Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Omani wins UNESCO prize for ethics in science

SciDev.Net report:

"Omani biomedical scientist Abdallah Daar has been awarded UNESCO's 2005 Avicenna prize for ethics in science."

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Israeli-Palestinian scientific cooperation gets boost

SciDev.Net article:

"The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has pledged US$100,000 to allow the Israeli-Palestinian Science Organization (IPSO) to begin implementing 30 new research projects involving both Palestinian and Israeli scientists."

Friday, May 27, 2005

IPDC/UNESCO Prize for Rural Communication

Call for Nominations: UNESCO-CI:

"Nominations are now open for the IPDC-UNESCO Prize for Rural Communication, which is to be awarded for the tenth time. The IPDC-UNESCO Prize, consisting of a sum of US $20,000 is awarded every two years. This year deadline for submission is 1 October 2005."

International Programme for the Development of Communication

IPDC website:

The International Program for the Development of Communication (IPDC) promotes free and pluralistic media in developing countries and in the countries in transition from Communism. Through media development IPDC helps strengthen participation in democratic governance. Since its inception in 1980, the IPDC has channelled more than US$90 million to more than 1,000 media development projects in 135 countries. Priority is given to the projects promoting press freedom and media pluralism, development of community media, enhancing professional capacity and building partnerships for media improvements.

UNESCO created the International Program for the Development of Communication (IPDC) in 1980. This year the program lists 16 donors, including the United States of America.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

U.S. National Commission Meeting

Check here for more information as it becomes available

The first meeting of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO will be held Monday, June 6 and Tuesday, June 7. It is to take place at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. The meeting will be open to observers, but those wishing to attend must contact the State Department no later than May 20. The address to do so is:

email: DCUNESCO@state.gov
phone: (202) 663-0026

Written submissions are also accepted, but must also be received by May 20.

This will be my last posting for a while -- I am going on vacation for a couple of weeks.

UNESCO Young Professionals Program (YPP)

State Department announcement:

"There will be a 2006 YPP for nationals of under- and non-represented countries which includes the U.S. The program is extremely competitive. UNESCO will hire only ten applicants worldwide. Last year the U.S. received 445 applications for the program, of which twelve were forwarded for consideration to UNESCO headquarters. From that group only one U.S citizen was selected.

"All applications must be postmarked by June 24, 2005."

Monday, May 16, 2005

Director-General Opens a World Conference on Information and Communication Technologies for Capacity-Building: Critical Success Factors

UNESCO Flash release:

"On 11 May, the Director-General of UNESCO, Koichiro Matsuura, opened the World Conference on Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) for Capacity-Building: Critical success Factors"

Researchers Have Mapped The Dams Of The World

Science Daily article:

"More than half of the world's large rivers are fragmented and regulated by dams. The largest and the most biologically and geographically diverse rivers are all affected. This is shown by a global study that is published in this week's issue of the journal Science........

"The research project has amongst others been funded by WWF Sweden, United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)/World Water Assessment Programme, United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and World Resources Institute."

Sunday, May 15, 2005

UNESCO - UNESCO and FAO launch training CD-Rom on digitisation for librarians and laymen

UNESCO - UNESCO and FAO launch training CD-Rom on digitisation for librarians and laymen:

"UNESCO and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization are launching the 'Digitization and Digital Libraries' module to teach librarians and laymen how to digitize documents and put them on line and create virtual libraries. The kit, available from the FAO and UNESCO free of charge, is compatible with a wide range of computers".

Cultural Diversity in Knowledge Societies

UNESCO Release on the meeting:

St Petersburg, Russian Federation, 17-19 May 2005,

"UNESCO is organizing a three-day expert meeting on 'Cultural Diversity in Knowledge Societies' in St. Petersburg, Russian Federation, from 17 to 19 May 2005. The event takes place in the framework of the conference 'UNESCO between the two phases of the World Summit on the Information Society' organized by the Russian authorities."


Earth Negotiations Bulletin Summary:

"The third session of the Committee for the Review of the Implementation of the Convention to Combat Desertification (CRIC-3) took place from 2-11 May 2005, in Bonn, Germany. Nearly 600 participants attended, including delegates from 130 state Parties, as well as representatives of UN agencies, international organizations, and non-governmental organizations.........

"The Secretariat outlined the planned activities for 2006, as discussed by a steering committee, comprising the World Bank, UN Volunteers, UNESCO, FAO and the CBD."

