UNESCO 70th anniversary logo 70th UNESCO Anniversary

From past to future

From past...

UNESCO was founded in 1945 to develop the “intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind” as a means of building lasting peace. Its pioneering work has helped change the way people everywhere understand each other and the planet we live on.

In its early years, UNESCO helped rebuild schools, libraries, and museums destroyed during World War II, and served as an intellectual forum for exchanging ideas and scientific knowledge.

As newly independent countries joined between the 1950s and 1970s, it turned its attention to access to education for all girls and boys and tackling illiteracy, which remain major challenges.

UNESCO led the movement to protect the environment and sounded the alert over the planet’s shrinking biodiversity. Through its “Man and the Biosphere Program”, established in 1971, it sought to reconcile both the use and conservation of natural resources. It was the first step towards sustainable development.

The Nubian Temples campaign of the 1960s to save Egypt’s most famous monuments from the rising waters of the Aswan High Dam transformed approaches to cultural heritage protection and inspired the creation of the World Heritage programme, dedicated to safeguarding sites of outstanding universal value. This laid the basis for widening UNESCO action to safeguard three dimensions of heritage – tangible, intangible and documentary – and to promote respect for cultural diversity on the basis of human rights.

Through the development of community radio and multimedia centres, training for journalists, helping governments design media laws or, encouraging them to develop broadband services for all, UNESCO has championed freedom of expression, the rights of citizens to information, and helped lay the foundations of tomorrow’s Knowledge Societies.

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… to future

UNESCO is firm in the conviction that in this age of immense social change and increasing limits, we must invest in resources that are renewable: education, cultural diversity, scientific research - and the boundless energy of human ingenuity - that will enable and drive the development essential for a just and sustainable future.

Millions of girls and boys still have no access to learning. Illiteracy prevents hundreds of millions of women and men from fully participating in their societies.  Youth unemployment is a global challenge. Education remains a top priority on the new global development agenda being shaped by the international community. UNESCO makes the case for a new goal for equitable and quality lifelong learning and is mobilizing governments and a wide range of other partners for this.

Climate change, shrinking biodiversity and increasing demands on natural resources call for more science, and more scientists, to increase our capacity to observe and comprehend the planet. UNESCO’s programmes on the ocean, fresh water resources, the sharing of scientific knowledge, and in the social sciences have an important contribution to make.

Culture, a force for dialogue, social cohesion, economic growth and creativity, remains at the heart of UNESCO’s mission. UNESCO is determined that it should be a priority in the post-2015 agenda, which should be human rights-based, with a focus on governance and the rule of law.

This is why freedom of expression is also so important and why UNESCO will continue to advocate for harnessing information and communication technologies, building knowledge societies and bridging divides.


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Starting with a tribute to Nelson Mandela, on 31 October 2014, followed by a special event "UNESCO : 70 years in the service of human dignity" on 28 April 2015, and ending with a new edition of the Leaders’ Forum on 16 November 2015, UNESCO’s 70th anniversary celebrations are taking place all around the world. Discover here all the past, present and future events and join UNESCO's anniversary celebrations!

  • International Seminar - Getting climate-ready: ASPnet schools’ response to climate change

    07 December 2015

    UNESCO Headquarters

    On the occasion of its 70th Anniversary, and as a flagship contribution to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) and the implementation of Article 6 of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), UNESCO organizes an International Seminar on Climate Change Education in order to mobilize schools from the UNESCO Associated Schools Project Network (ASPnet) for climate change actions.

    The event will present good practice of ASPnet action and provide evidence that education is crucial to address climate change. It will also gather experts and political leaders to support ASPnet schools to scale up their work in climate change and ESD.

  • Forest Whitaker : Reflections on UNESCO's 70th Anniversary

    16 November 2015


    Women and men around the world remain shocked and saddened by the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and Beirut. This tragic loss of life was perpetrated by hateful individuals who ascribe to a close-minded ideology that rejects diversity in any form. The intent of these actions was to divide us, to make us view the world from these extremists’ perspective as “us” versus “the others.” Instead, this tragedy has brought us closer together. The outpouring of support for the victims that has come universally from leaders and citizens in every nation of the world—from the Americas to Africa to the Middle East to East Asia—shows that people across continents and cultures stand in solidarity, united by our commitment to peace and tolerance.

    On November 16, 1945—exactly 70 years ago this week—UNESCO was founded with the explicit purpose of advancing this same principle, of bringing people together across cultures. UNESCO’s constitution rightly notes that “ignorance of each other’s ways and lives” has so often, throughout human history, been a source of conflict and that, “since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be constructed.” For the past seven decades, UNESCO has devoted itself to fostering mutual respect and encouraging an active international exchange of culture and ideas.

    It has been my privilege to work with UNESCO these past few years to help facilitate these cultural and intellectual exchanges between people of all backgrounds and to collaborate with youths around the world to solidify in the minds of men—and women—the defenses of peace. This work has allowed me to witness some of the extraordinary progress that we as an international community have made over the last 70 years. In our daily lives, we routinely interact with and depend on people from different countries and cultures in a way that the founders of UNESCO could not have imagined. I believe they would view this openness and willingness to cooperate across languages, cultures, races, and nationalities with pride and approval. On the whole, we are becoming a more tolerant world, one that is increasingly eager to embrace our differences.

    As we observe the 70th anniversary of UNESCO’s founding, it is important to recognize this progress. But it is equally essential, especially in light of the recent tragedies, to acknowledge the significant work that remains. In 1995, in commemoration of its 50th anniversary, UNESCO declared November 16 to be the International Day of Tolerance, a day on which the world would come together every year to recommit itself to promoting tolerance, education, and understanding.

    So I hope that we also reflect this week on what can be done to make our world a more tolerant place. Because, while countries and economies around the world become more interdependent with each passing day, some men and women, mired in cycles of extreme poverty and conflict, are being left behind. And, although the world on the whole may be more tolerant today than it was several decades ago, there remain stubborn contingents in almost all nations that still espouse explicit and implicit racism, xenophobia, and extremism. Devotion to tolerance, and to UNESCO’s founding principles, requires that we treat violence, poverty, or intolerance anywhere as a threat to peace everywhere.

    We can all participate in this process. Too often, we view tolerance as an abstract concept that comes to bear only on issues of race, culture, or diversity. In fact, tolerance is a frame of mind that can positively shape all of our social interactions. Tolerance, at its core, is a willingness to listen. It is a rejection of the notion that we are always right in favor of the view that other people can contribute to our understanding of the world. My hope is that good women and men from all nations continue to strive every day to become more open-minded and more willing to learn from the people around them.

    May those who lost their lives in recent attacks rest in peace, and may we all honor their legacy by working together to further the progress of the last 70 years and create a world of peace and tolerance that all citizens of the globe will share.

    FOREST WHITAKER, UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation 

    *  *  *

    About The Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative

    The Whitaker Peace & Development Initiative (WPDI) is a non-governmental organization with an international scope and reach, founded by social activist and UNESCO Special Envoy for Peace and Reconciliation, Forest Whitaker in 2012. WPDI develops an array of peace-building programs, initiatives and campaigns to foster peace and reconciliation in disadvantaged and fragile communities in the different regions of the world, including Africa, Latin America and the United States. WPDI seeks to bring good men and women together and to empower them to become peace leaders and agents of positive transformations in their countries and communities. We believe that young people, so often recruited to perpetuate destructive cycles of violence, have the passion and creativity to lead their communities down a different path, one of peace and sustainable development.

  • Célébration du 70e anniversaire de l’UNESCO au Bureau de Brazzaville

    16 November 2015

    Democratic Republic of the Congo

    Dans le cadre de la célébration du 70e anniversaire de l’Organisation des Nations Unies pour l’Education, la Science et la Culture (UNESCO), le personnel du Bureau de Brazzaville s’est retrouvé le 16 novembre 2015 dans la salle de réunion pour commémorer cet évènement, à travers une session d’échanges et de réflexion autour des valeurs de paix et de vivre ensemble, à l’ère de la montée du terrorisme et  de l’extrémisme dans le monde.

    Deux moments forts ont marqué cette journée, notamment le mot de circonstance par le Chef de Bureau et les échanges et débats sur les questions liées à la citoyenneté mondiale, autour d’un repas.

    D’emblée, le Chef du Bureau de Brazzaville (Madame Ana Elisa de Santana Afonso) a rappelé le contexte et la genèse de l’UNESCO ainsi qu’une séquence célèbre de l’acte constitutif de notre Organisation qui stipule que  «  C’est dans l’esprit des hommes que naissent les guerres, c’est également dans l’esprit des hommes qu’il faut élever les défenses de la paix ».

    Ce mot a été suivi d’un visionnage du film de Nelson Mandela réalisé de Justin Chadwick intitulé « Mandela, un long chemin vers la liberté » pour susciter des échanges, débats et réflexions sur les sources de conflits et les outils de prévention et résolution de conflits.

    Aussi, à travers un tour de table, le personnel du Bureau de Brazzaville a noté que, loin de tout esprit de revanche, Nelson Mandela, malgré ses 27 ans passés en prison, a choisi de coopérer avec le pouvoir en place pour libérer pacifiquement l’Afrique du Sud de l’apartheid. Ce film a mis en exergue la force du dialogue, de la communication, de la tolérance, de la non-discrimination, du partage, du pardon et de la négociation pour la prévention/résolution de conflits et le vivre ensemble dans la diversité culturelle et politiques. Mandela fut alors l’icône et un modèle de renonciation et de leadership.

    Pour conclure, le Chef du Bureau a souligné que Mandela incarne les principes éthiques prônés par notre Organisation. Dans cette période marquée par le terrorisme, le combat de Mandela est celui de l’UNESCO dont le but est d’impulser le changement par l’éducation, la culture, les sciences, de changer la mentalité du fatalisme et de la violence  gratuite, a-t-elle ajouté.

    Cette célébration  a coïncidé avec la commémoration de la journée internationale de la tolérance, qui est une condition nécessaire à la paix et au progrès de tous les peuples.


  • Leaders’ Forum

    16 November 2015

    UNESCO Headquarters

    On 16 November 2015, UNESCO will celebrate the 70th anniversary of the adoption of its Constitution.

    To highlight this event, the Organization will convene the Leaders’ Forum of the General Conference from 16 to 17 November 2015, to coincide with this landmark celebration.

    This high-level event will be reserved for keynote addresses by Heads of State and Government of Member States, who will be invited to share their vision for UNESCO and its place in the multilateral arena today and in the future, as it celebrates 70 years of action and as the international community moves to implement the new global sustainable development agenda.

    The overall theme for the Leaders’ Forum will be the celebration of UNESCO’s 70th anniversary. In this spirit, its format will differ from previous fora, and it will not be a segment of the general policy debate taking place, as usual, during the first week of the Conference. The discussions of the Leaders’ Forum will be part of the official Proceedings of the Conference.


    The keynote addresses by Heads of State and Government of Member States will start in the morning of Monday, 16 November 2015 and will continue during the afternoon session on the same day, as well as during the morning and afternoon sessions of Tuesday, 17 November 2015, depending on the number of participating Heads of State and Government.

    During the lunch break of Monday, 16 November 2015, the Director-General will host an official lunch in honour of participating Heads of State and Government.

    In the evening of Monday, 16 November 2015, participants are invited to a performance by the World Orchestra for Peace in Room I, to be followed by an address of the Director-General and UNESCO’s three former Director-Generals.

    Following the evening performance in Room I, participants will be invited to an official viewing party - architectural projection - involving a live media projection onto the UNESCO external facades. The projections will highlight events important to UNESCO in the context of its 70th anniversary.

  • Performance of the Beijing Opera "Yi Mai Qian Qiu"

    02 November 2015


    This event will be held at UNESCO Headquarters , Room I at 6:30 pm.

    It is organized in the framework of the 70th Anniversary of UNESCO by H. E. Mr HAO Ping, President of the 37th Session of the general Conference of UNESCO and Vice-Minister of Education of the People’s Republic of China


  • Thirsting for Peace: Poetry Reading by Ko Un with Music Performance by Yang Bang Ean Commemorating 70th Anniversary of UNESCO

    01 November 2015

    UNESCO Headquarters

    Jointly organized by UNESCO, the Permanent Delegation of the Republic of Korea to UNESCO and the Korean National Commission for UNESCO in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of UNESCO, this cultural event will feature poems for peace by Ko Un, an internationally celebrated poet from the Republic of Korea, and musical performance of a renowned composer and pianist, Yang Bang Ean.

    Through the poetry inspired by his earnest wish for peace and reconciliation in the world, Ko Un expresses his keen sensitivity, the breadth and depth of his imagination, and maturity of his understanding of human life. Yang Bang Ean will also showcase his musical talent.

  • Bilan et perspectives: vers un nouvel ordre mondial?

    29 October 2015


    À l’occasion des 70 ans de l’ONU et de l’UNESCO, l’Association Luxembourgeoise pour les Nations Unies (ALNU) et la chaire UNESCO en droits de l’homme à l’Université du Luxembourg organisent un forum sur le sujet “Bilan et perspectives : vers un nouvel ordre mondial?”. Plusieurs intervenants prendront la parole durant le forum dont le Ministre des Affaires Etrangères et Européennes, M. Jean Asselborn qui y exposera ses réflexions.

    • Mot de bienvenue par un représentant de l’Université du Luxembourg
    • Intervention par M. André Rollinger, président de l’Association Luxembourgeoise pour les Nations Unies
    • Intervention artistique par les élèves de la Chorale de l’École Privée Sainte-Anne d’Ettelbruck, faisant partie du réseau des écoles associées de l’UNESCO
    • Intervention par M. le Prof. Jean-Paul Lehners, titulaire de la Chaire UNESCO en droits de l’homme à l’Université du Luxembourg
    • Intervention artistique par les étudiants du groupe de théâtre eDuDRaMe de l’Université du Luxembourg
    • Discours de M. Jean Asselborn, Ministre des Affaires Etrangères et Européennes
    • Table ronde avec M. le Ministre, le président de l’ALNU, le titulaire de la Chaire UNESCO, un représentant des étudiants de l’International Relations Club (IRC) et un représentant des élèves de l’Athénée de Luxembourg, faisant partie du réseau des écoles associées de l’UNESCO.

  • Namibia celebrates UNESCO 70th anniversary

    28 October 2015


    Namibia celebrated UNESCO’s 70th anniversary in Windhoek on 28th October 2015. The well attended event was a result of the cooperative efforts between the Namibia National Commission for UNESCO (NATCOM) and UNESCO Windhoek Office.
    The 70th anniversary celebration reflected on UNESCO’s work in Namibia and revisited UNESCO’s orientations and programmes for the next decade and beyond. The event also highlighted the relevance of the Organization’s mandate and priorities in Namibia with particular focus on Sustainable development Goals in line with Namibia’s own Developmental Plans and strategies.

    Quoting his Excellency Hage Geingob, President of the Republic of Namibia, the keynote speaker at the celebrations, Honurable Itah Kandjii-Murangi, Minister of Higher Education, Training and Innovation said, “Namibia is a child of international solidarity, midwifed by the United Nations.”

    She added that, “this reminds us that the United Nations organisations such as UNESCO contributed immensely to the struggle for our independence, and to this day our global partners continue to provide technical and financial support towards our development.”

    Honourable Kandjii-Murangi also emphasised that Namibia will continue to cooperate with UNESCO to implement the new post 2015 Development Agenda.

    “We expect UNESCO to play an increasing role in the post-2015 Development Agenda. The just concluded 197th session of the Executive Board of UNESCO reiterated the role of UNESCO to support Member States in delivering on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s),” she said.

