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UNESCO Director General condemns the killing of Mexican photojournalist Ruben Espinosa

Lun, 03/08/2015 - 17:58

“I condemn the murder of photojournalist Ruben Espinosa,” the Director-General said. “Such attempts to stifle press freedom must be firmly and thoroughly investigated with the perpetrators brought to justice and punished. We must stand clearly alongside those courageous journalists who are working to keep citizens informed,” Ms. Bokova added. 

Mr. Espinosa worked for the news agencies AVC Noticias and Cuartoscuro, as well as for the investigative magazine Proceso in the southeast state of Veracruz where he covered local politics and often spoke out against the harassment of fellow journalists. 

Mr. Espinosa was found dead in Mexico City on 1 August. 

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.

Director-General urges investigation into killing of Mexican radio station director Abel Manuel Bautista Raymundo

Lun, 03/08/2015 - 16:35

“I deplore the murder of Abel Manuel Bautista Raymundo,” the Director-General said. “I call on the Mexican authorities to investigate this crime and bring its perpetrators to justice. Violence and fear of violence must not be allowed to muzzle free speech.” 

Abel Manuel Bautista Raymundo was killed as he left work on 14 April.  

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.

Director-General condemns the killing of Iraqi journalists Raed al-Juburi and Thaer Al-Ali

Lun, 03/08/2015 - 11:00

“I condemn the killing of Raed al-Juburi and Thaer Al-Ali,” said the Director-General. “The safety of journalists in Iraq is a source of grave concern. Iraqis need information to cope with the challenges they face and plan a better future for themselves and for their country. I call on all parties to respect the civilian status of journalists and their right to carry out their work.”

Raed al-Juburi, a presenter on Al-Rasheed television and columnist for Azzaman newspaper, was found dead from gun wounds in his home in Baghdad on 5 May. 

Al-Ali, editor-in-chief of the independent Mosul daily Rai al-Nas was shot dead on 26 April, according to the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate.  

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.

Director-General voices alarm at reported killing of Iraqi journalists Suahaa Ahmed Radhi and Jalaa Al-Abadi by Islamic State extremists

Jue, 30/07/2015 - 12:22

“I am deeply concerned about the reported killing of Suahaa Ahmed Radhi and Jalla Al-Abadi,” the Director-General said. “It has become very difficult for the public to know what is happening in parts of Iraq, because of violent extremists. We hope the day will come when the perpetrators of these heinous acts will be prosecuted.”

Suahaa Ahmed Radhi worked as an editor for a Nineveh-based newspaper. According to the Iraqi Journalists Syndicate she was kidnapped from her home by violent militants and killed

The Iraqi Journalists Syndicate also reported that violent extremist militants stormed the house of Mosaliah TV cameraman Jalaa Al-Abadi and shot him in a forest on the outskirts of Mosul.

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 presents its academic research agenda on safety during IAMCR 2015 and GCA conferences

Vie, 24/07/2015 - 11:56

Academics expressed strong interest in UNESCO’s work on safety of journalists. Twenty researchers of journalism and media, as well as other disciplines presented their on-going research related to safety issues. The topics ranged from psychological traumas of journalists to working conditions in different countries, also covering issues such as drone journalism and specific threats to women and war journalists.

In addition, possibilities for future academic cooperation were explored, including the setting-up of a network of researchers and the collaboration on future publications and research.

According to UNESCO’s data, more than 700 journalists and media workers have been killed in the last 10 years.

Silencing journalists through death is the ultimate act of censorship. The situation is further aggravated by other threats ranging from intimidation and harassment to restrictive policies and arbitrary detention, including attacks on women journalists. Equally worrying, more than nine out of ten cases of killing of journalists remain unsolved. The end result is a vicious cycle of impunity and a chilling effect on society in a climate of fear and self-censorship.

