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12 August 2018 - Celebration of International Youth Day in Iran Highlights Role of Youth at All Levels of Policy-Making

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The Iranian Ministry of Youth and Sports in collaboration with UNESCO, the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO, UNICEF and UNFPA, organized an event in Tehran to celebrate International Youth Day 2018.

The celebration highlighted the importance of “Safe Spaces for Youth” as the theme of the year to promote mutual respect and constructive dialogue in the country.  

Safe Spaces can be defined as platforms where youth can come together, freely express themselves, engage in activities related to their diverse needs and interests and participate in decision-making processes. Available and accessible physical or virtual spaces can help youth feel valued and advance their cognitive, emotional and social skills as they transition into adulthood.

The event took at Enghelab Sport Complex and created a platform for dialogue among representatives of UN Agencies, government officials, and youth representatives.

The youth representatives shared their opinions on issues such as youth participation in entrepreneurship, tourism, and the promotion of peace, and made suggestions on how UN agencies and government entities could better support them in their efforts.

At the beginning of the event, Ms. Maryam Soltanzadeh, Programme Officer for Education at the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office highlighted the fact that youth are not just beneficiaries of the UNESCO’s work, but essential actors in finding solutions to the issues faced by young people in the world today. “UNESCO is working with youth from countries across the world to provide better opportunities for education, employment, and social and economic participation” she said.  

UNICEF Representative, Dr. Will Parks, quoted Nelson Mandela, and said: “If you want to build a successful and peaceful country, you should invest in children and young people first”. He underscored the great global challenges of our time including climate change, and extensive migration and forced displacement around the world, and stressed the need for empowering children, adolescents and youth with appropriate skills and knowledge to tackle these challenges.

UNFPA Representative, Dr. Leila Joudane, also reiterated a need for empowering young people to participate in policy dialogue and to become ambassadors of peace. 

On 17 December 1999, in its resolution 54/120, the United Nations General Assembly endorsed the recommendation made by the World Conference of Ministers Responsible for Youth (Lisbon, 8-12 August 1998) that 12 August be declared International Youth Day. The theme selected for International Youth Day 2018 is Safe Spaces for Youth in order to promote youth engagement and empowerment by exploring the role of safe spaces in contributing to mutual respect and constructive dialogue.

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2 August 2018 - UNESCO Assists Iran in Restoration of Two Historical Sites in Kermanshah Affected by 2017 Earthquake

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UNESCO conducted a four-day mission (29 July -2 August) to Kermanshah Province to provide technical assistance to the Iranian Cultural Heritage Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) for the rehabilitation of historical sites that have been damaged during the devastating earthquake in Kermanshah Province, in November 2017.

The mission headed by Mr. Stefano De Vito, an expert in post-earthquake stabilization and consolidation, focused mainly on the rehabilitation of Moavenalmolk Takie Complex and Biglorbeghi Takie Complex located in the historical part of Kermanshah city.

“A great number of cracks, some of considerable width, are visible at the intrados of the dome of Moavenalmolk Takie Complex. They all are oriented in radial direction, almost regularly spaced”, said Mr. De Vito during his initial mission, funded by the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund (HEF).  “This kind of structural decay is quite common in such typology of domes, and its most dangerous effect is the progressive reduction of the dome's capacity to resist traction tensions along the horizontal directions”, he added.  “This first look at the current state of the fractures showed that the situation is serious, especially in light of potential new earthquakes”, the UNESCO expert warned.

In December 2017, UNESCO undertook a preliminary mission for post-earthquake damage assessment on heritage sites throughout Kermanshah province, which was also funded by the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund. Following that mission, ICHHTO prioritized the stabilization and restoration of Moavenalmolk Takie Complex and Biglorbeghi Takie Complex.

UNESCO will be providing technical assistance to ICHHTO over the coming months through a number of expert missions to support local experts in the rehabilitation of these two sites, which are of particular importance to the local communities, as they are used for mourning ceremonies marking the martyrdom of Imam Hossein during Ashura.  

To learn more about activities funded by the UNESCO Heritage Emergency Fund, please see: http://www.unesco.org/donate/hef/

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20 June 2018 - UNESCO Calls for Stronger Actions to Prevent Marine Plastic Pollution

Tehran, 20 June 2018: UNESCO attended a commemoration ceremony on the occasion of World Oceans Day 2018 in Tehran and called for stronger actions to prevent marine plastic pollution and encourage solutions for healthy oceans.

The event that was organized by the Iranian National Commission for Oceanography, and the National Institute of Oceanography and Atmospheric Science of Iran, brought together a number of environmental and marine experts, as well as decision-makers on critical marine environment issues, including plastic pollution.

