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Building Peace in the Minds of Men and Women
Updated: 3 hours 16 min ago

Director-General denounces killing of journalists Abdelqadir Fassouk and Khaled al-Zintani in Libya

Thu, 28/07/2016 - 17:31

“I condemn the killing of Abdelqadir Fassouk and Khaled al-Zintani,” the Director-General said. “The media play an important role in ensuring informed public debate and the safety of media workers must be guaranteed, even in times of conflict.

Abdelqadir Fassouk, a photojournalist and correspondent for satellite news channel Arraed TV, was shot while covering clashes in the Libyan city of Sirte, on 21 July.

Experienced freelance journalist Khaled al-Zintani was killed while reporting on fighting in Benghazi on 23 June.

The Director-General of UNESCO issues statements on the killing of media workers in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” These statements are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.

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Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at)unesco.org,  +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”

 

 

UNESCO expresses concern with situation of journalists in Turkey

Thu, 28/07/2016 - 15:50

On the right to freedom of expression, the Director-General is aware, at the present moment, of the arrests and warrants for arrest of 42 journalists, cancellation of licenses of 24 broadcasters, decertification of another 25 media houses and blocking of website. 

While Turkey is in a declared state of emergency, the role of a free press is fundamental for establishing transparency and accountability on the situation in the country at this critical moment.

Director-General condemns murder of journalist João Miranda do Carmo in Brazil

Wed, 27/07/2016 - 16:04

“I condemn the murder of João Miranda do Carmo,” said the Director-General. “It is important that the authorities investigate this killing and bring its perpetrators to justice. Impunity for crimes against journalists threatens media workers’ ability to do their work and the public’s access to independent and diverse sources of information.”

João Miranda do Carmo who ran a local news website, SAD Sem Censura, was shot outside his home in the town of Santo Antônio do Descoberto.

The Director-General of UNESCO issues statements on the killing of media workers in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” These statements are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.

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Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at)unesco.org,  +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”

 

Call for nominations for the UNESCO/Emir Jaber al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah Prize for Digital Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities

Wed, 27/07/2016 - 10:30

Candidates (individuals and institutions) must have distinguished themselves through outstanding activities that have contributed to the digital empowerment, as the processes whereby people are able to have more power and control over their lives, particularly in terms of greater inclusion, participation and contribution to societal development as well as enhanced life experiences.

UNESCO places special emphasis on the ways through which information and knowledge can contribute to the empowerment of persons with disabilities notably by:

  • formulating policy, advocacy, co-operation and partnerships;
  • creating and developing digital solutions, enabling environments and processes, including tools and resources; and
  • building and strengthening capacities of people to create, adapt and use digital solutions in a cost efficient and sustainable manner.


The Prize recognizes the converged nature of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) and adopts a broad definition of the term digital solutions as a combination of: 

  • Digital technologies: any digital informational or communication device or application, including but not restricted to mobile phones, computers, laptops, televisions, radios, satellite systems, networks, hardware, software and applications;
  • Digital resources: content and information that are accessible through digital technologies; and
  • Enabling environments and processes: standards, tools, physical, technical and online infrastructures, resources and locations.


The total amount available for the Prize biennially is USD $ 40,000, which will be distributed equally between the individual and the organizational winners. No later than on 15 September 2016, all applicants must complete the application form, either in English or French, available separately for individuals and institutions online, at: http://en.unesco.org/prizes/digital-empowerment

Nominations can be endorsed and proposed by Ministries in charge of relations with UNESCO, National Commissions for UNESCO and Non-governmental organizations having official relations with the Organization.

Towards a Professional Media in Libya: Libyan media representatives discuss guidelines to curb hate speech

Tue, 26/07/2016 - 16:02

This initiative is a key component of the Action Plan on Reform of the Libyan Media Sector proposed by journalists and media managers in Madrid last month.  

Ghaith Fariz, UNESCO Regional Director, emphasized that “UNESCO applauds the efforts of the Libyan colleagues in tackling this critical issue”, adding that it “demonstrates their continued commitment to a process that can transform the role of the media in the country and contribute to peace and reconciliation.”  

