3 Oct 2017 - UNESCO holds three-day International Expert Meeting

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Yazd- 3 October 2017, The UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office and the International Centre on Qanats and Historic Hydraulic Structures (ICQHS) kicked off a three-day international expert meeting in Yazd, Iran, about Climate Change Adaptation and Indigenous Knowledge of Water Management.

The meeting brought together imminent scientists from France, Germany, Iran, Kenya, Pakistan and Switzerland, as well as Iranian NGO representatives of indigenous communities from Shahsevan in Ardebil; Bakhtiari tribe; central desert tribes, including Abolhassani, Chodari, Rezaabad and Torout; Bafgh camel herders; marine and coastal communities from Qeshm island; and Baloch tribes. Small-scale farmers from Fars province were also present.

“There is no permanent river in Yazd province, also seasonal rivers have dried up. Therefore, we rely on groundwater, which is a limited resource and its table is going down. Considering the rich water management traditions passed on by our ancestors, we along with UNESCO have decided to hold this expert meeting to learn from existing indigenous knowledge”, mentioned Mr. Ghafori, the acting Director of ICQHS.

Ms. Esther Kuisch-Laroche, the Director of the UNESCO Cluster Office in Tehran, stated that UNESCO’s Climate Change Policy makes explicit reference to local and indigenous knowledge systems, including local-level climate observations, understanding strategies devised by local communities to cope with changing environments, and identifying needs and ensuring the relevance of adaptation measures for vulnerable populations in remote areas such as small islands, high altitudes, humid tropics and the circumpolar North.

“Understanding indigenous knowledge of nature and the sustainable use of natural resources, long-term observations of environmental change, and community-based strategies for resilience, are essential in the face of increasingly extreme weather events, droughts, floods, and unsustainable use of natural resources around the world”, said the UNESCO Representative. “Traditional knowledge systems, many of them embedded in a remarkable diversity of cultures and sustaining a broad spectrum of ways of life, constitute a rich and diverse intellectual heritage, whose importance for attaining international development objectives, including the Sustainable Development Goals, should not be underestimated”.

Dr. Nejadkourgi of Yazd University stated that Yazd is a true example of adaptability. The materials used in construction, the innovative cooling system used in wind towers, the qanats system to transport water, are all systems that should inspire us to devise adaptation strategies that are compatible with the local environment.

During the first two days of the meeting, experiences from local practices in Ghana, India, Kenya, Pakistan were shared with the participants. Ms. Niloofar Sadeghi, Programme Officer for Natural Sciences at the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, provided an overview of UNESCO’s policies and initiatives to incorporate indigenous knowledge in climate change assessment and adaptation.

The indigenous communities coming from across Iran also shared their observations about the changing climate and their innovative measures to adapt to the climate change. 

The meeting will run from 3 to 5 October 2017 in the historic city of Yazd. On the final day of the meeting, the participants will be visiting Hassanabad-Moshir Qanat and Pahlavanpour garden in the city of Mehriz.

The Persian Qanats and the historical city of Yazd have both registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

 

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21 Sep 2017 - UNESCO Celebrates International Day of Peace

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In the evening of 20 September, UNESCO marked the International Day of Peace 2017 with a unique even at Azadi (freedom) Tower – one of Tehran’s most iconic landmarks.

The commemoration of Peace Day that was organized by the UNESCO Cluster Office in Tehran, Roudhaki Foundation, the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, and Day Sun Cultural Institute focused on this year’s global theme “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All”.

“ Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences, and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace, which is at the heart of UNESCO’s mission’’, said the Director and Representative of the UNESCO Cluster Office in Tehran, Ms. Esther Kuisch Laroche in her opening remarks.

She cited, “Since wars begin in the minds of men, it is in the minds of men that the defenses of peace must be built” from UNESCO’s constitution that was written by the founding Member States of UNESCO 72 years ago, and added that we needed to create solidarity among human kind, by fostering greater dialogue, understanding and trust between peoples.

She also underscored the role of education, sciences, culture and arts as important instruments for bring people closer together and building a culture of peace and stressed that music and arts have a unique way of transcending boundaries and connecting people around the world.

After the opening speeches, the audience watched a video mapping show directed by Mr. Amir Reza Salari, called “Thirty Birds of Peace”, which received a very enthusiastic response from the public that had gathered at Azadi square.

The Peace Day Celebration was attended by Governmental officials, foreign diplomats, representatives of UN agencies and NGOs, renowned Iranian artists and the general public.

The International Day of Peace ("Peace Day") is observed around the world each year on 21 September. This year’s theme honors the spirit of “Together for Peace”, a global initiative that promotes respect, safety and dignity for everyone forced to flee their homes in search of a better life.