    Speaking at the same event, UNESCO Windhoek Head of Office, Dr Jean Pierre Ilboudo highlighted some of the contributions of UNESCO’s work in Namibia.

    “The office drives UNESCO’s mission to contribute to the building of peace, eradication of poverty, sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, the sciences, culture and communications and information,” said Dr Ilboudo.

    The former Prime Minister of Namibia Rt. Honourable Nahas Angula gave his reflection of UNESCO’s collaboration with Namibia before independence.

    “My association with UNESCO dates back to around 1974 when I was in Zambia where I started a school for Namibian exiled children. UNESCO provided monthly stipends for teachers under an assistance program for the liberation movements,” he said.

    A documentary about UNESCO’s contributions to Namibia was also screened at the event.

    The event was also attended by Ms. Kiki Gbeho, United Nations Resident Coordinator, members of the United Nations Country Team, Professor Tjama Tjivikua, Rector of Polytechnic of Namibia and Mandela Kepere, Executive Chairperson of the National Youth Council, and members of the diplomatic community.

  • Making a Difference: Seventy Years of UNESCO Actions

    28 October 2015

    UNESCO Headquarters
    125, Avenue de Suffren
    75007 Paris

    What has been the impact of UNESCO’s ideas and initiatives? How have UNESCO’s values and ideals been translated into practice over the past 70 years? Why does history matter for UNESCO? These are the questions that 17 historians address during this 70th anniversary history conference, covering a wide range of topics, from world heritage conservation to post-conflict reconstruction, from peace building to dissemination of knowledge. The objective is to gain a better understanding of UNESCO’s relevance and its capacity to help building the defences of peace in the minds of men and women.

    9.30-10.30: Opening Ceremony
    • Mr Getachew Engida, Deputy Director-General of UNESCO
    • H. E. Mr Mohamed Sameh Amr, Chairperson of the Executive Board of UNESCO
    • Mr Hao Ping, President of the General Conference of UNESCO
    • Her Royal Highness Princess Marie of Denmark, Protector of the Danish National Commission for UNESCO.
    • Projection of historical images and sound

    10.30-10.45: Introduction
    • Poul Duedahl (Aalborg University, Denmark): Out of the House: On the Global History of UNESCO, 1945-2015

    10.45-12.30: Sub-theme: Routes of Knowledge
    • Edgardo C. Krebs (Smithsonian Institution, Washington DC, USA): Popularizing Anthropology, Combating Racism: Alfred Métraux at the UNESCO Courier
    • Céline Giton (Chartreuse de Neuville, France): Weapons of Mass Distribution: UNESCO and the Central Role of Books
    • Suzanne Langlois (York University, Toronto, Canada): And Action!: UN and UNESCO Coordinating Information Films, 1945-1951

    14.30-16.00: Sub-theme: Rebuilding a World Devastated by War
    • Samuel Boussion (Université Paris-8, France), Mathias Gardet (Université Paris-8, France) & Martine Ruchat (Université de Genève, Switzerland): Child Victims, UNESCO and the Promotion of International Model of Children’s Communities after World War II
    • Takashi Saikawa (Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, Tokyo, Japan): Returning to the International Community: UNESCO and Postwar Japan, 1945-1951
    • Miriam Intrator (Ohio University, USA): Pursuing Peace through a ‘Library-Minded’ World

    16.00-17.30: Sub-theme: Experts on the Ground
    • Jens Boel (UNESCO Archives, France): UNESCO’s Fundamental Education Program 1946-1958: Vision, Actions and Impact
    • Josué Mikobi (Université Pédagogique Nationale and Université Protestante au Congo, Kinshasa, D.R. Congo): Education for Independence: UNESCO in post-colonial Congo
    • Anabella Abarzúa Cutroni (Universidad Nacional de Cuyo, Mendoza, Argentina): The flow of UNESCO experts towards Latin America: On the asymmetrical impact of the missions, 1947-1984
    Thursday 29 October 2015

    9.30-10.30: Keynote Speaker
    • Elikia M'Bokolo (École des hautes études en sciences sociales de Paris, France): Why History? Reflections on the Relevance of the Historical Sciences for UNESCO’s Activities

    10.45-12.30: Sub-theme: Implementing Peace in the Minds
    • Thomas Nygren (Uppsala University, Sweden): UNESCO Teaches History: Implementing International Understanding in Sweden
    • Inés Dussel (Departamento de Investigaciones Educativas del Centro de Investigación y Estudios Avanzados, Mexico) & Christian Ydesen (Aalborg University, Denmark): UNESCO and the Improvement of History Textbooks in Mexico, 1945-1960
    • Aigul Kulnazarova (Tama University, Japan): UNESCO’s Role in East Asian Reconciliation: Postwar Japan and International Understanding

    14.00-15.30: Sub-theme: Practicing World Heritage
    • Aurélie Elisa Gfeller & Jaci Eisenberg (The Graduate Institute, Switzerland): UNESCO and the Shaping of Global Heritage
    • Agnès Borde Meyer (Paris 1 Pantheon Sorbonne, France): Safeguarding Iran and Afghanistan: On UNESCO’s Efforts in the Field of Archaeology
    • Celine Lai (Chinese University of Hong Kong, P.R. China): UNESCO and Chinese Heritage: An Ongoing Campaign to Achieve World-Class Standard

    15.30-15.45: Concluding Remarks
    • Chief Archivist Jens Boel, UNESCO & Professor Poul Duedahl, Director of the Global History of UNESCO Project

    15.45-16.00: Closing of the Conference
    • Chairperson of the Danish National Commission for UNESCO, Professor Linda Nielsen, University of Copenhagen, Denmark

    The conference will be moderated by Vincent Defourny, Director of UNESCO’s Division of Public Information

  • Association of Former Staff Members of UNESCO (AFUS) - Conference of Mr Federico Mayor Zaragoza

    27 October 2015

    UNESCO Headquarters
    75007 Paris

    In the framework of the 70th Anniversary of UNESCO, the association of former staff members of UNESCO (AFUS), , is organizing a conference of Federico Mayor Zaragoza (Director-General 1987- 1999)
    AFUS invited Mr Federico Mayor Zaragoza to give a Lecture that will be followed by a debate with the audience (UNESCO Headquarters , Room IX , 3 to 5:30 pm)

    This will be also the occasion to launch the book entitled Federico Mayor Zaragoza and the Relevance of UNESCO, published by AFUS, with the support of the Organization.

    Mr Mayor will autograph copies of the book at the close of the session.

  • UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa celebrates UNESCO's 70th anniversary

    26 October 2015


    The UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa (ROSA) in Harare (Zimbabwe), celebrated UNESCO's 70th anniversary through three events under the theme "70 years of experience for 17 Goals" linking up with the Sustainable Development Goals, from 26 to 28 October 2015:

    70th Anniversary event celebrating 70 years of UNESCO and pledge of support to the newly adopted SDGs under Agenda 2030

    Under the theme “70 Years of Experience for 17 Goals” the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa organised an event, highlighting UNESCO’s contribution to peace and sustainable development over the last 70 years. The meeting, attended by UNESCO staff and national commissions from the region, government officials, ambassadors, Heads of UN agencies and partners, reconfirmed UNESCO’s strong commitment to the recently adopted Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which will succeed the MDG agenda after 2015. The event helped to create stronger awareness about the SDGs, and about the importance of partnerships and collaboration between a wide range of partners and stakeholders, which will be essential for their successful implementation.

    Regional Meeting of National Commissions and UNESCO

    On 28 October 2015, the UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa hosted a strategic planning meeting between UNESCO field offices and national commissions in the region. The meeting discussed about ways to strengthen the cooperation between UNESCO field offices and National Commissions at national and regional levels. The meeting recognised the importance of stronger collaboration, which is expected to contribute to improved effectiveness, impact and visibility of UNESCO’s support to member states and the region as a whole. Besides, the meeting aimed at strengthening partnerships and cooperation between national commissions of member states in the region.

    Regional Education strategic planning meeting

    The UNESCO Regional Office for Southern Africa organised a Regional Support Strategy Workshop on Education, held in Harare on 26 and 27 October 2015. With the theme “Developing an Education Support Strategy for Southern Africa”, the workshop was a platform for governments, National Commissions and UNESCO Education Program Specialists to draft an Education Support Strategy and Regional plan of action for Southern Africa.

    This follows a series of regional conferences, national consultative meetings and country desk studies in education, focusing on teachers (August, Mozambique), education for sustainable development (September, Zimbabwe), literacy (October, Namibia),  and Technical and Vocational Education and Training (October, Zimbabwe). The various initiatives along with the recommendations of the international framework for action for education for post-2015 discussed at the World Education Forum paved way towards the drafting of various national and regional recommendations to support the sector of education in Southern Africa in line with the post-2015 agenda.

  • UN@70 - UNESCO World Heritage Represents Indonesia in UN70 “TURN THE WORLD UN BLUE” Campaign

    24 October 2015


    On 24 October 2015, more than 150 monuments, buildings, museum, bridges and iconic buildings in more than 45 countries around the world were lit up blue, the official color of the United Nations, to mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations. In Indonesia, National Monument (Monas) and Borobudur Temple Complex, one of the key UNESCO World Heritage Sites, participated in this global campaign.

    UNESCO Office Jakarta in consultation with the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Jakarta and in coordination with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Education and Culture and PT. Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur, Prambanan & Ratu Boko (PT. TWC) actively supported the participation of Borobudur in “Turn the World UN Blue” campaign,

    On the evening of 24 October from 7 to 9 pm, Borobudur was turned blue with 10 20,000 watt lights. The special event was attended by Mr. Marsis Sutopo (Head of Borobudur Conservation Office), Ms. Chrisnamurti (Head of Borobudur Unit of PT. TWC), representatives of UNESCO Office Jakarta, staff of Borobudur Conservation Office and PT. TWC, as well as a number of journalists and photographers.  

    More information


  • UNESCO 70th Anniversary Celebration Umami+

    22 October 2015

    Café des Chefs, restaurant du pavillon Français à l'EXPO Milano 2015

    UMAMI+ Shooting Event “Overcoming our Ignorance of Others”, has been hold on October 22nd at CAFÉ DE CHEFS, Restaurant of French Pavilion at Milano EXPO 2015, as UNESCO 70th Anniversary CELEBRATION EVENT under patronage of UNESCO and UNESCO Italy.
    Representatives of Institutions and National pavilions at Milano EXPO participated with greeting messages to UNESCO for its activities over the years.

    On Nov.30th 2015, UNESCO 70th Anniversary Celebration as LEGACY of Milano EXPO 2015 starts to be distributed worldwide through Free App. UMAMI+!

  • Commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of UNESCO's Water Programme in Asia and the Pacific by UNESCO Office, Jakarta.

    19 October 2015


    To mark at the regional level, the commemoration of the 50 Years of water programme in UNESCO, UNESCO Office in Jakarta is organizing with the participation of UNESCO Water family in Asia and the Pacific, a special event from 19 to 20 October 2015 in the city of Medan in Indonesia.
    In line with the 23rd edition of the Regional Steering Committee for Southeast Asia and the Pacific (RSC-SEAP) of IHP, which will be held from 19 to 20 October 2015 in Medan, Indonesia; UNESCO Office, Jakarta will organize a half-day session dedicated to the commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of UNESCO's Water Programmes in Asia and the Pacific. The commemoration will consisted of three main activities:
    - The opening ceremony, with the speeches of the Prof. Kaoru Takara, Chairman of IHP RSC-SEAP and Prof. Shahbaz Khan, Director of UNESCO Office, Jakarta
    - The launching of the booklet titled: “Celebrating 50th Anniversary of UNESCO Water Programme in Asia and the Pacific: Achievements and Future Challenges”. The booklet is presenting a brief history of IHP in region and key activities as well as results of selected countries from IHD to IHP
    - Presentation of success stories on the implementation of IHD and IHP programs in selected countries.
    - The projection of water movies, covering different aspects of water and highlighting the actions of UNESCO in the domain of water.

  • Regional Conference on HIV and Reproductive Health education in West and Central Africa : Current situation and perspectives

    07 October 2015

    King Fahd Palace, Dakar, Senegal

    The Conference will be a major advocacy event to raise awareness among Governments on the importance of HIV and reproductive health education for young people and to mobilize them as part of a regional dynamic.

    (see description in French for details)

  • Ghana's President John Dramani Mahama visits UNESCO

    05 October 2015


    The President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama, today paid an official visit to UNESCO where he met theDirector-General of the Organization, Irina Bokova, and addressed representatives of the diplomatic community and of Ghana’s civil society.

    In her welcoming address, the Director-General praised the President’s commitment for democracy and good governance, and his country’s increase in public expenditure on education, which “has led to a significant increase in pre-primary and primary enrolments. This has catalyzed progress towards gender equality, the empowerment of girls and women,” Ms. Bokova said.

    The Director-General also welcomed the fact that Ghana last July ratified all six UNESCO culture conventions, as well as the UNIDROIT Convention.

    “At this time when across the world culture is under attack, when cultural diversity is under threat, I believe Ghana is sending a powerful message to all, about the need to unite around humanity’s shared heritage, around human rights and human dignity.”

    In his address, the President of Ghana declared, “UNESCO has in the last 70 years impacted the lives of many across the world through education, the sciences, culture, and information and communication technology.”

    “The World appreciates the work UNESCO continues to do, despite the current financial limitations and new forms of challenges such as the destruction of cultural heritage sites, the looting and sale of cultural heritage artifacts by terrorist groups,” he said, noting that UNESCO is currently celebrating its 70th anniversary.

    Describing the destruction of heritage as “truly disheartening,” President Mahama pledged support forUNESCO’s #unite4heritage social media campaign and the Bonn Declaration issued by the World Heritage Committee in July this year.

    The President emphasized his country’s efforts to extend universal free education and harness the potential of information and communication technologies to this end. He invoked his country’s commitment to the newly adopted sustainable development goals and cautioned that “if we are to attain the objective of a sustainable consumption and production pattern under Goal 12, then it will be necessary for us to review the relations between labour, production and capital.”

    Also during the visit, Foreign Affairs Minister Hanna S. Tetteh and the Director-General signed a joint communiqué highlighting priority areas of cooperation between UNESCO and Ghana. They highlighted promoting the empowerment of girls and women through information and communication technologies; upstream cooperation to prepare the future inscription of World Heritage sites in Ghana and funding for the ongoing General History of Africa project.