Marisia Pechaczek, Chargé d’Affaires of the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, confirmed that “The Netherlands is pleased to join other UNESCO member states who support the media reform process.  We do so because we trust that the results of the workshop will have tangible impact on the ground.”

Salla-Riina Hokkanen, representing the Embassy of Finland, stated that “The theme of this workshop, developing guidelines for countering hate speech, is in our view of crucial importance for building peace in any society.”

This activity is implemented by UNESCO in partnership with the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands; the Organization’s own contribution made possible through the generous support of the Government of Finland.  It is part of UNESCO’s ongoing interventions to reinforce the capacity of Libyan media practitioners and their contribution to reconciliation and conflict-sensitive reporting.

For more information, please contact: Raja’a El Abasi, Programme Officer, UNESCO
Email: r.el-abasi(at)unesco.org
Tel.: +216 71 655 000

UNESCO trains Myanmar Government spokespersons for greater transparency

Tue, 26/07/2016 - 13:59

The activity is part of the continuing public information reform initiatives of the newly-elected government of President Htin Kyaw and State Counsellor Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. During his opening address, Union Minister of Information Dr. Pe Myint emphasized that government spokespersons play a key role in the country’s democratic transition and initiatives toward greater public transparency. The Minister highlighted the importance of keeping an open dialogue between the Government and the media and making relevant information from each Ministry easily accessible for journalists. Referring to the News Media Law, the Minister said that “the right to access official information is included in the provisions of the law and it needs to be implemented by all the Ministries, government agencies and public institutions”.

UNESCO Myanmar Head of Office, Mr. Sardar Umar Alam, reminded the participants that Freedom of Expression and Right to Information are fundamental human rights in a democratic society. He reiterated UNESCO’s commitment to work with the Ministry of Information and the media community in pursuing media development.

The three-day workshop was facilitated by the president of the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication, Mr Ramon G. Tuazon, and it combined both theoretical and practical sessions. The programme included case studies, simulated exercises, role playing, and lecture-discussions. Mr Tuazon was assisted by the public relations expert Ms Alma Tuason and Ms Naing Naing Aye of the UNESCO Myanmar office.

Participants gave positive feedback about the workshop, sharing how they gained more confidence in performing their work. One commented, “All parts of the seminar were very interesting. Role playing and the comments provided after were useful.” Another noted, “Challenges for spokespersons and how to handle media interviews were very useful and interesting for me.”

This activity is part of the EU funded project that aims at Supporting Media Development in the context of Democratic Reforms and Peace Building Initiatives in Myanmar.

For more information on the project, please contact Mr Mikel Aguirre Idiaquez, Media Development Expert at UNESCO Myanmar (m.aguirre-idiaquez(at)unesco.org)

Director-General calls for investigation into the murder of journalist Pedro Tamayo Rosas in Mexico

Mon, 25/07/2016 - 15:33

 

“I condemn the murder of Pedro Tamayo Rosas,” the Director-General said. “I call on the authorities to investigate this killing and bring its perpetrators to justice. Guns must not be allowed to circumscribe press freedom and freedom of information, both of which are essential for democracy and rule of law.”

Pedro Tamayo Rosas, a reporter for daily newspapers Al Calor Politico and Piñero de la Cuenca, was shot outside his home. He had been under police protection since he began receiving threats in January this year.

The Director-General of UNESCO issues statements on the killing of media workers in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” These statements are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.

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Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray(at)unesco.org,  +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”

 

 

Director-General condemns murder of journalist Pavel Sheremet in Ukraine

Fri, 22/07/2016 - 10:52

“I condemn the murder of Pavel Sheremet,” the Director-General said. “I call on the authorities to spare no effort in investigating this crime. In the interest of freedom of expression and freedom of information, it is important that those responsible for the killing of Pavel Sheremet be brought to justice.”

Sheremet, who worked for popular news website Ukrayinska Pravda and hosted a news programme on Radio Vesti, was killed in a car bomb in the Ukranian capital, Kiev, on 20 July. Shermet had won journalism awards from the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).

