Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Senate Hearing on David Killion

David Killion has been nominated by the Obama administration to serve as the U.S. Permanent Representative to UNESCO. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing today on his nomination, as part of the confirmatin process. Killion has many years of experience in the State Department and as a Congressional aid, and deep knowledge of UNESCO. It is expected that he will be quickly confirmed.

You can also watch the hearing on streaming video. Mr. Killion is one of several nominees, and during the video he reads from his prepared statement and responds to a question from Senator Barbara Boxer with regard to the poor educational opportunities for girls in Afghanistan. Killion responded to the effect that UNESCO focuses on gender issues and that it can be even more credible than bilateral efforts in promoting education in some circumstances; he pledged to work on girls education in Afghanistan if confirmed.

Only two Senators participated in the hearing, which Senator Boxer interpreted as a good sign for the nominees since there were few if any concerns about their nominations. She indicated that a vote was scheduled on the nominations on August 4th, prior to the August Congressional recess.

World Conference on Science

Ten years after the World Conference on Science, which was jointly organised by ICSU and UNESCO, the two organisations are again joining forces together with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences to sponsor the World Science Forum 2009 in Budapest on 5–7 November 2009. Several hundred scientists and policy makers are expected to attend the conference, which has the theme ‘Knowledge and Future’. The ICSU President and Vice-President will give plenary presentations on the past and future perspectives for science and the ICSU Regional Offices will also be represented.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Clubs for UNESCO: a practical guide

"This updated guide is designed for every individual with a desire to contribute to a worldwide movement. It is a basic how-to manual for setting up a Club for UNESCO. It addresses each of us, as individuals and as groups, who wish to be part of humanity’s solution and believe in a sustainable global community that can think globally and act locally. This guide also provides basic information on UNESCO’s ideals and offers general ideas on how to maximize a community’s outreach capacity."

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Right to Information in Latin America: A Comparative Legal Survey

This legal survey, published by UNESCO’s Office in Quito, compares the existing right to information laws in 11 Latin American countries: Chile, Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru and Uruguay.

The New Issue of The UNESCO Courier

© Laurent Testot

Of the 32 billion tons of CO2 we produce globally, our natural ecosystems can absorb approximately 18 million tons. Without this natural sponge, the global ecological situation would be far more desperate.

In the past 30 years the planet’s natural resources have diminished by 30% - due to over-consumption, according to the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

This month’s edition focuses on several of the 22 new biosphere reserves within UNESCO’s world network, which now has a total of 553 sites. Scattered among 107 countries, these vast regions consist of land, coastal and marine ecosystems internationally recognized as important.

Maintaining biodiversity, finding the right balance between human activities and environmental protection, safeguarding inhabitants’ traditional rights and preserving wildlife: these constitute the main challenges for the sustainable management of these sites. Read the editorial.

The World Science Forum 2009

The Fourth World Science Forum, organised by the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in partnership with UNESCO and ICSU. is to be held in Budapest on 5-7 November 2009. The Forum - focusing on "Knowledge and Future" - will mark the tenth anniversary of the first World Conference on Science. It will also look forward and give us a strategic vision of the future of science in the global society of the 21st century.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

"Writers, poets take part in book festival"


Iowa City has been designated by UNESCO as a city of the book, and this month's book fair there is conducted in part in honor of that designation.

"Writers around the world know that Iowa City is a center for writing, Christopher Merrill said Saturday.

"Iowans throughout the state, however, might not think of the city in the same way, said Merrill, the director of the University of Iowa International Writing Program who led the efforts to designate Iowa City as a UNESCO City of Literature.

"Sharing Iowa City's literary qualities with the state and beyond is one of the goals as the city and supporters determine how to build upon the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization designation, Merrill said.

"Merrill was one of a number of writers and poets to participate in the first Iowa City Book Festival on Saturday, a daylong celebration of books, reading and writing presented by the University of Iowa Libraries."

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Venus Williams & UNESCO: A Program to Empower Women

Source: "There is more to Venus Williams than meets the eye," Helene Elliott, The Los Angeles Times, July 15, 2009.
What most fans don't know is that behind the scenes the world's third-ranked player is just as powerful as she is on the court.

