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Press Freedom Day



— November 2019 —

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November 15, 2019

UNESCO is creating Inclusive Global Campus; Ministers and University Leaders address Inclusion and Mobility in Higher Education.

Unesco, Paris

Photo: The Opening of the 40th General Conference of UNESCO. Image provided by & copyright © UNESCO/Marie Etchegoyen.

Unesco, Paris, Universities

Photo: A Government Representative at the opening of the General Conference. Image provided by & copyright © UNESCO/Christelle ALIX.

Unesco, Paris, Universities

Photo: India’s Human Resource Development Minister, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal’ Nishank’, speaks at an event at UNESCO, Paris. November 14, 2019. Image provided by & copyright © UNESCO/Luc VALIGNY.

Paris, France, November 14, 2019 — Over 100 ministers and 100 representatives from universities, participating in the UNESCO Chairs program convened during UNESCO’s General Conference currently taking place in Paris. They addressed some of today’s most pressing challenges in higher education: How can governments and higher education institutions work together to create a more inclusive global campus in the light of rapidly increasing numbers in enrolment and mobility of students? And how can the higher education sector across the world work against increasing inequalities and for the inclusion of marginalized groups into societies?

The higher education landscape is rapidly changing globally, characterized by increasing internationalization, diversification of providers, and new modes of learning. Two hundred twenty million students are today enrolled in higher education around the world, a number that has doubled over the past decade and is set to expand.

However, increased enrolments have not proven to be a reliable indicator for achieving the 2030 Agenda overall goal of “leaving no one behind,” or for ensuring equitable and affordable quality higher education. Institutions face the challenge of providing quality education to an increasingly diverse student population, including non-traditional learners and disadvantaged groups such as migrants, refugees, and indigenous peoples.

The past decades’ unprecedented increase of enrolment in higher education is also reflected in the mobility of students with the move from an international university to a global campus of learners, faculty, and researchers fast becoming a reality. In the decade leading up to 2011, the number of learners choosing to study outside of their home country more than doubled to 4.3 million students - a figure that is conservatively estimated to increase again by 2025.

Yet many students still face obstacles in having their qualifications recognized when returning to their home country or moving to a new country. Lack of recognition of qualifications constitutes a significant obstacle for accessing further studies or for seeking employment opportunities. Today more than half of students going abroad study outside their home regions.

To respond to this new reality, UNESCO is preparing the adoption of a Global Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications concerning Higher Education at its General Conference that started this week. The new Convention aims to facilitate student mobility and improve access to higher education across regions and continents. UNESCO has also launched a Qualifications Passport to facilitate the movement for refugees with qualifications.

By convening policymakers and universities at this unprecedented meeting, UNESCO aims to strengthen the political will, international cooperation, and capacities in higher education to achieve the 2030 Agenda and to create an understanding of how the Global Convention can facilitate this process.

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Edited & Posted by Surender Hastir | 12:23 AM | Link to this Post

November 13, 2019

UN Secretary-General highlights UNESCO’s Global Leadership in Education at the Organization’s 40th General Conference.

UNESCO, Universities

Photo: Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, and UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay at the Opening of the 40th General Conference of UNESCO. Image provided by & copyright © UNESCO/Christelle ALIX.

UNESCO, Universities

Photo: UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay addresses the Opening of the 40th General Conference of UNESCO. Image provided by & copyright © UNESCO/Christelle ALIX.

Paris, 12 November—The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, Tuesday morning stressed UNESCO’s essential mandate in education and pleaded in favor of multilateralism as he opened UNESCO’s 40th General Conference addressing representatives of the Organization’s 193 Member States and 11 Associate Members.

“Education is an essential pillar to achieve our objectives for 2030. And we are late,” said the Secretary-General. “UNESCO has a fundamental role to play to coordinate and monitor global efforts in this regard. I commend the initiative launched by the Director-General at the UN General Assembly last September on the futures of education.”

Warning against the splintering of the international community along economic, social, and environmental divides, growing hate and discrimination, the Secretary-General declared: “We must do everything to maintain a universal system based on international law and preserve a multipolar world with strong multilateral institutions.”

“A world of cracks and fault-lines is not sustainable,” said the Secretary-General. “In this context, UNESCO’s work is central to bringing the world together.”

After the Secretary-General’s opening, the Member States named Ambassador Ahmet Altay Cengizer, Permanent Delegate of Turkey to UNESCO, as President of the 40th session of the General Conference.

Organization’s Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, denounced the multiple divides that are eroding national and international governance as well as the planet itself. She highlighted UNESCO’s vocation to serve as a laboratory of ideas.

