"Through IOC, the United States is kicking in $16.6 million over 2 years for these efforts, primarily in India, Indonesia, the Maldives, Sri Lanka, and Thailand."

Risk of Future Tsunamis

The magnitude of 9.3 earthquake off Aceh province of Indonesia last December is thought to have shunted stress southward beneath the sea floor, contributing to an earthquake on the same fault line on 28 March -- one that struck at a hefty magnitude 8.7. "The next section of fault down the line--from 1°S to 5°S, offshore of the Sumatran city of Padang--could well be poised for disaster. This segment last failed in 1833; the accumulated stress could drive a quake larger than magnitude 8.5. A subsequent tsunami would threaten a million people along 500 kilometers of low-lying Indonesian coast.

"New findings underscore the risk. Earlier this week, at the fall meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco, California, the Ulster group, with colleagues at the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology in Rome, reported preliminary computer simulations of possible south Sumatra tsunamis. They first modeled a range of possible earthquakes of magnitude 8.0 to 9.0 and then used the resulting sea-floor movement to drive a model of tsunami wave generation. Initial results show that the coast from Padang south could be devastated."

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

UNESCO continues support for N’ko project to promote presence of African languages in cyberspace

Read the full UNESCO news release.

"UNESCO continues its support for a project enabling African languages written in N’ko, an alphabet developed in 1949, to be present in cyberspace through the development of fonts for the N’ko script and their use in hard and software.

"Carried out in partnership with the Scripts Encoding Initiative of the University of California at Berkeley, the present project phase aims at facilitating the presence of languages based in N’ko scripts (Malinke, Bambara, Dyula) in the digital world though the availability of N’ko-compatible software and hardware and appropriate standards."

Sunday, December 04, 2005

AIDS Education Week and UNESCO

Reuters photo.
"Two young Lebanese activists hand out condoms during a play staged at UNESCO center in Beirut to mark World Aids Day December 1, 2005. The play aims to raise awareness about the disease that claims millions of lives around the world." Reuters.

AIDS Education Week is built around World AIDS Day which was the first of December.

A message from Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of World AIDS Day, 1 December 2005:
The AIDS epidemic continues to take a heavy toll in Sub-Saharan Africa and threatens many other regions of the world. Comprehensive responses linking prevention with treatment are the best hope for weakening its grip and preventing it from expanding.
As in past years, World AIDS Day is a moment for taking stock and for each of us to recall that AIDS remains a serious emergency. HIV continues to spread, with some 40 million people estimated to be living with the virus worldwide. International awareness-raising and mobilization are impressive, and many governments are committed to tackling the epidemic in a comprehensive way. Those most vulnerable, however, still tend to be dramatically under-served when it comes to the knowledge and means they need in order to protect themselves and others from infection and its consequences.

The ten UNAIDS cosponsors are working intensively with national authorities, bilateral donors and civil society to harmonize efforts, remove obstacles, and take both prevention and treatment programmes into the most affected areas and populations. A major inter-agency initiative to intensify prevention has galvanized all those concerned, and UNESCO is a strong partner in this effort.

EDUCAIDS, the UNESCO-led initiative on HIV/AIDS and education, will provide the main frame of reference for our work in the area of AIDS during 2006 and beyond. Seeking to bring to scale comprehensive responses adapted to particular situations, EDUCAIDS is working with education and development partners to ensure that the response to HIV and AIDS becomes an integral part of all development processes related to education. The diversity of the AIDS epidemic calls for customized responses but comprehensive education on HIV and AIDS is necessary everywhere. Targeted and adapted services are also essential to serve the most vulnerable groups if the spread and impact of AIDS are to be contained. EDUCAIDS has begun to work with a selected number of countries and will expand to some twenty countries in 2006, using capacity development, resource mobilization, and monitoring mechanisms to ensure effective prevention alongside treatment and care activities.

Prevention efforts cannot work in a climate of prejudice and discrimination, nor can they work without the participation and involvement of all those concerned: men and women, young persons, and, most of all, people living with the virus. In consequence, UNESCO’s commitment to and programmes for human rights, for establishing effective workplace policies for education personnel, and for gender equality are all being brought to bear on our efforts.

World AIDS Day is a reminder of the ongoing daily emergency. It is an occasion to renew commitment, review past results, and be reminded that the AIDS epidemic can and must be effectively curtailed as part of our push to achieve a better, safer and fuller life for everyone. This is why action against the spread of HIV and AIDS is an integral aspect of efforts to attain the Millennium Development Goals, the Education for All goals and the objectives of the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.

UNESCO has published this short description on its HIV/AIDS education efforts: "HIV/AIDS Prevention Education: In response to the epidemic, UNESCO’s action in thefield of HIV/AIDS prevention education is a priority."

Friday, December 02, 2005

"Information summit's main success was idea sharing"

Read the full SciDev.Net article about the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) co-sponsored by UNESCO and ITU.

"The summit's best outcomes were that the 20,000 delegates broadly agreed that information and communication technologies are vital to development, and that they embraced new ideas for bridging the digital divide.

"Although the summit has not fully resolved any of the "knotty issues" up for discussion, writes Jain (Indian journalist Amit Jain, writing for BBC Online), it has 'enabled the various sectors striving to bridge the digital divide to find ways to collaborate'.

Jain concludes that, 'the most effective exchange of ideas doesn't necessarily take place in lofty academic discussions, it's the chance encounters … that may lead to the most creative outcomes.'

Thursday, December 01, 2005

Jobs at UNESCO

UNESCO's Paris Garden by Isamu Noguchi

Go to the UNESCO employment website.

UNESCO regularly recruits staff to fill vacancies at its headquarters in Paris, as well as, openings in their field offices and various institutes throughout the world. Citizens of the United States are eligible for such positions, and indeed the State Department encourages UNESCO to employ citizens of this country.

UNESCO's employment website provides job listings, as well as information about working for the organization. Special programs are available for
Young Professionals
Associate Experts

The U.S. National Commission for UNESCO provides some information about opportunities at UNESCO on its website.

Seniot positions for which recruiting is now underway include:

DIRECTOR of the Office and UNESCO Representative to Brazil (closes December 14, 2005)

Director of the International Institute for Capacity-Building in Africa (IICBA)

I would suggest that U.S. citizens interested in applying for such positions inform either the staff of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO or the staff of the U.S. Mission to UNESCO in Paris. They might be helpful in providing information to the applicants, and in supporting the application.