To better understand and act on these issues, research is needed. Therefore, the Organization has developed an academic research agenda on safety of journalists for further cooperation among the academic world in line with the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. For more information concerning the academic research agenda on safety of journalists or the special sessions, please contact Ms Reeta Pöyhtäri or Mr Ming Kuok Lim.

Links

Director-General calls for investigation into the death of Indian journalist Akshay Singh

Vie, 17/07/2015 - 10:51

“I express my condolences to Akshay Singh’s family, friends and colleagues and urge the authorities to investigate his death,” the Director-General said. “It is essential for rule of law and for society’s right to be kept informed, that the authorities do all they can to clarify the cause of Mr Singh's death. Reporters must be able to carry out their professional duties in a safe environment and crimes against them must not go unpunished”, Ms Bokova concluded.

Akshay Singh, a local TV journalist for the private Hindi news channel Aaj Tak, was investigating corruption in the north central state of Madhya Pradesh when he died from what doctors in a local hospital said was a heart attack. Media reports have raised doubts about the cause of Mr Singh's death.

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 You – Participate now in Youth Survey on Media, Technology and Peace!

Mié, 15/07/2015 - 15:09

UNESCO invites youth to share thoughts by completing the questionnaire below. It is divided into three parts and should be completed over a three-day period. 

Please do not complete this questionnaire if you are enrolled in the ongoing UNESCO and Athabasca University massively open online media and information literacy course.

If you are a young girl or boy between the ages 14 and 25 years this call is for you.

Your participation is crucial and will help to inform UNESCO’s design and expansion of its media and information literacy programme globally. Please see details about prizes below.

Media and information literacy affords youth with skills or competencies to effectively and critically engage with media and technology, participating in and advocating for ethical use of information and media, free expression and access to information, privacy, gender equality, intercultural and interreligious dialogue, global citizenship and hate content online.

Share your thoughts on these issues by completing the survey.

UNESCO values young people. The voices of youth count. Youth are not only the future of tomorrow. They are now. They are today. They are contributing to change and peace in this generation.

Please read the introductory paragraph at the beginning at the questionnaire carefully before starting.

There will be a draw for two prizes in the form of a two-week fellowship to visit a university in Latin America and the Caribbean, Europe or other region of the world to be announced. The prize will be offered, by the Autonomous University of Barcelona,  to two young persons who fully complete all three parts of the questionnaire.

Intergovernmental meeting approves a new normative instrument by UNESCO to preserve world’s documentary heritage

Mié, 15/07/2015 - 14:35

Impelled by its responsibility to raise awareness about the need to safeguard the world’s documentary heritage, UNESCO recognized that urgent action is required to ensure that world's collective memory is protected and preserved for future generations. At its 191st session, the Executive Board of UNESCO recommended that the 37th session of the General Conference decide that the issue of preservation and access to documentary heritage be regulated at the international level by means of a normative instrument.

In his introductory remarks delivered at the opening session of the Intergovernmental Special Committee meeting, the representative of the Director-General, Mr Getachew Engida, Deputy Director-General of UNESCO, emphasized, “The collective memory of the peoples of the world is of vital importance in preserving cultural and linguistic diversity, in bridging the past and the present, and in shaping the future. But the sheer scale of the effort needed to preserve what constitutes the irreplaceable Memory of the world, requires commitment of all the stakeholders responsible for protecting and transmitting the world documentary heritage”.  Furthermore, he stressed that “together, we have today a unique opportunity to address these challenging issues and seek lasting solutions”.

This Recommendation, that will be submitted to the General Conference later this year for possible adoption, will thus become a cornerstone of public and international documentary heritage preservation policies for the decades to come. Its main focus is to promote the establishment of principles and norms for regulation at national and international levels of the specific selection, preservation, accessibility and policy issues that are not covered by the already existing normative instruments. 

