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3 September 2017 - UNESCO Joined Second Meeting of UNIMA’s Heritage Commission

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UNIMA Iran held the second meeting of UNIMA’s Heritage Commission in Tehran's City Theater Complex, on 2-3 September 2017.

UNIMA is a non-governmental organization affiliated with UNESCO. UNIMA was entrusted by UNESCO with the assessment of the dossiers about the classification of master pieces of oral and intangible heritage of humanity concerning puppetry.

The two-day meeting was opened by welcoming remarks of Dr. Hamid Reza Ardalan, Member of UNIMA’s Executive Committee and President of the Heritage Commission of UNIMA.

The opening continued by remarks of Ms Mahta Mohegh, Programme Assistant for Culture of UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, who emphasized UNESCO's role to protect, preserve and safeguard cultural heritage around the world. She mentioned that cultural heritage does not end at monuments and collections of objects. It also includes all the traditions or living expressions, inherited from our ancestors and passed on to our descendants, such as oral traditions, performing arts, social practices, rituals, festive events, knowledge and practices concerning nature and the universe, or the knowledge and skills to produce traditional crafts.

“Puppetry and the art of puppet-making are major elements of intangible cultural heritage in communities around the world. Puppet theatre for communities is not only a popular form of traditional entertainment, and often an integral part of traditional rituals and festive events, but it is also often a way of conveying a vision of the world, and an educational tool with messages on moral values”, said Ms Mohegh.

Members of the UNIMA Heritage Committee from Brussels, Canada and the Netherlands made presentations about puppetry techniques and figures.

During the meeting the World Encyclopedia of Puppetry was also introduced.

The meeting was attended by national experts from the Iranian Cultural Heritage Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) and several puppetry museums.

For more information about UNIMA please see:



30 August 2017 - CHANGE OF DATE: Ethics Teachers’ Training Course in Karaj, Iran, organized by UNESCO and University of Environment

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For the first time in Iran, from 28 October to 3 November 2017, the Ethics Teachers’ Training Course will be delivered jointly by UNESCO and the University of Environment, to advance quality ethics education by building professional capacities of ethics teachers in the country and the wider region.

The Course will be based on one week training module developed by UNESCO in collaboration with the global experts in ethics education. The module contains the following key components:

  • Global Perspective on Ethics Teaching: trends, challenges and opportunities
  • The UNESCO Core Curriculum as a tool for promoting quality ethics education
  • Ethics Teaching in Action: what and how to teach (a model lesson)
  • Ethics teaching and inter-faith dialogue: Sharing experiences in ethics teaching in different religious contexts
  • Classroom communication: pedagogy and psychology of ethics teaching
  • Simulated teaching presentations by participants followed by feedback from the Course instructors


The deadline for submitting the filled out application is 1 September 2017. Please send the completed application form, also available from the dedicated UNESCO website, to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


Ethics Teaching Training Courses is conducted by a team of experts with extensive experience in ethics education and cooperation with UNESCO. 


Due to the interactive nature of the course, the number of participants is limited to 30 persons. The decisions concerning admission to the course will be made on the bases of the following criteria:

  • Masters or higher degree (in areas such as law, medicine, philosophy, ethics, and social sciences);
  • University affiliation (teaching experience or plans to engage in teaching);
  • Good command of the language of instruction (English).
  • Content of the motivation letter (minimum of 600 words), stating the applicant’s reasons for participating in the course and expectations concerning the use of the acquired knowledge.


There is no tuition fee for participating in ETTC. However, the participants are expected to cover the charges related to their travel to the venue and their accommodation.  Lunch and coffee/tee breaks will be provided during the training.


The core reading materials for ETTC participants are available free of charge from UNESCO web site (www.unesco.org/bioethics): 

  • Universal Declaration on Bioethics and Human Rights.
  • Bioethics Core Curriculum, Section 1: Syllabus. Ethics Education Programme, UNESCO, 2008.
  • Bioethics Core Curriculum, Section 2: Study materials. Ethics Education programme, UNESCO, 2011.
  • Casebook on Human Dignity and Human Rights, Bioethics Core Curriculum Casebook Series, No. 1, UNESCO, 2011
  • Casebook on Benefit and Harm, Bioethics Core Curriculum Casebook Series, No. 2, UNESCO, 2011

The UNESCO web site provides links to other relevant publications as well. The list of reading materials will be circulated to the selected participants in advance of the course.


The Course Instructors will assume that each participant has obtained and studied the reading materials ahead of the commencement of the course.

Each participant will also be expected to prepare a “teaching class,” which will receive feedback and evaluation from the experts. Participants can select a topic in ethics according to their own interest and expertise, and prepare a 10 minute teaching session, to give a short demonstration of ethics teaching.

The audience of this presentation will be the group of fellow participants as well as the instructors. The instructors will provide immediate constructive feedback and suggestions.


