Monthly Letter of UNESCO to NGOs in April, 2017

May 19, 2017 - NEWS, What’s new at Association? - Post by: WfpaEdit

The Assistant Director-General for External Relations and Public Information

To  Non-Governmental  Organizations,

Official partners of UNESCO

Ref.  :   ERI/MSP/INO/17/33        25 April 2017

Dear Partners,

The 7th International Forum of NGOs in official partnership with UNESCO is now fast approaching and I look forward to meeting many of you in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on 3 and 4 May. You recently received the programme detailing the various activities and subjects tackled at the Forum, which will, as you know, focus on the theme of “Youth and their Social Impact”. I for one am very pleased with the large turnout of our official NGO partners, other NGOs collaborating with UNESCO and young women and men involved in our youth networks, with a total of 270 participants from our networks. It will be an opportunity to create new initiatives, share ideas and build lasting connections. You can consult the website where you will find more information on the forum.

Separately, I wish to inform you that the 201st session of the Executive Board has started on 19 April and will run until 5 May 2017. As you are aware, the Board will address among other issues the preparation of the Draft Programme and Budget for 2018-2021 (39 C/5). In this context, I am pleased to inform you that the contribution of the 2016 International Conference of NGOs to the preparation of document 39 C/5 has been submitted to the Executive Board as an information document. Please refer to the document 201 EX/15.INF available under this link, and kindly consult the dedicated section of our website for more information on the Executive Board in general:

5 May 2017 – Deadline for submission of nomination for UNESCO Prize for

Girls’ and Women’s Education

On International Women’s Day (8 March), UNESCO launched a call for nominations to the second edition of the UNESCO Prize for Girls’ and Women’s Education. Funded by the Government of the People’s Republic of China, this Prize rewards innovative and outstanding projects advancing girls’ and women’s education. Last year, the Directorate of Early Childhood Education of the Ministry of Education and Culture from the Republic of Indonesia and the Female Students Network Trust from Zimbabwe were recognized for their innovative projects.

NGOs in official partnership with UNESCO are invited to submit up to 3 nominations for individuals, institutions or organizations having effectively contributed to the advancement of girls’ and women’s education. Nominations must relate to an established project or programme and should be submitted online, in English or in French, before 5 May 2017 at This platform is accessible via your generic accounts. Accounts for nominees can be created at your request via email.

You will find all information on the Prize following this dedicated webpage

Contact: Mr Leyong Gao & Ms Emirjona Cake (

5-6 May 2017– 4th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue, Baku, Azerbaijan

Focusing on the theme “Advancing Intercultural Dialogue – New avenues for human security, peace and sustainable development”, this Forum aims at further promoting and sustaining understanding and dialogue within and between cultures.

The Forum is organized by Azerbaijan, in cooperation with UNESCO, the UN Alliance of Civilizations, the World Tourism Organization (WTO), the Council of Europe, the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the North-South Center of the Council of Europe.

This Forum will bring together heads of governments, ministers, heads of various international organizations, senior policy makers, cultural professionals, goodwill ambassadors, experts, journalists, practitioners, prominent intellectuals and activists.

The agenda will include topics such as the role of faith, religions, migration, human security, sport, education, art, sustainable development, preventing violent extremism, business in building trust and cooperation among cultures and civilizations.

I encourage you to find out more information about this Forum via the official website:

Contact: Ms Ann-Belinda Preis (

29 May 2017 – “Exchange Day” on the contribution of the 2001 Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage to the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals, UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France

This “Exchange Day”, focusing on the 2001 Convention, encourages participants to openly discuss issues related to underwater cultural heritage. The main issues will be:

  • contribution of the 2001 Convention to the achievement of SDGs 4, 11 and 14;
  • improving education on the cultural heritage of the oceans and lakes;
  • strengthening efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s underwater cultural heritage;
  • regulating destructive fishing practices impacting negatively on underwater cultural heritage;
  • conserving coastal and marine areas and their cultural heritage,
  • increasing the economic benefits from the sustainable use of underwater cultural heritage, including through tourism, especially for SIDS and LDC.