The new standard-setting instrument is expected to be an essential tool in the harmonization of practice in this particular field and will also serve to enhance international cooperation for facilitating access to documentary heritage and the exchange of advanced preservation techniques. Finally, it would contribute as well to raising public awareness about the significance of documentary heritage and would meet the requirements of Member States by setting out standards and guidelines for all those responsible for the preservation of and the access to the valuable memory of humanity.

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

World Youth Skills Day: media and information literacy for girls and boys

Mié, 15/07/2015 - 12:06

More than any time in history girls and boys are learning about themselves and the world around them more through media and technologies. Global phenomena such as privacy, youth radicalization, hate speech and new opportunities to engage in positive social change are mediated by media and technology.

Media and information literacy competencies are integral to all other 21st century competencies, be they technical competencies or social competencies, such as cultural literacy, global citizenship, financial literacy, health literacy, science literacy or environmental literacy. 

Youth skills or youth competencies have become urgent for their existence and survival in 21st century.

As one young person who is enrolled in the UNESCO and Athabasca University massive open online course (MOOC) in media and information literacy and intercultural dialogue notes:

“You know this course is changing my life, my perception, and correcting certain myopic view of mine. I am just so glad and I so wish I can educate every child so they won't grow with certain stereotyped perception and ignorance. (Iredumare Ojengbede Opeyemi)”  

UNESCO invites youth organizations and all actors to join us in stimulating awareness of the importance of media and information competencies to empower girls and boys by participation in the Women on Homepage initiative.

Download the Women on Homepage flyer. Circulate it in social media. Participate in the suggested actions by promoting girls, women and boys on your homepage.  

The World Youth Skills Day was established by the UN General Assembly on November 11, 2014, highlighting importance of youth skill development at global level.

Director-General condemns killing of Honduran journalists Jacobo Montoya Ramírez, Juan Carlos Cruz Andara and Joel Aquiles Torres

Mié, 15/07/2015 - 10:14

“I condemn the killing of Jacobo Montoya Ramírez, Juan Carlos Cruz Andara and Joel Aquiles Torres,” the Director-General said. “Using violence to silence journalists cannot be tolerated because it is also an attack on society as a whole. I call on the authorities to end impunity for crimes against journalists and ensure that their perpetrators are brought to justice.”

Juan Carlos Cruz Andara, a reporter with the TV broadcaster Teleport, was found stabbed to death in his home in the northern city of Puerto Cortés on 23 June approximately five months after reporting to the police that he had received a death threat.

Broadcast journalist Jacobo Montoya Ramírez was gunned down in his home in the western town of Copán Ruinas on 25 June.

Joel Aquiles Torres, owner of local TV station Canal 67, was shot dead while driving his car in Taulabe in the department of Comayagua on 3 of 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…”

 

 

Strengthening policies and funding for community media sustainability

Vie, 10/07/2015 - 16:16

The seminar will take place at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, from 14 to 15 September 2015 and promote favorable regulation, policy and funding of community radio and facilitate knowledge sharing on complementarity roles of national, community and commercial broadcasting.

An enabling legal environment that provides recognition and facilitates resources and support mechanisms is necessary for the long term sustainability of community broadcasters. They work on a non-profit basis and are tailored according to the specific needs and conditions of their respective communities. This means that favorable community radio legislation and financing have to take into account a multitude of existing business models within a given national media landscape.

A common finding is the struggle for legitimacy, financing, and professional capacity. Many community radio stations give in to influential bodies for survival or give up and move to something else. This is all the more worrying as community radio is an important vehicle for development in many regions of the world. It can improve awareness and knowledge of solutions to community problems ranging from rural development, culture, education, agriculture, hygiene and sanitation to local governance.

“Community radio can make a significant contribution to national life. It offers two-way communication within the community; [...] it is a means of education and a help in broader national development; and its benefits can be spread through broadcast technology from the locality to the regional and national level,” said Nepal’s Minister of Information and Communication, Jaya Prakash Gupta, in a speech delivered at the meeting for development of community radio in South Asia.