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(at)unesco.org,  +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”

 

Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2016: Celebrate with us and register your events

Fri, 22/07/2016 - 10:28

This Global Call is open across the world, building up to the Global MIL Week celebrations that will take place from 31 October to 5 November. The feature event for Global MIL Week be held in Sao Paulo Brazil from November 2nd – 5th 2016. Local events can take place during the year leading up to Global MIL Week, or be announced as events that will occur in your country or region around the period of Global MIL Week in November.

You can register your event HERE.

New Paradigms for Intercultural Dialogue

This year the theme of Global MIL Week is New Paradigms for Intercultural Dialogue.

Media and Information literacy (MIL) is increasingly important in the global communications environment.

It enables users to understand how traditional and new media can be platforms to promote the values of peace and dialogue.  Media institutions themselves can do more to recognize the need to empower audiences with this knowledge.

The role of other intermediaries such as libraries, archive, museums and Internet irrespective of technologies used is also essential for MIL.

As it was emphasized during the Second European MIL Forum, Media and Information Literacy is a discipline that enables life. It aligns with developing participatory global citizenship identities that are crucial for developing more humane and democratic societies.

How to celebrate Global MIL Week?

UNESCO is inviting organizations, institutions and individuals to organize a MIL Day in their communities by bringing together diverse actors committed to MIL (NGOS, MIL practitioners, local media, policy makers, students, teachers etc.).

Many local MIL Days or activities will make an echo from the São Paulo conference. Relevant education/training institutions are invited to organize special debates, lectures, or colloquium to promote MIL around the globe.

Communication, information and library science, and education departments can disseminate research findings on themes related to media and information literacy and intercultural dialogue.

Organizations can use social media to raise awareness about MIL in civil society and join the Global Alliance for Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL).

There are many more ways to mark Global MIL Week - take a look at all 10 ways to celebrate HERE.

The Global MIL Week 2016 is led by UNESCO in cooperation with General Assembly of the Global Alliance for Partnerships in Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL), UNAOC and the Media and Information and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) University Network.  Global MIL Week will be celebrated from 31 October to 5 November 2016 in São Paulo, Brazil.

IPDC contributes to first-ever UN report on SDGs

Fri, 22/07/2016 - 10:09

This recognition is contained in the UN Secretary-General’s maiden report Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals covering 17 goals and 169 targets.

The targets include ensuring public access to information and protecting fundamental freedoms. UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) made significant contributions to these issues being included within the 2030 Development Agenda.

In particular, IPDC work with Member States, other UN bodies and civil society, helped to secure two indicators which were used in the Secretary-General’s new report as a basis to assess Target 16.10 on public access and fundamental freedoms.

IPDC also contributed related data towards the new Report, helping to highlight gaps and challenges for achieving the SDGs.

The Report states: “Far too many people are poorly supported by weak institutions and lack access to justice, information and other fundamental freedoms.”

It observes: “A free press is closely linked to access to information and the protection of human rights, but the trend in this regard is discouraging. The number of journalists killed increased from 65 in 2010 to 114 in 2015”

However, the report points to momentum for some progress in that “by 2013, 90 States had adopted laws on freedom of and/or access to information”.

Director-General denounces killing of journalist Mustafa Cambaz in Turkey

Mon, 18/07/2016 - 16:58

“I condemn the killing of Mustafa Cambaz,” the Director-General said. “Journalists play a crucial role in keeping us informed of events, which is particularly important in times of uncertainty. Their safety must be respected.”

Mustafa Cambaz, a reporter for the Yeni Safak newspaper, was shot in Turkey on 15 July.

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(at)unesco.org,  +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”

 

 

UNESCO and NRC help advance Pakistani legislation on safety of journalists and access to information

Tue, 12/07/2016 - 17:40

“The discussion of the two bills during the World Press Freedom Day has brought a unique opportunity to advance press freedom and access to information in Pakistan. It has made much progress on right to information legislation, but the country is still lacking a specific law regarding journalists’ safety. We are working to help the government and the media sector to make as much progress as possible” explains Ms Rihab Abdalhafiz, UNESCO Communication expert at its Islamabad office, deployed by the Norwegian Refugee Council since February 2016.

