Building Peace in the Minds of Men and Women
Updated: 34 min 27 sec ago
Viet Nam has 54 ethnic groups recognized by the Government, with a population of 13 million ethnic minority people. Government policies are in place to promote cultural identity while encouraging ethnic and media diversity. Thus, out of 67 radio and television stations, 39 stations have had broadcasts in 26 ethnic languages. However, of the 341 broadcaster personnel of ethnic minority programmes, only a small number are of ethnic minority origin, and few were able to write news stories and reports in the national language, let alone in their mother tongues.
Recognizing the need to increase the number of ethnic minority broadcasters and improve training for those who have received very little over time, the Voice of Viet Nam (VOV) and UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) teamed up to hold training for 60 ethnic minority broadcasters in order to build their capacity and give them the confidence to share what they learned with their local communities. Participants acquired skills needed to produce content designed for ethnic minority communities, write stories, use digital recorders, and select appropriate sound and music. Other important skills such as the use of sound editing software and understanding the best use of search engines to find information were also integrated throughout the training sessions.
Upon completion, the number of participants able to use digital recorders jumped from 30 percent to 97 percent. With similar success, the number of participants using software to edit and mix sound fluently on their personal computers increased from zero to 100 percent.
Radio has long been considered as one of the most effective means of communication in remote regions, which are often inhabited by ethnic minority communities. Recognizing this importance, the Vietnamese Government began implementing in 2011 a “National Target Programme expanding information to remote, mountainous, border and island area”, with particular emphasis on disadvantaged and ethnic minority regions. The training conducted by the VOV and the IPDC have helped towards this programme.
A network of broadcaster personnel of ethnic minority programmes was set up following the training course, and it will help with the long-term goal of bringing relevant content in local languages to all regions of Viet Nam.
Recognizing the importance of radio as an essential source of relevant information for local listeners specific to their language and culture, the government of Lao PDR was supportive of bringing radio to this area in which it had previously not existed on a local level.
The project, which began in September 2012, involved successfully renovating a building to serve as a fully functioning radio station, complete with an FM transmitter and studio equipment. In order to ensure that the station would be used and maintained, radio technicians, programme producers, and 25 journalists were trained, with a particular focus on training women. By early 2013 the station was up and running, broadcasting directly from Lao National Radio three times a day. In the second half of 2013, Xiengkho Radio became fully functioning under the goals of the project, broadcasting daily local programs in Lao languages as well as Lao National Radio programs in Lao, Hmong, and Khmu languages.
Mr. Sipha Nonglath, Director of Lao National Radio, in discussing the importance of community radio for Lao PDR during the opening ceremony of Xiengkho Radio last April, said that given that most people relied mainly on agriculture, radio was effective for communicating policies and providing information and entertainment.
Further development and support of radio in provincial Lao PDR will increase availability of content in local languages, facilitate access to information and open up new spaces for rural and ethnic people to make their voices heard.
This has been through a project developed with the Cambodian Communication Institute (CCI) and the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC). In mid-February, 14 reporters from seven provinces gathered for a one-week training course on the conceptual and technical aspects of community-based radio feature production, followed by three weeks devoted to in-field training sessions.
Once these were complete, each trainee has produced various feature stories. According to Mr. Ratana Som of the CCI, participants “showed great interest in the training and actual practice and expressed their eagerness to acquire more new knowledge and skills to upgrade their daily practices. Many have, to some extent, put what they learned from the course into ongoing practices as they understand the importance of a good community-based radio piece.”
With story topics ranging from the increase of fishery crimes in one commune to the lack of preschool facilities in another community, the training led to specific and relevant content being disseminated.
“Besides receiving locally relevant information in a timelier manner, local people have been active stakeholders (producers) of a radio programme,” said Mr. Som in regard to the project.
He added: “The equipment support from UNESCO has been indispensable for the actual practices during the training period and for our trainees to carry on the mission to produce community-based radio programs beyond the project period,” he said. Deemed a “successful” project by the CCI, the effects reinforce radio as a crucial means of reaching a vast portion of Cambodia’s population.
Dart Centre Asia Pacific (DCAP) is a unique organization that draws upon a network of media professionals, mental health experts, educators and researchers to assist in raising awareness of the relationship between trauma, psychological and physical safety, and quality ethical reporting. Through support and funding from UNESCO’s International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC), DCAP was able to create a fellowship programme providing specialized training to media professionals from across the Asia-Pacific region and from all journalistic mediums on the negative effects of psychological trauma exposure and on how to deal with it.