UNESCO’s Director of Freedom of Expression and Media Development underlines that free, pluralistic and independent media are key drivers for sustainable development,” says Guy Berger “Community radios [...] support democracy by enabling individuals to exercise their freedom of expression and right to access information.” He asserts that there is an invaluable pool of know-how and knowledge that can effectively be shared between regulators, broadcasters and wide-ranging stakeholders.

Case studies, concept papers and recommendations drawn from the seminar may be shared with parliamentarians, ministries, practitioners and the international community to facilitate partnerships, inform decision-makers and strengthen enabling environments for community radio worldwide.

UNESCO partners with Inter-American System of Human Rights for Impunity Day conference

Vie, 10/07/2015 - 11:01

To be held in the auditorium of the Inter-American Court for Human Rights in San José, the event is expected to especially attract judges and prosecutors from the Latin American and Caribbean region.

The Special Rapporteur for Freedom of Expression, Inter-American Commission on Human Rights of Organization of American States, Edison Lanza, is partnering with UNESCO and the Court in hosting the event.

The conference will examine how impunity towards crimes against journalists is considered one of the main factors fuelling the cycle of violent crime against the exercise of freedom of expression and human rights more broadly. It will deepen and share experience and jurisprudence of International Courts, as well as national references in regard to national High Courts.

Holding the event in mid-October provides in advance global and regional signal about the UN’s International Day against Impunity for Crimes against Journalists which is marked on 2 November.

In 2014, UNESCO marked the Day with a conference in the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg.

The San José event in 2015 will initiate an online discussion and an online course involving the constituency.

According to the 2014 UNESCO Director-General’s Report on the Safety of Journalists and the Danger of Impunity, less than six percent of the 593 cases of killings of journalists from 2006-2013 have been resolved.

The conference will take place within the wider context of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity, which has been endorsed by the UN Chief Executives Board and appreciated by the UN General Assembly.

The tentative Agenda, with participants still to be confirmed, includes representatives from national courts in Latin America, the Ibero-American Summit of Judges, as well as global regional courts of human rights.

Civil society groups, for example in Mexico, Colombia, Brazil and Guatemala, will be asked to discuss their role in awareness raising and in work to strengthen the effectiveness of mechanisms to protect journalists and end impunity.

For more information please contact Günther Cyranek, UNESCO Office in San José.

The draft concept note for the conference is available below:

Director-General urges an investigation into the killing of three Mexican journalists

Mié, 08/07/2015 - 17:04

“I condemn the killing of Filadelfo Sánchez Sarmiento, Gerardo Nieto Alvarez and Juan Mendoza Delgado” the Director-General said. “Crimes against journalists affect the whole of society and limit the ability of citizens to make informed choices. It is important that the authorities investigate these killings and bring those responsible for them to trial.”

Filadelfo Sánchez Sarmiento was killed in the southern state of Oaxaca; Juan Mendoza Delgado was found dead in the eastern state of Veracruz; and Gerardo Nieto Alvarez, was killed in the central state of Guanajuato.

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…”

 

 

African journalists hone skills in readiness for climate summit

Lun, 06/07/2015 - 15:17

This was the message of Jean-Pierre Poncet, Second Counsellor of the French Permanent Delegation to UNESCO, in his remarks to 18 African journalists attending a training workshop on climate change which started on 4 July at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.

Poncet noted that state actors were important in the negotiation process leading up to the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) in December this year at the Paris suburb of Le Bourget. But he stressed that they could only be held accountable to their commitments by a cadre of journalists that was knowledgeable about both development and climate issues, and how they intersected in national policy frameworks.

The training workshop, a result of a strategic partnership between UNESCO and the French Agency for Media Cooperation (CFI), is aimed at equipping African journalists with the knowledge and skills required for them to authoritatively report on the International Scientific Conference which starts tomorrow in Paris. This is one of several preparatory meetings leading to the COP21 event itself.