“Contemporary challenges call on us to draw on our shared humanity,” said Ms. Azoulay. “Territorial borders can not contain them. Only cooperation, solidarity, and multilateralism can result in lasting solutions.”

The Director-General denounced the crippling effect of divisiveness on international governance. She said that it is our responsibility “to be effective by making multilateralism an everyday reality and by providing evidence that it can lead to better lives.”

Ms. Azoulay also stressed the importance of education, “the keystone of peace. We must correct not only the insufficiencies and inequalities that education is suffering from but also improve our guidance to the world’s educational systems so that we may lay the best foundations of practical, real, sustainable development.”

The General Conference is the governing body of UNESCO. It meets every other year to determine the Organization’s program and budget.

During its 40th session, which ends on 27 November, Member States are also set to adopt an international convention destined to facilitate the international recognition of higher education diplomas and the free movement of students and faculty.

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Edited & Posted by Surender Hastir | 6:20 AM | Link to this Post

November 10, 2019

UNESCO General Conference to examine the draft of the Global Convention on the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications.

UNESCO, Universities

UNESCO, Universities

Photo: UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, France. Session of the Executive Board. October 16-17, 2019. Image Credit: UNESCO/C. Bailleul.

Paris, France, November 9, 2019 — In November 2019, UNESCO’s General Conference will examine for adoption the draft text of the Global Convention on the Recognition of Higher Education Qualifications. Once approved, the Global Convention will be the first legally binding United Nations treaty on higher education.

The Global Convention, a binding agreement, will join the ranks of other UNESCO conventions, such as the cultural conventions and the Convention against doping in sport.

The Convention will be the first of its kind in the UN on higher education with a global scope. It will complement the five UNESCO regional conventions on the recognition of higher education qualifications.

Built on the existing regional conventions, the Global Convention will create a framework for fair, transparent, and non-discriminatory recognition of higher education qualifications. The originality of the Convention is that it opens for inter-regional academic mobility, and puts into place universal principles for improving recognition practices.

Under certain conditions, the Convention will be open for countries, which wish to be committed to its text.

Today, more than 4 million students study outside their home country. By 2020 around 8 million students will be studying abroad. The Global Convention on Higher Education Qualifications is designed to facilitate academic mobility between regions. It will mainly benefit people who are seeking recognition of their qualifications in another area than their home region for either accessing higher education or continuing their studies.

For example, it will become easier for a student to have his/her high school diplomas recognized in another region to pursue his/her studies there. It will also facilitate a student who wants to complete a degree in another country based on education that he/she had started elsewhere.

The Global Convention on Higher Education Qualifications will also provide platforms for national authorities to collaborate across borders and regions to develop better tools and practices for the recognition of higher education qualifications.

UNESCO serves as a global platform for discussion on the recognition of higher education qualifications and the promotion of academic mobility. Being the only UN agency with a mandate in higher education, the new Convention is part of UNESCO’s technical support to review more top education strategies and policies in countries that decided to be committed to its text. This support aims to improve equitable access to quality higher education and enhance mobility and accountability.

UNESCO will be the secretariat of the mechanism to be set to ensure and monitor the implementation of the Convention’s text. This implementation mechanism body will meet every two years. It will provide guidance (recommendations, guidelines, and share good practices) to the countries committed to the Convention.

The Global Convention on Higher Education Qualifications will be a reliable instrument to prevent brain drain since it would facilitate governments to put in place mechanisms for recognizing degrees obtained abroad.

The Convention will also help migrants to access higher education in their new home countries as it obliges to put in place mechanisms to facilitate the recognition of refugees’ qualifications, even for those who cannot provide any documentary evidence of their skills.

The idea of a Global Convention on Higher Education Qualifications has been on UNESCO’s agenda for a long time. The formal process started in 2011 after a feasibility study had underlined the urgent need for such a convention to respond to the need for improved recognition of foreign qualifications worldwide. For this purpose, UNESCO established a drafting committee in 2016 consisting of experts from all regions that finalized a preliminary draft in June 2017.

UNESCO presented the draft for discussion at two intergovernmental meetings that took place in December 2018 and March 2019.

At the March meeting, more than 260 technical and legal experts from around 150 Member States approved the plan. Now the draft will be submitted for adoption at the 40th Session of the UNESCO General Conference in November 2019.

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Edited & Posted by Surender Hastir | 3:58 AM | Link to this Post

November 8, 2019

IPI 2020 World Congress welcomes Powerful Partners — The New York Times, The Washington Post, Reuters, and The Associated Press (AP), among others.