One important achievement of UNESCO’s work is to make the UN Plan of Action instrumental for media development organizations to share best practices with the government. “A key focus of our work is helping to raise to the governmental level recommendations made by all actors involved in the process,” Ms Abdalhafiz explained.

Pakistan endorsed the UN Plan of Action for the Journalists’ Safety and the issue of Impunity in 2013. Under the framework of the UN Plan, UNESCO and the Norwegian Refugee Council are supporting the Pakistani government in the consultation processes of the bills by bringing together parliamentarians, journalists, and civil society organizations to share best practices.

“Last May, World Press Freedom Day offered a very timely opportunity to discuss the upscaling to national level of two provincial Right To Information (RTI) laws which adhere to global standards. The event brought together RTI commissioners from Khyber Pakhtukhwa and Punjab, and governmental experts from the Ministry of Information, Broadcasting and National Heritage to share best practices in order to effectively replicate the provincial bill at the federal level. This is a bold step for a stronger and more effective legislation across the nation,” Ms Abdalhafiz said.

With regards to the current journalist’s protection bill, Ms Abdalhafiz considers that a crucial achievement has been for media organizations to feel supported by the UN Plan of Action in their advocacy with the government and in providing guidance to formulate recommendations.

According to Ms Sadaf Khan, Director of Programs of Media Matters for Democracy, a local organization involved in the drafting of the Journalists Protection and Welfare Draft bill, the UN Plan of Action helped different stakeholders rally together by providing them with a common platform and triggering dialogue between them.

“The bill mostly deals with criminal investigation procedures. One of the recommendations to combat impunity that has the potential to make the law unique is to establish a legislative body that can facilitate investigations and create a system that supports journalists under serious threats to relocate to a safer place,” Ms Khan explained.

A forthcoming assessment based on UNESCO’s Journalists’ Safety Indicators in Pakistan by the Institute for Research, Advocacy and Development (IRADA) indicates that Pakistan does not have any fully effective mechanisms in place in this regard. This includes a lack of specific institutions, programs and budgets for monitoring and reporting violence towards journalists.

“This situation is bound to change if we keep the current momentum for journalists’ safety and right to information. While the legislation process is a governmental issue, UNESCO and its partners’ work to mobilize relevant stakeholders in sharing best practices will enhance and strengthen the bills and keep the momentum going,” Ms Abdalhafiz expressed.

More about UNESCO partnership with NRC

UNESCO has gathered 15 UN agencies and some 40 NGOs together to implement the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. The Plan contributes to the creation of a free and safe environment for journalists and media workers, with a view to strengthening peace, democracy and development.

In this context, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) has promoted the work of the UN Plan of Action through the deployment of NRC’s expert personnel roster NORCAP. The objective of the seconded experts is to work to ensure a safe environment for journalists by promoting professional standards, disseminating good practices, supporting professional associations in delivering safety training, and by raising awareness about the need for a culture of safety in media and an end to impunity for those who commit crimes against journalists.

Director-General condemns killing of local radio journalist Winston Leonardo Cano Túnchez in Guatemala

Tue, 12/07/2016 - 15:22

“I condemn the killing of Winston Leonardo Cano Túnchez,” the Director-General said. “Journalists should not have to risk their lives to bring us the news we need. I therefore urge the authorities to investigate this crime thoroughly.”

Winston Leonardo Cano Túnchez was a presenter on local radio La Jefa. He was shot on 8 April but his death has only been confirmed recently.

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(at)unesco.org,  +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”

 

Director-General condemns murder of blogger Manoel Messias Pereira in Brazil

Tue, 12/07/2016 - 15:05

“I condemn the murder of Manoel Messias Pereira,” the Director-General said. “It is important that the perpetrators of this crime be brought to justice as part of efforts to improve the security of professional and citizen journalists alike.”