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Forum "What UNESCO for the Future?"

Forum announcement:

"In the framework of its programme of work on Philosophy and Human Sciences, the Social and Human Sciences Sector (SHS) has opened a debate among philosophers, decision-makers and scholars to identify the key issues concerning the future work of the Organization.

"This new Forum untitled 'What UNESCO for the future?' was launched on the Third Philosophy Day (18 November 2004) with its first debate. On the 18 May, the second debate will take place with Prof. Jacques Attali, President of PlaNet Finance and Prof. Randolph Kent, President of Humanitarian Futures."

UNESCO House (room X), Paris, France (17.00 - 19.30)

"From the Philosophy of Biology to the Philosophy of Ecology: Evolutionism, Ecology and Ethics", 25-27 May 2005:

UNESCO Conference announcement

"On this occasion, the prospects of an international framework of ethical principles for the ethical use of the environment will be discussed. UNESCO will present its plan and activities in the field of environmental ethics."

"Open Access and the Public Domain in Digital Data and Information for Science: Proceedings of an International Symposium"

Summary: "The proceedings are now online of a meeting which expressed concern in April 2003 at the growing tendency of governments to treat public-funded research as a commodity. The participants were particularly preoccupied by the implications for scientists in developing countries of growing restrictions on access to digital data and information. They asked themselves, 'How do we preserve and promote access to open science without unduly restricting commercial opportunities and the moral rights of authors? Many of the meeting's conclusions fed into the first round of the World Summit on the Information Society eight months later. The meeting on open access and the public domain was co-organized at UNESCO Headquarters by UNESCO, ICSU and its Committee on Data for Science and Technology (CODATA), the US National Academy of Sciences and the International Council for Scientific and Technical Information (ICSTI). For an account of discussions, read 'What future for open science?' published in A World of Science in July 2003. The PDF version of the Proceedings may be downloaded free of charge courtesy of The National Academies Press, in keeping with the spirit of open access." UNESCO, 2004. (HTML, the PDF version of the complete report can also be downloaded.)

International Conference for Integrating Urban Knowledge & Practice: Life in the Urban Landscape

MAB Urban Group - News and Events website:

"International Conference for Integrating Urban Knowledge & Practice: Life in the Urban Landscape. Gothenburg, Sweden, 30 May - 3 June 2005. MAB Sweden is organizing several sessions on urban ecology, MAB and the biosphere concept during the Conference, as well as an excursion to a candidate Biosphere Reserve with interesting urban components, the 'Kristianstad Vattenriket'."

The World of Science

Check out the April-June edition.

2 Killer wave
9 Island agenda
strengthen ties
10 Five nano-giants celebrated
11 Scientific advisory body for
CBD mooted
12 Shipment for Iraqi universities
13 Four young scientists on why their opinions should be canvassed
16 Controlling malaria, the vampire of the technological age
20 The knowledge that saved the sea gypsies
24 Diary
24 New releases
24 Governing bodies

A project office for oceanographic data exchange

UNESCO announcemnt:

"On 25 April 2005, the project Office for International Oceanographic Data and Information Exchange (IODE) was inaugurated officially on the site of the Flanders Marine Institute in Ostend, Belgium.......

"'On the basis of the solid collaboration with UNESCO's Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and the results achieved by the Ocean Data and Information Network for Africa (ODINAFRICA), the Flemish government decided in 2003 to host the IODE Project Office in Ostend'."

Friday, May 13, 2005

Great-Man Made River International Water Prize

Prize website:

"The Prize is awarded biennially by the Director-General of UNESCO at a public ceremony, to be held next in autumn 2005 at UNESCO Headquarters, and comprises a certificate, a medal and a sum equivalent to 20,000 US$."

UNESCO Launches two Regional Poverty Projects in Punta Gorda, Belize

UNESCO News release:

"UNESCO will launch two regional poverty projects in Belize on May 18 at a ceremony that will take place at the Parish Hall in Punta Gorda, Toledo District. The event will be held in the presence of Hon. Said Musa, Prime Minister of Belize as well as other representatives of Government and NGO partners.........

"The first project addresses poverty in isolated indigenous communities using integrated community media and the creation of multimedia products as the focus for a sustainable human development strategy. The purpose is to reduce isolation of the indigenous communities by providing access to ICT training and infrastructure, and enabling the development of local content in integrated community media. The programme will be implemented in Belize, Dominica, St. Vincent and the Grenadines and Suriname.........