DCAP has recognized that the safety training contributes not only to personal well-being, but also to press freedom in general, as it enables journalists to better report in traumatic conditions. The fellowship programme, titled “Enhancing Understanding of Traumatic Exposure as a Safety Issue for Journalists,” began on 12 May 2013 at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok with 24 media professionals in attendance. The trainers were specialists in psychological safety and well-being, in professional journalistic ethics, and in the issues related to victims of violence and trauma. Therefore, participants received training that served a dual purpose: to gain skills for reporting in situations of trauma, and for protecting their emotional health after a trauma exposure.
The project was designed with two stages so that knowledge gained during the fellowship would be carried forward, passed on to others in the journalists’ home regions or areas of work. The second stage involves ongoing support for participants to educate colleagues in their home countries about the relationship between exposure to trauma and the role of reporting. The support will remain in place until first stage participants are confident and skilled enough to facilitate ongoing trainings in their home countries. Many were already able to express the positive effects of the programme soon after the on-site training. “Dart Centre fellowship is something that helps one to be a better journalist, a leader in his/her community and also to be a better person,” said one participant.
With the support of UNESCO and the IPDC, Dart Centre Asia Pacific was able to carry out a successful and powerful programme. “Dart Asia Pacific Fellowship has been an eye opener for me. I have learned more than I have hoped to gain from this fellowship and I am willing to carry this message forward in my home country and beyond,” one participant shared. The willingness to take learned knowledge back home is essential in carrying on the outcomes of the programme, and ensures that positive effects will be seen for years to come.
Professor Li, an academic and popular science expert, was one of the founders of the China Science and Technology Museum, which he also directed. He also led the Science Popularization Department in the China Association for Science and Technology, which promoted science in rural areas, factories and mines. He launched the first national study on the spread of scientific knowledge, and was a regular speak on science popularization or science education, for which he was recognized throughout the country.
Created in 1951, the UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science is awarded every two years. Jointly financed by the Kalinga Foundation and the Government of India, it rewards people who, over the course of their careers, have helped interpret science, research and technology to the public and raise awareness about the international importance of science and technology.
The prize winner is also offered the Kalinga Chair, established by the Government of India’s Department of Science and Technology, and is invited to India to meet with scientists and science communication specialists. In this way, the laureate is able to become familiar with Indian culture, research and educational institutions as well as the country’s industry and economy.
The prize includes a $20,000 cheque, the silver Albert Einstein medal, and a certificate, which were presented to professor Li at the award ceremony.
Agnes Bardon, UNESCO Press Service
Tel: +33(0) 1 45 68 17 64
The workshop attendees, including youth delegates, observers, participants and organizers, learned how to write news items, prepare interviews and create vox pops. They also produced a number of audio pieces reflecting their views on gender equality and women’s empowerment in radio in their respective countries. Through radio young people shared their insights into the gender situation in Côte d'Ivoire, Rwanda, Mexico, France, Brazil, Germany, Senegal, Kuwait, Nigeria, Argentina, Ivory Coast and others. Some of them also highlighted challenges and successes in women’s political participation, in particular in accessing decision-making positions.
“The majority of journalists in my country lack proper training on media issues, and I believe it would be a good idea to organize a similar workshop in my country,” said Seleman Yusuph Kitenge, representative of Youth of United Nations Association of Tanzania. “There is a concern about media misleading the public, especially on crucial issues,” he added.
Towards the end of the workshop the participants created jingles demonstrating their support for World Radio Day 2014. Several participants from Africa expressed their commitment to celebrate World Radio Day within their youth organizations.
The theme of the 8th UNESCO Youth Forum was “Youth and Social Inclusion: Civic Engagement, Dialogue and Skills Development”. The Forum discussed youth civic engagement issues as well as the skills and competencies that are relevant and appropriate for young people to become employable or self-employed and to put their innovation, creativity and entrepreneurialism into practice.
“Linking Generations” is a product of the Swedish funded project “Empowering Local Radio with ICTs” and is available online for use by radio stations, young people, policy makers, youth and radio advocates.
For more information on the toolkit, please read see the article: Linking Generations through Radio.
The 6th World Science Forum (WSF) opened on 24 November 2013, at the Municipal Theatre of Rio de Janeiro. Hosted by the Brazilian Academy of Sciences in partnership with UNESCO, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the International Council for Science (ICSU), the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC) and the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the World Science Forum is held outside Europe for the first time, with Rio de Janeiro hosting the event this year, after it has taken place biannually in Budapest since 2001.
