Thursday, December 31, 2009
Wednesday, December 30, 2009
(AdvDeg: Hydro/WaterRsrces/Engin; 10+ yrs int’l exp; Fr); D-2; $191K Closing date: 01/23/10
(AdvDeg: PolicyPlanning/Mgmt; extnsv sr lvl exp; Fr); ADG; $205K Closing date: 01/27/10
(AdvDeg: SocSci/Law; 10+ yrs int’l exp; Fr); D-1; $177K Closing date: 02/08/10
Sunday, December 27, 2009
The Brain Gain initiative is a digital infrastructure linking African and Arab Region universities to global knowledge
The migration of highly-skilled people is having a significant impact on higher education and research, as universities and research centres have to adjust to increasingly mobile, competitive labour markets, and strive to retain highly-skilled professionals.
In an effort to change this trend, UNESCO and HP joined forces in 2003 to develop several projects, using innovative technology to create a “brain gain” for regions that are particularly impacted by the exodus of academics and scientists.
Many skilled expatriates, wherever they may be located, have the potential and the willingness to contribute to the development of their home country, and information and distributed computing technologies provide a new way to enable distance cooperation.
A digitally literate generation of young people will be able to take advantage of the opportunities provided by access to virtual classrooms and virtual laboratories. Remote access to rare or expensive resources can help small, low-budget universities enjoy access to infrastructure of the same quality as large, well-endowed ones.
In 2009 UNESCO and HP agreed to scale up the initiative to help create a sustainable university e-infrastructure for science, bringing together higher education institutions and research centres in Africa and the Arab States region and allowing them to pursue innovative education projects.
Friday, December 25, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
A human rights watchdog group, Global Witness, called on UNESCO to cancel the $300,000 UNESCO-Obiang Nguema Mbasogo International Prize for Research in the Life Sciences, to be awarded for this first time next year. UNESCO's Web site says the prize was founded to recognize scientific research that leads to "improving the quality of human life." Global witness holds that UNESCO "is being hypocritical by collaborating with Equatorial Guinea's dictator."
Sunday, December 20, 2009
- Publication Titles published in 2008 (PDF, 25 p): key information about publications issued in 2008
- Publication Titles to be Published in 2009 (PDF, 25 p): key information about publications planned for 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Every major problem facing modern society now has a science and technology component—either as a cause or cure—whether it's energy and the environment, access to water and fertile land, the spread of infectious diseases, or sustaining a viable economy. Although every societal problem has unique regional characteristics that require attention, there are sufficient implications across regions for which only globally coordinated efforts will be successful. The recent assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and their impacts on public and policy-maker perceptions provide one example of successful cooperation on a near-global scale. The betterment of humankind depends on a deliberate move from being an international community of scientists to being a truly global community.UNESCO, as the lead agency for both Natural Sciences and Social and Human Sciences in the network of intergovernmental organizations, should take this editorial in one of the leading scientific journals of the world to heart. This is especially true in that UNESCO has decades of experience helping its member nations coordinate norms and standards in its fields of expertise.
As more countries have invested in science and technology to advance their societies, high-quality science is increasingly being carried out in every part of the world. The scientific enterprise has become highly collaborative both within and across countries. These trends present great opportunities and increasing obligations for the scientific community to contribute to solving society's major problems. But efforts will be successful only if the community can function in a much more globally integrated way.
Becoming global can only happen if the differences among national scientific communities are reduced. For example, there is substantial variation in the norms and standards that govern the work of scientists in different countries. Effective collaboration requires harmonizing these standards of conduct so that scientists can work together with full trust and confidence. Consider the work of the International Society for Stem Cell Research, which has been striving as a community to develop global guidelines for embryonic stem cell research so that biological materials developed in one nation can be shared with others. Similar concerns apply to other policies concerning the conduct of science, such as those regarding the use of human subjects, animal welfare, or work on genetically modified organisms. Harmonizing norms and standards may be the most pressing need for successful globalization. But disparate national intellectual property rules and regulations can also deter international cooperation, as can differing publication and information access policies.
The John Marshall Ju/'hoan Bushman Film and Video Collection, 1950-2000, held at the Smithsonian Institution's Human Studies Film Archives, is one of the seminal visual anthropology projects of the twentieth century. It is unique in the world for the scope of its sustained audiovisual documentation of one cultural group, the Ju/'hoansi, of the Kalahari Desert, in northeastern Namibia. Created over a span of 50 years, it is an unparalleled historical record not only of an indigenous people's traditional lifeways and ties to the land but of the transformation of these lifeways in the rapidly changing political and economic landscape that developed in concert with the struggle for Namibian independence.