The journalists came from Kenya, Madagascar, Rwanda and Tanzania, and represent an emerging cadre of African journalists increasingly seeking innovative ways of reporting the complexities of climate change.

While the majority of them work for radio and print, others are bloggers who are exploiting social media for greater journalistic outreach on climate change awareness.

A key resource for the training workshop is UNESCO’s publication titled ‘Climate Change in Africa: A Guidebook for Journalists’.

The workshop is scheduled to end on 11 July.

New updates available at the Interactive Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger

Lun, 06/07/2015 - 14:58

Thirty-seven languages were updated in the first months of 2015. Some language updates show a higher level of endangerment. It is the case of Vote, an Uralic language spoken in the Russian Federation. The number of speakers of Vote has decreased from of 20 to only 15 speakers.

Other languages show encouraging improvements. Recent information led to consider Sarcee and Yucatec as languages in process of revitalization. Sarcee is a language from the Eyak-Athabascan family, spoken in Alberta, Canada. It has only 150 speakers left, according to the 2006 Census. Yucatec, also known as Yucatan Maya, is a language spoken in the peninsular area of Belize. Currently, Yucatec is used in different revitalization initiatives: public broadcasting (radio and television), satellite television, and some teaching in schools.

Several other languages entries like Asturian-Leonese, Gascon, Cornish, Han (Canada), Jersey French or Pitjantjatjara were enriched with new  resources, bibliography and links.

According to Christopher Moseley, editor in chief of the Atlas, “speakers and community members’ contributions are valuable because they may provide grounded and quality information about the endangerment situation of the languages, and in particular about the endangerment factors associated with attrition or revitalization processes”.

UNESCO’s Atlas of the World’s Languages in Danger intends to raise awareness about language endangerment as a global problem, and to help mobilize speakers and community members to develop grass-roots initiatives to revitalize their respective languages, through cultural, educational, media or other supports. 

Director-General condemns killing of cameraman Mohammed al-Asfar in Syria

Vie, 03/07/2015 - 20:06

“I condemn the killing of Mohammed al-Asfar,” the Director-General said. “Media workers in Syria have been paying an unacceptably high price for doing their work. I appeal to all parties in Syria to respect the civilian status of journalists. The right of reporters to carry out their professional duties must be respected in times of war as in times of peace.”

Mohammed al-Asfar was killed while covering fighting in the southern city of Daraa on 26 June.

The 19-year-old cameraman had been working for Al-Jazeera television since March 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.

                                                 ****

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…”

 

 

 

Developing Open Educational Resources in Uzbekistan

Vie, 03/07/2015 - 16:30

The Seminar was initiated as follow up of the 2012 Paris Declaration on Open Educational Resources and 2015 Qingdao Declaration adopted at the International Conference on ICT and Post-2015 Education. The content of the seminar was elaborated on the basis of the 2012 UNESCO Policy Guidelines for the Development and Promotion of Open Access. Seminar’s participants represented information-resources centers of the 31 universities from all regions of the country, National Library of Uzbekistan and Ziyonet Education-Information Nation-Wide Network.

Since training modules included practical online exercises, the Open Resources Center of the National University of Uzbekistan, which possesses broadband-enhanced ICT facilities, was selected as venue for the event. The opening ceremony of the seminar was attended by Rector of the Uzbekistan National University, Head of UNESCO Tashkent Office, Deputy Minister of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education of Uzbekistan, Director of the National Library of Uzbekistan and Secretary-General of the National Commission of Uzbekistan for UNESCO. Keynote speech was delivered by an expert from the Tashkent University of Information Technologies. Training modules were covering subjects on Open Access Journals, Open Access Repositories, Creative Commons, Digital Online Libraries, E-Learning Design.