The Forum, which takes place on and around the World Science Days of every second year, was opened by His Excellency Mr. Michel Temer, Vice- President of the Federative Republic of Brazil, Director-General Irina Bokova, Mr Jacob Palis, President of the Brazilian Academy of Science, Mr. József Pálinkás, President of the Hungarian Academy of Science, and Mr. Gordon McBean, President-Elect of the International Council for Science (ICSU). His Excellency Mr János Áder, President of Hungary, also delivered a video message to participants during the opening.
The World Science Forum, the main theme of which this year is "Science for Global Sustainable Development ", follows up on the World Conference on Science (Budapest, 1999) and is the sixth in a biennial series of global dialogues towards a better understanding and appreciation of the new roles and challenges of scientific knowledge within today’s global society.
WSF is the only forum of regular discussions between scientists, society and policy-makers about the role of science, and the ethical, environmental, economic, social and cultural consequences of scientific discoveries. Over 500 scientists and decision-makers from the world of politics, as well as representatives of educational and research institutions, non-governmental organizations, youth organizations, the media and the private sector, from more than a hundred countries, attend this unique forum for a much-needed debate between the scientific community and society.
In line with the agenda presented at the 2012 Rio+20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development, scientists, politicians, decision-makers and representatives of civil society will discuss the role and tasks of responsible and ground-breaking science from 24 to 27 November, focusing on issues considered of utmost importance to reach the purpose suggested by the Forum’s main theme -- such as inequalities as barriers for global sustainability, science policy and governance, scientific integrity, science for natural resources, science and engineering education and the fundamental roles of science.
Setting the context in her opening address, Irina Bokova observed:
“This Science Forum occurs at a moment when countries are accelerating towards the Millennium Development Goals and Education for All by 2015, when the international community is shaping a new sustainable development agenda to follow. The new agenda must make the most of development multipliers, cross-cutting accelerators of sustainability, and this is where science comes into the picture, along with science diplomacy”.
“Climate change, loss of biodiversity or water pollution cannot be kept outside national borders”, continued Ms Bokova. “Humanity shares a single destiny – we must act with single determination to craft the future we want for all”
The Director-General emphasized the need for new thinking about science, calling for collaboration and sharing in the creation and distribution of knowledge and innovation.
“We need more integrated science – trans-disciplinary, drawing on the full range of scientific, traditional and indigenous knowledge, including the social and human sciences… We need more connected science – science that is linked to policy-making, that responds to the needs and aspirations of societies”, underlined Ms. Bokova.
She remarked that these ideas guided the creation of the Scientific Advisory Board, just launched a Scientific Advisory Board, that was shaped and will be hosted by UNESCO.
To commemorate World Science Day, the UNESCO Science Prizes are awarded during the World Science Forum.
After the opening ceremony of the Forum, the Director-General, together with H. E. Ms Madiha Ahmed Al Shaibani, Minister of Education of Oman, awarded the UNESCO Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation for 2013 to be shared equally this year by the State Forests National Forest Holding, Poland and the Endangered Wildlife Trust, South Africa.
The Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation rewards outstanding contributions by individuals or groups of individuals, institutions or organizations in the preservation of the environment, and is funded through a donation from His Majesty Sultan Qaboos Bin Said Al-Said of Oman.
The Director-General also awarded the 2013 UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularization of Science to Professor Xiangyi Li, from the People’s Republic of China. The Kalinga Prize is UNESCO’s oldest science prize, created in 1951. Today, the Prize is sponsored by the Government of India,
As the venue of the World Science Forum is now expected to alternate between Hungary and a partner country starting from this year, the 2015 World Science Forum will be brought back to Budapest. The announcement was made during the opening ceremony in Rio that the 2017 edition will be hosted by the Kingdom of Jordan.
During the Global Forum on Media and Gender which will be held in Bangkok, Thailand, from 2 to 4 December 2013, the Organization will facilitate discussions and partnership building on the critical need for increased female representation in media content, management, and push for the implementation of policies to reduce the equality gap.
“Too often still, the media reflects and sustains discriminatory attitudes to gender, failing to represent the voices of women or to report on such crucial concerns as gender-based discrimination, including violence against women. The fact remains also that women still have relatively little decision-making power inside media organizations,” noted UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova.
The Director-General believes this Forum will “give new momentum to global efforts to promote gender equality in and through the media, by strengthening international cooperation through a Global Alliance for Media and Gender”.
She added “the organization and the project aspire to “catalyse deep change for women’s empowerment and gender equality in and through media,” which in turn will also “contribute to shaping an ambitious post-2015 development agenda.”