  • UNESCO 70th Anniversary Concert at Manoel Theatre

    03 October 2015

    This event has been made possible through the generous cooperation of our National Symphonic Orchestra, in this case under the baton of Maestro Brian Schembri; the Manoel Theatre Management Committee including its CEO Mr Sigmund Mifsud; colleagues serving on the UNESCO National Commission particularly our executive secretary Philip Cassar and at least one other National Commission member, Tanya Bayona, who first proposed the initiative to the National Commission and subsequently to the authorities concerned.
    In addition to the highly respected professional expertise of the  musicians and conductor concerned, this concert also hosts a renowned guest artist, Sergei Nakariakov, who has been dubbed as ‘the Paganini of the trumpet’. Anyone familiar with that great violinist’s oeuvre must certainly look forward to the performance on the trumpet by Nakariakov, who has been said to play the trumpet “the way the rest of us breathe’.
    This event probably constitutes the National UNESCO Commission’s highlight for this anniversary year. However, in spite of limited finances, the year has also been marked by various other activities, including, in conjunction with UNESCO Paris, an international conference on biosphere parks, the proceedings of which are just now being published in South Korea; exhibitions by Ruth Bianco entitled ‘Film and Fame’, and by Godfrey Xuereb entitled ‘Heritage Link’, the former showing artistic collages from film sequences, the latter Malta-centred ceramics. Shortly, in association with our UNESCO National Commission counterpart in Venice, we are hosting a one week training scheme on risk management at the University of Malta’s Valletta campus for civil defence and other practitioners in this all too important field. That is apart from other initiatives being pursued by the Commission in the fields of song and dance for UNESCO’s world memory programme.
    Today’s concert is a fund-raising activity for Action against Breast Cancer, so any donations at the door to this very worthwhile cause would be much appreciated.  
    I would like heartily to thank Her Excellency the President of Malta, Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca, for lending us her patronage, and, once again, all those – musicians, administrators and colleagues - who have helped to make this singular performance happen, as well as the various dignitaries who are gracing us with their presence this morning, together with esteemed members of the general public.
    I hope that all those attending enjoy the concert.
  • Bravo Niagara! Presents the North Star Festival: Voices of Freedom

    02 October 2015

    3 Jordan Street
    Niagara-on-the-Lake -- L0S 1J0,

    In honour of the United Nations International Decade for People of African Descent: Recognition,
    Justice and Development (2015-2024), Bravo Niagara! will present the North Star Festival: Voices
    of Freedom, an initiative that will utilize music and other art forms to give voice to Niagara’s rich
    Black history and the legacy of the Underground Railroad. The North Star Festival has received official endorsement from the UNESCO Slave Route Project and will pay tribute to the courageous freedom-seekers who followed the North Star and established communities in Niagara, a terminus of the Underground Railroad and site of the signing of the first anti-slavery legislation in the British Empire. The North Star Festival will also align with the 70th Anniversary of UNESCO and the 21st Anniversary of the International Scientific Committee UNESCO Slave Route Project: Resistance, Liberty, Heritage. This annual festival will unite the Niagara Region in a global movement of promoting deeper cultural understanding, peace and dialogue for current and future generations.
    Bravo Niagara! is honoured to present the Nathaniel Dett Chorale as the North Star Festival’s
    Ensemble-in-Residence. Canada’s first professional choral group dedicated to Afrocentric music of all styles, the Nathaniel Dett Chorale has performed at events honouring Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, in addition to being the only Canadian ensemble invited to perform for President Obama’s inauguration. The Nathaniel Dett Chorale’s mission is “to build bridges of understanding, appreciation, and acceptance between communities of people, both Afrocentric and other, through the medium of music. The Chorale seeks to dissolve the barriers of stereotype, to empower humans in general, and those of African
    descent in particular.”

    The opening day of The North Star Festival will feature a free community outreach “informance” at the Niagara Historical Society & Museum in partnership with the Harriet Tubman Institute at York University, the lead institution which represents Canada on the International Scientific Committee of the UNESCO Slave Route Project. This educational initiative will utilize a multi-sensory approach to engaging audiences of all ages and cultural backgrounds and will include lectures, a commissioned photographic installation, archival display, performances, and a presentation of “Breaking the Chains: Presenting a New Narrative for Canada’s Role in the Underground Railroad,” an interactive research tool designed by the Harriet Tubman Institute.

    The second day will feature “Food for the Soul” in partnership with The Market @ The Village, bringing together 30 vendors of local chefs, food trucks, music, artisans, local produce, Wineries of Niagara-on-the-Lake and more. “Food for the Soul” will coincide with the Harvest Celebration and last market of the 2015 season. Locals and visitors alike will have an opportunity to come together and experience the roots of soul food and the culinary contributions of people of African descent.

    The North Star Festival: Voices of Freedom will culminate with a performance by the renowned Nathaniel Dett Chorale at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. Founded in 1794, St. Andrew’s has a special connection to the story of the Underground Railroad, as their schoolhouse was once used for children of Niagara’s Black settlers who found freedom in Niagara. Using the power of music, we believe we can communicate this powerful story and a painful subject of our past that is often difficult to express through words. This music is vital to telling the story of the strength of the human spirit, uniting people of all backgrounds and ages through its universal language, and fostering a shared sense of identity across our Region and beyond.

  • Youth and active citizenship through the values of UNESCO

    01 October 2015

    Schools at the Prefecture of Serres

    UNESCO Club of Serres will organise a series of educational visits to schools of primary and secondary education in the Prefecture of Serres, in order to inform the students on the values of UNESCO and the notion of active citizenship.

    During the visits, the students will have the opportunity to discuss on democracy, the rights and obligations of citizens, the need to participate and take decisions for their communities .

  • Uganda celebrates UNESCO 70th anniversary (UNESCO@70)

    28 September 2015


    The Director General of UNESCO at the launch of the celebrations to mark seventy years of UNESCO on 31st October 2014 in Paris, urged Member States to participate in the celebrations at national level. In response to the Director General’s call, Uganda organized activities to celebrate UNESCO@70.

    Uganda UNESCO@70 activities:
    All activities of the Uganda National Commission for UNESCO (UNATCOM) and of its willing allies from January 2015 were dubbed as “UNESCO@70” activities. The first activities were to sensitize the public at every available opportunity like workshops, seminars and any other public events organized by UNATCOM or partners about the forthcoming UNESCO@70th anniversary. It was also an opportunity to: a) review the impact of UNESCO during its seventy years of existence worldwide but particularly in Uganda b) to foster better understanding of UNESCO in the past and inspire present and future activities and, c) to explain the values, mandate, spirit and activities of UNESCO and UNATCOM.

    UNESCO@70 Main Event
    The main event to mark UNESCO@70 was held at the Silver Springs Hotel, Kampala. The Speaker of the Parliament of Uganda, The Right Honourable Rebecca Kadaga was the chief guest. Over 130 guests representing UNATCOM partners like line Ministries, UN Agencies, Academia, Cultural leaders, Civil Society Organizations and schools attended the event.
    In her address, Hon Speaker lauded the strong partnership between Uganda and UNESCO over the past fifty plus years. She toured the exhibition mounted by the UNATCOM, and later launched the ASPnet Schools Best Practices Booklet. Budo Junior School entertained the guests to traditional Ugandan and jazz music.
    Professor Eriabu Lugujjo, Vice- Chancellor of Ndejje University delivered a keynote address on the topic Peace and Development through UNESCO’s Fields of Competence. A UNESCO fellowship alumnus also made a presentation on benefits of her training. The event ended with cutting of the 70th anniversary cake.

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  • Event organized by the Slovenian National Commission in support of UNESCO´s 70th Anniversary

    26 September 2015

    Castle Podsreda

    The Slovenian National Commission has organized its central event in support of UNESCO´s 70th Anniversary. The event took place at Castle Podsreda on Saturday 26 September 2015, in the heart of one of Slovenia´s Biosphere Reserves under UNESCO´s MAB Programme, named Kozjanski park (http://kozjanski-park.si/).


    More than 100 participants gathered this Saturday morning in this medieval place in a very natural surrounding. Our event started with opening addresses, among them also by the President of the National Assembly of the Republic of Slovenia (Slovenian Parliament) and the Minister of Education, Science and Sport, responsible for UNESCO. The key note address on UNESCO´s value in modern time was given by the President of the National Commission for UNESCO.


    During two “World Café” rounds, participants were given the opportunity as to exchange their opinions and reflections on important topics: (1) “UNESCO´s World Heritage Today” – the round table was moderated by the Director of the Ljubljansko barje Park (Prehistoric Pile Dwellings Around the Alps – UNESCO World Heritage Site) and (2) “Rapprochement of Cultures – Intercultural Dialogue” – moderated by the Chairman of the Slovenian African Society (national from Mali) and a representative from the Islamic community in Slovenia.


    After a relaxing excursion through the parks of the MAB Biosphere Reserve Kozjanski park, the participants gathered once more in a final plenary discussion as to wrap up the results from the World Café.


    Beside of the main event, the Slovenian UNESCO Youth Network organized the so called Slovenian UNESCO Youth Summit. Around 50 young people from all over Slovenia came together (from ASP Schools and university students) and discussed actual UNESCO issues that matter for youngsters. The Youth Summit took place also in Podsreda Castle. Young coordinators from the Youth Summit took the chance as to present the “Slovenian Youth Initiative” that was adopted by the Youth Summit at the final plenary discussion with all other participants of the main event.


    Altogether, young and “old”, closed up this wonderful day at Podsreda Castle listening to the Slovenian UNESCO Performance “JAZ SEM TI – I AM YOU”, a great performance with music from all over the globe, presented by young Slovenian and international musicians in cooperation with “Glasbena mladina Slovenije” (Music Youth Slovenia). The performance was moderated by two of our young UNESCO Heralds.



    Video: PART 1; PART 2

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  • 4th General Conference of the Latin American and Caribbean Coalition of Cities against racism, discrimination and xenophobia

    21 September 2015

    Villa Ocampo
    Buenos Aires

    The 4th General Conference of the Latin American and the Caribbean (LAC) Coalition of Cities against Racism, Discrimination and Xenophobia is organised in the framework of UNESCO’s 70th anniversary celebrations, together with the UN International Decade for People of African Descent 2015-2024 and the launch of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

    Against this backdrop, the LAC Coalition of Cities invites its members to discuss strategies to achieve a stronger and sustainable network of local governments to develop and implement effective public policies against all kinds of discrimination. It will also be an opportunity to strengthen inter-regional cooperation between cities through platforms including the International Coalition of Cities against Racism (ICCAR). In this context, the participation of the President of the European Coalition of Cities against Racism (ECCAR) in the LAC Meeting will provide an important opportunity to exchange good practices to face today’s new and challenging situations.

    It is expected to receive around 15 cities from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Uruguay, and also welcome the representation of European cities from ECCAR.

    This important event of the LAC Coalition of Cities will take place in different venues in Buenos Aires: Complejo Cultural Manzana de las Luces (Buenos Aires), Casa de la Memoria y la Vida (Mansión Seré, Municipio de Morón), Villa Ocampo (Beccar, Buenos Aires). It is sponsored by UNESCO, Montevideo Government, Municipality of Morón, Municipality of Quilmes, Centro Internacional para la Promoción de la Democracia (CIPDH), with the participation of the Human Rights Committee of Mercociudades and the European Coalition of Citis against Racism (ECCAR). The Conference will also be supported by CLACSO, RIOOD (Red Iberoamericana de Organismos y Organizaciones contra la Discriminación) and Viila Ocampo.

    The Coalition of Latin-American and Caribbean Cities against Racism, Discrimination and Xenophobia was launched on 25 October 2006 on the occasion of the First Ibero-American Forum of Local Governments. Montevideo, capital of Uruguay, was appointed as lead city of the Coalition.
    A Ten-Point Plan of Action for the LAC Coalition of Cities was finalized in June 2006, responding to the call launched by the Montevideo Government and UNESCO. The Plan was adopted on October 2006 in Montevideo, and the signatory cities commit to integrate within their strategies and action programmes the recommendations, and to dedicate the human, financial and material resources required for its effective implementation.

  • Humanity Photo Awards (HPA) 2015

    18 September 2015

    Shangri-La City

    Since 1998, China Folklore Photographic Association (CFPA) has launched a call to photographers all over the world to document folklore phenomenon extensively and in depth. To this end, CFPA founded Humanity Photo Awards, a biennial international photographic contest.
    For the past 16 years, photographers from 158 countries have participated in HPA, who successfully accumulated images about cultural phenomenon of 168 countries.
    The 9th edition of the Humanity Photo Awards (HPA) was held in Shangri-La by the China Folklore Photographic Association (CFPA) (NGO official partner of UNESCO). The organizers wished to include this 9th edition through the 70th anniversary of UNESCO and the implementation of the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures.

    About 250 photographers were present from China but also in many other countries, including Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Bulgaria, France, India, Italy, Oman, Sweden, etc.

    The award ceremony of HPA 2015 was held in the afternoon of Sep. 18. Before entering the venue, all guests were required to sign their names on the signature board in front of the banquet hall. About 200 domestic and foreign photographers received the awards at the ceremony.

  • UNESCO Artist for Peace Elisso Bolkvadze organizes the Gala concert “Music for Peace”

    15 September 2015


    The Gala concert entitled “Music for Peace”, organized by Elisso Bolkvadze, UNESCO Artist for Peace, took place on 15 September last in the framework of the Batumi Festival in Georgia.
    This Gala event, which was organized under UNESCO’s patronage, was part of the 70th anniversary celebration of UNESCO. Many personalities known nationally or internationally were present at this exceptional event in honor of peace and music as a vector of transmission of peace around the world. UNESCO was represented at this event by Mr Eric Falt, Assistant Director-General for External Relations and Public Information.

    “At UNESCO, we are convinced that promoting the world’s vast reserve of musical expressions and other cultural traditions, through initiatives such as this Festival, enhances mutual understanding and dialogue”, emphasized Mr Eric Falt in the speech that he delivered on the occasion of the Gala event. He also took this opportunity to express his sincere congratulations to Elisso Bolkvadze for successfully organizing this Festival and for her continued support to Organization’s work in her capacity as a UNESCO Artist for Peace.

    The renowned Georgian pianist Elisso Bolkvadze was designated as a UNESCO Artist for Peace in January 2015at in recognition of her support to musical education and artistic creativity of talented young Georgians notably through her Foundation “LYRA”. In 2012 Elisso Bolkvadze created the LYRA Foundation aiming to support the Georgian young prodigies in their studies and encourage their talent and artistic creativity. In her capacity as a UNESCO Artist for Peace, Elisso Bolkvadze is involved in the Organization’s activities in the field of education of children in conflict-affected areas.

  • World Social Science Forum "Transforming Global Relations for a Just World"

    13 September 2015

    Durban International Conference Center
    South Africa

    The 2015 World Social Science Forum will focus on the issues of inequality and justice as core concerns around which discussions about global relations must be structured. The WSSF is organized by the International Social Science Council (ISSC), the Council for the Development of Social Science Research in Africa (CODESRIA) and the Human Sciences Research Council (South Africa), along with a consortium of academic and research institutions, African think-tanks and related science policy organizations. The Director-General of UNESCO has granted UNESCO’s patronage to the Forum.

    UNESCO's Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, Ms Nada Al-Nashif, will represent the Director-General of UNESCO in the opening session of the Forum.
    UNESCO, under its Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme is organising the following events:

    13 September - 16h-17h30

    Panel “Achieving gender equality: mobilizing social science and human rights”.

    The panel will focus on the challenges that remain and the solutions that we can provide in order to reach gender equality through rights based approaches and provide the scientific data needed.

    Chair: Françoise Caillods, ISSC Senior Advisor on the World Social Science Report, the International Social Science Council

    Speakers: Mr. Pierre Sané, Founder and President of the Imagine Africa Institute, a think tank dedicated to the strengthening of research-policy linkages in Africa and to improve the quality of public policies, Patron of the WSSF, former Secretary-General, Amnesty International,former Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, UNESCO former Regional Director (West and Central Africa) of the International Development Research Center in Canada.
    Prof. Roseanne Diab, Executive Officer, Academy of Science of South Africa and Emeritus Professor in the School of Environmental Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal
    John Crowley, Chief, Research, Policy and Foresight, UNESCO

    14 September - 12h30-15h30

    Plenary Panel on "Contributing to a just world within the Post 2015 agenda: Which role for social Science?".

    Ministers from various regions and high-level speakers will discuss what are the challenges and policy-responses to achieve a more just world, including providing national and/or regional experiences. Among the key issues in the draft Post 2015 agenda are the focus on ending poverty and reducing inequalities.


    Chair: Ms. Nada Al-Nashif, Assistant Director-General for Social and Human Sciences, UNESCO
    Commentator: H.E. Ambassador Dr. Zola Skweyiya, former President of the Intergovernmental Council of the MOST Programme and member of the Executive Committee of ANC (former Minister of Social Development, South Africa and High Commissioner of South Africa to the UK)


    Keynote speaker H.E. Dr. Belio Kipsang, Principal Secretary, representing H.E. Professor Jacob Kaimenyi, Cabinet Secretary Education, Science and Technology, Government of Kenya, and President of the 1st Forum of Ministers of Social Development for East Africa.