To learn more about Peace Day, please see: http://www.un.org/en/events/peaceday/

 

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20 Sep 017 - Message from Ms Irina Bokova

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University sport is very highly regarded in the world of sport and education. Fully integrated into the learning curriculum of the citizens of today and tomorrow, it represents a vital aspect of individuals’ development and fulfilment. The pedantic repetition of “Anima Sana in Corpore Sano / A Healthy Soul in a Healthy Body” is not enough to attain the ideal of harmony between body and soul. This maxim must be translated into specific public policies and practices in order to give it substance throughout people’s lives, starting at the youngest age. University sport is central to such measures: it nurtures a love for sport, gives it structure and allows champions to flourish, while passing on the values of an open mind, fair play, solidarity and excellence, which benefit society as a whole.

International Day of University Sport is an opportunity to underline the social role played by universities and their curricula, making sport available for everyone in order to foster the regular practice of a physical activity in the greatest number of people. It also allows UNESCO to reaffirm its committed support to personal and collective development through sport and education, for the spread of a genuine sports culture, which we believe inherent to a culture of peace. Those are the stated principles of the International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport and the International Convention against Doping in Sport. In this spirit, UNESCO is proud to support the International University Sports Federation and work together towards upholding a high-quality sporting environment so that all societies dare to dream faster, higher and stronger.

 

 

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13 September 2017 - UNESCO and the Iranian Artists' Forum celebrate Peace Day

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On 13 September 2017, UNESCO kicked off a week of celebrations on the occasion of the International Day of Peace, with an event at the House of Artists in Tehran.

The event consisted of a series of short artistic performances, including poetry, music, film and theater.

Mr. Rajabi Memar, Director General of the Iranian Artists' Forum, welcomed the guests and talked about the important role of art for peace. "Art and artists must make all efforts to build peace", he said.
Ms. Esther Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, talked about UNESCO's mission to create solidarity among human kind, by fostering greater dialogue, understanding and trust between peoples. "At UNESCO, we believe that education, sciences, culture and arts are all important tools to bring us closer together", she said.

"Music and arts have a unique way of transcending boundaries and connecting people around the world - and across generations, cultures and gender, in a very powerful and personal manner", stated Ms. Kuisch Laroche in her opening speech.

The International Day of Peace is celebrated globally, each year, on the 21st of September. This year, the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office will be marking this important day with a series of events organized by different partners.

For more information on the International Day of Peace, please visit:
 http://internationaldayofpeace.org/

 

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10 September 2017 - The Literacy Movement Organization of Iran launches new Educational Mobile Application

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On 10 September 2017, the Literacy Movement Organization (LMO), UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office and Bel-Rouzaneh Dairy Company jointly launched a new educational mobile application Healthy Family, on the occasion of the 2017 International Literacy Day with the theme of ‘Literacy in a Digital World’.

The application is based on the booklet “The Healthy Family”, which was co-developed and published in 2016 by LMO, UNESCO and Bel-Rouzaneh Dairy Company. The booklet was widely disseminated to adult learners enrolled in literacy classes.

Inspired by the success of the booklet, LMO decided to partner once again with UNESCO and Bel-Rouzaneh Dairy Company to develop an innovative and free-of-charge mobile application in an effort to reach more learners.

The e-learning software is the first interactive educational mobile application on family health in Iran. It targets low-literate and semi-literate learners and promotes health, nutrition, and water saving. With the ability to run on iOS, and Android devices, the application is downloadable on mobile phones and tablets. The application is expected to be used by literacy learners enrolled in classes at Community Learning Centres (CLCs) across the Islamic Republic of Iran.

The mobile application was formally unveiled by Dr. Ali Bagherzadeh, Vice-Minister of Education and Head of LMO, Dr. Nasiri Gheydari, Secretary General of the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, Dr. Mohsen Haji Mirzaei, Secretary of the Cabinet of Ministers, Ms. Esther Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office and Mr. François-Xavier Moreau, Managing Director of Bel-Rouzaneh Dairy Company at the International Literacy Day celebration, organized by LMO.

The event was attended by a wide range of high-level government officials, including Dr. Mohammad Bathaei, Minister of Education; and Dr. Ali Rabiei, Minister of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare; as well as representatives from other Ministries, UN agencies and NGOs active in Education.

Dr. Bagherzadeh formally opened the meeting by explaining that fifty-two years ago, the World Congress of Ministers of Education took place in Tehran and pledged the eradication of illiteracy. He stressed that today, it was important to harness the full potential of new technologies to further enhance teaching and learning. In this regard, he thanked both UNESCO and Bel-Rouzaneh Dairy Company for their support in developing the mobile application.