Williams has successfully pushed for equal prize money for women, helped formulate a better-calibrated tour schedule and was a key figure in a joint program between the WTA and UNESCO -- the cultural arm of the United Nations -- that promotes gender equality and leadership opportunities for women.

The idea for the UNESCO program emerged from her experience at an ESPY awards ceremony in which two Afghan women were honored for starting a soccer program in their war-torn homeland. The UNESCO-WTA program uses tennis as a vehicle to educate women around the world, making the sport a steppingstone to a better and fuller life.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Call for bids: Evaluation of UNESCO's STI Capacity Building Project

UNESCO invites qualified bidders to submit sealed tenders for consulting services to carry out the Evaluation of UNESCO's Strategic Programme Objective 4: "Fostering policies and capacity-building in science, technology and innovation".

The deadline for the proposal submission is 31 July 2009, 17h00 (GMT+1).

Call for proposals to prepare UNESCO's pavilion at the ITU Telecom World 2009

UNESCO calls for design proposals to prepare a pavilion on the theme "Empowering persons with disabilities through Information and Communication Technologies" which will be established at ITU Telecom World 2009 exhibition (Pal Expo premises) from 5 to 9 October 2005, Geneva, Switzerland.

Nominations sought for UNESCO-IPDC Prize for Rural Communication

UNESCO has launched a call for nominations for the 2009 UNESCO-IPDC Prize for Rural Communication. Potential submitters are invited to propose nominations in consultation with the National Commissions for UNESCO or with relevant non-governmental organizations maintaining consultative relations with UNESCO. The deadline for submitting nominations is 30 October 2009.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

the Right to Enjoy the Benefits of Scientific Progress and its Applications

UNESCO will conduct and international experts meeting on this theme together with the European Inter-University Centre for Human Rights and Democratization (EIUC), and in cooperation with the Amsterdam Centre for International Law and the Irish Centre for Human Rights in addition to the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Location: Venice, Italy

Start Date16-07-2009
End Date17-07-2009

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Microsoft Commits $50 Million in Higher Education Resources, Training and Certifications

Gates & Matsuura at 2004 signing

In an effort to help higher education institutions support economic stimulus efforts and work-force development strategies, Microsoft Corp. has committed up to $50 million through the Microsoft Education Alliance Program agreement. As part of the agreement, the company will provide resources and tools for short-term work-force training and higher education enhancements.

The announcement was made at the Education Leaders Forum, a one-day forum jointly organized by UNESCO and Microsoft, where more than 150 ministers of education, senior education officials and policy advisors discussed how governments and universities can take full advantage of e-technology's potential to address the current knowledge and skills challenges facing higher education.

Earlier this week, Microsoft and UNESCO announced a joint task force to help higher education institutions worldwide meet the growing challenge of supporting economic stimulus efforts and work-force development strategies. The UNESCO-Microsoft Task Force on Higher Education and ICT will develop a strategic plan of action to identify how ICT can be used by governments as a catalyst for change. Microsoft's $50 million commitment is supporting the mission of the new task force and enabling the implementation of critical UNESCO and Microsoft educational resources.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Lula Wins UNESCO Peace Prize

The Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize is awarded this year to Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, President of the Federal Republic of Brazil. The prize includes a gold medal and $150,000. Henry Kissinger is the President of the Jury that selects the prize winner. The prize is to be awarded in a ceremony on July 7th.

New Edition Is Now Out

A World of Science (July–September 2009)

2 Mission to Mars

11 Disaster risk on the rise, says UN report
11 Twenty-two new biosphere reserves
13 Cape Verde joins virtual campus network
13 A digital library for the world
14 World Atlas of Great Apes now in French

15 Claudio Tuniz traces human migration out of Africa

18 Learning to live with drought in Europe
21 A pinch of salt

24 Diary
24 New releases

Call for Papers

The EPFL - UNESCO Chair International Scientific Conference on Technologies for Development

EPFL Lausanne, Switzerland
8 - 10 February 2010

The UNESCO Chair in Technologies for Development, the Cooperation@epfl unit, has announced that an international scientific conference concerning technologies for development will take place at EPFL on 8-10 February 2010 and is calling for papers for that conference.