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2 Jun 2016 - UNESCO supports Parvaz International Film Festival

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On 2 June 2016, Parvaz International Film Festival in cooperation with theUNESCO, screened a selection of films from last year’s Festival, dedicated to raising public awareness of disability issues and dispelling negative stereotypes, myths and prejudices regarding people with disabilities.

The movie screening took place in Niavaran Palace in the presence of Iranian film directors, actors, NGOs, UN agencies, and people with disabilities.

In her opening speech, Ms. Esther Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, said:“About 15 per cent of the world population lives with some form of disability. Often the greatest barriers that people with disabilities face are attitudes based on stigma and discrimination and misplaced ideas about disability.”She went on to say:“UNESCO’s aim is to promote social inclusion and empowerment of people with disabilities through all of our programmes in education, sciences, culture, communication and information. And this is why we have been supporting the Parvaz Film Festival since the beginning.”

The short films that were screened showed the challenges that people with disabilities and their family members face in day-to-day life, but also highlighted some extraordinary achievements of people with disabilities.

At the end of the movie screening, Ms. Kuisch Laroche and Ms. Amiri of Parvaz International Film Festival unveiled a special stamp of the Festival.

The 2016 Parvaz Film Festival will take place from 6-8 December in Tehran and interested film makers can already submit their entries. For more information, please see:http://www.parvazfilmfestival.com/

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30 May 2016 - UNESCO and UN-HABITAT hold induction capacity building workshop on seismic hazard and risk analysis

On 30 May,UNESCOand UNHABITAT kicked off a 3-day capacity building workshop, as part of a joint sub-regional project on Seismic Hazard and Risk Analysis, covering Afghanistan, Iran, Pakistan and Turkmenistan.
 
 
The Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) and the International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES) have been major partners of the project from the beginning.
 
 
The capacity building workshop is taking place at the ECO secretariat in Tehran and brings together four participants from Pakistan, four from Turkmenistan, four from Afghanistan, plus several Afghan students in Geo-Physics who are pursuing their studies in Tehran, as well as a number of Iranian participants and an expert from Turkey.
 
 
During the opening session, Mr. Siamak Moghadam, Chief of UN-Habitat in Iran, talked about the importance and unique character of the project, which aims at using the most recent methods and technologies for seismic hazard analysis, which will result in evaluating and re-assessing the seismicity of the four countries.
 
 
An updated assessment will be carried out on the seismic hazardous parts of two selected cities in each of the four countries and a seismic risk map will be developed for those cities, in order to enable city planners and policy makers to make sound and well-informed decisions.
 
 
Ms. Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office stressed that disaster risk reduction is all about choices:“The ultimate goal of this sub-regional project is to provide your countries with the knowledge, expertise and tools that will enable all of us to make wiser choices.”
 
The UNESCO Representative mentioned that the project fit well within UNESCO’s mid-term strategy, which states that “UNESCO will promote international collaboration on the assessment and monitoring of global changes and natural hazards, including droughts and floods and geo-hazards, as well as tsunamis; the generation and sharing of scientific knowledge leading to the understanding of natural hazards; and by the reduction of disaster risks.”
 
 
She highlighted the fact that the nature of this particular project was unique, as it was a joint effort between two UN agencies, supported by ECO and IIEES, bringing together four neighboring countries in the region.
 
 
“Today’s workshop is the first step towards implementation, which fulfills our promise that this project will capitalize on training and national capacity-building to create a well-trained and confident team of national experts who will be able to carry out the tasks of the project,”said Ms. Kuisch Laroche.
 
 
Mr. Seyed Jalaledin Alavi, Deputy Secretary-General of the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO), underlined the strong support of ECO to the project, which covers four ECO countries, and he expressed the hope that in the future it could be expanded to also cover the remaining countries of the ECO region.
 
 
Dr. Mehdi Zare of the International Institute of Earthquake Engineering and Seismology (IIEES) spoke about the high seismic risk in the four countries and the urgent need to focus on disaster risk reduction, resiliency and sustainable development.
 
 
After the opening session, Dr. Mehmet Akdogan of UN-HABITAT introduced the different sessions of the workshop, which will focus on urban inventory (elements at risk) and database development; probabilistic seismic hazard analysis; developing seismic zoning maps and uniform hazard spectra; and earthquake risk assessment.
 
 
At the end of the training, the participants will also pay visits to IIEES and the Road, Housing and Urban Development Research Centre in Tehran.
 
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29 May 2016 - UNESCO and Bel Rouzaneh Dairy Company hand-over family health booklet to the Literacy Movement Organization

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UNESCO and the Literacy Movement Organisation (LMO) have been working together on the development of a family health booklet for literacy learners over the past few months. The project was generously supported by Bel Rouzaneh Dairy Co. - a Bel subsidiary in Iran.
 
 
The booklet offers practical lessons on proper nutrition and water consumption and is the fruit of hard work and a very inclusive consultation process that included many national and international experts.
 