For additional information, please contact Sue Vize, Regional Adviser for Social and Human Sciences at UNESCO bangkok (s.vize(at)unesco.org) 



29 August 2017 - UNESCO and the Archives and National Library of Iran organize regional meeting

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29 August 2017 – This morning, a regional meeting on “Enhancing Cooperation for the Preservation of, and Access to, Documentary Heritage” was opened in Tehran. The two-day event, organized by UNESCO, the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, and the Archives and National Library of Iran, brings together participants from Azerbaijan, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Pakistan Turkey and Uzbekistan.

The aim of the meeting is to discuss regional cooperation for the preservation and accessibility of documentary heritage through UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme.

The Memory of the World Program was established in 1992 to preserve, protect and allow access to, all the world’s documentary heritage of most outstanding universal value.

Dr. Ashraf Boroujerdi, Head of the Archives and National Library of Iran, opened the regional meeting by welcoming the international guests and highlighting the importance of safeguarding audio-visual heritage. She talked about Iran’s nine documents inscribed on the Memory of the World Register, including Al-Masaalik Wa Al-Mamaalik – one of the most important geographical books from the 4th century. This item was submitted jointly by Iran and Germany, as an excellent example of global cooperation.

“The Memory of the World Register is not just a list of marvelous documents. It is a vision for peace, embodied in maps, books, photos, films and manuscripts, with the power to change the minds of men and women, to shape a different future for all. The Memory of the World express the great humanist idea that people from all cultures and faiths can unite around common heritage”, said UNESCO Representative, Ms. Kuisch Laroche in her opening remarks. “Extraordinary documentary heritage allows us to renew our understanding, respect and admiration for other cultures. When documentary heritage is destroyed anywhere in the world, we are all diminished.”

Ms. Kuisch Laroche highlighted the importance of regional cooperation for the safeguarding of heritage, at a time when looting, illegal trading, deliberate destruction, inadequate housing and lack of funds, are seriously threatening documentary heritage in many countries.

“Instead of distorting our heritage in endless disputes about what belongs to who, about which heritage is the greatest, the biggest, the oldest…we choose to unite for heritage, because the Memory of the World Programme is not about creating divisions. It is about building common ground. It is not a contest, nor a political dispute. It is a place for expertise and the highest standards of excellence; a platform for dialogue and mutual understanding”, said the UNESCO Representative.

Dr. Nasiri, Secretary-General of the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, talked about UNESCO’s Recommendations Concerning the Preservation of, and Access to, Documentary Heritage Including in Digital Form, which marked a milestone in UNESCO’s work towards the preservation of documentary heritage.

After the opening speeches, Professor Arid Noshahi from Pakistan, made a presentation about common Persian written heritage in Pakistan. This was followed by presentations by all other participating countries on the challenges and opportunities for preservation and access to documentary heritage.

The meeting will continue until the afternoon of 30 August and conclude with a visit to the museum of the National Library.

For more information about UNESCO’s Memory of the World Programme, please see: http://en.unesco.org/programme/mow



28 August 2017 - Iran’s Ministry of Education, UNESCO, UNICEF, and the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO organize workshop on Out-of-School Children

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28 August, Tehran – A two-day technical Introductory workshop on the Out-of-School Children Initiative (OOSCI) began today in Tehran attended by a wide range of education experts from several governmental bodies, including the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Cooperatives, Labour and Social Welfare, the State Welfare Organization, and the Budgetary and Planning Organization.

The workshop was organized jointly by the Ministry of Education, the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO and the UNICEF Iran Office, based on the outcomes of a joint Global Initiative on Out-of-School Children, launched by UNICEF and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS) in 2010 to achieve a breakthrough in reducing the number of out-of-school children.

Ms. Dina Craissati and Mr. Haogen Yao, Education Specialists from UNICEF’s Middle East and North Africa (MENA) Regional Office traveled to Iran to facilitate the workshop.

In the opening ceremony, Dr. Will Parks, UNICEF Representative in Iran referred to the latest statistics released by the UNESCO Institute of Statistics on out-of-school children and said: “Today as we speak, globally 263 million children, adolescents and youth between the ages of 6 and 17 are out of school,  of which 61 million children are aged 6 to 11 and 60 million are 12 to 15 plus the first ever estimate of those of upper secondary school aged 15-17 years set at 142 million.”

Dr. Parks highlighted the different groups of children who are more likely to fall out of education, including children from the poorest families, girls, children in rural areas, children in emergency situations, such as war or natural disasters, and children with disabilities.

UNICEF’s Representative appreciated the efforts of the Ministry of Education for its current initiatives to reduce the number of out-of-school children and prevent further drop-outs.

In her opening remarks, Ms. Esther Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office said: “Although the global number of children who are excluded from education fell steadily in the decade following the year 2000, the most recent data shows that this progress has essentially stagnated in recent years.” She highlighted the role of educators in ensuring lifelong learning and providing out-of-school youth with opportunities to achieve their full potential and contribute to their communities.

“Non-formal education activities provide out-of-school children and youth access to structured learning, reinforce their self-esteem and help them find ways to contribute to their communities”, said Ms. Kuisch Laroche.  She added: “Such educators provide learning opportunities through community centres, religious organizations, technical and vocational training centres, literacy programmes, sports and arts programmes.” The UNESCO Representative also highlighted the potential of the use of ICT in reaching out-of-school children and youth.