"The second project, entitled “Youth Poverty Alleviation Through Tourism and Heritage” (Youth PATH), is a UNESCO initiative designed to enable young people ages 15 to 25 to utilize innovative skills for sustainable employment in the area of Heritage Tourism and preservation of Heritage Sites."

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Mozambique: inauguration of a Community Multimedia Centre in Xinavane

allAfrica.comnews story:

"The project is funded by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), and Swedish Cooperation, and also received support from the local sugar company, from the Educardo Mondlane University, and from the Mozambican telecommunications company, TDM."

"Tilghman balances research with leadership"

Washington Square News story:

"A world-renowned molecular biology scholar, Princeton University President Shirley Tilghman was one of five recipients of the L'Oreal-UNESCO international For Women in Science Award in 2002, and won the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Developmental Biology in 2003. Before assuming the Princeton presidency in 2001, she taught courses in life sciences at the university for fifteen years. "

Monday, May 09, 2005

ItrainOnline Multimedia Training Kits

ItrainOnline: Resources for Trainers: MMTK:

"Supported by ItrainOnline partner UNESCO and others, the MMTK is a growing collection of 'workshop kits' for face-to-face training. The materials use a standard set of templates, and offer building blocks for trainers to build their own courses."

Courrier de la planete: Sciences Sociales et Developpement -- Le savoir et le politique

Website for the special issue:

"De nouveau, le sens est important. Et, seules les sciences sociales sont a meme de deconstruire et structurer les imaginaires dont l'action politique a besoin.

"Ce numero a beneficie du soutien de l'Unesco-Most et sera distribue lors du Forum international sur les interfaces entre politiques et sciences sociales qui aura lieu a Buenos Aires (5-9 septembre 2005)."

Sunday, May 08, 2005


Database website

"The present database is the first attempt to disseminate a comprehensive data set on global surface water resources, and water use for domestic, agricultural and industrial purposes. Forecasts of expected water use until 2025, and a database of monthly discharges of selected rivers in the world are also included. The database is also aimed to initiate a dialogue among those concerned with freshwater resources assessment and monitoring. We therefore solicity your input to improve and upgrade the database."

Asian Innovation Conference in September

The Nation (Bangkok) article:

"Innovation can be a complex process and it doesn't always mean just coming up with new inventions. For innovation to be truly productive, collaborative networks among researchers, government bodies, and the private sector locally and overseas are needed.

"To foster a culture of innovation, the National Innovation Agency (NIA) has collaborated with Unesco (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation) and IBM Corp to convene InnovAsia 2005 -- the first Asia-Pacific conference and exhibition on innovation management.

"The event will be held from September 21 to 23 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre."

Thursday, May 05, 2005

UNESCO Thesaurus

UNESCO Thesaurus Home Page:

"This web site allows you to browse the UNESCO Thesaurus. It also provides information about the UNESCO Thesaurus. (It provides a link to the UNESCO website that allows one to search the Thesaurus.)....

"The UNESCO Thesaurus is a controlled vocabulary developed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation which includes subject terms for the following areas of knowledge: education, science, culture, social and human sciences, information and communication, and politics, law and economics. It also includes the names of countries and groupings of countries: political, economic, geographic, ethnic and religious, and linguistic groupings.

"The UNESCO Thesaurus allows subject terms to be expressed consistently, with increasing specificity, and in relation to other subjects. It can be used to facilitate subject indexing in libraries, archives and similar institutions."

The International Congress of Bioethics 2005

Islam Online article:

"The congress, held from March 26 to March 28, came as a suitable follow-up to the 'Extraordinary Session of the International Bioethics Committee' held in Paris, France on January 28, 2005. The goal of the committee was to finalize the Preliminary Draft Declaration on Universal Norms on Bioethics. Discussing the Universal Declaration of Bioethics was one of the main topics covered in the congress including ethics and its relation to molecular biology, intellectual property rights, stem cell research, tissue transplantation, and modern gene technology, as well as ethics education.........

"As Dr. Koichiro Matsuura, Director General of UNESCO mentioned in his opening address, “Scientists, philosophers, policy-makers, the media and the general public should be involved in assessing the social and ethical implications of these remarkable developments. On the one hand, the media bring us daily reports of findings in science that have the potential to be used in medical treatments and applied towards prevention of diseases. On the other hand, certain applications of biotechnology and genetics arouse a profound fear and anxiety that the sanctity of human life might be compromised and human dignity violated if careful ethical consideration is not given to these applications.” The applications Matsuura referred to include sensitive topics such as stem cell research, cloning, and the patenting of genes."