 
During the official ceremony in which the first printed copies of the booklet were handed over to LMO and a number of literacy learners, a video was screened to describe the extensive consultation process that has led to the final content and design of the booklet.
 
 
In his opening remarks, Dr. Bagherzade, Deputy Minister of Education and Head of LMO, thanked the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office and Bel for the cooperation and support in this important project.“The Supreme Leader of the Islamic Revolution has time and again underlined the importance of book reading and the necessity of its intertwinement with everyday life”, said Dr. Bagherzade.“The Family Health Book, produced jointly by UNESCO, Bel Company, as well as national advisors and authors will be the main reference for a book reading competition in the current calendar year. It will also enter the cycle of family book reading.”
 
Ms. Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, underlined the importance of literacy in her speech.“Literacy not only changes lives, it saves them. Literacy a basic human right and a force for dignity. It is also the foundation for cohesive families and societies and sustainable development. Literacy helps reduce poverty and enables people to find gainful employment and obtain higher salaries. It is one of the most efficient ways of improving the health of mothers and children, understanding doctors’ prescriptions and gaining access to healthcare,”said the UNESCO representative.“At UNESCO we believe that literacy programmes must also include, beyond reading and, broader skills regarding nutrition, health and sustainable lifestyles, the conservation of biodiversity, poverty reduction, disaster risk reduction, as well as civic participation.”
 
Mr. François-Xavier Moreau, Managing Director of Bel Rouzaneh Dairy Company talked about his company’s commitment to sustainable development:“Bel is an international family group and among the world leaders in branded cheese manufacturers. As most family groups, we praise long-term and lasting growth. Revenue and profit generation are not our only concern and a long time ago, the Group created a Corporate Social Responsibility Programme. This initiative called “Smiles for the Future” best reconciles our dual commitment in economic development and social equity”, said Mr. Moreau.“Offering practical lessons on proper nutrition and good practices in water consumption is very important to us. No one should be left aside, and this initiative fits perfectly with the values of the Bel Group and reflects our commitment to support the communities in the countries where we operate.”
 
After their speeches, the booklet was unveiled and handed over to female literacy learners.
 
About the booklet:
 
The Healthy Family Booklet on nutrition and water consumption is beautifully illustrated and designed to engage both young and adult literacy learners. The booklet is the fruit of the hard work and commitment of a wide variety of stakeholders, and was made possible through the generous support of the Bel Rouzaneh Dairy Company.
 
 
About the partners:
 
UNESCO has been at the forefront of global literacy efforts since its foundation. UNESCO’s policy today is to support the promotion of literacy and literate environments as an integral part of lifelong earning and to keep literacy high on the national and international agendas. Through its worldwide literacy programmes, advocacy work and knowledge base, the Organisation works with countries and partners to realize the vision of a literate world for all.
 
 
TheLiteracy Movement Organizationis a committed advocacy in promoting literacy and non-formal education. Established after the Islamic Revolution to deal with the high rates of illiteracy at the time, the Organization provides introductory and complementary literacy classes. According to a report published by the UNESCO Institute for Statistics, the number of illiterate adults fell by more than one million in Iran between 2000 and 2010. This is due in no small part to the efforts of the Literacy Movement Organization.
 
 
Bel, an international family business, is the world’s third largest branded cheese company. Bel’s mission is to “share smiles with families through the pleasure of dairy goodness”. As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility Program called “Smiles for the Future”, Bel has taken the responsibility to offer products high in nutritional value and to encourage consumers to adopt healthy eating habits through educational initiatives. Under the same program, Bel is committed to reduce water consumption and energy footprint. Cooperation with UNESCO and LMO in Iran in order to educate literacy learners on the basics of nutrition and water-saving is an action taken by Bel Rouzaneh Dairy Co. – Bel subsidiary in Iran- in line with this objective.
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26 May 2016 - Iranian photographers win top prizes in UNESCO photo competition “Show Us the Afghanistan You Are Proud Of”

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In October 2015,UNESCO together with the Afghan government initiated an awareness-raising campaign entitled, “The Afghanistan We Are Proud Of” to promote a sense of national identity and belonging through Afghanistan’s rich cultural heritage.
 
 
As part of this campaign, a nation-wide photo competition invited Afghans and non-Afghans alike to submit photos of Afghanistan’s cultural and natural heritage, which makes them proud of the country.
 
 
The competition was launched on 21 October 2015 and ended on 21 March 2016.
 
 
The winners were selected anonymously by an independent jury of five photographers, including Rada Akbar, Reza Deghati (President of Jury and prominent Iranian-French photojournalist), Reza Yemak, Sadie Quarrier and Simon Norfolk.
 
 
Out of an astonishing 3033 photos submitted in mobile-phone and camera photograph categories, Iranian photographer Ali Hamed-Haqdust won the first prize in the camera photograph category. The second and third prizes in that category went to Reza Sahel and Mohammad-Ali Sheida respectively.
 