In his speech, Dr. Nasiri, Secretary-General of the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, highlighting the importance of providing accurate data on out-of-school children with the help of all stakeholders involved said: “We should bear in mind that improving access to education is not enough. We also need to focus on maximizing the effect of quality education.”

Mr. Hosseini, Deputy for International Affairs of the Ministry of Education, talked about the efforts of the Ministry of Education to prevent school drop-outs and reduce the number of out-of-school children, using a variety of strategies such as multi-grade rural classes, single-student schools, boarding schools, distance learning, various methodologies of the Literacy Movement Organization and improving the quality of public education.

The OOSCI training workshop is expected to help advance Iran’s national education goals as stated in the Fundamental Reform Document of Education and the 6th Five-Year National Development Plan.

During the two-day workshop, participants will discuss a variety of topics, such as tools and methodologies to fill the data gaps in identifying out-of-school children; monitoring progress towards universal primary education; as well as measuring the scope of -and assessing the reasons for- exclusion.

For more information about OOSCI, please see: http://uis.unesco.org/en/topic/out-school-children-and-youth



27 August 2017 - UNESCO supports 4th Congress of Young Earth Sciences Network in Tehran

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On 27 August, the 4th YES (Young Earth Sciences) Congress was opened in Tehran. The four-day congress is aimed at young scientists from around the world and focuses on topics, such as: geoscience for society; geology and mineral resources; fundamental geology; environmental and medical geology; climate change and hydrogeology; geohazards and disasters; geoinformatics applications for earth science; geoheritage; and petroleum geosiences.

The YES Network is an international association of early-career geoscientists, who are primarily under the age of 35 years and from universities, geoscience organizations and companies from across the world. The YES Network was formed as a result of the International Year of Planet Earth in 2007. In 2009, the YES Network organized its first international Congress at the China University of Geosciences in Beijing, under the patronage of UNESCO.

Speaking at the opening of the 4th Congress in Tehran, UNESCO Representative Ms. Esther Kuisch Laroche, talked about UNESCO’s important work in geosciences.

“As the only UN agency with a mandate in geosciences, UNESCO has been working for over forty years with the International Union for Geological Sciences to mobilize global cooperation in the Earth sciences through the International Geoscience Programme”, said Ms. Kuisch Laroche. “The Programme brings together scientists from around the world and provides them with seed money to devise and conduct joint international research and to collectively publish the results.”

The UNESCO Representative also spoke about UNESCO’s Global Geoparks, and the addition of Iran’s Qeshm Island to this global network of sites with landscapes of international geological significance. “The purpose of UNESCO Global Geoparks is to explore, develop and celebrate the links between geological heritage and all other aspects of the area’s heritage. It is about reconnecting human society at all levels to the planet we call home and to celebrate how Earth’s history has shaped every aspect of our lives and societies.”

Finally, Ms. Kuisch Laroche highlighted UNESCO’s work on Geohazard Risk Reduction and called upon the young earth scientists to use their knowledge and network to contribute to UNESCO’s International Platform on Earthquake Early Warning Systems. “We need young scientists like yourselves to contribute to this body of research in order to improve our knowledge and the available technology, which could mark a dramatic improvement in the field of disaster risk reduction”, said the UNESCO Representative.

The 4th YES Congress, which will run until 30 August, includes workshops, exhibitions and geological excursions. To learn more about the Congress or the YES Network, please see:




16 August 2017 - UNESCO supports expert meeting on economic development of rural regions

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On 16 August 2017, the UNESCO Chair in Natural Disasters Management organized the “Economic Development of Rural Regions Expert Workshop”, with the support of Iranian National Commission for UNESCO and the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office. The meeting took place at the Islamic Revolution Housing Foundation in Tehran.  

The workshop focused on the fundamentals of sustainable development, economic development and resilient economy in Iranian rural areas.

Speaking on the topic of sustainable management of natural resources for economic development in rural areas, UNESCO Representative, Ms. Esther Kuisch Laroche, said: “The sustainable management of natural resources is not only a necessity for the planet– it is also an economic opportunity for rural regions - for both men and women. I believe that here in Iran, there is a lot of potential to further develop eco-tourism and cultural tourism in rural areas, and much more could be done to promote the production and sale of quality handicrafts and eco-friendly products to create alternative livelihoods and support sustainable local economic development.”

The UNESCO Representative stressed the importance of addressing economic development of rural areas from an inter-sectoral and multidimensional perspective.

“Unsustainable land use and climate change can lead to land degradation, including soil erosion, nutrient depletion, water scarcity, salinity, desertification, and the disruption of biological cycles”, said Ms. Kuisch Laroche. “Rural areas, which are home to 3.39 billion people today, play a vital role in the preservation of our natural resources.”

Ms. Kuisch Laroche introduced UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere Programme and the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, which currently counts 669 sites in 120 countries. In Iran, there are 12 UNESCO Biosphere Reserves, where UNESCO seeks to promote models of sustainable development and environmental conservation.

To learn more about UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserves, please see:



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