Thursday, December 17, 2009
- ASSISTANT DIRECTOR-GENERAL FOR AFRICA DEPARTMENT
- ASSISTANT DIRECTOR-GENERAL FOR COMMUNICATION AND INFORMATION
- ASSISTANT DIRECTOR-GENERAL FOR CULTURE
- ASSISTANT DIRECTOR-GENERAL FOR EDUCATION
- ASSISTANT DIRECTOR-GENERAL FOR NATURAL SCIENCES
- ASSISTANT DIRECTOR-GENERAL FOR SOCIAL AND HUMAN SCIENCES
- ASSISTANT DIRECTOR-GENERAL FOR EXTERNAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
- ASSISTANT DIRECTOR-GENERAL FOR ADMINISTRATION
Two other important positions are closing on February 8th:
- DEPUTY DIRECTOR, OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR-GENERAL
- DIRECTOR, BUREAU OF HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Sunday, December 13, 2009
Wednesday, December 09, 2009
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
The head of the United Nations agency tasked with defending press freedom has condemned the murder of Mexican journalist José Emilio Galindo Robles, the second such killing in less than one month.
Sunday, December 06, 2009
With our fields of competence in education, culture, natural science, social and human sciences, communication and information, combined with our two priorities – gender equality and Africa – we are in a unique position in the multilateral arena, in order:
- first, to assist in harnessing globalization more in the service of humanity andsustainable development and in attaining internationally recognized developmentobjectives, in particular the Millennium Development Goals;
- second, to make a difference internationally, and at the national level in particular, through effective high-quality activities in our fields of competence, in which we must play an international leadership role;
- third, to refine our unique role in the multilateral system, as an Organization that promotes and facilitates dialogue among decision-makers, scientists, the academic world, intellectuals, members of civil society, journalists, spiritual leaders and many others; this must have a definite impact on the overriding goal of our Constitution, which is to construct the defences of peace in the minds of men and women;
- fourth, to continue to contribute fully to the reform of the United Nations, in particular at the country level, in order to highlight our capability to meet the Member States’ priorities and demands.
Colorado State University is a founding member of the newly approved North American UNESCO water center in the United States
The agreement means that the roughly 120 professors conducting water-related research at Colorado State will help provide guidance on issues largely facing the world including:
• hydrologic and hydraulic engineering;
• water planning and systems management;
• water policy development and governance;
• ecosystem sustainability;
• socioeconomic analysis;
• conflict resolution; and
• global change.
The main purpose of this meeting is to share information about the current activities of existing National IFAP Committees, discuss the prospects for future cooperation, as well as the possibilities for strengthening inter-regional and multilateral collaborations, increasing the Program’s visibility and funding. The participants will also discuss ways of implementing the National Information Society Policy, a template document which was recently developed by IFAP.
The Program seeks to:
- promote international reflection and debate on the ethical, legal and societal challenges of the information society;
- promote and widen access to information in the public domain through the organization, digitization and preservation of information;
- support training, continuing education and lifelong learning in the fields of communication, information and informatics;
- support the production of local content and foster the availability of indigenous knowledge through basic literacy and ICT literacy training;
- promote the use of international standards and best practices in communication, information and informatics in UNESCO's fields of competence; and
- promote information and knowledge networking at local, national, regional and international levels.
The United States is not a donor to the IFAP program and it is not represented on the Intergovernmental Council for the program. There is no U.S. National Committee for IFAP.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
The meeting will have a series of subject-specific reports and allow for brief question and answer periods. The Commission will accept brief oral comments or questions from the public or media during a portion of this approximately three-hour conference call. The public comment period will be limited to approximately 15 minutes in total, with two minutes allowed per speaker. Those who wish to present oral comments or listen to the conference call must make arrangements with the Executive Secretariat of the National Commission by December 14, 2009.
The National Commission may be contacted via e-mail at DCUNESCO@state.gov, or via phone at (202) 663-0026. Its Web site can be accessed at: http://www.state.gov/p/io/unesco/.
The IOC budget from the UNESCO Regular Programme is approximately USD 4,000,000/biennium (average 2002-2007). A similar amount is allocated for core staff positions (professional and support staff). In 2006/2007 the IOC had a total of 21 UNESCO staff positions of which 9 were professional (P) and 12 support staff (G).
Below you can see the evolution of the UNESCO Regular Programme contributions between 1971 and 2009 (in millions of US dollars).
Thursday, December 03, 2009
The right to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications (REBSP) is enshrined in various international and regional instruments. It was proclaimed for the first time in Article 13 of the American Declaration of the Rights and Duties of Man (1948) which states that “every person has the right […] to participate in the benefits that result from intellectual progress, especially scientific discoveries.”The REBSP was further enshrined in Article 27 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948) which stipulates that “everyone has the right […] to share in scientific advancements and its benefits.”This right became a binding norm when it was included in Article 15 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR, 1966), which recognizes “the right of everyone to enjoy the benefits of scientific progress and its applications.”
Great responsibility rests on scientists in giving help to politicians enabling them to bring good long-term political decisions in Copenhagen at the coming climate summit.
In this respect the World Science Forum held in Budapest certainly has its merits, said Hungarian Prime Minister Gordon Bajnai at WSF’s 7 November closing session. WSF had a message to players outside the scientific field, to representatives of government, decision-makers in business, but also to the average person. Everyone should understand what an important role science plays in forming the future.