Ms. Kuisch Laroche, UNESCO Representative, expressed the hope that the use of mobile applications would contribute to making literacy education even more accessible, equitable and flexible in the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Mr. François-Xavier Moreau, Managing Director of Bel-Rouzaneh Dairy Company welcomed Bel’s partnership with UNESCO and the Ministry of Education and said: “Last year, the launch of the Healthy Family booklet proved what can be achieved when we all join forces in both public and private sectors to enrich individuals’ lives, and create opportunities for our community to develop skills, fight against malnutrition, poverty and illiteracy in general. I was very impressed and proud when I received the report of deployment of the Healthy Family booklet to learn that over the past few months, we have been able to touch over 30,000 learners and make a positive contribution to their nutritional habits, which is critical for the health of individuals and their families. And today, together we are taking a step further. As society and technology change, so does literacy.”

UNESCO and Bel-Rouzaneh Dairy Company both reiterated their continued support to the Ministry of Education in its efforts to expand literacy and adult education in the Islamic Republic of Iran. 

 

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10 September 2017 - Iran celebrates International Literacy Day

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On 10 September 2017, the Literacy Movement Organization (LMO), under the Iranian Ministry of Education, and the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO jointly organized a national meeting to celebrate International Literacy Day (ILD) under the theme of “Literacy in a Digital World”. The celebration was hosted by the Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults in Tehran.

The event was attended by a wide range of high-level government officials, including Dr. Mohsen Haji Mirzaei, Secretary of the Cabinet of Ministers; Dr. Mohammad Bathaei, Minister of Education; Dr. Ali Rabiei, Minister of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare; and Dr. Ali Bagherzadeh, Vice-Minister of Education and Head of LMO. 

Dr. Bagherzadeh formally opened the meeting by explaining that fifty-two years ago, the World Congress of Ministers of Education took place in Tehran and pledged the eradication of illiteracy.

He continued by providing an overview of LMO’s activities over the past five years, highlighting pilot projects using mobile technology for adult literacy learners; the release of the Healthy Family Booklet, which was developed jointly with UNESCO to strengthen nutrition learning amongst low-literate families; and ICDL programmes for literacy learners at second grade level.

“There is a need for new ICT tools to be employed in teaching and learning, but we should keep in mind that acceptance of technology by learners might take some time”, said Dr. Bagherzadeh.

Ms. Esther Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office mentioned that September 8th was proclaimed as International Literacy Day by UNESCO at the 14th session of its General Conference in 1966 to remind the international community of the importance of literacy for individuals, communities, and societies, and the need for intensified efforts towards more literate societies. 

“This year’s theme was selected to allow us to reflect on what it means to be literate in increasingly digitally-mediated societies; to explore effective policies and programmes for literacy skills development in a digital world; and to explore how digital technologies can help ensure that by 2030, all youth and a substantial proportion of adults, both men and women, achieve literacy and numeracy”, said Ms. Kuisch Laroche. “Today digital technologies - including the Internet, mobile phones, and all the other tools to manage information digitally - are fundamentally changing the way people live and work, learn, and socialize. It is important for us to understand what kinds and levels of literacy skills are required in an increasingly digital world and how such skills could be related to a broader set of knowledge, skills, and competencies required in the digital world.”

The newly appointed Minister of Education, Dr. Bathaei discussed a variety of topics, including issues related to the curriculum, the importance of participatory governance in Education, and moving from traditional methods of education to new and innovative ones. “The theme of literacy in a digital world emphasizes the importance of proper use of ICT in basic education” said the Minister.  

In keeping with the theme of this year’s International Literacy Day, LMO unveiled a new educational mobile application called “Healthy Family”, which was developed jointly by LMO, the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, and Bel Rouzaneh Dairy Company.

In 2016, UNESCO, LMO and Bel Rouzaneh Dairy Company had already joined hands and developed the “Healthy Family Booklet”, which was designed to engage adult literacy learners and offer practical lessons on nutrition and water consumption. Inspired by the success of the booklet, UNESCO once again partnered with LMO and Bel Rouzaneh Dairy Company to develop an innovative and free-of-charge mobile application in an effort to reach more learners, both in formal and non-formal education.

The application features a seamless mix of visually engaging animation, together with video, text and audio. Built-in quizzes and exercises will enable LMO to monitor the learning outcomes of users. The data analytics produced by the application will not only assist LMO in the area of monitoring and evaluation, but in the longer term, this data will also be meaningful in suggesting improvements to the process and developing more advanced mobile applications targeting literacy learners.

For more information about ILD celebrations around the world, please see: http://en.unesco.org/themes/literacy-all 

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