Pereira, also known as Manoel Benhur, wrote a blog on local politics for the news website sediverte.com. He was shot by unidentified gunmen while driving his motorcycle on 9 April but his death was only recently confirmed.

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(at)unesco.org,  +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”

 

Migration an opportunity, not a threat to sustainable development

Fri, 08/07/2016 - 15:10

In this context, on Wednesday 6 July UNESCO held a landmark conference entitled “Migration for Sustainable Development: Social Transformations, Media Narratives and Education”. Experts from a wide range of backgrounds came together to discuss how civil society and the media can contribute to greater understanding and tolerance in societies facing migration-related challenges.

Frank La Rue, Assistant Director-General of UNESCO for Communication and Information, opened the event, imploring people to understand that “we should not see migrants as victims, or much less as a threat. Migrants are people with an identity and rights like anyone else.”

Her Excellency Ms Eleonora Mitrofanova, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of the Russian Federation to UNESCO, shared her concerns about the social backlash occurring in many countries. “We are seeing a growth in the violations of migrants’ human rights, anti-immigrant policies, and a growth in discrimination and xenophobia,” Ms Mitrofanova said. She also pointed to an increasing “feminisation” of migration, with women often representing a majority of many migrant and refugee groups.

Alexander Boroda from the Russian Federal Research and Methodology Centre for Tolerance, Psychology and Education shared the experiences of the organization, which has positively influenced the discussion in Russia surrounding the issue of migration. “The idea is to help people better appreciate and respect others, and the opinion of others,” Mr Boroda said.

The first panel discussion was related to improving public perceptions of refugees through more nuanced media narratives, training and education.

“There is a lot of skilled labour in the refugee community – doctors, labourers, journalists,” said Arman Niamat Ullah, a journalist with Refugee.tv, an online outlet staffed almost entirely by refugees. Mr Ullah himself came into Europe through Greece as a refugee three years ago, and has since travelled back to document the individual stories of those passing through now. “We have 55 journalists, and 50 of them are former refugees. The mainstream media has to provide a platform and training for these types of people.”

This was echoed by Lisa Söderlindh from the Swedish Migration Agency, who called for identifying refugees with key skills and experience, providing training and then connecting them with employment opportunities. “The important thing is to get refugees and asylum seekers who have journalistic training behind the editorial desk,” she said.

The second panel addressed the drivers of migration and the need for social science to inform policy-making.

The panel was moderated by Prof. Mehmet Akif Kireçci, from Bilkent University and Vice-President of the Intergovernmental Council of the MOST Programme, who emphasized the priority given by MOST to Migration.

Dina Ionesco from the International Organization on Migration addressed migration, noting its environmental character. She underscored the multi-causality of migration. She noted specifically that “sudden-onset climatic events, including floods and diseases, can lead to forced migration, while slow-onset degradation makes it difficult for people to live, causing them to move as well—but it is much harder to manage”.

Mernard Mumpasi Lututala, Director of UNESCO’s Category II Centre on Women, Gender and Peacebuilding in the Great Lakes Region, addressed tensions in Africa between tribal and national identities. He further noted the rapid development of African cities and the pressures on infrastructure. He highlighted the increasing complexity of migratory flows, especially in Africa, where many migrants are in “limbo, comfortable neither in their host countries nor their countries of origin”.

Arno Tanner of the Finnish Immigration Service noted both push and pull factors driving migration to Northern Europe such as persecution, insecurity, social causes, opportunistic smuggling, work and greater opportunity, and a combination of any number of these. He also cited population growth, high rates of youth unemployment, environmental causes and subsequent food price increases as drivers of migration.

Finally, Adebayo Clement Akomolafe related migration to broader questions about identity. As he said, “the identity of a thing is dependent on the conditions that create it”. He encouraged the audience to look past the sterile methodologies currently used to research migrants to reach out to migrants’ narratives and thus get a much fuller picture of their situation.

