Friday, July 29, 2011

High-Level Panel on “Science, Technology and Innovation for Development”

Composed of eminent scholars, decision-makers and intellectuals from all regions of the world, the Panel is to meet twice yearly with the aim of charting new avenues for more effectively targeting the efforts of our scientific communities to addressing common challenges facing humanity in the twenty-first century. A meeting is scheduled in UNESCO Headquarters in Paris in September.

In the areas of science and engineering, UNESCO has a long history focussing on capacity-building, particularly in the developing world, and on mobilizing international communities to collaborate around scientific challenges that cannot be addressed by any one nation alone. UNESCO's broader goals are to use science for poverty reduction, for sustainable development and for building a culture of peace.  More......

World Chemistry Leadership Meeting: Accelerating the Contributions of Chemistry to Sustainable Development

While celebrating the International Year of Chemistry in 2011, the World Chemistry Leadership Meeting to be held next week is to be an occasion for sharing the vision of how chemistry can make sustainable development a reality by bringing together academia, government, NGOs, and industry. The meeting is to be held in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

This important meeting, as part of the 46th International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry's (IUPAC) General Assembly, will focus on activating the chemistry community to make a significant contribution at the Rio + 20 conference in 2012 organised by the UN Commission on Sustainable Development.

The approach of the meeting is to engage chemistry in new and innovative ways in cooperation with those with societal interests, including those from the relevant UN agencies, and those from industry who will develop the key technologies for tomorrow. More.....

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

U.S.A. Reelected to UNESCO IOC Executive Council

During the 26th Session of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) General Assembly meeting, the U.S. was reelected to the IOC Executive Council. This extends the U.S. term on the Council to 2013.

Find out more about some of the activities the U.S. has worked on as a member of the IOC Executive Council here.

Вы хотите пойти к Moscow

As chairs of the Intergovernmental Council of UNESCO’s Information for All Program, the Russian National Commission for UNESCO is helping to organize a conference on the Preservation of Digital Information in the Information Society. The Conference organizers have invited an American representative to attend.

Conference attendees must cover travel/room/board on their own, but the registration is free.

This event runs from Mon 10/3 - Wed 10/5. If you are interested in representing the U.S. at this conference, or if you know someone who is an expert in this field who might be interested - please let me know. First taker gets the slot.

Monday, July 25, 2011

The UNESCO Courier: How youth drive change

The International Year of Youth (August 2010 – August 2011) turned out to be more revolutionary than expected. At the beginning of 2011, young people rose up in Tunisia and then in Egypt, and the movement spread to other countries in the region, also rousing countries in Europe such as Spain.  Elsewhere in the world, youth are mobilizing for a range of causes, as varied as the means they use. Much more involved than we tend to think, young people have decided to take things in hand. And in this issue of the Courier, it is they who are speaking out, expressing their concerns and explaining their actions.
To read this issue please click here (PDF-56 pages)

Cover "How youth drive change" of the UNESCO Courier (July - September, 2011) - © UNESCO 



  • UNESCO welcomesHillary Clinton, Ban Ki-moon, Forest Whitaker, Shashi Tharoor...

World of Science Vol 9 N° 3 [July–September 2011]

IN FOCUS2 From the Dark Ages to the Green Ages
NEWS10 An Arab network for converging technologies 
10 Launch of pan-African parliamentary science forum 
11 Oil prospection suspended in Virunga National Park 
12 A tectonic map of Africa 
13 China hosting centre on ocean dynamics and climate
INTERVIEW14 Michael Dittmar on the future of nuclear power
HORIZONS17 S mall is beautiful
20 Saved by their ancestors
IN BRIEF24 Agenda
24 New Releases
Direct link A World of Science Vol 9 N°3 (document PDF)

“Information Literacy Indicators and Government Action recommendations”

UNESCO meeting in Puerto Rico 11 August

“Information Literacy Indicators and Government Action recommendations” is the name of this International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) Off-site Session, organised by the IFLA Information Literacy Section and the UNESCO Information for All Program. It takes place on August 11, 2011 at the Universidad Politécnica de Puerto Rico (377 Ponce de León Ave. Hato Rey, PR 00918 San Juan, Puerto Rico).

The themes of this full-day meeting are:

  • Information Literacy Indicators (in the morning) and
  • Government Action Recommendations (in the afternoon).
The IFLA website has full information on the meeting and allows online registration.

La Fortaleza and San Juan National Historic Site:
A World Heritage Site 
 in Puerto Rico  © Ulises Jorge

UNESCO Releases Report of Expert Meeting

UNESCO) has released the outcome of the meeting on the future of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), held , in Paris, France on 10 June 2011. The meeting’s outcome calls for representation of key stakeholders and recommends elements of a knowledge generation strategy. Read more....

© Joly Carlos IPBES Experts Meeting, UNESCO, Paris, 10 June 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011


Dr. Raymond Wanner
The U.S. Mission to UNESCO has opened a facet for its website highlighting Americans working at or with UNESCO. One of the first to be highlighted is Ray Wanner. Ray, the Senior Vice President of Americans for UNESCO, also currently serves as Senior Adviser on UNESCO Affairs to the United Nations Foundation, and Governing Board Chair of UNESCO's International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP). Read an interview with Dr. Wanner!