At the end of the Seminar all participants had an opportunity to pass online examination on “Open Educational Resources” of the UNESCO International Institute on Information Technologies in Education, Moscow. In order to achieve multiplied effect, it has been decided that all participants upon return to their respective organizations will organize similar training sessions and modules for the staff of the libraries and teachers of the universities for the purpose of sharing the learning materials on Open Solutions and for the establishment of a network among libraries and higher educational establishments worldwide.

Open Educational Resources (OER) are teaching, learning or research materials that are in the public domain or released with an intellectual property license that allows for free use, adaptation, and distribution. They provide a strategic opportunity to improve the quality of education as well as facilitate policy dialogue, knowledge sharing and capacity building. Over the last 10 years, UNESCO has helped spur an international movement in support of OER.

Establishing a Global Centre for Excellence for Persons with Disabilities using ICTs

Vie, 03/07/2015 - 14:38

At the opening of the meeting, Mr Lenin Moreno, the former Vice-President of Ecuador and UN Special Envoy on Disability and Accessibility, insisted on the importance of cultural and technical inclusion of people with disabilities in society. He also emphasized that disability is part of world’s diversity of abilities, without which the world would be a less interesting place, and that the involvement of people with disabilities in the creation of ICTs is vital.

Over the two days, the experts discussed the proposed Centre, to be based in the State of Kuwait, defining its vision, mission, functions, objectives, scope and title. They further proceeded to the development of a strategic roadmap, and proposals for the structure of the Global Centre, as well as resources and infrastructure required.

The perspectives and recommendations of the experts were highly valued and will no doubt lead to a vital and inclusive Global Centre working for the empowerment of peoples with disabilities through ICTs. The organizers of the international expert meeting also invited the participants to identify particular problems and barriers to accessing information and knowledge and to match these with possible solutions and appropriate ICTs and assistive technologies.

The proposal for the establishment of the Global Center for Excellence will be submitted for the approval of the governing bodies of UNESCO later this year.

Director-General deplores killing of Indian journalist Sandeep Kothari

Jue, 02/07/2015 - 16:16

“I condemn the killing of Sandeep Kothari,” the Director-General said. “I call on the authorities to investigate this crime and bring its perpetrators to trial. This is essential for journalists to be able to go on informing public debate for the benefit of Indian society as a whole.”

 

The body of Mr Kothari was found near the city of Nagpur on 21 June. He had been abducted two days earlier.

 

Mr Kothari, 40, worked for several daily newspapers in the state of Madhya Pradesh.

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 meets John Whittingdale, United Kingdom Secretary of State of Culture, Media and Sport

Jue, 02/07/2015 - 09:33

The Director-General underlined her relentless commitment to strengthening UNESCO's action to bolster international responses to the destruction of cultural heritage and illicit trafficking of cultural goods, highlighting the measures taken to implement UN Security Council Resolution 2199, working with a wide range of partners.

The Secretary of State noted the increasing actions taken by the UK government in this field, working with museums, customs, police and other key actors. He pointed to the interest for UNESCO to contribute to these efforts.

Irina Bokova welcomed the encouraging statements that the United Kingdom will ratify the 1954 Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in Armed Conflict, which forbids targeting cultural heritage or using it for military purposes. The Secretary of State underlined the commitment of the Government here, agreeing with the Director General on the need to bolster a rules-based international order through such conventions. 

Discussion followed on the need to fight the radicalisation that fuels cultural cleansing, when the Director General presented UNESCO's work, including the new Framework for Action, Empowering Youth to Build Peace. The importance of responding to hate speech on the internet and through social media, especially for young people, was highlighted.

Irina Bokova provided an overview of UNESCO's action to promote freedom of expression as well as the safety of journalists, namely by leading the implementation of the UN Plan of Action for the Safety of Journalists. The Secretary of State underlined his great interest in these issues and UNESCO's work in this field and looked forward to stronger cooperation.

The Director-General underlined the 70th anniversary celebrated this year of UNESCO's creation, and the historic role played by the United Kingdom in the Organisation's birth.

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