 
In the mobile-phone category, Iranian photographer Hamidreza Rahmani was awarded the first prize, and the second and third prizes went to Afghan photographers Najeeb Azad and Nasrullah Alili respectively.
 
 
The winning Camera Photos will receive the first prize of 5000 US dollars, and second and third prizes of 4000 and 3000 US dollars. The three top Mobile photos will receive 2000 US dollars each.
 
 
The jury commented on the first winning photo taken by Mr. Ali Hamed Haghdoust, saying that“the photographer of the winning contest image of the carousel made a strong composition, getting down on the ground and shooting up so the whole sky is filled with the circling horses. The action, youth, and color in this image speaks to the future, but also gives a nod to traditional past as the children are leaning off of their horses to pick up a coin, imitating their national game of Buzkashi.”
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25 May 2016 - UNESCO joins Tehran University in celebration of 6th International Festival

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On the occasion of the law enactment anniversary of the establishment of Tehran University,UNESCOjoined the University in celebrating its 6thInternational Festival.
 
 
The Festival with the motto “University: A Rainbow of Cultures” brought together Iranian and international lecturers, international student representatives, university authorities, ambassadors, and other dignitaries.
 
 
International students showcased their cultures in a dedicated exhibition space and through musical and artistic performances.
 
 
Ms. Esther Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office was invited as the guest of honor and delivered a speech on the importance of internationalization of higher education.
 
 
She mentioned that UNESCO fosters international cooperation in the higher education sector through its UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme:“Currently, there are 11 UNESCO Chairs in Iran, five of which are at the University of Tehran”,said Ms. Kuisch Laroche.
 
 
She went on to say:“We are very proud and appreciative of our close collaboration with Tehran University. Just a few months ago, we signed a joint Memorandum of Understanding together with the Ministry of Energy for the establishment of a regional water education institute. I believe this will become yet another important example of the significant role that Tehran University can play – not only at the national, but also at the regional level.”
 
The programme featured musical performances by students from Iran, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Palestine and other countries.
 
The President of Tehran University also paid tribute to students and professors with outstanding achievements.
 
 
The University of Tehran is Iran's oldest modern university and was inaugurated in the winter of 1934. The academic staff of the University consists of 1,650 full-time faculty members and several hundred part-time and adjunct professors and affiliated members. Currently, the University has 19,000 undergraduate and 13,000 graduate students spread over 6 colleges with a total of 39 faculties and 120 departments. Its 7 campuses are located in the cities of Tehran, Qom and Karaj as well as on Kish Island.
 
 
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23 May 2016 - Iran pays tribute to UNESCO Avicenna Prize laureate

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On 23 May 2016, the Iranian Ministry of Science, Research and Technology paid tribute to Pakistani scientist Prof. Dr. Zabta Khan Shinwari – the 2015 laureate of theUNESCOAvicenna Prize for Ethics in Science.
 
 
Established in 2003 by the Executive Board of UNESCO at its 166th session on the initiative of the Islamic Republic of Iran, this Prize, awarded every two years, is intended to reward the activities of individuals and groups in the field of ethics in science.
 
 
By thus promoting ethical reflection on issues raised by advances in science and technology, it is expected to help significantly to increase international awareness and highlight the importance of ethics in science.
 
 
Prof. Shinwari received the Prize in recognition of his scientific and education work in biotechnology, biosafety, and biosecurity. It also rewards his contribution to advancing the social responsibility of science and his work to promote the participation of indigenous peoples and women in science, including his defense of the intellectual property rights of indigenous groups.
 
 
“Without a doubt, your invaluable attempts and ceaseless endeavours in science and in the field of ethics in biotechnology and empowering local communities to use their natural resources and biodiversity for the sustainable development of your country, is an exemplary and encouraging endeavor for all scientists across the world, and for the Muslim nations in particular”,said Dr. Farhadi, Minister of Science Research and Technology in his welcoming remarks.
 
 
Ms. Esther Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office talked about the significance of the Avicenna Prize:“At UNESCO we believe that this award is very important, because we need science that is founded on ethics and human rights”, she said.“To move forward, we must combine progress with high standards of responsible research, with scientific integrity, and with risk management for societies and nature. This calls for well-informed leaders and public opinion, where all are included in making decisions on vital issues for human life and for enlightened scientists and scientific educators, working and communicating in a transparent way. Professor Shinwari has played an exemplary role in this regard throughout his illustrious career.”
 
The Avicenna Prize consists of a gold medal of Avicenna along with a certificate and the sum of $10,000, which Professor Shinwari has donated entirely to research in his native Pakistan.
 
In addition, the Prize includes a one-week academic visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran, which is to include the delivery of speeches in the relevant academic gatherings, organized for this purpose by the Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran. In this context, Professor Shinwari is currently in Tehran and will also deliver lectures at the Universities of Isfahan and Shiraz.
 
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