Click to read full message from the Director-General.
Mr Amr was born in Cairo in 1966. He holds a Ph. D in International Law from the London School of Economics and a Master’s degree in Public and Private Law from Cairo University. A fluent speaker of Arabic, English and French, he is the author of numerous publications on matters of International Law, and led a distinguished academic career as a Professor of Public International Law at Cairo University.
Mr Amr has been closely connected to UNESCO since 2000, representing Egypt on a number of international committees and in negotiations concerning several UNESCO Conventions, notably those concerning Underwater Cultural Heritage, Intangible Cultural Heritage, Doping in Sport and the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions.
The Executive Board’s 58 members, elected by the General Conference, meet twice a year. The Executive Board oversees the implementation of the programmes adopted by the General Conference, UNESCO’s supreme governing body, which ended its 37th session at UNESCO on Wednesday 20 November.
In February 2013, UNESCO organized at its Headquarters, in cooperation with ITU, UNCTAD and UNDP, the first high-level, multi-stakeholder WSIS+10 Review Event entitled "Towards Knowledge Societies for Peace and Sustainable Development". The event was attended by 1,450 participants from 130 countries, with a further 800 remote participants.
All regions and stakeholder groups were represented, including intergovernmental and international organizations, governments, private sector businesses, media, the academic, technical and professional communities, and civil society organizations. High-level dialogues and plenary discussions on critical issues took place alongside 83 sessions, workshops and thematic fora covering 11 themes of crucial importance to building inclusive knowledge societies for peace and sustainable development, including on Internet Governance, Freedom of Expression and the Ethical Dimensions of Inclusive Knowledge Societies.
The Final Statement of the Event, Information and Knowledge for All: an expanded vision and a renewed commitment, was developed by the open-ended, multi-stakeholder drafting group with the participation of all stakeholder groups, emphasizing the rich and innovative multistakeholder character of WSIS follow-up arrangements and adopted at the 2013 WSIS+10 Multistakeholder Review Event. Now, the 195 Member States of UNESCO explicitly endorsed the first WSIS+10 Review Event’s Final Statement, which becomes a major institutional input to the Overall WSIS Review process.
You can find the text of the Statement in the Outcome documents, which also include an introduction by UNESCO, ITU, UNDP and UNCTAD and a detailed report.
IASG, composed of all UN Agencies, was created to facilitate and coordinate the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and covers a diverse range of activities and initiatives related to disability issues. The IASG meeting is, therefore, intended to sustain a dialogue between different UN bodies working in this area in order to ensure a coordinated and comprehensive strategy to protect the rights of persons with disabilities.
Among the items to be discussed in Paris will be a debate on the implementation of the Outcome Document of the High Level Meeting of the General Assembly on the Realization of the Millennium Development Goals for Persons with Disabilities, which took place during the UN General Assembly meeting on 23 September 2013. The IASG meeting will thus be instrumental to carving out the vital role that disability-inclusive development will play in the post-2015 development agenda.
The first day of debates will consist of a closed internal meeting only to enable technical discussion between UN Agencies. The second day will be an open discussion that will involve non-governmental organizations and disabled people organizations working on issues related to disability. The second day will also include a thematic workshop in the areas of inclusive education; access to information and knowledge; ICT accessibility and disaster preparedness and response; as well as social inclusion and internal disability policies and practices.
UNESCO promotes the rights of persons with disabilities to access information and knowledge using ICTs as their inclusion stands at the heart of UNESCO’s work. The brochure, New Avenues for Empowerment: Access to Information and Knowledge for Persons with Disabilities, provides more information about UNESCO’s work in this area.
The Dictionnaire is the product of years of hard work by a team of over 1600 authors, and contains articles on 12,000 women creators from all over the world and in all spheres of life –including politics, history, science, education, art, music, and theatre.
The Director-General, who contributed the preface to the Dictionnaire, underlined the importance of this work , guided by the spirit and values of UNESCO, and its global priority on gender equality. She welcomed this opportunity to raise the visibility of the creativity of women in society, to see them as actors for positive transformation.
The launch was attended by over 400 guests, including the three Directors of the Dictionnaire, Antoinette Fouque, Beatrice Didier and Mireille Calle-Gruber, who presented the book and its inspirations and origins. Edith Cresson, former Prime Minister of France, and Nicole Ameline, the President of the CEDAW Committee, both expressed their support for this work. Many personalities from the world of art were also present, including Nicole Garcia, Catherine Deneuve, and Sonia Rykiel, all to highlight the importance of the Dictionnaire.