International Press Institute

New York, November 8, 2019 — The International Press Institute (IPI), the global network of editors, media executives and leading journalists, has welcomed The New York Times, The Associated Press (AP), the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, Reuters and Bloomberg as partners for its 2020 World Congress. Columbia University and the Columbia School of Journalism would co-host IPI’s 2020 World Congress and 70th Anniversary Celebration. The IPI World Congress is the organization’s global forum on press freedom.

“We are honored to join hands with some of the most respected news media in the US for an event that will celebrate the power of independent journalism,” said John Daniszewski, AP Vice President and Chair of the IPI 2020 World Congress. “IPI looks forward to welcoming many more news organizations as partners for its 2020 World Congress. It is a strong sign that US news media today remain as dedicated to the core values of journalistic quality and integrity as they were seven decades ago when some distinguished editors founded IPI at Columbia University, New York.”


— The editor is a member of the International Press Institute (IPI). StumbleUpon reddit Facebook Google Plus Tweet This Seed This on Newsvine

Edited & Posted by Surender Hastir | 2:42 AM | Link to this Post

November 7, 2019

India HRD Ministry to set up an Interfaith Center at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.

Nanak Books

Photo: The Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, and the Union Minister for Food Processing Industries, Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal released three Books of the National Book Trust on Guru Nanak at the University of Delhi on November 07, 2019. Dr. Pokhriyal also announced the setting up of Interfaith Center at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar.

New Delhi, November 7, 2019 — Union Human Resource Development Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, and Union Minister for Food Processing Industries, Smt. Harsimrat Kaur Badal launched three books on Guru Nanak Dev at the University of Delhi today.

The National Book Trust under the Ministry of HRD has published three Punjabi titles - Guru Nanak Bani, Nanak Bani, and Sakhian Guru Nanak Dev to spread the message of Guru Nanak. The National Book Trust has also published the title Guru Nanak Bani in Urdu, Odia, Marathi, Hindi, and Gujarati. It would publish its translations in Assamese, Bangla, Kannada, Sanskrit, Kashmiri, Malayalam, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Sindhi, and English as well.

Mr. Pokhriyal congratulated National Book Trust for bringing out the books on the occasion of the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev. The books, he said, are relevant in these times, as the teachings of Guru Nanak Dev are apt in today’s world of complexities, and the youth world over need to follow his outlook of humanity, equality, and ‘One God.’ Mr. Pokhriyal also informed that in addition to the Guru Nanak Dev Chairs in Indian Universities, the Government had announced Guru Nanak Dev Chairs in Universities in the United Kingdom as well as in Canada. He also informed that many programs, seminars, discussions, discourses, and book release functions are being coordinated the world over by Indian missions abroad.

The HRD Minister also announced that an Interfaith Center would be set up at Guru Nanak Dev University, Amritsar, at the cost of Rs 493 crores.

While the National Book Trust, India will publish books on Guru Nanak in different Indian languages, UNESCO will publish Guru Nanak Dev’s writings in major world languages.

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Edited & Posted by Surender Hastir | 12:11 PM | Link to this Post

November 6, 2019

UN Secretary-General Meets Comptroller and Auditor General of India, a Member of the UN Board of Auditors.

United Nations

Photo: UN Secretary-General, António Guterres (right), meets with Rajiv Mehrishi, Comptroller and Auditor General of India. Mr. Mehrishi is a Member of the United Nations Board of Auditors. 05 November 2019. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Mark Garten.

• UN Secretary-General Commemorates Fall of Berlin Wall.

United Nations

Photo: UN Secretary-General, António Guterres, stands by a piece of the Berlin Wall that stands in the garden of the UN Headquarters, ahead of the anniversary of the fall of the wall on 9 November 1989. The piece of wall was presented as a gift to the UN in 2002 by the Federal Republic of Germany. 08 November 2019. United Nations, New York. UN Photo/Mark Garten.

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Edited & Posted by Surender Hastir | 8:31 AM | Link to this Post

November 5, 2019

National Press Club, Washington DC, to screen PBS documentary on Guru Nanak, founder of Sikhism.

National Press Club, Washington DC

National Press Club, Washington DC

Washington, DC, November 3, 2019 — The National Press Club will present the Washington premiere screening of the 90-minute public television documentary, “Guru Nanak: The Founder of Sikhism—Life and Legacy,” the story of the founder of the world’s fifth-largest religion, on Wednesday, November 20, at 7 p.m.

A reception will precede the screening at 6 p.m. A panel discussion with the film participants, moderated by Club President and Associated Press investigations editor Alison Kodjak, will follow.

