39th Session of the General Conference

3 November 2017

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Highlights

  • The UNESCO-Japan Prize on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) was awarded in a ceremony event by UNESCO’s Director-General and the Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology to three organizations promoting ESD, respectively, at the local, regional and international level: Sihlengeni Primary School from the Republic of Zimbabwe; the social enterprise Zikra for Popular Learning from the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan; and the NGO Hard Rain Project from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

    The Director-General of UNESCO presented the award, saying “The Sustainable Development Goals mark strong recognition by the international community that countries need ESD to make the transition to green societies.” Each laureate received a diploma, an award and US $50,000. Japanese Minister of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, H.E. Yoshimasa Hayashi congratulated the winners, and encouraged their future efforts: “Receiving the award is the start of a journey rather than the finish line. I look forward to the varied efforts by laureates leading to further progress on ESD and greater quality of education around the world.”

  • UNESCO’s Intersectoral team on the prevention of violent extremism and the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development organized an event on the prevention of violent extremism to launch recent UNESCO’s publications on this issue. The event was opened by UNESCO`s Director General, who highlighted the need for “soft power” to prevent violent extremism worldwide. The Director General’s intervention was followed by the presentation of UNESCO’s latest publications on PVE: UNESCO’s intersectoral brochure “UNESCO in Action. Preventing Violent Extremism Worldwide”; the Education Sector’s publication “Preventing violent extremism through education: a guide for policy-makers”; #YouthWagingPeace: UNESCO MGIEP’s Youth-led guide on Preventing Violent Extremism through Education” produced by the Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development; the Communication and Information Sector’s publication “Youth and Violent Extremism on Social Media: Mapping the Research”, and the Communication and Information Sector’s publications “Terrorism and the Media: A Handbook for Journalists”.

    The launch was followed by a discussion on what works and what does not in the prevention of violent extremism from the perspectives of education, internet, youth and culture. The panelists were Pekka Puustinen, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Finland to UNESCO and co-chair of the Group of Friends of PVE, Chafica Haddad, Chair of the Intergovernmental Information for All Programme (IFAP), Carolyn Nash, Coordinating Lead Author for the #YouthWagingPeace – UNESCO MGIEP Youth-led Guide on Prevention of Violent Extremism through Education, and Leonardo Párraga, Executive Director, Fundación BogotArt / 10th UNESCO Youth Forum participant.

    Linked to the side event, the Anne Frank House’s traveling exhibition “Let me be myself - The lifestory of Anne Frank” displayed outside Room X and XI.

  • UNESCO and Sweden held an event to launch the project “Our Rights, Our Lives, Our Future: Sweden’s support to UNESCO for expanding comprehensive sexuality education in Africa” to commemorate their partnership to support positive health, gender and education outcomes for adolescents and young people in sub-Saharan Africa. This event featured interventions by UNESCO Director-General, the Minister for Education of Sweden, H.E. Gustav Fridolin, and Ambassador to UNESCO for Zambia, Humphrey Chilu Chibanda, representing General Education Minister for Zambia, H.E. Dennis Wanchinga.