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Holocaust Remembrance Day -- Wednesday, May 4

Jerusalem Post article:

"The State of Israel marked Holocaust Remembrance Day starting on Wednesday night.

"The annual state ceremony -- which this year will mark 60 years since the end of World War II -- began at 8 p.m. at Jerusalem's Yad Vashem Holocaust Martyrs' and Heroes' Remembrance Authority."

Ambassador Louise V. Oliver's April 18, 2005 remarks to the UNESCO Executive Board

Read Ambassador Olivers complete remarks.

The U.S. Ambassador to UNESCO underlined continued support for many programs, notably:
- Education for all;
- UNESCO’s focus on quality education, teacher training, HIV-AIDS prevention, gender parity, and textbooks that promote tolerance and human rights;
- UNESCO’s work in science, (and its initiative to incorporate capacity-building into its efforts);
- The International Hydrological Commission and International Oceanographic Commission;
- The Culture Sector’s program on endangered movable objects, and its efforts to build museum capacity in developing nations;
- The World Heritage Center;
- the Information and Communication Sector’s emphasis on freedom of the press and the development of community-based communications projects;
- the use of ICT’s to reinforce the work of the other sectors at UNESCO.

She underscored the need to continue to improve UNESCO's efficiency and effectiveness as a development agency, and the position of the U.S. government that UNESCO should live within the large budget increase made as a result of U.S. reentry in the organization, rather than seeking further increases for the next bienium.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

More creative thinking needed on drug R&D

SciDev.Net story:

"Proposals for a global treaty to boost research and development for neglected diseases by sidelining large pharmaceutical companies may appear utopian. But they highlight the urgent need for new ways of producing the medicines needed by the poor. "

UNESCO: Sivaram killing "shameful crime"

TamilNet story:

"UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura Tuesday condemned the murder of political columnist and military analyst, Dharmeratnam Sivaram, as a 'shameful crime' and his death 'a great loss for Sri Lankan journalism and for UNESCO.'........

“'It is tragic that I have to make this condemnation today, on World Press Freedom Day, which UNESCO is celebrating in Dakar this year,' the Director-General declared."

PRC journalist not allowed to collect award

Taiwan News Online story

A Chinese editor, Cheng Yizhong, whose newspaper broke stories about China's SARS outbreak and a fatal police beating has been ordered not to attend a ceremony to accept a UNESCO's 2005 press freedom award.

May 3rd: World Press Freedom Day

UNESCO's World Press Freedom Day 2005 website:

"Every year, May 3rd is a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom; to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession."

The Director General's message for the day.

World Press Freedom Prize 2005

UNESCO Remembers Assassinated Journalists

Study Shows Positive Impact of African Languages on FM Radio: UNESCO-CI

UNESCO-CI Press Release:

"A study carried out by the Centre for Advanced Studies of African Society (CASAS), indicates that people surveyed in Mali, Ghana and Senegal appreciate African language broadcasts, want more programming in African languages and consider them to have a number of positive impacts. The study was funded by UNESCO within the framework of the Community Multimedia Centre programme

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Multilingualism for Cultural Diversity and Participation of All in Cyberspace

Conference website:

"UNESCO, in partnership with the African Academy of Languages (ACALAN), the Agence Intergouvernementale de la Francophonie (AIF) and the Government of Mali and other international institutions, is organising a Conference on 'Multilingualism for Cultural Diversity and Participation of All in Cyberspace' in Bamako, Mali, on 6 and 7 May 2005. The event is one of UNESCO's thematic meetings in preparation for the second meeting of the World Summit on the Information Society (Tunis, Tunisia, 16-18 November 2005)."

IOC Action Paper: Twenty-third Session of the Assembly

Read the Action Paper

"The Chairman of the sessional Financial Committee, Captain Javier Valladares
(Argentina), Vice- Chairman of IOC, will......inform the Assembly that, given the reduction of 20% of UNESCO’s contribution to the IOC Regular Budget, Member States will have, as soon as possible, to collectively reflect on possible future scenarios as a possible basis for the reformulation of the Commission's medium- and long-term plans. To start that process, a document was prepared for the consideration of the Assembly at the present session; it assesses the overall funding for IOC, analyses the existing, and proposes, new funding mechanisms including extrabudgetary contributions from Member States through a voluntary pledging system."