Filmmakers and National Press Club members Gerald Krell and Adam Krell made the documentary in India, Pakistan, and on locations nationwide.

The documentary received the “best director” jury Award at the LA Awareness Film Festival. The film’s New York premiere will be at the Paley Center of Media on November 9. The “International Film Festival for Spirituality and Religion,” Jakarta, Indonesia, also has selected the documentary for screening.

Filmmakers Gerald and Adam Krell will appear on the panel following the screening, along with these other film participants:

Although Guru Nanak founded the fifth-largest religion in the world, Americans and the western world know little about him. This unique film coincides with the 550th anniversary of the birth of Guru Nanak, who is considered a revolutionary activist. His ideas were well ahead of his time. Nanak espoused equality for all, gender empowerment, service to others, and devotion to the environment.

The documentary interweaves his life and how his spiritual legacy is carried out today by Sikh leaders in science, medicine, arts, and politics. In today’s world of stereotypes, nationalism, bullying, and misconceptions, Nanak’s message is relevant to people of all religions and races.

An eclectic range of participants in the documentary includes, among others: The first Hoboken Sikh Mayor Ravi Bhalla and 2019 Grammy Nominee Snatam Kaur.


— The editor is a member of the National Press Club. StumbleUpon reddit Facebook Google Plus Tweet This Seed This on Newsvine

Edited & Posted by Surender Hastir | 7:13 AM | Link to this Post

November 4, 2019

India's Human Resource Development Minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal' Nishank', addresses the 96th Annual Convocation of Delhi University.

Delhi University, Nishank

Photo: India’s Minister for Human Resource Development, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’.

New Delhi, November 4, 2019 — Union Minister for Human Resource Development, Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, graced and addressed the 96th Annual Convocation of Delhi University in New Delhi today. Prof. D. P. Singh, Chairman, University Grants Commission, and Prof. Yogesh Kumar Tyagi, Vice-Chancellor, University of Delhi, were also present.

Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ lauded the outstanding performance of the students and efforts of all involved in taking this institution to high levels of eminence. Minister encouraged the students to be honest, fearless, and bold towards achieving their goals. He enthused the students with a new level of energy, fresh enthusiasm, and a new direction. Mr. Nishank also congratulated the University for its achievements and wished many more laurels in soon to arrive the 100th year of its establishment in 2022.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Delhi, Prof. Yogesh Kumar Tyagi, congratulated all the awardees and said that ever since its establishment in 1922, the University of Delhi has been demonstrating consistent progress. It began with about 750 students. Today, it has almost 7 lakh students. The Delhi University alumni family is not only vast but also prodigious and awe-inspiring. Both the Prime Minister of India and the Chief Justice of India are distinguished alumni of our University. In the fitness of things, therefore, Delhi University holds the twenty-first position in World QS Rankings for the criterion of the alumni strength with a score of 96.6 percent. We are proud of our family, and we wish them all the best!

Prof. D. P. Singh, chairman UGC, enlighted the audience about the values of education and its advantages that allow for all-round development of the society.

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Edited & Posted by Surender Hastir | 12:40 PM | Link to this Post

November 1, 2019

Mumbai and Hyderabad join the 'UNESCO Creative Cities Network'

Mumbai, Creative City

Photo: Gateway of India, Mumbai. Image Credit: Edgar Vonk. UNESCO has designated Mumbai as a Creative City of Film.

On the World Cities Day 2019, celebrated on 31 October, UNESCO announced that the cities of Mumbai and Hyderabad are joining the UNESCO network of Creative Cities. UNESCO has designated Mumbai, a Creative City of Film. While it has appointed Hyderabad, a Creative City of Gastronomy. In India, they join Chennai and Varanasi, UNESCO Cities of Music, and Jaipur, UNESCO City of Crafts and Folk Arts.

There are now 246 cities worldwide committing with UNESCO to place culture and creativity at the center of their development strategies and to share their best practices. “All over the world, these cities, each in its way, make culture the pillar, not an accessory, of their strategy,” said UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay.

By joining the UNESCO Creative Cities Network (UCCN), cities commit to sharing their best practices and developing partnerships involving the public and private sectors as well as civil society to strengthen the creation, production, distribution, and dissemination of cultural activities, goods, and services. They also pledge to develop hubs of creativity and innovation and broaden opportunities for creators and professionals in the cultural sector.

The Network covers seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Arts, Media Arts, Film, Design, Gastronomy, Literature, and Music.

