Monthly Letter of UNESCO to NGOs in September, 2017

September 26, 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/17/65     22 September 2017

Dear Partners,

October will mark the start of a busy autumn, with important events for our partnership.

First of all, I am very much looking forward to seeing many of you on 6 October during the meeting of the Committee on Non-Governmental Partners (NGP) of the Executive Board. With a view to your participation in the meeting, I invite you to consult document 202 EX/37, as well as 202 EX/37.INF and 202 EX/37.INF.2 available online, which present the state of our current cooperation. The timetable of the meeting will be sent to you soon by the Committee’s Secretariat.

You have also received the invitation (copy enclosed) to attend as observers the 39th session of the General Conference of UNESCO, held at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, from 30 October to 14 November 2017. As you know, registration is mandatory, even if your representatives are in possession of an annual badge, and I invite those of you who intend to come to the General Conference to follow the procedure detailed in your invitations and to join us on this occasion in the NGO-dedicated space.

Finally, I would like to recall that the 8th International Forum of NGOs in official partnership with UNESCO is due to be held on 7-8 December 2017, and will focus on climate change. The NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee is already strongly mobilized in the preparation of this Forum that will tackle one of the most pressing issues of our time, and I invite you to join their efforts. Updates of the working groups for the preparation of the Forum are available online on the Liaison Committee website. You will be receiving the official letter of invitation together with the relevant documents in the coming weeks.

31 October 2017 – Nomination call for UNESCO-Hamdan Prize 2017-2018 (5th Edition)

The call for nominations for the fifth edition of the UNESCO-Hamdan bin Rashid Al-Maktoum Prize for Outstanding Practice and Performance in Enhancing the Effectiveness of Teachers is opened until 31 October. The prize is awarded every two years and it recognizes initiatives that contribute to improving educational practices around the world, with priority given to developing countries and to marginalized and disadvantaged communities.

Candidates should be international or national non-governmental organizations, as well as institutions or local, national and regional communities who are working to enhance the performance and effectiveness of teachers.

Further information about the Prize can be found at: and


2 November 2017 – International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists

On 2 November, governments, civil society, the media and all actors concerned are called to action to protect freedom of expression by joining their voices against impunity in these crimes, and express their will for an environment in which journalists can work freely and safely for the benefit of all society.

For the fourth consecutive year, UNESCO is commemorating this Day with several events around the world, taking on the example of previous commemorations, which have raise awareness on the importance of the issue of impunity at global, regional and national level. National and regional events will be organized by UNESCO as well as by partners in Brussels, Buenos Aires, Nairobi, New York, Kigali, Rome and Tunis among others.

The main event will take place on 4 December in Colombo (Sri Lanka) and is entitled “Reinforcing regional cooperation to promote freedom of expression and the rule of law in Asia through ending impunity for crimes against Journalists”. This regional seminar will be organized by UNESCO and the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media of Sri Lanka, and will involve the participation of judiciary institutions, human rights commissions, civil society and media.

UNESCO will also be lauching a social media campaign to raise awareness on the Day worldwide. All partners and stakeholders, including NGOs, are invited to take part in this campaign as a means to publicize the event and activities using the hashtags #EndImpunity and #Journosafe.

The key findings related to the safety of journalists presented in the forthcoming World Trends in Freedom of Expression and Media Development: 2017/18

Global Report will be made available at the same time, as part of UNESCO’s campaign for the Day.

Do not hesitate to inform us if you are planning an activity or event to mark this International Day. For more information, please visit the devoted UNESCO website.

Contacts:  Mr  Mehdi  Benchelah  (  and  Ms  Michelle Salomons (

7-11 November 2017 – World Science Forum, Dead Sea, Jordan

Organized by UNESCO, in cooperation with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences, the Royal Academy of Sciences of Jordan, the International Council for Science (ICSU), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) and the European Academies Science Advisory Council (EASAC), this 8th edition of the World Science Forum will be under the theme “Science for Peace”. It will examine and highlight how science improves the quality of life for the global good and the development of societies. The way science should contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals will be at the center of the discussions.

Organized every 2 years, the forum is one of the world’s major science events. It brings together over 600 scientists and provides linkages between scientists, industry and policy makers. A number of UNESCO side-events will also be organized on several topics, such as promoting inclusion through science education; parity and the role of women as leaders in development; the interface between science, politics and diplomacy; brain drain in developing countries; food security and the water/energy nexus.

Do not hesitate to visit the website of the WSF 2017 ( to get additional information.

Contact: Mr Jean Paul Ngome Abiaga (

10 November 2017 – World Science Day for Peace and Development (WSDPD)

The theme for this year’s celebration is “Science for Global Understanding”, recognizing the role of science as driver of the three pillars of sustainable development: environmental, social and economic, as well as in the promotion of peace.