The round table event was an intersectoral initiative organised by the UNESCO Sectors for Social and Human Sciences (SHS) and Communication and Information (CI), and was supported by the Russian Federal Research and Methodology Centre for Tolerance, Psychology and Education. It builds upon previous work undertaken by UNESCO on the topic, including a major event in March on media and migration, and through the Management of Social Transformations (MOST) programme.

The first round table featured Andreas Wolter, Vice-Mayor of Cologne in Germany; Ms Lisa Söderlindh from the Swedish Migration Agency; Alla Semyonysheva from the Russian Federal Agency for Ethnic Affairs; Arman Niamat Ullah from refugee-led agency Refugee.tv; Emmanuel Boutterin, President of the World Association of Community Broadcasters (AMARC); and Syrian journalist Iyad Kallas.

The second panel was moderated by Prof. Mehmet Akif Kirecci, Associate Professor of History, Bilkent University, Vice-President of the Intergovernmental Council of the MOST Programme, and the speakers were Dina Ionesco from the International Organisation for Migration; Bernard Mumpasi Lututala from UNESCO’s Category II Centre on Women, Gender and Peacebuilding in the Great Lakes Region; Arno Tanner from the Finnish Immigration Service; and Adebayo Clement Akomalafe from the International Alliance for Localisation in India.

Joint UNESCO-Talkmate Partnership for the development of World Atlas of Languages

Fri, 08/07/2016 - 10:08

Building on the existing UNESCO’s Atlas of Languages in Danger, a new online collaborative platform “World Atlas of Languages” will provide a wide range of technical and collaborative facilities to different stakeholders to access and share own data on linguistic diversity, information about good practices, existing language teaching and learning solutions, and host user-generated content and discussions.  This work will be done bearing in mind that language has the capacity to reconcile the ideas and values of people from diverse cultural, social, economic, religious and professional backgrounds. It is a key contributor to dialogue, reconciliation, tolerance and peace, as well as matters for sustainable development.

The question of language revitalization, maintenance and promotion is complex and multilayered. Many language revitalization efforts were taken by the national and local authorities around the world to provide support to the lesser used language communities. Numerous language documentation initiatives were launched by academia to document language and relevant resources as well as support speaker communities with new language tools. Yet, much more has to be done. The UNESCO Atlas of Languages in Danger includes data from nearly 2,728 out of some 6,500 languages in the world. Documentation of language is not easy as the data provided by different stakeholders is not accurate and reliable, varies from source to source regarding those languages which were not yet properly documented or on which information is not shared among its bearers. Moreover, the situation of languages varies in different countries. Therefore, efforts are required for their revitalization, maintenance and promotion, which demand focused and adapted solutions. At the same time, there has been a renewed interest in safeguarding linguistic diversity as a vehicle of development. Moreover, the role of cutting edge Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) is growing in language documentation, revitalization and inter-generational transmission. ICTs are vital educational and communicational tools helping communities, public and private organizations to provide access to information and knowledge to all citizens.

That being said, the UNESCO and Talkmate launch event brings together a number of leading scientists, governmental officials, public and private organizations, UN organizations, as well as civil society to raise awareness of all stakeholders on the importance of linguistic diversity and multilingualism for sustainable and inclusive development. Accordingly, the thematic roundtable on “Language matters for development” assesses the current situation of linguistic diversity, identifies existing challenges and new opportunities arising from scientific and technological development, and exchanges the scientific information among higher educational institutions, national public institutions on linguistic diversity. It furthermore evaluates the application of languages in different domains and aims to create a new institutional network working on language issues.

Director-General condemns killing of journalist Salvador Olmos García in Mexico

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 18:14

“I condemn the killing of Salvador Olmos García,” the Director-General said. “Community radio stations provide an invaluable service to the public by covering local issues. Violence against the media is unacceptable and I call for effective action to ensure that the perpetrators of this crime are brought to justice.”

Olmos hosted Pitaya Negra, a programme on the local community radio station Tu un Ñuu Savi. There is no information to date about the context or possible perpetrators of the murder.