This Day is open to the public and all participants are invited to take part in the discussions and exchange on an issue that is rapidly gaining in relevance. For the agenda of the Day, please consult the following link.

Contact: Ms Ulrike Guerin (

8 June 2017 – World Oceans Day 2017

On 8 June, decision-makers, scientists, businesses, civil society advocates and youth will be connected in a big chain of events promoting a more sustainable, respectful relationship between humankind and the ocean. On that occasion, UNESCO and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) will publish the Global Ocean Science Report, the first global overview of existing ocean science capacities.

The 2017 edition of the Day will be centered around the Ocean Conference which will be held at the United Nations Headquarters in New York and will span from 5 to 9 June. It will be the first United Nations Conference on SDG 14, whose goal is to conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.

UNESCO will be present at the Oceans Conference and organize four side-events on the following issues: ocean literacy for all, building ocean knowledge for sustainable development, underwater cultural heritage and international marine spatial planning for effective ocean management.

NGOs can already submit voluntary commitments, geared at driving implementation of SDG 14 and its associated targets, which will be included in the report of the Conference. For more information on the procedure, please consult this website.

The success of this Day is dependent upon the involvement and the commitment of a broad number of stakeholders, including NGOs. You are therefore encouraged to mobilize your branches and pre-register your representatives at the United Nations to join the Conference in New York, by following this link, or participate in the many celebrations around the world in favour of our ocean’s future.

Contact: Ms Rejane Hervé (

27-30 June 2017 – Intergovernmental Meeting for the Preparation of a Declaration of Ethical Principles in relation to Climate Change, UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France

This intergovernmental meeting will bring together experts to finalize a draft declaration of ethical principles in relation to climate change, for its submission to the 39th session of the General Conference of UNESCO. It follows a year of work, including the meeting of the Ad Hoc Expert Group held from 20 to 24 September 2016 in Rabat, Morocco, as well as extensive consultations with Member States by written procedure organized between 17 October 2016 and 1 February 2017.

UNESCO’s General Conference, at its 38th session (November 2015), called for a non-binding declaration of ethical principles in relation to climate change, a first in a United Nations setting (38 C/Resolution 42). This new UNESCO declaration may clarify a set of universal principles that could help mobilize international solidarity and coordinate action across cultures and societies.

I know that climate change is a particularly interesting and important subject for many of you, and I strongly encourage those of you that are interested to already identify participants to this important meeting. You will soon receive a registration form, which you will have to complete and send before 12 May 2017.

Contact: Ms Dafna Feinholz (;

UNESCO Publications

  • Terrorism and the Media: A Handbook for Journalists lays out a framework for media coverage of terrorism that highlights pitfalls and urges reportage that is free from sensationalism and fear-mongering. It is designed to help journalists carry out their work informing the public while avoiding the risk of actually helping terrorists. The handbook is available in English and French.

  • Wastewater: The Untapped Resource, the 2017 edition of the World Water Development Report, focuses on ‘Wastewater’ and seeks to inform decision-makers, inside and outside the water community, about the importance of managing wastewater as an undervalued and sustainable source of water, energy, nutrients and other recoverable by-products, rather than something to be disposed of or a nuisance to be ignored. The entire report can be downloaded in English, French and Spanish.
  • UNESCO developed Preventing violent extremism through education: A guide for policy-makers as technical guidance for education professionals on how to address the concrete challenges posed by violent extremism within each society. The Guide aims to help policy-makers within ministries of education to prioritize, plan and implement effective preventive actions. It is available in English under this link.

Finally, I am pleased to announce the admission of three organizations to official partnership with UNESCO (consultative status), namely:

-       The Fédération Internationale des Véhicules Anciens (FIVA), an international NGO based in France;

-       The Swedish Association for Sexuality Education (RFSU), an NGO based in Sweden;

-       The World Committee for Lifelong Learning (CMA), an international NGO based in France.

By clicking on their names, you will be redirected to their websites for more information. I welcome them and am happy to extend even further our network of partners.

Eric Falt



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