    Other Ministers or high-level representatives to respond to this and give examples from their national and regional perspectives:

    H.E Bathabile Dlamini, Minister of Social Development, Government of South Africa
    H.E. Dr. Paul Oquist Kelley, Minister,-Private Secretary of the Citizen’s Power for National Policies for the Presidency of the Republic, Government of Nicaragua
    H.E. Sheik Mohammed bin Said bin Saif al Kalbani, Minister of Social Development, Sultanate of Oman
    H.E. Dr. Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation, Government of Malaysia.
    H.E. Betty Tola, Minister of Economic and Social Inclusion, Government of Ecuador (President of the X Forum of Ministers of Social Development for Latin America) and Vice-President in the MOST IGC.
    Minister Pablo Prosperi. Chief of Cabinet at the Under-Secretariat for International Relations, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, representing H.E. Alicia Kirchner, Minister of Social Development of Argentina, and the President of the MOST IGC

    The Ministerial session will be followed by a Research session with representatives from the MOST Programme’s research partners; they will provide research findings which could be relevant to social-policies and in the follow-up to Post-2015 agenda as a way of proposed means of co-operation.

    Chair: Dr. Wiseman Magasela, Deputy Director General, Research and Policy Development at the National Department of Social Development, University of South Africa.

    Opening remarks: Mr. Michael Woolcock, Member of the MOST Programme’s Scientific Advisory Committee, Lecturer in Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School, Lead Social Development Specialist with the World Bank’s Development Research Group in Washington DC.

    Followed by:

    Dr. Ebrima Sall, Executive-Secretary, CODESRIA
    Dr. Pablo Gentili, Executive-Secretary, CLACSO
    Dr. Seteney Shami, Director-General, the Arab Council for Social Science
    Mr. Mathieu Denis, Deputy Director, Science, International Social Science Council

    15 September - 11h-12h30

    Panel “The Sir Arthur Lewis Centennial Panel”, will commemorate the work of the economist Sir Arthur Lewis. The panel will address how his explanation of the relationship between trade and development is still relevant to understand contemporary challenges.

    Chair: Dr. Pedro Manuel Monreal Gonzales, UNESCO


    Dr. Mark Figueroa.
    “Arthur Lewis’s Life and Work: Enduring Lessons for Global Transformation”

    Dr Godfrey St Bernard
    “Social Policy and Its Implications for Social Justice in Small States: The Role of Global Population Dynamics”

    Ambassador Jane Soomer, Saint Lucia’s Ambassador to CARICOM and the OECS
    "The Relevance of Arthur Lewis to the Contemporary Challenges facing Small Island Developing States"


    This is the third World Social Science Forum which will gather together more than 1,000 social scientists, policy-makers and other stakeholders to address issues and social science findings contributing to a just world.

  • Batumi music festival celebrates UNESCO’s 70th anniversary

    10 September 2015


    Local and international musicians and ensembles are coming to Georgia’s seaside city of Batumi to perform in a classical and folk music festival celebrating the 70th anniversary of UNESCO
    From September 10-15, three venues in Batumi will host the Batumi Music Fest and a raft of world leading artists including French composer Laurent Petitgirard, Japanese violinist Michi Sugiura and local pianist Elisso Bolkvadze, who founded the festival in 2012.

    Other artists who will perform in the festival are the Tbilisi Opera and Ballet Theatre Orchestra and the Georgian Voices folk ensemble.

    The opening evening on September 10 will see Bolkvadze and Petitgirard perform alongside the Tbilisi Opera State Orchestra at the Batumi Art and Musical Centre, with the festival concluding five days later at Piazza Batumi.

    Batumi Music Fest will also feature three days of master classes for young artists, with selected performers showcasing their talents a gala concert on September 14.

    The Batumi Music Fest was accepted into the European Festival Association in 2015 and is supported by Georgia’s Culture Ministry, the Adjara local government, the Embassy of France and the French Institute of Georgia.


  • UNESCO 70th Anniversary celebration in New Zealand

    08 September 2015

    New Zealand

    2015 marks 70 years since the establishment of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Globally recognised as UNESCO, it was established with a mission to build "the defenses of peace in the minds of men”, as the North American poet Archibald MacLeish, suggested and as reflected in its Constitution . It was founded in 1945 to develop the “intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind” as a means of building lasting peace.
    In September this year, the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO not only celebrated the 70th anniversary of UNESCO services in the region but most importantly the change that UNESCO has made to lives around the world.

    At the invitation of Professor Ian McKinnon, Chair of the National Commission for UNESCO, a special event was held in the Parliament of New Zealand and Chaired by Honorable Minister of Education, Hekia Parata. On this occasion, the Director of the UNESCO Office for the Pacific States, Mr Etienne Clement, acknowledged on behalf of the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, the Parliament of New Zealand for the invitation and the initiative to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of UNESCO which was founded by 37 countries, including New Zealand.

    Mr Clement in his keynote address at the celebrations said that “In 70 years UNESCO has done a long way in education, the sciences, culture, communication and information from its Headquarters in Paris, its 52 Field and liaison Offices and its some 190 National Commissions, through its five functions.”

    He added that while its programmes and functions have achieved very successful outcomes, the challenges are numerous and UNESCO is determined to design and deliver relevant programmes to address these challenges.

  • UNESCO hails the importance of music as a force for building peace

    25 August 2015


    On the occasion of the 10th edition of the Sharq Taronalari International Music Festival that was held under UNESCO’s auspices in Samarkand from 25 to 30 August 2015, Mr Eric Falt, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for External Relations and Public Information, paid a visit to Uzbekistan.
    In his opening address at the Festival, Mr Falt highlighted the role of music “as the universal language of cohesion, embodying the power of living heritage to unite humanity around shared values and aspirations.” “This has never been so important”, Mr Falt added, “than in these times of turbulence, when culture is under attack. Art is especially essential today, as a force for sharing passions and building peace”. This is of particular significance as the international community celebrates the 70th anniversary of the creation of the United Nations and UNESCO.

    Mr Falt commended the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan for his excellent initiative to organize the Festival that has, since its establishment in 1997, grown into an important international gathering of musicologists, composers, performers and bearers of musical traditions from Uzbekistan, Asia and the other continents.

    In the framework of the festival, Mr Falt participated in the opening of an international conference on Shared Musical Culture of the Peoples of the Orient together with Mr Adham Ikramov, Deputy Prime Minister, Mr Bahodyr Ahmedov, Minister of Culture and Sport, and Mr Akbar Shukurov, Mayor of Samarkand. In his opening remarks, Mr Falt expressed his thanks to the government of Uzbekistan for its longstanding commitment to preserve and promote all forms of intangible cultural heritage, including music. “Around the world there is increasing recognition that these cherished traditions are sources of wellbeing, social cohesion, and sustainable development. This commitment draws on values that have deep roots in the society of Uzbekistan: the values of respect for traditions and customs; the determination to safeguard and pass them on and the willingness to deepen mutual understanding among peoples within the region and beyond, through the promotion of intangible cultural heritage. […] Together with Uzbekistan we believe that intangible cultural heritage is a source of creativity, a force for renewal and innovation. Building on the past, our vision is forward-looking – a vision of sustainability. I am convinced that intangible cultural heritage is one of our strongest assets to build the future we want for all’.

    During his stay in Uzbekistan, Mr Falt met Mr Ulugbek Inoyatov, Minister of Public Education; Mr Botir Usmanov, Deputy Minister of Higher and Secondary Specialized Education, and paid a visit to the UNESCO Tashkent Office where he also met Mr Stefan Priesner, UN Resident Coordinator. Throughout his stay in Uzbekistan, Mr Falt was accompanied by Mr Alisher Ikramov, Secretary-General of the National Commission of the Republic of Uzbekistan for UNESCO.

  • UNESCO Meeting - Bioethics and Climate Change

    18 August 2015

    Sala de Conferencias, Edificio MERCOSUR

    On August 18th the third UNESCO meeting in the framework of the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of the Organization took place. On this occasion the Regional Bureau for Sciences in Latin America and the Caribbean brought together leading international scholars who spoke about (Bio) Ethics and Climate Change.
    The following specialists participated as speakers during the event: Mr Eduardo participate Gudynas, Doctor of Social Ecology of the Franciscan multi-diversity of Latin America and the Pontifical College of St.Bonaventure in Rome; Mr Pablo Canziani, PhD in Physics from the University of Buenos Aires, member of the scientific equipment for NASA satellite missions; Mr Roque Junges, Doctor in moral theology at the Pontifical University in Rome Greogriana; and Mr Hugo Rodriguez, rector of Pro Extension and Media Relations of the University of the Republic.

    As a complement to the oral presentations that took place, one of the objectives of the celebration was to transform them into opportunities for an open debate, opportunities for meetings, discussion platforms where several members of the public discussed and built horizontally on the subject.

    Groups and interest groups working on issues of bioethics, ethics and climate change across the country were especially invited to participate.

  • International Round Table | "70 years UNESCO - Peace Through Education, Science and Culture"

    07 August 2015


    Sozopol Foundation organized an international round table: “70 years UNESCO - Peace Through Education, Science and Culture”
    In partnership with the National Commission of Bulgaria for UNESCO, Regional Centre for the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage under the auspices of UNESCO, Sofia, and National Palace of Culture.

  • 70 years of UNESCO: Culture and Heritage

    23 July 2015

    Sala de Conferencias, Edificio MERCOSUR

    On Thursday July 23 the second of five planned meetings in the country on the occasion of the celebration of seventieth anniversary of the Organization, took place, organized jointly by the Uruguayan National Commission for UNESCO and UNESCO’s Regional Bureau in Montevideo
    The activity "70 years of UNESCO: Culture and Heritage" consisted of a counterpoint between the president of the Commission for Cultural Heritage of the Nation, Mr Nelson Inda and member of the National Commission for UNESCO, and Mr Mariano Arana, moderated by Ema Zaffaroni, also a member of the National Commission Around fifty guests, including prominent personalities, diplomats, university authorities and the general public, shared an interesting and friendly exchange, where history on the material and intangible heritage of Uruguay, intertwined and allowed for the exchange of different perspectives and analysis on the conception of the subject since the adoption of the Convention for the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (1972).

  • IX World Congress of the World Federation of UNESCO Clubs, Centers and Associations (WFUCA)

    21 July 2015


    According to the decision made in the 34th Ordinary Session of the Executive Board Meeting of WFUCA in March 2014 in New York, the 9th World Congress of WFUCA was hosted by the Chinese National Federation of UNESCO Clubs and Associations (CNFUCA) on July 21-25, 2015 in Beijing.
    The agenda of the Congress includes opening ceremony and the celebration for the 70th Anniversary of the establishment of UNESCO, discussions and workshops, reports by the leadership of WFUCA regarding the action plan and activities of the last four years, approval of new members of WFUCA as well as elections for the next leadership of WFUCA for the term 2015- 2019. Cultural visits was also be arranged.

  • Summer School on Media and Information Literacy, KazNU

    09 July 2015

    Sports camp of KazNU on Lake Issyk-Kul, p. Bosteri, Kyrgyzstan
    Lake Issyk-Kul, p. Bosteri, Kyrgyzstan
    722103 Cholpon-Ata

    On 9 - 12 July 2015 the ІII International Summer School of Journalism and Communication "Media and Information Literacy: Goal or Tool for Sustainable Development?" will be held in Issik-Kul in the framework of the 70-th anniversary of UNESCO, as well as Global Week on Media and Information Literacy (MIL) and global consultations for the UN Sustainable Development Goals after 2015. This event is organized by the Scientific Center for Humanitarian Studies "Mediasphere" and under the auspices of the al-Farabi KazNU and UNESCO Office in Almaty.

    Training at the Summer School is devoted to the following topics:

    - Global Alliance for Partnership on Media and Information Literacy;
    - Global Week of Media and Information Literacy;
    - Global consultations for development goals of the United Nations after 2015.

    During the breaks students will attend the performance of the unique melodies by ethno-cultural groups from Kyzylorda region of Kazakhstan. Lectures will be organized on Information Literacy, Internet and News Literacy, as well as workshop on FOE/FOI Literacy.

    The venue is Sports camp of KazNU on Lake Issyk-Kul, Bosteri village, Kyrgyzstan.

    UNESCO Office in Almaty support this summer school in the framework of the programme "Improving the well-being and quality of life in the Kyzylorda region through the implementation of innovative approaches to providing economic, social and environmental services to the local population, including the most vulnerable", implemented jointly by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the UN Office in Kazakhstan: UNESCO, UNDP, UNFPA, UN Women, WHO and UNICEF. The duration of the project is July 2014 - December 2016.

  • Show | Dances and musics from elsewhere ...

    03 July 2015

    UNESCO Headquarters / Siège de l'UNESCO
    125, avenue de Suffren
    75007 Paris

    Dances and traditional music of Armenia, Colombia, France (Brittany and Martinique), Peru, Sri Lanka and Togo.
    An event organized by the Cross Cultures Association in Île-de-France

    By invitation: culturescroisees.billetterie@hotmail.com
    Further information (in French) : www.cultures-croisees.fr

  • Opening Ceremony of UNESCO Chair at Kadir Has University

    01 July 2015

    Kadir Has University Campus

    Director-General Irina Bokova's address "Safeguarding the Past for a Better Future for All" within the frame of 70th anniversary of UNESCO.

  • Tournée musicale de l’Orchestre et du Chœur de l’UNESCO, dans le cadre du 70e anniversaire de l’UNESCO

    27 June 2015


    La tournée musicale du chœur de l’UNESCO s’est déroulée du 27 juin au 8 juillet 2015 a Oaxaca, Mexique, Ville classée au Patrimoine mondial de l’UNESCO.

    Ce projet a été réalisé grâce à une organisation tripartite :
    • Le Chœur et l’Orchestre de l’UNESCO, dirigé par son Directeur musical et artistique Jorge Lozano-Corres et son Comité.
    • Les hautes instances du Mexique, représentées par M. José Javier Villacaña Jiménez, Président Maire de la ville d’Oaxaca, qui ont pris en charge toute la logistique et l’organisation de tous les différents événements.
    • La section musicale de l’Amicale du Conseil de l’Europe qui a prêté son concours avec le dynamisme de son Président Emmanuel L’Héritier et les chanteurs du Conseil de l'Europe

    Trois concerts exceptionnels ont été ainsi organisés avec plus de 30 œuvres exécutées par 150 musiciens, chanteurs et solistes, par les ensembles musicaux de l’UNESCO, les enfants de l’Orchestre et le Chœur « Aztèque de Oaxaca » qui appartiennent au programme national, le Chœur de la ville et des musiciens de la région de Oaxaca, en partenariat avec les chanteurs du Conseil de l’Europe.
    Le premier concert a été donné le 1er juillet dans le magnifique temple de Santo Domingo, construit en 1575 et classé par l’UNESCO au Patrimoine culturel mondial. Au programme, le Requiem de Fauré, suivi de la messe du Couronnement de Mozart, avec à l’extérieur une retransmission sur un écran télévisé géant.

    Le concert du 3 juillet s’étant déroulé en plein air, a été offert à toute la population, avec un programme composé d’œuvres de Haydn, Mozart, Brahms, Dvorak, Tchaïkovski, Verdi. Et en final, la création « Cantabile », du compositeur contemporain originaire de Oaxaca, Victor Martinez.

    Le dernier concert, le 4 juillet intitulé « Opéra Gala » a couronné la fin de la tournée avec au programme des extraits d’opéra : l’ouverture des Noces de Figaro de Mozart, « Oh mio bambino caro » de l’opéra de Puccini, des extraits de la Flûte enchantée de Mozart et des extraits de plusieurs opéras de Verdi. Il a été donne dans le théâtre de la ville de Macedonio Alcala

    A l’issue de ces trois concerts, les discours se succédèrent pour remercier la Directrice-Générale de l'UNESCO, Mme Irina Bokova. Les autorités d’Oaxaca ont remis en main propre au maestro Jorge Lozano-Corres, les trois diplômes destinés à remercier Mme Bokova pour son engagement dans la culture, le patrimoine mondial et la musique.

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  • 70 years of UNESCO: Its impact on Latin America

    17 June 2015

    Paraninfo, Universidad de la República, UDELAR

    On 17 June, the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science in Latin America and the Caribbean, together with the Uruguayan National Commission for UNESCO opened a series of meetings with Uruguayan society offering a conference on "70 years of UNESCO: Its impact on Latin America". The activity took place in the framework of the celebrations that the Organization performs worldwide on the occasion of its seventieth anniversary.
    The meeting had the participation of Ms. The Minister of Education and Culture (MEC), Ms Maria Julia Muñoz, the Rector of the University of the Republic, Mr Roberto Markarian, and the Director of the UNESCO Regional Bureau, Ms Lidia Brito participated in the meeting, as well as other prominent national and international authorities.

    It was an invitation to reflection on the fundamental contribution that UNESCO has provided since its inception, the construction of innovative social, cultural and scientific paradigms in Latin America; recognizing that today, even after seventy years, there are still key issues that require urgent renovation and solutions.

    During the opening session, Ms Lidia Brito recalled that the Montevideo Office is UNESCO's oldest office away from Headquarters, Created in 1949. She expressed noted that "four years after the creation of UNESCO in Paris (France), the Uruguayan government offered the possibility of establishing a Centre for Scientific Cooperation since they understood that science had to play a central role in the development of the region. "

    Education, Science and Culture were represented by the speakers. The Minister of Education and Culture of Uruguay stressed in her speech the common objectives and the close link of the Ministry and UNESCO and shared that "Education appears as the most powerful tool and the strongest bet in building a future of peace and full respect for human rights. "

    In his keynote speech, Mr Roberto Markarian, Rector of the University of the Republic, offered a profound journey through the history of UNESCO both in the country and the world, enriched by his personal relationship with the Organization. His journey through time started from the UNESCO Courier, which marked his youth, until his return to the country after the military dictatorship through a program of repatriation of scientists led by the Organization.

    During his presentation, Mr Fernando Filgueira, President of the Uruguayan National Commission, reviewed the ongoing working lines of action such as the enhancement of tango and candombe, declared Intangible Heritage of Humanity in 2009. He also mentioned the recent addition of "Fray Bentos Industrial Landscape" to the list of World Heritage.

    More than fifty friends and partners of the Organization spent an evening of encounters, memories and new agreements to further strengthen UNESCO's presence in the country.

  • Results of the UNESCO/EU Project on the inclusion of culture in development programmes

    05 June 2015

    Rue Ravenstein 23
    1000 Brussels

    Through exchanges and debates, this high level session draws conclusions from the UNESCO/EU Project, to measure its results and impacts on the systems of governance for culture (partnerships between governments and civil society, inter-Ministerial coordination, innovative funding mechanisms, etc.) and the strengthening of human and institutional capacities in the field of public policies for the cultural and creative industries.

    The discussion is based, in particular, on the effective results of the technical assistance missions. For example: adoption of the first strategy on creative industries in 2013 in Viet Nam; approbation of the creative industries policy in Seychelles and creation of an Agency specially dedicated to the creative industries. Experts and representatives from beneficiary countries share the good practices and lessons learned as well as the challenges they encountered.
    This debate therefore allows us to draw from the lessons learnt in these four years of technical assistance, including methodologies, to reflect upon innovative modes of cooperation for development, and to outline prospects for future actions to ensure the sustainability of the results obtained since 2012.

  • Steering Committee Meeting of the Groundwater Resources Assessment under the Pressures of Humanity and Climate Change (GRAPHIC) Network

    29 May 2015


    UNESCO International Hydrological Programme (UNESCO-IHP) is organizing the Steering Committee Meeting of the Groundwater Resources Assessment under the Pressures of Humanity and Climate Change Network (GRAPHIC) to be held on 29 May 2015 at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France.

    GRAPHIC is a platform for the exchange of knowledge between groundwater scientists, resource managers, and policy makers aiming at promoting and advancing sustainable groundwater management considering projected climate change and linked human effects.
    The meeting aims at reviewing GRAPHIC past activities and discuss GRAPHIC Strategic Plan for upcoming activities (workplan, programme, fundraising strategy). The meeting will also be devoted to present and discuss innovative water resources evaluation (surface water, groundwater, glaciers) for water management decisions and policies through the application of satellites observations (NASA Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment – GRACE).

    The GRAPHIC Steering Committee Meeting will also allow the preparation of GRAPHIC involvement during the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21/CMP11).

  • Africa Week 2015

    26 May 2015

    UNESCO Headquarters

    Celebration of the 2015 Africa Week at UNESCO, on the theme "UNESCO and Africa, 70 years later".
    Programme of 26 May 2015:
    Opening ceremony, Foyer Room I, 11:30-12:00 am
    Cocktail, Piazza Suffren, 12:00-1:00 pm
    Exhibition, Salle des Pas Perdus, 11:30 am-6:00 pm
    Bazar, Salle Miro, 11:30 am-6:00 pm
    Film screening, "Timbuktu" by Abderrahmane Sissako, Room IV, 5:30-7:30 pm

    Programme of 27 May 2015:
    Exhibition, Salle des Pas Perdus, 10:00 am-6:00 pm
    Bazar, Salle Miro, 10:00 am-6:00 pm
    Conferences, Room IV, 10:00 am - 1:00 pm: Round-Table 1 "Africa, Terrorism and Culture of Peace" and 3:00-5:00 pm: Round-Table 2 "UNESCO and Sustainable Development in Africa"
    Film screening, Virunga, by Orlando von Einsiedel, 5:30-7:30 pm (Room tbc)

    Programme of 28 May 2015:
    Exhibition, Salle des Pas Perdus, 10:00 am-6:00 pm
    Bazar, Salle Miro, 10:00 am-6:00 pm
    Cocktail, Piazza Suffren, 1:00-3:00 pm
    Conference of Africafrance Foundation , Room IV, 3:00-5:00 pm
    Film screening "The First Grader" by Justin Chadwick, Room IV

    Programme of 29 May 2015:
    Exhibition, Salle des Pas Perdus, 10:00 am-6:00 pm
    Bazar, Salle Miro, 10:00 am-6:00 pm
    Gala evening, Room I, 6:00 - 8:00 pm

  • World Summit on the Information Society Forum 2015

    25 May 2015

    World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and International Telecommunication Union (ITU)
    Place des Nations
    1211 Geneva

    The World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) Forum 2015 will be jointly organized by UNESCO, ITU, UNCTAD and UNDP in Geneva, Switzerland, from 25 to 29 May 2015. The Forum provides structured opportunities to network, learn and participate in multi-stakeholder discussions and consultations on WSIS implementation.

  • Hari UNESCO Malaysia 2015

    22 May 2015

    Dataran Merdeka, Kuala Lumpur
    Kuala Lumpur

    In order to showcase UNESCO in Malaysia, and Malaysia in UNESCO, Hari UNESCO Malaysia came into celebration annually.
    As the fifth Hari UNESCO Malaysia, the theme for 2015 would touch on the principles of being together. Togetherness encompasses the human aspect of socializing, communicating, interacting, reacting as well as empathizing and understanding one another. This is a tribute to the variety of identities, identified collectively as one.

  • Celebration of the 70th Anniversary of UNESCO through culture, and specifically, Intangible Cultural Heritage.

    05 May 2015

    Golzar Hall, Laleh International Hotel
    Emaarat-e Kushk, No. 31, Corner of Mohanna Alley, Taqavi (Kushk) Str, Northern Ferdowsi Ave
    Iran (Islamic Republic of)

    The Regional Research Centre for Safeguarding Intangible Cultural Heritage in West and Central Asia, under the auspices of UNESCO (Tehran ICH Centre) is going to hold an event on the occasion of the 70th Anniversary of UNESCO.

    The event has been organized in cooperation with UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office (UTCO), Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, and Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO), to highlight the Organization’s achievements in the field of culture, and specifically, Intangible Cultural Heritage.
    The event will be attended by members of the Governing Council to Tehran ICH Centre, representatives of the West and Central Asian States, representatives of concerned Iranian governmental organizations, scholars, experts, NGO’s, and local community representatives.
    The agenda includes key notes and reports, as well as an exhibition and some cultural performances, as side events, to raise awareness on the concept of the Intangible Cultural Heritage and its importance in promoting peace, solidarity, and sustainable development. Projection of a short documentary video on UNESCO constitutes another agenda item.

  • International Jazz Day 2015 - All-Star Global Concert in Paris

    30 April 2015

    UNESCO Headquarters & across the city of Paris.

    The 2015 International Jazz Day celebration will kick off in Paris, France on April 30th with a daylong series of jazz education programs, performances, and community outreach. An evening All-Star Global Concert at UNESCO Headquarters will feature stellar performances by Dee Dee Bridgewater, A Bu (China), Igor Butman (Russia), Herbie Hancock, Al Jarreau, Ibrahim Maalouf (Lebanon), Hugh Masekela (South Africa), Marcus Miller, Guillaume Perret (France), Dianne Reeves, Claudio Roditi (Brazil), Wayne Shorter, Dhafer Youssef (Tunisia) and many other internationally acclaimed artists, with further details to be announced shortly. John Beasley will serve as the evening’s Musical Director.

    The concert from Paris will be streamed live worldwide via the UNESCO, U.S. Department of State, and Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz websites. Daytime events in Paris will include master classes, roundtable discussions, improvisational workshops, and education programs led by world-renowned jazz musicians, educators, and diplomats. In addition to the All-Star Concert, multiple evening concerts and performances will take place across the city of Paris.

    The event will be webcast live at UNESCO Web TV

  • Special event - UNESCO: 70 years in the service of human dignity

    28 April 2015

    UNESCO Headquarters
    7, Place de Fontenoy
    75007 Paris

    On the occasion of its 70th anniversary and of the UN Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB), UNESCO is presenting an emblematic show combining singing, music, and monumental audiovisual screening as well as performing arts, in the presence of Mr Ban Ki-moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations.
    The show retraces the origins of UNESCO and demonstrates how the ideas defended by the Organization, and its operational programs contribute to construct the defenses of peace in the minds of men and women, through education, culture, sciences, information and communication.


  • Making the Pacific Ready for the Tsunami Threat: International Symposium Commemorating 50th Anniversary of the Pacific Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System

    20 April 2015

    NOAA Daniel K. Inouye Regional Center
    Ford Island on the Joint Base Pearl Harbor Hickam military base
    Honolulu, Hawaii,
    United States of America

    This symposium, which commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Pacific Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System in the Pacific, aims to present the achievements of the last 50 years, review the current state of the System, and identify practical and tangible next steps, desirable partnerships, and necessary commitments needed to sustain and evolve the System for the future. It is organized by the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO, the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) and its Tsunami Commission, and the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

    The Pacific Ocean basin is the largest and most tsunami-prone of any of the Earth’s ocean basins. Approximately 75% of the world’s known fatal tsunamis have been generated in the Pacific. Modern tsunami warning system development and coordination of the international tsunami warning efforts started in 1960 after the Chilean earthquake  the strongest registered to date  triggered a tsunami that crossed the Pacific and lead to casualties in Hawaii, Japan and the Philippines.

    The Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Pacific Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System in the Pacific was created as a subsidiary body of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission of UNESCO in 1965 to support Member States in the implementation of effective measures of tsunami warning and mitigation.

  • The UNESCO Executive Board had the honour of receiving H. E. Mrs Michaëlle Jean, Secretary-General of La Francophonie

    20 April 2015

    UNESCO Headquarters | Siège de l'UNESCO
    7, place de Fontenoy
    75007 Paris

    The UNESCO Executive Board had the honour of receiving H. E. Mrs Michaëlle Jean, Secretary-General of La Francophonie on Monday 20 April 2015 .
    This visit took place within the framework of UNESCO’s 70th Anniversary and of a series of events on “UNESCO at 70 and Future Prospects”. This meeting was s organized with the Francophone Group at UNESCO and provides an opportunity to hear from the new Secretary-General of La Francophonie on the close cooperation between UNESCO and this intergovernmental organization

  • Exhibition | Mother in the Sea, Haenyeo - by Joon Choi

    13 April 2015

    UNESCO Headquarters / Siège de l'UNESCO
    125, avenue de Suffren
    75007 Paris

    Exhibition of the renowned Korean advertising photographer, Joon Choi, who followed the Haenyeo (Women of the Sea) for almost a year.
    Haenyeo are female divers in the Korean province of Jeju. They are representative of matriarchal family structure of Jeju island, has long tradition since 7th century. Without any special diving gear, they dive undersea as deep as 5-10m, collect abalone, shell, ceylon moss, seal seed and such. They learn their skills from their mother and start training in the age of eight and begin their profession in the age of fifteen. To become skillful Haenyeo they must learn how to hold their breath, withstand the water pressure, cold temperature of water. Also they need to develop brave instinct for they ofter encounter a big fish that can be threatening. They are the experts of sea life under water geography.

  • Mayor of Istanbul and the Director-General celebrate the 30th anniversary of the inscription of the Historic Areas of Istanbul on the World Heritage List

    08 April 2015

    UNESCO Headquarters | Siège de l'UNESCO
    7, place de Fontenoy
    75007 Paris

    H.E. Mr Kadir Topbas, Lord Mayor of Istanbul, visited UNESCO on the occasion of the Organization’s 70thanniversary, coinciding with the 30th anniversary of the inscription of the Historic Areas of Istanbul on the World Heritage List
    A round-table on heritage conservation in the face of the challenges of urban development was followed by a photographic exhibition on the “Spirit of Istanbul”, presenting the major landmarks of the historic areas of Istanbul, as well as a Gala concert “voices of Istanbul," featuring notably a Mawlawi Sufi ceremony. In recognition of his personal contribution to the conservation of cultural heritage, the Director-General presented the Mayor with a UNESCO certificate as well as the UNESCO Special Medal for the 70th anniversary of the Organization.

  • "Building Peace with Rotary and UNESCO: Inter-Country Committees’ Peace Initiatives”

    04 April 2015

    UNESCO Headquarters | Siège de l'UNESCO
    7, place de Fontenoy
    75007 Paris

    Over 500 Rotary members from more than 20 countries gathered in Paris for a Rotary Conference organized at UNESCO Headquarters, in support of UNESCO’s 70th Anniversary Celebrations.
    The vision, objectives and programmes of Rotary and UNESCO converge on many levels. Both organizations defend education for all regardless of race, gender, beliefs and cultures. They advocate for the protection and diversity of cultures, and for dialogue as a source of tolerance and mutual respect. Building peace through intercultural dialogue was a theme addressed by UNESCO representatives, Rotarians, Rotaractors, and Rotary programme alumni alike.

  • Workshop on community-based inventorying of living heritage

    30 March 2015

    Sao Tome and Community of Boa Morte, Sao Tome and Principe
    Sao Tome
    Sao Tome and Principe

    The National Directorate of Culture of Sao Tome and Principe in cooperation with UNESCO organizes a workshop on the elaboration of community-based inventories of living heritage in the spirit of the 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage. The workshop is made possible thanks to the generous contribution from the Government of Norway to the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund.
    The workshop introduces the concepts, objectives and methods of inventorying and includes practical field work in the community of Boa Morte.
    As part of the capacity-building project to reinforce the safeguarding of living heritage in the Portuguese speaking countries in Africa (PALOP), the workshop gathers some 25 Santomean particpants including stakeholders from local to national levels. With the aim to strengthen regional cooperation among PALOP countries the training is co-facilitated by a Brazilian and a Mozambican expert who has been previously trained through the same programme. Moreover, a culture officer from Cabo Verde attends the workshop in view of similar activities planned in the Archipelago off the coast of Western Africa.

  • Concert dedicated to Malala Yousafzai launches UNESCO’s 70th anniversary celebrations in Peru.

    24 March 2015

    University of Lima´s Zoom Auditorium
    Av. Manuel Olguin s/n

    The UNESCO Office in Peru is pleased to announce the beginning of the activities for the 70th anniversary of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), with a Gala Concert dedicated to the Pakistani young lady Malala Yousafzai. The event organized by the University of Lima will perform, for the first time in South America, the symphonic piece “Alas (a Malala)”, “Wings to Malala”, composed by Arturo Marquez, Mexican composer.
    The Gala Concert to be held on March 24, will feature the participation of prestigious institutions of singing and symphonic music, as the Philharmonic Orchestra of the University of Lima, the National Choir, the National Children's Choir as well as renowned tenors internationally recognized.
    Thus, the University of Lima joins the celebrations for UNESCO’s 70th anniversary, since the Organization granted them in 1999, the UNESCO Chair in Communication and Culture of Peace which distinguishes their educational work and incorporates them to a select network of universities worldwide to develop various academic, research and outreach aimed at civil society.

    The symphonic piece “Alas (a Malala)” “Wings to Malala” was inspired on the young Nobel Peace Prize winner, Malala Yousafzai, for her constant struggle for the right to education, freedom and equality in the world. Pillars that are part of UNESCO’s mandates, in pursuit of a better quality of life for humanity.

    The concert, to be held at the University’s “Zum Auditorium”, will close off with the interpretation of Carmina Burana cantata, by the German composer Carl Off.

    According to Arturo Márquez, composer of “Wings to Malala”, the piece was dedicated to Malala Yousafzai after working together with his daughter, who suggested him to choose the Pakistani young lady due to her history and because she "awakens the consciousness of human beings".

    The composition is a tribute to the courage of a girl who fights for education and to open new paths towards a more equal society.

  • Gala to celebrate UNESCO's 70th Anniversary

    14 March 2015


    With the restaging of the ballet Tula, inspired by the life and work of the renowned Cuban writer Gertrudis Gómez de Avellaneda, the National Ballet of Cuba (BNC) and its director, Prima Ballerina Assoluta and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, Alicia Alonso, will honor the seven decades of the foundation of UNESCO.
    The ballet piece is choreographed by Alonso, drawing from a libretto by José Ramón Neyra. The music is composed by Juan Piñera while costume and stage designs are the work of Salvador Fernández.

    The leading roles will be played by the first BNC dancers, Amaya Rodríguez and José Losada, seconded by principal dancers, soloists and artists.

  • World Radio Day 2015

    13 February 2015

    UNESCO Headquarters

    The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) is asking for participation in the celebrations for World Radio Day on the February 13, 2015. The theme is ‘Youth and Radio’, with the goal of promoting greater participation of youth in radio, not only as listeners, but as producers and broadcasters.

    Radio is the most easily accessible and commonly used form of media that we have. It is an inexpensive medium that requires relatively simple technology and its reach extends from policy makers to remote communities and marginalized groups. Currently, too few programs focus on the concerns of younger generations. This lack of youth participation is made worse by the fact that a career in radio journalism is often difficult and underpaid, regularly requiring aspiring journalists to work for free. In addition to this, young professionals, including journalist and fixers, are particularly at risk in conflict areas because of their lack of preparation, training and support.

    From 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., free admission
    upon presentation of a valid ID, within the limits of the capacity of venues

    FROM 10 A.M.
    Live Broadcasts from radio producers, both French and International
    Hall Segur and Lobby

    “Radio and Youth, state of affairs, inclusion, participation and stereotypes”
    11 a.m.-12 p.m., Miro Room 1, in French
    Participants: Daphne Gastaldi, Journalist for RFI ; Pierre Montel, Delegate from Syndicat national des radios libres (SNRL) ; Emmanuel Semo, Founding president of Radio VL..

    “Empowering Local Radios with ICTs”
    12 p.m.-1 p.m., Miro Room 1, in English
    Participants: The Representatives of Base FM (Namibia), Kyela FM (Tanzania), Mwanedu FM (Kenya), Radio Atlantis (South Africa), Radio Mafeteng (Lesotho), Radio Moanda (DRC), Zambezi FM (Zambia), with Hezekiel Dlamini, UNESCO/Harare ; Michel Kenmoe, UNESCO/Libreville ; Al-Amin Yusuph UNESCO/Dar-es-Salam and Representatives from other Field Offices.

    “Young journalists and fixers: what can be done to improve their safety?”
    2.30 p.m.-3.30 p.m., Miro Room 1, in French
    Participants: Romeo Langlois, Reporter for France 24; Daniel Vallot, Journalist for RFI; Matthieu Mabin, Reporter for France 24 ; Mehdi Benchelah, Programme specialist in the Communication and Information Sector of UNESCO.

    “Syrian Hour: promotion of freedom of expression through radio”
    3.30 p.m.-4.30 p.m., Miro Room 1, in English
    Participants: Journalists from Farah al Nas, Yarmouk FM and Ma’aly Hazzaz, Project Officer from the Communication and Information Sector of UNESCO.

    Radio Favela, by Helvecio Ratton
    Daily life and struggle of four friends, living in a Brazilian slum, who want to start to start a radio station to give voice to the inhabitants of the favelas.Based on a true story.
    1 p.m.-2.30 p.m., Miro Room 3
    92 minutes, original version in Portuguese, subtitled in French.

  • 229 Festivals all over the world celebrating their Festivals in the spirit of Living Traditions

    02 February 2015


    Since 1970, CIOFF (Conseil International des Organisations de Festivals de Folklore et d'Arts Traditionnels) and CIOFF Festivals have been working for the safeguarding, promotion and diffusion of traditional culture.
    At present, CIOFF has 110 member countries all over the world, with 68 National Sections, 12 Associate Members, and 30 Corresponding Members. It is estimated that over 1 million people, including over 30,000 folklore dance and music groups and folk arts organizations, are associated with CIOFF through their National Sections worldwide. All CIOFF Festivals have visiting folklore groups from around the world as their guests, and, all together, they are presenting and sharing their cultures.
    In 2015 CIOFF is celebrating its 45th Anniversary, as well as the 70th Anniversary of UNESCO.

  • Second UNESCO Forum on Global Citizenship Education

    28 January 2015

    UNESCO Headquarters
    7, place de Fontenoy
    75007 Paris

    Building on the outcomes of the First Forum (Bangkok, December 2013) which sought to clarify the conceptual issues around GCE, the Second Forum will focus on future policy directions at the global level, country implementation and expanding partnerships in light of the post-2015 ED agenda.


  • First Regional Meeting of UNESCO Clubs Representatives of Central Asian Countries "The Future Starts Today"

    23 January 2015


    Today, in a period of significant social changes and increasing globalization, we must focus on our renewable resources such as education, cultural diversity and scientific research. At the same time, the achievement of sustainable development is the most essential condition equitable sustainable future building.
    The youth, being the main driving force of modern society development, should have an access to quality education throughout their life. In this regard, cultures play the important role in UNESCO’s activities. It creates best conditions for dialogue, social unity, economical growth and creativity.

  • Bangladesh launches first programme for Celebration of 70th Anniversary of UNESCO

    21 January 2015

    Bangla Academy, Ministry of Cultural Affairs

    In an Inter-Ministerial meeting headed by Hon’ble Minster for Education and Chairman, Bangladesh National Commission for UNESCO (BNCU), on 21 January 2015 at BNCU, a series of progarmmes throughout the year have been envisaged to celebrate the 70th Anniversary of UNESCO in Bangladesh.
    With prominent 70th Anniversary Logo on the backdrop of a double unit book stall has been set up at Ekushey Granthamela (Book Fair) at Bangla Academy as part of the celebration programmes. Mentionable, Ekushey Book Fair at Bangla academy is one of the greatest book fairs in the world which enjoys the gathering of hundreds of writers, publishers and book-lovers. In this month-long (February) book fair literally millions of people from all over the country and also from abroad come to visit and purchase books. This year, the book fair has been expanded to accommodate more stalls on the occasion of four day International Literary Conference at the same venue where scholars from Germany, France, Belgium and India have come to attend. BNCU stall stands in front of the historic Bardhaman House at Bangla Academy premises in cooperation of UNESCO Dhaka and Bangla Academy. UNESCO publications, posters, leaflets, photos, relevant certificates etc are exhibited in the stall.
    The Book Fair and Literary Conference have been inaugurated by the Hon’ble Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Sheikh Hasina on 01 February, 2015. By this time, Honourable Minister for Education, Mr. Nurul Islam Nahid MP, Bangladesh Representative to UNESCO Executive Board, Dr. Kamal Abdul Naser Chowdhury, Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr. Md. Nazrul Islam, Permanent Delegation of Bangladesh to UNESCO and Ambassador of Bangladesh to France Mr. Md. Shahidul Islam and thousands of people have visited the stall and shown their keen interest on UNESCO publications. The event is expected to attract huge media coverage in the coming days which will culminate on 21 February, the International Mother Language Day declared by UNESCO on November 17, 1999.

  • The Dominican Republic celebrates UNESCO’s 70th Anniversary

    15 January 2015

    Santo Domingo
    Dominican Republic

    On 15 January 2015, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, took part in cultural events organized by the Ministry of Culture of the Dominican Republic for the celebration of the 70th Anniversary of UNESCO.

    The Director-General said: “It is now our role to adapt the mandate of UNESCO to the realities of the modern world, to reinvent ourselves to the great opportunities and the many difficult challenges of our world today”
    “It is very symbolic to celebrate UNESCO’s 70th anniversary here, in this country which carries such fruitful heritage as that of the President, thinker and brilliant intellectual, Juan Bosch, who wisely stated ‘the best ideas are bad if they do not become facts”, she said.

    Through the initiative of the Dominican Republic, UNESCO created in 2009 the Juan Bosch Prize to reward the best social science thesis of young researchers. The thesis, on a Latin America and the Caribbean subject, has to have made a significant research contribution to the promotion of social science research geared to social development policies in the region.

    The Director-General added: “It is now our role to adapt the mandate of UNESCO to the realities of the modern world, to reinvent ourselves to the great opportunities and the many difficult challenges of our world today”.

    On the same day, the Director-General visited the Colonial City of Santo Domingo, inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List in 1990. She visited the Casas Reales Museums, the Diego Colon Palace, and assisted in a cultural event organised by institutions associated to the ministry of culture. One of these was the Banda Nacional de Ecuelas Libres. She was accompanied by the Minister of Culture of the Dominican Republic and President of the Dominican National Commission for UNESCO, H.E. Mr José Antonio Rodríguez.

    Highlighting the rich cultural heritage of Santo Domingo, the Director-General said: “Santo Domingo is a city of encounters – here, for the first time, the American, European and African cultures came together for very dynamic systems of knowledge, languages, ideas and experiences.”

  • The Director General puts the celebration of UNESCO’s 70th Anniversary at the heart of her first official visit of 2015.

    05 January 2015


    On 5 January, the UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova gave the keynote speech at the Inaugural Session of the 7th Annual Conference of Ambassadors of the Republic of Turkey, in Ankara. The speech was presented as part of the 70th Anniversary of UNESCO, celebrated in 2015 during her first Official Visit of this year.

    The Director-General said, “A culture of peace cannot be ‘decreed’ …. It must be founded on solidarity, on the basis of human rights, on the principles that have guided UNESCO since 1945” and mentioned that the 70th Anniversary of UNESCO is an opportunity to place UNESCO’s message at the heart of the future agenda.

    The UNESCO Constitution opens with the following words: Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.
    She explained that "We must embrace the integrated essential elements of Dignity, People, Prosperity, Planet, Justice and Partnership" and that this is UNESCO’s message, crafted 70 years ago, and that she believes it has never been so important or relevant as today.

    She further added that "Hard power is not enough – we need soft power to build a culture of peace today, through education, culture, the sciences, communication and information”. This is the power to broker new ideas, to mobilise collective action for essential global goods.

    Irina Bokova mentioned that she is determined to bring all of UNESCO’s experience over 70 years, to deepen mutual understanding and build new bridges of dialogue, and that she believes that we all recognise the growing interdependence of the world – and thus our task is to make this a source of strength rather than conflict. These are the principles that guide UNESCO’s action across the world, and this it is the Organization’s contribution to shaping the new global agenda to follow 2015.

    The Director General re-stated that 70 years after its creation, the mandate of UNESCO has never been so essential and that in this troubled world, we must craft new forms of ‘soft power’ to build peace -- to counter the forces of fragmentation, to bolster social resilience, to safeguard humanity’s heritage of diversity and tolerance on the basis of human rights. 2015 is a turning point and it is appropriate that the Organization’s 70th Anniversary provides the chance to set a new vision for sustainable human development, in harmony with the planet. This is the message that she will continue to deliver as part of her official visits and other events throughout the year.

  • Commemoration ceremony of the centenary of World War I

    11 December 2014

    UNESCO Headquarters

    In the Framework of the 70th anniversary of UNESCO .

    Organized by the Permanent Delegation of India with the support of the Permanent Delegations to UNESCO Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, New Zealand and United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    According to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, by the time the First World War ended in November 1918, more than a million Indian personnel had been sent overseas and over 60,000 troops had sacrificed their lives.

    As far as the western front is concerned, 138,000 soldiers from India were sent to Europe during the First World War. Most of these soldiers were deployed at Ypres (Belgium) and at nearby Neue Chapelle in France during the period 1914-15. A very large number lost their lives in the campaign to halt the German advance and in the counter-attacks that followed the first chemical weapons attacks in early 1915.

    The supreme sacrifice of Indian soldiers in Europe is recorded in the major World War I memorial at Menin Gate, in Ypres, Belgium, and at the memorial for Indian soldiers in near-by Neue Chappelle in France.

    After the war, India participated in the Peace Conference held at Versailles to establish the world’s first inter-governmental organization, the League of Nations. As a signatory of the Treaty of Versailles, India became a founder-member of the League of Nations, the precursor of today’s United Nations. In 1945, when the conference to establish the United Nations was held at San Francisco, India again participated and signed the Charter becoming a founding member of the United Nations. Indeed, India’s contribution to WWI and acceptance as a member of the global polity ensured that India became one of the founding members of other UN bodies such as UNESCO even before Independence.

    P R O G R A M M E

    * French Last Post (Sonnerie aux morts)

    * Welcome remarks by H. E. Ms Ruchira Kamboj,
    Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of India to UNESCO

    * Remarks by Mr. Eric Falt, Assistant Director-General of UNESCO

    * Message of Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO

    * Remarks by H. E. Mr Yves Haesendonck,
    Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Belgium to UNESCO

    *Remarks by H. E. Mr Jean-Pierre Blackburn,
    Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Canada to UNESCO

    * Remarks by H. E. Mr Philippe Lalliot,
    Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of France to UNESCO

    * Remarks by H. E. Mr Michael Worbs
    Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Germany to UNESCO

    * Remarks by Ms Susannah Gordon,
    Permanent Delegate of New Zealand to UNESCO

    * Remarks by H. E. Mr Matthew Sudders,
    Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to UNESCO

    * Presentation by Indian expert Sq. Ldr. Rana Chhina on
    “India and the Great War: An Overview”

    * Presentation by French expert Mr Yves Le Maner on
    “The colonial troops of the French and British Empires during WWI”

    * Closing remarks by H. E. Ms Ruchira Kamboj,
    Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of India to UNESCO
    Commonwealth Last Post

  • Official launching of the website of the Curaçao National Commission for UNESCO in the framework of the 70th anniversary of UNESCO

    01 December 2014

    University of Curaçao Dr. Moises Da Costa Gomez

    On December 1, 2014 the Curaçao national Commission will officially launch its website in the presence of the Chairperson/Minister of education in charge with UNESCO, Committee Members, various stakeholders, NGOs and friends of UNESCO.
    The website will be operational after 17.00 hrs on December 1, 2014. Please take note of this

  • UNESCO's anniversary celebration by San Jose Office

    01 December 2014

    Parque La Libertad, San José, Costa Rica
    San José
    Costa Rica

    UNESCO's anniversaries celebrations: launching of the 70th anniversary of UNESCO, 30th anniversary of UNESCO Office for Central America and 65th anniversary of Costa Rican National Commission
    December 1, 2014 at Parque La Libertad, San José.
    The ceremony is organized along with the Presidency of Costa Rica and the National Commission; President Luis Guillermo Solís will attend.
    Invitations were sent to Cabinet, Supreme Electoral Tribunal, Congress representatives, diplomatic corps, United Nations System, National Academy of Sciences, artistic community, sport community, environmental authorities and NGO, academy and civil society, including Municipality of Desamparados.
    A joint celebration of the three anniversaries was agreed in meeting of DIR/SJO with President Solis.
    The ceremony will include two cultural acts (Orchestra and choral poetry)

  • Celebration of International Day of Tolerance to highlight UNESCO's work towards a culture of peace

    16 November 2014

    Cinema hall, Sa'adabat Complex
    Iran (Islamic Republic of)

    Cultural event on the occasion of International Day of Tolerance to highlight UNESCO's work towards a culture of peace and tolerance, in cooperation with the South African embassy in Tehran.

    We will screen the movie Invictus about Nelson Mandela's early days as president of South Africa and his efforts to use rugby as a means to create a culture of peace, tolerance, and national unity.
    Before and after the movie there will be several speeches on UNESCO's efforts in different areas to contribute to peace, tolerance and dialogue amongst civilizations.
    The South African ambassador will also speak about Nelson Mandela's legacy.

    The audience will consist of the international diplomatic corps in Tehran, representatives of UN agencies, civil society, and government officials

  • Art Exhibit 'Peace Lies in Our Hands'

    15 November 2014

    Peace Museum Vienna
    Blutgasse 3

    As an exercise in peace education the UNESCO Club Vienna initiated a series of workshops with children from diverse socio-economic backgrounds in Vienna to explore in a creative way what peace is. The children created a mural together on canvas incorporating symbols and words for peace. While creating the artwork issues relating to unity and diversity, inclusiveness, inter-connectivity and tolerance were discussed. The hand can caress, it can mould clay, bake bread and it can hold a gun. Issues of personal responsibility and choice were explored.
    The participants had the opportunity to contemplate and share the many different words for peace in their own and other languages thereby provoking an understanding of our common humanity. They also were invited to make a handprint and create a symbol as a personal commitment to peace. Finally, at the end of process they were invited to formulate and contribute a personal message.

    In merging the personal into the collective the Workshops contributed to reinforce bonds of respectful interaction among the participants. This approach has proven to be especially effective in working with persons of diverse cultural backgrounds and language skills. Furthermore, It is envisaged through such workshops to create a global ‘picture book’ to connect children and youth from diverse backgrounds and life situations.

    The outcome of the first 2 Workshops will be exhibited at the Peace Museum Vienna to commemorate International Day for Tolerance - a cornerstone of peace. A series of workshops are planned throughout the 70th anniversary of UNESCO connecting children in Austria and abroad.

  • Series of events to highlight UNESCO's work in natural and social sciences over the past 70 years

    09 November 2014

    Milad Tower, Tehran
    Iran (Islamic Republic of)

    This series of events, organized the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, will include an Official opening ceremony, a seminar on education for peace and sustainable development, a training workshop on science journalism, an open doors at un iversities and science education centers, and a rountable discussion on women, science and the environment.
    From 9-14 November, the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office in partnership with the Iranian Association for the Popularization of Sciences and the Iranian NatCom will organize a series of events on the occasion of international science week. We will use these events to highlight UNESCO's global activities in natural and social sciences over the past 70 years as well as UNESCO's activities in Iran where we have 4 scientific cat II centers and a long history of cooperation in the field of sciences. Day I on 9 Nov will be the opening ceremony with the participation of the Vice Minister of Science, the Deputy Minister of Energy and the Deputy Head of the Department of Environment for Research and Educational Affairs. Day II will be a one-day seminar on science education for peace and sustainable development. Day 3 will be a day of open doors for students from selected districts to visit 10 universities and science education centers. On 12-13 November, we will organize a science journalism workshop. On 13 November there will also be a roundtable discussion on women, science and environment. On 14 November will be the closing ceremony. Throughout the week, there will also be a science exhibition with more than 20 booths from different organisations that UNESCO works with in Iran, which will be open to the general public. Through all of these activities, we will highlight different aspects of UNESCO's work and mandate in cooperation with our key partners in the country.

  • Launch Ceremony for the celebration of the 70th Anniversary of UNESCO - Tribute to Nelson Mandela

    31 October 2014

    UNESCO Headquarters
    125 avenue de Suffren
    75007 Paris

    As one of UNESCO’s most eminent Goodwill Ambassadors and 1991 Laureate of the Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize, Nelson Mandala exemplified the values that lie at the very heart of UNESCO’s mandate through his outstanding contribution to international peace and understanding. On the occasion of the launch of the celebrations to mark its 70th anniversary, UNESCO pays tribute to the ideals of Nelson Mandela, especially to his dedication to reconciliation among communities, to his unerring commitment to democracy and to his struggle against all form of discrimination, which remain a source of inspiration in a world faced with challenges yet in constant evolution.
    The launch of the celebration of the 70th Anniversary of UNESCO is composed of four events :

    - The colloquium entitled « Mandela’s legacy : pathway to a common future of peace and solidarity » (Room II, 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm); The event, opened by the Director General of UNESCO, benefits from the participation of high level personalities, such as Nathi Mthethwa, South Africa Minister of Arts and Culture, representing the Government of South Africa, in particular the African National Congress (ANC), Nelson Mandela’s political party; Professor Akinwande Oluwole Soyinka, Nigerian poet and playright, first African author to be awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature (1986).

    - The “Launch ceremony for the celebration of the 70th anniversary of UNESCO – Tribute to Nelson Mandela”: in the presence of Irina Bokova and Michel Martelly, President of the Republic of Haïti. With the participation of Mory Kante , Guinean Singer and player, The Mahotella Queens, South African Group ; Sally Nyolo, Cameroonian singer, accompanied by David Myriam, Sand Art Artist and Sam Tschabalala, choreographer, and his dancers, for the Gumboot Dance, South African dance born during the apartheid.
    With the support of Mrs. Marianna Vardinoyannis, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador
    (Room I, 7.30 pm to 9 pm).

    - The exhibition "Nelson Mandela - From Prisoner to President" dedicated to Nelson Mandela and his action (Hall Segur, from 27 October to 7 November 2014). Organized with the support of the Apartheid Museum and the Permanent Delegation of South Africa to UNESCO.

    - "Cultivating a Culture of Peace", an exhibition of a selection of 18 photographs of artists nominated for the Alfred Fried photography price - External Gates around UNESCO Headquarters - From 31 October to 31 December 2014

  • 70th Anniversary of UNESCO - Cultivating a culture of peace

    31 October 2014

    UNESCO Headquarters / Siège de l'UNESCO
    125, avenue de Suffren
    75007 Paris

    A selection of 18 photographs realized by winners and finalists for the 2014 Alfred Fried Photography Award.
    An exhibition supported by the Austrian Parliament and Lammerhuber Edition.

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Irina Bokova, Director-General

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70 Days to 70 Years

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Seven stories for seven decades

We bring you a collection of articles, each highlighting a specific area of work in UNESCO's mandate and field of action, spread throughout the Organization's 70-year history

The Preamble to the Constitution of UNESCO declares that “since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defences of peace must be constructed.” In 1945, UNESCO was created in order to respond to the firm belief of nations, forged by two world wars in less than a generation that political and economic agreements are not enough to build a lasting peace. Peace must be established on the basis of humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity.

The growth of global challenges such as inequality, exclusion, violence and sectarianism has resulted in a foreseeable social intolerance that drives humanity apart. The role of UNESCO to accomplish every day its fundamental humanist mission to support people in understanding each other and working together to build lasting peace has become a centre point in making a safer world for diversity and future generations. Be it through education, the sciences, culture, communication and information, peace is promoted in all of the Organization’s fields of work.

It was in 1989 that the concept of Culture of Peace was established at the UNESCO International Congress on “Peace in the Minds of Men” in Yamoussoukro (Côte d’Ivoire). It was at this occasion that UNESCO adopted the vision that peace is much more than the end of armed conflict.

Through learning and understanding, individuals become more interculturally competent to comprehend the richness that lays within a diverse world, resulting in tools for the ongoing construction of lasting peace, when consequently they become prepared to appreciate, rather than reject, diversity as well as to manage conflicts in accordance with the values of pluralism and mutual understanding.

With this objective in mind, UNESCO has constantly developed programmes that have the objective to teach about diversity and the comprehension of the unfamiliar, or that would enable societies to work together and promote a healthy exercise of cooperation.

Following the Congress of Yamoussoukro, UNESCO established in 1989 the Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize, which is intended to honor living individuals and active public or private bodies or institutions that have made a significant contribution to promoting, seeking, safeguarding or maintaining peace. The first laureates were Nelson Mandela, at the time President of the African National Congress and future UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, and Frederik W. De Klerk, President of the Republic of South Africa. They were awarded in 1991 for their contribution to international peace and as a tribute to what they have done to educate their people towards an understanding and an overcoming of prejudice that many would not have thought possible even a few years earlier. Two years later, they shared the Nobel Peace Prize, a clear evidence of UNESCO’s role as a pioneer. Many of past laureates have gone on to win the prestigious Nobel Prize.

After leading the International Decade for a Culture of Peace and Non-violence for the Children of the World (2001-2010), UNESCO is now continuing with the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022), focused on intercultural and interreligious dialogue. It is an opportunity for all of us to join efforts to build a genuine “culture of peace.”

As a sign of unity and to counteract the destruction of cultural heritage and the persecution of minorities, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, launched the #Unite4Heritage campaign in March 2015, which aspires to use the power of social media to create a global movement with young people for them to raise their voice and take action for the safeguarding of heritage under threat, that must be protected as a force for mutual understanding.

Education is vital to achieving acceptance and respect for all people regardless of colour, gender, or national, ethnic or religious identity, being especially important to reach out to children and young people during their formative years through their formal education. Therefore, another project was launched in 2012: the UNESCO-USA-Brazil project “Teaching Respect for All” that aims to design a curricular framework to fight racism and promote tolerance, which countries can adapt to their respective contexts and needs.

In September 2014, the culture of peace has returned to its source in the heart of Africa. UNESCO and Côte d’Ivoire celebrated the origin of the concept that took place in Yamoussoukro twenty-five years ago and that has changed the way we understand peace. This event had the dual aim of measuring the progress made since 1989 and exploring future avenues. In this regard, UNESCO and the Government of the Republic of Angola are scheduled to co-organize a biannual Pan-African Forum for a Culture of Peace in Africa, entitled “Biennale of Luanda”, in September 2015.

As said by UNESCO’s Director-General “Peace is more than the absence of war, it is living together with our differences – of sex, race, language, religion or culture – while furthering universal respect for justice and human rights on which such coexistence depends.”


Peace is reverence for life.
Peace is the most precious possession of humanity.
Peace is more than the end of armed conflict.
Peace is a mode of behaviour.
Peace is a deep-rooted commitment to the principles of liberty, justice, equality and solidarity among all human beings.
Peace is also a harmonious partnership of humankind with the environment.
Today, on the eve of the twenty-first century, peace is within our reach.

Yamoussoukro Declaration

UNESCO: Building peace in the minds of men and women

Just 50 years ago, in April 1965, the Pacific Tsunami Warning System came into being under the auspices of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC). To mark this anniversary, and celebrate the system’s numerous accomplishments, an international symposium was held in Honolulu, Hawaii (USA) on 20 and 21 April.

7.11 pm, 22 May, 1960. An earthquake measuring 9.5 on the Richter scale – the most powerful on record – occurred south of Chile, generating a tsunami that battered the South American coastline for over 4,000 kilometres. Waves up to 25 metres high crashed onto the shores of Chile, between Concepcion and the Chiloe Islands, closest to the epicenter.

Fifteen hours later the tsunami, which by then had travelled 10,000 kilometres, struck Hawaii, then Japan and the Philippines. The final death toll was over 2000. Damages were estimated at around 24 million dollars (almost 200 million dollars at today’s values).

© ITIC - One of the early posters prepared by the International Tsunami Information Centre (ITIC).

The scale of the disaster highlighted the need for an alert system for the Pacific, where 75% of the world’s deadliest tsunamis occur. In 1965, the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Pacific Tsunami Warning and Mitigation System* came into being under leadership of UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC).

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre, the system’s operational nerve centre, was also established. Based in Hawaii, it is run by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA, U.S.A) and cooperates with the North-West Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre in Japan. It evaluates threats when earthquakes occur and warns countries that lay in the path of any resulting tsunami.

Organised by NOAA, the IOC and the International Union of Geodesy and Geophysics (IUGG) the international conference in Honolulu will trace the history of this exemplary scientific programme.



Fifty years after its creation, the Intergovernmental Coordination Group counts 46 member states * and the system has evolved beyond issuing warnings to include work on loss prevention, preparing populations to respond to tsunami threats, and technology transfer.

© DIPECHO-ACSUR - Tsunami Education and awareness activities, Nicaragua.

The Pacific tsunami Warning System has direct access to more than 150 seismic stations around the world which provide information on all earthquakes of 5.5 magnitudes or more. It also receives data from tide gauges and tsunami-metres throughout the Pacific that verify whether a tsunami has been generated and estimate its size. These tsunami-metres allow for greater precision in calculating tsunami risks, and mean that warnings can be issued within five or ten minutes of an earthquake occurring.

The Pacific model has been used as a model for three other systems, launched after the deadly tsunami of December 2004, to protect most exposed regions, including the Indian Ocean, the Caribbean, the North-East Atlantic and Mediterranean.

While undeniably successful, the system still has gaps. “Going the last mile” remains a challenge, because even if the system can alert national authorities quickly, the message must then be relayed to vulnerable coastal populations that risk could be hit minutes after an earthquake happens.

Financing is also an issue. Maintaining the warning system has a cost – estimated between 50 and 80 million dollars a year. But to save lives and limit the damage wreaked by tsunamis, it’s a price that must be paid.


*Originally known as the International Coordination Group for the Tsunami Warning System in the Pacific.

**Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, Canada, Chili, China, Colombia, Cook Islands, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, France, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Mexico, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Palau,  Panama, Papua new Guinea, Peru, Philippines,  Russian Federation, Soloman Islands, Samoa, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, Tokelau, Tonga, Tuvalu, United Kingdom, United States of America, Vanuatu, Viet Nam.

50 years of tsunami warning in the Pacific

Freedom of expression is the cornerstone of democracy. UNESCO is mandated to protect and promote freedom of expression, both online and offline. Its Constitution calls on Member States to advance mutual knowledge and understanding between peoples through the “free flow of ideas by word and image.”

Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right enshrined in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Along with its corollaries of freedom of information and press freedom, freedom of expression serves as an enabler of all other rights. The Organization recognizes that human rights apply equally online and offline. Therefore, UNESCO is engaged in examining issues of freedom of expression and privacy, access, and ethics on the Internet.

The Organization has a long-running involvement in issues pertaining to the Internet, including the World Summit on the Information Society and the Internet Governance Forum. Journalists and media professionals are essential to our enjoyment of the “right to know.” Therefore, they must be able to work in an environment that allows for free and independent reporting. UNESCO supports independent media in conflict areas and countries in transition to enable them to play an active role in conflict prevention and resolution and the transition towards stable democracy.

To raise awareness for the fundamental role that the press plays in society and for the need to secure the security of media workers, the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize was created in 1997. Named after Guillermo Cano, the Colombian newspaper editor murdered in 1986 by the drug-trafficking mafia he had bravely denounced, the Prize honours a person, organization or institution that has made an outstanding contribution to the defence and promotion of press freedom.

UNESCO actively promotes the safety of journalists, believing they have the right to work free from the threat of violence to ensure the right to freedom of opinion and expression for all. The Organization has championed the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity (UN Plan), which is the first concerted effort within the UN family to address these issues via a multi-stakeholder and holistic approach.  It is now a global reference point that has been highlighted in UN General Assembly, Human Rights Council, and European Union’s resolutions and policy.

The UN Plan was initiated through the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC). The IPDC is committed to promoting media independence, pluralism and contributing to sustainable development, democracy and good governance by strengthening the capacities of free and independent media, as well as the development of media. Since its creation in 1980, the IPDC has supported over 1,700 media development projects in some 140 countries.

Freedom of expression and information are pillars of a healthy democratic society and for social and economic growth, allowing for the free flow of ideas necessary for innovation and bolstering accountability and transparency. “Journalism thrives when media is free and independent, when journalists are safe to report, when impunity is the exception,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.

Freedom of expression: A fundamental human right underpinning all civil liberties

The first article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights affirms that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights.” Since its creation 70 years ago, UNESCO has tirelessly worked to defend and promote this fundamental idea.

In 1949, UNESCO launched a major global program to combat racism, established in collaboration with leading intellectuals including Claude Lévi-Strauss, Alva Myrdal, Alfred Métraux and Michel Leiris. The Declaration proclaimed that theories about racial superiority were both scientifically and morally barren. It led to a series of similar statements on racism, including the landmark Declaration on Race and Racial Prejudice (1978), which argued for implementing a number of policies in order to combat racism and inequalities.

Over the years, UNESCO has drawn on the full force of its mandate to combat all forms of racism. As early as 1966, UNESCO recognized Apartheid as a “crime against humanity”. Nelson Mandela – a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador and winner of our Félix Houphouët-Boigny Peace Prize – embodied the universal aspiration for freedom that stands at the heart of UNESCO’s mission.

UNESCO has implemented human rights education in school curricula globally, thus transmitting the history of the darkest pages of the past – in particular slavery, the slave trade, the Holocaust and other genocides. In 1994, the Slave Route Project was launched to promote the development of scientific research about the transatlantic slave trade, and to deepen the world’s understanding of the ideological foundations of racism.

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Following the World Conference against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance, UNESCO adopted, in 2003, a new Integrated Strategy to Combat Racism, Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerance. A shining example of this Strategy is the International Coalition of Cities against Racism, a network of cities interested in sharing experiences to improve their policies to fight racism, discrimination, xenophobia and exclusion. UNESCO has also partnered with leading sports clubs such as FC Barcelona, FC Malaga and Juventus FC to fight against racism and discrimination.

UNESCO unites all its fields of expertise in the struggle against racial discrimination. Education provides one important way of combating stereotypes and fighting racial prejudice. It is imperative that schools teach respect for others, and appreciation for the rich variety of our world's cultures, by fostering knowledge and understanding as the basis for greater interaction and dialogue.

“The equal dignity and rights of every individual must remain the starting point for all action, and the measure of its success. This requires dialogue on the basis of respect. It calls for understanding the wealth that lies in diversity. It means that all voices must be heard and all individuals included,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.

UNESCO – Leading the world’s fight against racism for 70 years

Knowledge and information have significant impact on people’s lives. Their association, particularly through Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs), has the power to transform economies and societies. Knowledge societies must build on four pillars: freedom of expression; universal access to information and knowledge; respect for cultural and linguistic diversity; and quality education for all. UNESCO works to create inclusive knowledge societies and empower local communities by increasing access to, preservation and sharing of information and knowledge in all of the Organization’s fields of work. 

“UNESCO has been a pioneer in enlarging our vision of technology, in moving beyond infrastructure to human needs. We cannot just invest in technology -- we need to invest in ecosystems,” declared UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova.

The Organization’s thrust to create knowledge societies has its base on the conviction that universal access to information is essential to building peace, sustainable economic development, and intercultural dialogue. Therefore, UNESCO has created several tools and programmes to promote ‘Openness’ in content, technology, and processes through awareness raising, policy formulation and capacity building. 

Among these solutions, Open Educational Resources pave the way for universal access to high quality education by allowing the free use, adaptation and distribution of teaching, learning or research materials. In parallel, in order to help reduce the gap between industrialized countries and those in the emerging economy, UNESCO has decided to adopt an Open Access Policy for its publications by making use of a new dimension of knowledge sharing – Open Access.

Central to its mandate of promoting peace and intercultural dialogue, UNESCO also supports the preservation of documentary heritage by strengthening existing preservation frameworks, and emphasizes long-term preservation of digitized and digitally-born information. In 1992, the Organization established the Memory of the World Programme, which gathers some of humanity's most remarkable documentary heritage for the benefit of all, for the enjoyment and knowledge of future generations. 

UNESCO equally encourages multilingualism and respect for cultural diversity in cyberspace. It promotes local content production in different languages and contributes to international debates on internet governance, through participation in the Internet Governance Forum (IGF) and the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS).

Changes brought about by the rapid development of ICTs not only opened wonderful opportunities to humankind but also posed unprecedented ethical challenges. The ability to express one’s self freely and globally has caused one of the major dilemmas regarding ethical challenges in the 21st century, for along with the benefits of a digitally connected world came the threats of misuse and abuse, the explicit prejudice, lack of mutual respect and radicalization. As such, UNESCO hosted an international conference, “Youth and the Internet”, which aimed at providing effective tools in response to the use of Internet in fuelling violent extremism. 

“UNESCO’s position is clear – the Internet and new ICTs must be platforms for positive engagement, peace, promoting respect for human  rights and dignity, enabling dialogue and mutual understanding,” said the Director-General. 

For this, UNESCO counts on the help of its Member States and international organizations to ensure that everyone can have access to ICTs and information. 


Knowledge is power. Information is liberating.

Education is the premise of progress, in every society, in every family.

– Kofi Annan

Knowledge societies: The way forward to build a better world

Literacy is much more than an educational priority – it is the ultimate investment in the future and an integral part of a set of competencies required in the twenty-first century.

Since its creation, UNESCO has tirelessly promoted the cause of education as the strongest foundation for peace, bringing sustainability to all development. According to the UNESCO Institute of Statistics, the illiterate adult population has been reduced by more than 100 million people between 1990 and 2012, but 775 million adults, including 122 million youth between the ages of 15 and 24, remain illiterate. UNESCO is committed to expand quality education for all, throughout life.

For the seven decades since its creation, UNESCO has promoted literacy for all to ensure that every person enjoys the basic right to literacy. “Literacy not only changes lives, it saves them,” says UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova. “It is one of the most efficient ways of improving the health of mothers and children, understanding doctors’ prescriptions and gaining access to healthcare.” It is the most powerful way to shape the values, skills and knowledge we need to build the future we want.

In 1966, UNESCO’s General Conference created International Literacy Day, celebrated each year since then on 8 September. In 1967, UNESCO awarded its first-ever literacy prize bestowed in recognition of the efforts of communities and individuals who have helped mobilize public opinion on behalf of adult literacy. Today, the UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Prize and UNESCO Confucius Prize for Literacy continue to honor excellence and innovation in promoting literacy throughout the world.

“Investing in literacy programs is a sensible and essential development choice. Literacy is a key component of strategies to promote sustainable development and peace,” said Irina Bokova.

Through education, UNESCO clears the path for peace

World Heritage is a simple idea, but a revolutionary one – that the world hosts cultural and natural heritage of universal value, which humanity must protect together, as its indivisible legacy.

Saving the temples of Egypt and dismantling, stone by stone, the Abu Simbel temple in the early 1960s was a first act to recognize this idea. UNESCO launched an international safeguarding campaign to save monuments in Nubia from being flooded by the waters of Lake Nasser. The construction of the Aswan High Dam in Egypt drew unprecedented international attention to the protection of cultural heritage. At that time, many people thought they had to choose between culture and development, between flourishing crops and the traces of a glorious history. UNESCO has shown that we can have both.

In 1965, the Honorable Russell E. Train co-spearheaded a drive for an international convention to protect both cultural and natural heritage, which would become the UNESCO World Heritage Convention. He understood the importance of heritage as a bulwark against extremism, as a force to strengthen what he called “a sense of kinship with one another as part of a single, global community.”

UNESCO recognizes cultural and natural sites of outstanding universal value, and protects them for the benefit of all. As the basis for dialogue and mutual understanding, safeguarding our common heritage is a shared responsibility that requires cooperation between all States Parties, along with civil society, local communities and the private sector. For instance, a project to preserve the statues on Easter Island in Chile is led by scientists from the Nicolaus Copernicus University of Toruń in Poland.

Today, the Convention has reached almost universal membership, with more than 1,000 sites inscribed. Joining all these dots paints a new map of the world, a map for peace and dialogue. “Our greatest challenge is no longer only to save temples. It is to respond to the pressures of climate change, rapid urbanization and mass tourism, economic development and natural disasters, and also, in some cases, to the lack of appropriate capacities and funding to preserve cultural heritage. We must invent and forge new alliances and funding models, new management approaches, new ways to ensure different constituencies feel responsible for the collective preservation of cultural heritage. We need to share best practices to protect monuments as well as more complex properties, such as cultural landscapes, historic cities, transboundary sites,” said UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova for the 40th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention.

We must build on the power of such heritage as a source of identity and cohesion at a time of change. This is why UNESCO is so firmly committed to safeguarding and promoting cultural and natural heritage, in all its forms – tangible, intangible and documentary. At a time of unprecedented ‘cultural cleansing,’ cultural eradication and cultural looting, protecting heritage must be an integral part of all peacebuilding.

Abu Simbel: The campaign that revolutionized the international approach to safeguarding heritage

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Historical speeches

Throughout UNESCO's 70 years history, all Directors-General as well as other prominent figures have made important statements and speeches presenting their vision, ideas and envisaged roles for the Organization and its mandate to construct the defences of peace and build a culture of soft power in the service of education, the sciences, culture and communication. We bring you here a selection of some of these important elements of UNESCO's essence.

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Commemorative items

Articles specially created for the 70th Anniversary of UNESCO, available at the

UNESCO Book and Gift Shop
7, place de Fontenoy
F-75352 Paris 07 SP
Tel.:+33 (1) 45 68 03 70

70th Anniversary Medal of UNESCO in old Bronze and Silvered Bronze

The 70th Anniversary of UNESCO Medal symbolizes peace: the obverse displays the number 70 inside which is engraved the word ‘Peace’ in 6 languages : English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic and Chinese. The special 70th Anniversary logo is featured on the reverse. The medal was minted by Arthus-Bertrand, established in 1803, creator of medals, badges, decorations, jewelry and prestigious objects. 
This patina finish medal is available in old bronze and bronze silvered.
Diameter: 65mm – Weight : 195,2 grams
Price :
in old Bronze: 55,00€
in Silvered Bronze: 70,00€

“A Candle for Human Rights” by Guila Clara Kessous

Sweet and fruity, “A Candle for Human Rights” has been created by UNESCO Artist for Peace, Clara Guila Kessous, as a tribute to UNESCO’s 70th Anniversary. Actress, stage designer, director and teacher, Guila Clara Kessous was honored by UNESCO in 2012 for her dedicated work  to memory and to rapprochement of peoples through theater and scenography. By purchasing this candle you will be supporting Mécénat Chirurgie Cardiaque.

Poids : 400 grams.
Price : 57 €

70th Anniversary of UNESCO Panorama Card

Foldup Panorama Card made of paper with envelope and a sheet of paper for writing a message. A tailor-made creation for the 70th Anniversary of UNESCO with the Eiffel Tower in the background, the Reitzel Globe and UNESCO Building in the foreground and 70th Anniversary logo laser-engraved. A souvenir gift, that can be sent as a card or once folded up will display in your office as a decorating object. This Panorama Card exists in 6 colours : dark blue, green, blue, silver, violet, pink. 

Price : 9.90 €

World Heritage Greetings cards 70th Anniversary of UNESCO

These greeting cards specially created for the 70th Anniversary of UNESCO by photographer Jean-Jacques Gelbart, represent UNESCO World Heritage sites : Paris, Banks of the Seine in France, Petra in Jordan, Ancient Ksour of Ouadane, Chinguetti, Tichitt and Oualata in Mauritania, Medina of Fez in Morocco, Royal Tombs of the Joseon Dynasty in Korea, Tyre in Lebanon.

Price : 4€

UNESCO 70th Anniversary Commemorative Coins

UNESCO, the Royal Australian Mint, the Royal Canadian Mint, and La Monnaie de Paris have created a collection of commemorative coins, which are themed on the Great Barrier Reef (Australia), the Rocky Mountains (Canada), Mount Fuji (Japan), the monuments of les Invalides and le Grand Palais (France). Crafted in both gold and silver, the collection reflects the natural beauty of each site, as part of UNESCO World Heritage.

The coins are available through our distributor PAMP : http://www.pamp.com/unesco

More information


70th Anniversary of UNESCO Glass Paperweight

Cubical Glass Paperweight nested in a carton box. Specially created for the 70th Anniversary of UNESCO, this Paperweight stays upright due to a sliced base and is engraved with the Reitzel Symbolical Globe and the 70th Anniversary logo in 3 Dimensions.

Dimensions : Cube 6x6 cm

Weight : 592 grammes 

Price : 45 €

70th Anniversary of UNESCO Mug

This ceramic white mug which proudly displays the 70th Anniversary logo in English and French has been created in limited edition.

Capacity :250ml, (H) 92mm x (ø) 80mm

Price : 8,50 €

70th Anniversary of UNESCO Magnet

White round magnet of 56mm diameter designed with the logo and the dates of the 70th Anniversary of UNESCO.

Price : 2 €

70th Anniversary of UNESCO Pen

This brass roller pen with a magnetic cap and its leatherette case will fit easily into all pockets! Created by designer Matsuo Koji, famous for the minimalistic approach, pure lines and high technical standards of his work. The 70th Anniversary logo is designed on the cap, black ink.

Exists with a blue, red, pink, green, silver and black cap.

Dimensions : 125mm. Weight : 23grams.

Price : 16 €

70th Anniversary of UNESCO Stamp

This for ever stamp is usable for any sending, up to 20g, towards metropolitan France and French Overseas Territories.

It is an ecological stamp, part of the Green letter stamp category, not using expedition by air (except for Corsica and French Overseas) and for which the regular shipment is within two days.

It is only for sale at the UNESCO Book and Gift Shop.

Price : 0,95 €