The Director-General of UNESCO issues statements on the killing of media workers in line with Resolution 29 adopted by UNESCO Member States at the Organization’s General Conference of 1997, entitled “Condemnation of Violence against Journalists.” These statements are posted on a dedicated webpage, UNESCO condemns the killing of journalists.

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 Media contact: Sylvie Coudray, s.coudray@unesco.org, +33 (0)1 45 68 42 12

UNESCO is the United Nations agency with a mandate to defend freedom of expression and press freedom. Article 1 of its Constitution requires the Organization to “further universal respect for justice, for the rule of law and for the human rights and fundamental freedoms which are affirmed for the peoples of the world, without distinction of race, sex, language or religion, by the Charter of the United Nations.” To realize this the Organization is requested to “collaborate in the work of advancing the mutual knowledge and understanding of peoples, through all means of mass communication and to that end recommend such international agreements as may be necessary to promote the free flow of ideas by word and image…”

 

 

Irina Bokova Champions Free Speech at Sweden’s Almedalen Week

Thu, 07/07/2016 - 13:47

The event featured the participation of H.E. Ms. Alice Bah Kuhnke, Minister for Culture and Democracy, along with a panel including Maria Persson Löfgren, foreign correspondent for Swedish Radio, Jonathan Lundqvist, from Swedish Reporters without Borders, and Jeanette Gustafsdotter, from Swedish Media Publishers’ Association. The event began with an interview with the 2016 Laureate of the UNESCO Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize, Ms Khadija Ismayilova.

Almedalen Week is Sweden’s major annual political gathering of political parties, government and political leaders, as well as media. The week features over a thousand events and includes several tens of thousands of participants.

Irina Bokova thanked Swedish Radio and especially Director-General Cilla Benkö for the invitation – highlighting the depth of Sweden’s commitment to defending freedom of expression and access to information.

“Freedom of expression is the foundation on which all the other freedoms rest,” said the Director-General. “It is the bedrock of democratic society, good governance, the rule of law, transparency and accountability. Fundamentally, I believe it goes to the heart of what it means to be human.”

She spoke of the paradoxes facing freedom of expression today, at a time when creating and sharing knowledge has never been so borderless, but when steep new challenges are arising – in the lack of pluralism, legal and regulatory mechanisms of control, and national legislation on media and freedom of information that fail to meet international standards.

“Most tragic of all, 825 journalists have lost their lives over the past decade,” she said. “Most are not correspondents in war settings, but local journalists reporting on corruption and criminality. This is made worse because less than six percent of killings have been resolved.”

The Director-General highlighted the leadership role of UNESCO as the United Nations agency working on the frontlines of free speech across the world, to enhance the safety of journalists, and to support media development.

This includes spearheading the United Nations Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity – working with Governments and professional associations, to establish media monitoring committees, to create national mechanisms, to train journalists.

“In Mexico, Paraguay, Uruguay and Chile, in Tunisia, we are working with educational institutions, with justice ministries and security forces, to train judges, to sharpen the work of law enforcement.”

She pointed to UNESCO’s work in advancing gender equality in and ‎through the media, as well in fighting impunity, and defending rights and freedoms online, through the Internet. 

“Sweden plays an outstanding role in all this,” she said. “I thank the Swedish Government for its champion leadership, and support to UNESCO, namely through the Swedish International Development Agency.”

The Director-General pointed to the success of projects supported by Sweden in the Arab region, in Latin America and in South East Asia – and linked all of this to action to take forward the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, notably SDG 16 target 10: “to ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements.”

“Rights and freedoms are ends in themselves – they are also drivers of positive change across the board,” she said.

In her intervention, Ms. Alice Bah Kuhnke, Minister for Culture and Democracy, spoke of Sweden’s commitment and action to defend freedom of expression and free speech -- including through the important platform provided by UNESCO.

This was followed by a panel debate with Thomas Mattsson, Jonathan Lundqvist and Maria Persson Löfgren on their experience in the field.