This theme reminds us that science is a universal language, bringing together peoples of the world in the pursuit of knowledge. Our world is facing challenges that no country can solve on its own. Knowledge sharing and research enable us to find lasting solutions to the challenges of energy, food security, access to water or climate change. Only then can we understand and manage our resources equitably.

This year, UNESCO is continuing its close collaboration with international networks of science centers and museums worldwide, including the International Council of Museums (ICOM) and the Association of Science and Technology Centers (ASTC), as well as regional networks such as Asia Pacific Network of Science Centres (ASPAC), the European Network of Science Centres and Museums (Ecsite), the North Africa and Middle East Science centers network (NAMES), the National Council of Science Museums (NCSM) India, the Latin American and Caribbean Network for the Popularization of Science and Technology (RedPOP) and the Southern African Association of Science and Technology (SAASTECT).

Engaging and empowering people through science is crucial for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). That is why I call upon NGO partners to encourage and organize local and regional activities in keeping with this year’s theme in order to mobilize society and the scientific community.

For more information on the Day, please visit the devoted UNESCO website.

Contact: Ms Susan Shneegans (

16 November 2017 – World Philosophy Day 2017

A range of activities will be held around the world to celebrate the World Philosophy Day 2017. For instance, the 16th International Encounters on New Philosophical Practices will take place in Rhodes (Greece) in partnership with the Management of Social Transformations (MOST) programme. The Encounters provide a forum for everyone who is interested in the practice of philosophy in all its forms, including the least traditional. They enable reflection on how to make philosophy accessible to as many people as possible, outside its traditional spaces and modes of expression – through primary and secondary schools, hospitals, prisons, cafés, evening classes, public libraries, theatres, cinema, businesses and other organizations, etc.

MOST will also associate itself with the 2017 Ciudad de las Ideas, organized in Puebla (Mexico) from 17 to 19 November by UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Andrés Roemer. The 2017 event is titled “Beyond X”, and includes cutting-edge scientists and entrepreneurs who will discuss where humanity is going in the face of technological change.

This Day concerns everyone for whom philosophy matters. If your NGO organizes activities or events related to this Day, do not hesitate to inform us. For more details on this Day, you can consult the dedicated UNESCO website.

Contact: Mr John Crowley (

28-30 November 2017 – Asia-Pacific Regional Workshop on the Global Action Programme on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and Cities, New Delhi, India

This regional workshop, organized by UNESCO in partnership with the Indian Ministry of Human Resource Development, with the support of the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), the United Nations University Institute for the Advanced Study of Sustainability (UNU-IAS) and the Japanese Funds-in-Trust for ESD, is a crucial element for accelerating sustainable solutions and scaling up ESD actions at local level. It will take into account regional priorities in addressing sustainability issues, and the urban specificities in the region.

As you know, UNESCO is promoting ESD through the Global Action Programme (GAP) on ESD, the official follow-up to the UN Decade of ESD. It focuses on generating and scaling up ESD action at all levels, in all areas of education, and in all sustainable development sectors.

For more information, I invite you to consult the UNESCO Global Action Programme on ESD dedicated website.

I am sure that the seminar will be interesting for many of our NGOs working in the field of education in the region, and I encourage you to inform your local branches or representatives in the region that could be able to participate.

Contact: Ms Satoko Yano (

UNESCO Publications

The report Cracking the code: Girls’ and women’s education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), aims to ‘crack the code’, or to decipher the factors that hinder or facilitate girls’ and women’s participation in STEM education, and what can be done to promote girls’ and women’s engagement with STEM. A major concern includes how to address the lower participation and learning achievement of girls in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. It is available in English only under this link.

As part of the series of publication on the Education 2030, A Decade of Progress on Education for Sustainable Development: Reflection from the UNESCO Chairs Programme provides a reference point, reflecting the past achievements of the UNESCO Chairs’ diverse areas of thematic focus during the worldwide UN Decade on Education for Sustainable Development, and their outlook for the Global Action Programme (2015-2019) and beyond in the context of the Sustainable Development Goals. This publication is available in English only under this link.

Published by UNESCO and edited by the Coordinator of the UNITWIN Network on Interreligious Dialogue for Intercultural Understanding, Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia, the book Interculturalism at the Crossroads, Comparative Perspectives on Concepts, Policies and Practices helps clarify how interculturalism is conceptualized and operationalized across the world. In the context of the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (IDRC) 2013-2022, it offers theoretical examinations, policy discussion and practical explorations of its uptake across the world. The book is available in English and French.

Finally, I am pleased to announce the admission of the University of the Arctic Association (UARCTIC), an NGO based in Finland, to official partnership with UNESCO (consultative status). By clicking on its name, you will be redirected to its website for more information. I welcome UARCTIC and I am happy to extend even further our network of partners.

Yours sincerely,

Eric Falt




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