UNESCO New Delhi Director Eric Falt offered words of praise to all those who worked on the candidacy of Mumbai and Hyderabad. He said: “I would like to offer my warm congratulations to both cities. I hope this will strengthen the development of hubs of creativity and innovation, which will contribute to the sustainable development plans of Mumbai and Hyderabad.”

This 30 October 2019, 66 cities have been designated as UNESCO Creative Cities by the Director-General of UNESCO, Audrey Azoulay. As laboratories of ideas and innovative practices, the UNESCO Creative Cities bring a tangible contribution to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through innovative thinking and action. Through their commitment, cities are championing sustainable development actions that directly benefit communities at the municipal level.

The new 66 UNESCO Creative Cities are:

  1. Afyonkarahisar (Turkey) - Gastronomy
  2. Ambon (Indonesia) - Music
  3. Angoulême (France) - Literature
  4. Areguá (Paraguay) - Crafts and Folk Art
  5. Arequipa (Peru) - Gastronomy
  6. Asahikawa (Japan) - Design
  7. Ayacucho (Peru) - Crafts and Folk Art
  8. Baku (Azerbaijan) - Design
  9. Ballarat (Australia) - Crafts and Folk Art
  10. Bandar Abbas (Iran [the Islamic Republic of]) - Crafts and Folk Art
  11. Bangkok (Thailand) - Design
  12. Beirut (Lebanon) - Literature
  13. Belo Horizonte (Brazil) - Gastronomy
  14. Bendigo (Australia) - Gastronomy
  15. Bergamo (Italy) - Gastronomy
  16. Biella (Italy) - Crafts and Folk Art
  17. Caldas da Rainha (Portugal) - Crafts and Folk Art
  18. Cebu City (Philippines) - Design
  19. Essaouira (Morocco) - Music
  20. Exeter (United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland) - Literature
  21. Fortaleza (Brazil) - Design
  22. Hanoi (Vietnam) - Design
  23. Havana (Cuba) - Music
  24. Hyderabad (India) - Gastronomy
  25. Jinju (Republic of Korea) - Crafts and Folk Art
  26. Kargopol (Russian Federation) - Crafts and Folk Art
  27. Karlsruhe (Germany) - Media Arts
  28. Kazan (Russian Federation) - Music
  29. Kırşehir (Turkey) - Music
  30. Kuhmo (Finland) - Literature
  31. Lahore (Pakistan) - Literature
  32. Leeuwarden (Netherlands) - Literature
  33. Leiria (Portugal) - Music
  34. Lliria (Spain) - Music
  35. Mérida (Mexico) - Gastronomy
  36. Metz (France) - Music
  37. Muharraq (Bahrain) - Design
  38. Mumbai (India) - Film
  39. Nanjing (China) - Literature
  40. Odesa (Ukraine) - Literature
  41. Overstrand Hermanus (South Africa) - Gastronomy
  42. Port of Spain (Trinidad and Tobago) - Music
  43. Portoviejo (Ecuador) - Gastronomy
  44. Potsdam (Germany) - Film
  45. Querétaro (Mexico) - Design
  46. Ramallah (Palestine) - Music
  47. San José (Costa Rica) - Design
  48. Sanandaj (Iran [the Islamic Republic of]) - Music
  49. Santiago de Cali (Colombia) - Media Arts
  50. Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic) - Music
  51. Sarajevo (Bosnia and Herzegovina) - Film
  52. Sharjah (United Arab Emirates) - Crafts and Folk Art
  53. Slemani (Iraq) - Literature
  54. Sukhothai (Thailand) - Crafts and Folk Art
  55. Trinidad (Cuba) - Crafts and Folk Art
  56. Valladolid (Spain) - Film
  57. Valledupar (Colombia) - Music
  58. Valparaíso (Chile) - Music
  59. Veszprém (Hungary) - Music
  60. Viborg (Denmark) - Media Arts
  61. Viljandi (Estonia) - Crafts and Folk Art
  62. Vranje (Serbia) - Music
  63. Wellington (New Zealand) - Film
  64. Wonju (Republic of Korea) - Literature
  65. Wrocław (Poland) - Literature
  66. Yangzhou (China) - Gastronomy

The UNESCO Creative Cities Network now counts a total of 246 cities.

The member cities that form part of the Network come from all continents and regions with different income levels and populations. They work together towards a joint mission: placing creativity and the creative economy at the core of their urban development plans to make cities safe, resilient, inclusive, and sustainable, in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.


— The editor is a contributor to the augmentation of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network. StumbleUpon reddit Facebook Google Plus Tweet This Seed This on Newsvine

Edited & Posted by Surender Hastir | 10:34 AM | Link to this Post

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