Inform, Engage, Investigate: Lessons Learned from Zika Outbreak

Tue, 05/07/2016 - 14:42

The core principles of media, such as diversity of sources, editorial independence and quality coverage, must be emergency-proof. On this basis, UNESCO is organizing a two-day workshop entitled “Inform, Engage, Investigate: Lessons Learned from Zika Outbreak”, which will be held in Panama City, Panama from 14 to 15 July 2016 with participation of the International Federation of the Red Cross (IFRC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

According to Frank La Rue, Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, who will represent UNESCO at the event, communication is essential for all development issues, but for health matters it is of particular urgency and importance. “A call should be made for responsible reporting by health institutions and media in order to be as accurate as possible. Communication has to be designed in a way that it is scientifically exact but, in the same time, accessible to a broad public,” says Mr La Rue.

Since its establishment, UNESCO has strived to enable the development of a vibrant and quality media sector worldwide. Media diversity, quality coverage, impartiality, uncompromised editorial independence – they are all essential prerequisites to people’s fundamental right to know. Through investigative journalism, media can produce verifiable facts, expose wrongdoings and stimulate public debate by providing access to information. In times of crisis and emergency, it is particularly crucial for the audience to trust the knowledge delivered by the media and react upon it accordingly with potentially life-saving endeavors. This workshop will be the opportunity to gather public, private and associative stakeholders involved in crisis management, disaster-relief operations and communications to allow them to exchange on their respective realities, needs and constraints.

The main objective of this workshop is to strengthen media’s potential in crisis situation in Latin America and the Caribbean. In line with World Humanitarian Summit, this regional workshop follows UNESCO’s initiative to fully develop and promote media’s potential in times of epidemics and crisis – as established during the preventive radio campaign led by the Organization to tackle Zika virus across the Latin America and the Caribbean region.

Representatives from public, private and community radio stations, media organizations and associations (International Association of Broadcasting, Radio France Internationale, TV Globo, Voice of America, World Association of Community Radios, World Federation of Science Journalist), as well as several members of the RegLAC Communication Group, composed of UN agencies (UNICEF, UNDP, UNIDSR, OCHA, FAO) and major humanitarian organizations (Refugee Education Trust, Plan International, World Vision) have already confirmed their participation.

Each session will address a specific issue related to risk communication: from reporting medical data, to effectively engaging affected communities, as well as ensuring media’s principles in perilous contexts.

For more information or any inquiry please contact:

Bangkok workshop to introduce new mindful journalism curriculum for regional integration

Mon, 04/07/2016 - 15:57

The workshop is part of the IPDC project to develop a curriculum and to train-the-trainers to implement journalism training in the ASEAN and SAARC regions that will take a unique approach to communication theories that promote mindfulness and social harmony based on Asian philosophies.

Sixteen mid-career journalism trainers will be taking part in the workshop along with the project team from Chulalongkorn University led by Dr Jirayudh Sinthuphan and Dr Kalinga Seneviratne. The trainers will come from Cambodia, Myanmar, Laos, Vietnam, Philippines, Malaysia, Indonesia, Bhutan, India, Sri Lanka and Thailand.

The project team developed six modules for journalism training in Asia drawn from UNESCO’s Model Curricula for Journalism Education and incorporating Asian philosophical concepts. The modules include:

  • Media and Society;
  • Asian Perspectives and Communication Theory;
  • Human Centred Journalism;
  • Reporting Climatic Change and Sustainable Development;
  • Development Journalism; and
  • Mindful Investigative Reporting.

Each module comprises 12 teaching weeks and is designed for mass communications or journalism courses at the undergraduate level.

The curricula have incorporated Asian philosophies and communication theories emanating from Buddhist, Hindu and Confucius teachings that cover areas such as social harmony, protecting nature and environment, respecting cultural diversity and encouraging sufficiency economic models. With development of mindfulness becoming a global movement today, all the curricula have a strong emphasis on mindful communication and its adaptation to the practice of journalism.

IPDC is the only multilateral forum in the UN system designed to mobilize the international community to discuss and promote media development in developing countries. The Programme not only provides support for media projects but also seeks an accord to secure a healthy environment for the growth of free and pluralistic media in developing countries.

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