Opening of the UNESCO-related Center on the use of Space Technologies for Cultural and Natural heritage"

On 25 July 2011 the UNESCO space partner, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, opens an International Center under the auspices of UNESCO.
© Cnes 2009 - Distribution Astrium Services / Spot Image.
The Ilulissat Icefjord monitored from space.

The new established International Center under the auspices of UNESCO is being hosted by the Centre of Earth Observation and Digital Earth (CEODE). CEODE is an outstanding institution of the Chinese Academy of Sciences that has, under the same roof, activities related to satellite data reception, satellite date processing and the Digital Earth initiative. This International Center, established in collaboration with UNESCO’s Natural Sciences Sector, will bring to UNESCO all the expertise and know-how of CEODE with the aim of strengthening inter-sectorial cooperation.  Read more.....

Iraq launches groundwater database to reduce uncertainty in the country’s water supply

Map produced using
MAPS'N'FACTS The Learning Company Software
Representatives of the government, academia and the international community recently met at a high-level gathering in Baghdad to inaugurate the country’s first centralized groundwater database and commission the next phase of the multi-million dollar initiative led by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The seminar officially revealed positive phase one results of the nationwide initiative launched in 2010 by UNESCO. Read more.....

15th International Conference for Women Engineers and Scientists: Leadership, Innovation, Sustainability

The International Conference for Women Engineers and Scientists (ICWES) has been held every three years since 1964 and provides an important forum for the exchange of information and ideas for women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). This year, ICWES is being held in Adelaide, Australia, on 19-22 July under the theme Leadership, Innovation, Sustainability. Read more.....

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

UNESCO Clubs to meet in Viet Nam in August

The Vietnam Federation of UNESCO Associations has been authorized to host the 8th World Congress of the World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centers and Associations (WFUCA) in Hanoi from 18th to 22nd August 2011.

Check out:
The U.S. National Commission for UNESCO identifies three UNESCO clubs in the United States. While there are an estimated 3,800 clubs in 80 nations worldwide, the number in the United States is quite small, probably due to the fact that the United States withdrew from UNESCO for 18 years. Apparently, only Americans for UNESCO of the U.S. UNESCO clubs remained active during all of that interval. With the reentry of the United States into UNESCO in 2003, it would seem time to renew and revive the network of U.S. UNESCO clubs.

Left to Right: Guy Djoken of the UNESCO Center of Peace, Eric Woodard of the U.S. Naitonal Commission for UNESCO, and Andre Varchaver of Americans for UNESCO.

Guy Djoken, the President of the UNESCO Center for Peace in Frederick Maryland has recently been named to chair a working group to help coordinate the UNESCO clubs in the United States. Read more...

For life, for the future - Biosphere reserves and climate change, a collection of good practice case studies

UNESCO has released a publication that demonstrates, through a selection of 28 case studies from around the world, that UNESCO biosphere reserves are ideal places to test, evaluate and implement comprehensive climate change policies.

The publication underlines that while climate change is the dominant challenge to sustainable development, it is not the only challenge. It underscores that none of the other well-known challenges to sustainability has disappeared, including poverty, malnutrition, loss of biodiversity and ecosystem functions, demographic change, desertification, water scarcity, urbanization, an altered nitrogen cycle, pollution, etc., and argues that any isolated policy implementation focusing only on climate change "is likely to do more harm than good." One of the report's main messages is that UNESCO biosphere reserves around the globe can be suitable places for testing or implementing new, comprehensive policies on climate change mitigation and adaptation, once all other variables need to be included into the equation.

UNESCO Joins Hands With Ford Motor Company To Drive Awareness Of Conservation And Environmental Grants

Source: Middle East Events

Entries Now Open For 2011 Ford Grants Offering Funding For Local Environmental Groups. A Total Of US$100,000 Available For Grass Roots Green Initiatives In GCC And Levant. US$1.1million Granted To 130+ Local Environmental Initiatives Across The GCC And Levant Countries Since 2000.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

New UNESCO project aims to improve early warning for floods in Pakistan

As part of its efforts to help Pakistan tackle natural disasters, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and partners have launched a project to upgrade the early warning system in the South Asian nation, which last year experienced the worst flooding in 80 years.
Heavy monsoon rains in July 2010 battered the provinces of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Punjab and Baluchistan, causing floods that affected over 20 million people, killed nearly 2,000 and made 1.9 million homeless.

The project, implemented by UNESCO, in cooperation with the Pakistani Government and the Japan International Cooperation Agency, aims to, among other things, reduce the human and socio-economic impact of the floods and encourage the development of safer dwellings close to flood plains.

Monday, July 11, 2011

The U.S. Had Great Hopes for UNESCO When UNESCO Was Founded

President Harry Truman believed UNESCO could make "the greatest contribution in the history of the world to the welfare of the world as a whole", as quoted in the Miami News article covering the meeting of the U.S. National Commission on Educational, Scientific and Cultural Co-operation (now known as the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO) on September 27, 1946.

According to that article, the National Commission made several recommendations: