Building peace in the minds of men and women

Agenda 2030: Challenges for us all

For almost 70 years, the UNESCO Courier has served as a platform for international debates on issues that concern the entire planet. This first issue of 2017, which marks the Courier’s revival after a five-year break, is no exception to the rule: experts, public figures, artists and journalists from around the world have come together to discuss topical issues.

Climate change and sustainable energy, the future of cities and Smart Cities, access to water and the state of groundwater, educational policies and the importance they give to girls, new technologies and their role in establishing efficient democratic institutions, alliances and partnerships that must be forged to advance towards a better world — these are some of the subjects that constitute the main dossier of this issue, Wide Angle, dedicated to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

UNESCO is closely associated with the development and implementation of this international road map that aims to achieve the 17 objectives established by the UN, which is convinced that culture, though officially absent from the SDGs, is at the heart of sustainable development policies.

Elyx, the jovial character created by Yacine Ait Kaci (YAK) and designated virtual ambassador of the UN, supports the Courier in its mission to make palpable the different realities around the world, illustrated by a number of SDGs and highlight the players who participate in achieving this agenda for everyone. These include the international community, states, civil society, local communities and authorities, the private sector, and the partnerships that these players set up between each other.

The Ideas section, which is dedicated to another highly topical issue — the current perception of Islam — suggests considering a reinterpretation of the Koran and the sharia. This issue of the Courier also features a reference text on the Different Aspects of Islamic Culture. Launched in 1977, in the wake of a monumental work produced by UNESCO Publishing on general and regional histories, this comprehensive work was completed in November 2016, with the publication of two volumes that constitute an important contribution to the current debate on Islam.

In the Trending section for the April-June 2017 quarter, the Courier celebrates the launch of the World Book Capital programme in Conakry on 23 April and the International Jazz Day, with the Cuban pianist Chucho Valdés on 30 April in Havana. The Courier also participates in the celebration of several other international days such as the World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, the World Oceans Day on 8 June, and the International Day for the Elimination of Sexual Violence in Conflict on 19 June.

This issue of the Courier also invites you to become better acquainted with Our guest, Alphadi, the “Wizard of the desert”. Finally, join us as we delve into the peculiar and largely unknown world of Jeju Island’s haenyeo, the women divers from the Republic of Korea. Discover, through the stunning images in the Zoom section, the exceptional destinies of these extraordinary women.

Jasmina Šopova, Editorial Director


April - June 2017