Ms. Esther Kuisch-Laroche, the Director and Representative of the UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office, underscored in her statement to the event that plastic debris has become a major source of pollutant, which has been detected in all major marine habitats. “The main focus of World Oceans Day is to raise awareness to what is happening to our precious oceans due to unsustainable, and quite often, poor waste management practices”. She added: “Finding solutions to protect and sustainably manage our oceans requires global collaboration.” 

According to a UN-Environment Report, plastic pollution is causing tremendous harm to our marine resources. An estimated 80 % of all pollution in the ocean comes from people on land, and 8 million tons of plastic per year ends up in the ocean, wreaking havoc on wildlife, fisheries and tourism. Moreover, plastic pollution costs the lives of 1 million seabirds and 100,000 marine mammals per year, and causes $8 billion in damage to marine ecosystems each year.

World Oceans Day has been celebrated unofficially since its original proposal in 1992 at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and was officially established by the United Nations General Assembly in 2008 to be celebrated worldwide on 8 June annually to resolve the ocean issues and save ocean water.

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21 May 2018 - UNESCO and International Council of Museums commemorate International Day of Museums in Iran

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Tehran, 21 May 2018: UNESCO and the International Council of Museums (ICOM) in collaboration with the Iranian Cultural Heritage Handicrafts and Tourism Organization (ICHHTO) commemorated the International Day of Museums 2018 today in a joint ceremony at the Iranian Artist’s Forum.

Ms. Esther Kuisch Laroche, the Director and Representative of UNESCO Tehran Office in her statement to the event underscored the importance of the International Museum Day by saying: "Museums are an important means of cultural exchange, enrichment of cultures and development of mutual understanding, cooperation and peace among peoples." 

The International Museum Day is celebrated this year under the theme of "Hyperconnected museums: New approaches, new publics”.

Elsewhere in her statement, the UNESCO Representative expressed that it is impossible to understand the role of museums without taking into account all the connections they make. “They are an inherent part of their local communities, their cultural landscape and their natural environment”, she said.

In November 2015, UNESCO Member States adopted the UNESCO Recommendation concerning the ‘Protection and Promotion of Museums, their Diversity and their Role in Society’; a set of global guidelines for the protection and promotion of museums and collections in a new era of enormous social, economic and technological change.

Yet, UNESCO’s commitment to museums is hardly new. Starting in the 1960s, UNESCO led the way in reimagining the role of museums, engaging in pioneering projects, such as the ‘Imaginary Museum’, to increase access to art through the reproduction of the world’s most famous paintings.

In recent years, UNESCO has intervened to protect and restore collections in post-conflict and natural disaster situations, to save the irreplaceable symbols of humanity’s cultural identities.

In Iran, UNESCO supports ICOM and the Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization in strengthening museum management and fight against the illicit trafficking of cultural property.

 

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20 May 2018 - UNESCO Joins Expert Meeting in Iran on Intellectual Property Rights in Cultural Heritage

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Tehran, 20 May 2018: The Research Centre of the Iranian Cultural Heritage Handicrafts and Tourism organization and the International Council of Museums (ICOM) jointly organized an expert meeting in Tehran, that was focused on “Intellectual Property Rights in Cultural Heritage”.

Ms Esther Kuisch Laroche, Director and Representative of UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office in her message to the meeting underscored the importance of recognizing International Property Rights (IPR). “Rapid scientific and technological progress presents challenges to existing copyright law and it is necessary for us to construct a balanced and coherent legal framework that takes into account the fast-changing economic and social context” she said.

In the aftermath of the Second World War, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) was founded. Since then, as one its areas of competence, UNESCO has continuously fostered the safeguarding and promoting cultural heritage in all its forms –tangible and intangible, cultural and natural- as a key to achieving dialogue, sustainable development and social cohesion.

Since its creation, UNESCO has taken the initiative through its standard‐setting instruments that is, conventions, to highlight the convergence and interface between cultural heritage and intellectual property as they are both creations of the mind that have economic value, being species of property.

Two key international conventions are of relevance to copyright protection: the Berne Convention for the Protection of Literary and Artistic Works, which was first adopted in 1886 and last revised in the Paris Act of 1971; and the 1952 Universal Copyright Convention (UCC), adopted under the aegis of UNESCO.

Another milestone in the protection of the intellectual property was the creation of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in 1967. The WIPO was founded as a specialised agency of the UN system and collaborates with UNESCO in advancing copyright protection and administering copyright related conventions. While copyright law differs from country to country, the foundation of the WIPO established the importance of intellectual property rights for economic growth in the emerging knowledge economy.

Ms. Kuisch Laroche also mentioned in her message to the meeting, the establishment of a special UNESCO Chair on Copyright and Other Intellectual Property Rights since June 1998 in a leading research institute.

One of UNESCO’s aims, as stated in its constitution, is to promote the free flow of ideas, and to facilitate the access of all people to printed and published materials produced by all. UNESCO sets out to do this by encouraging cooperation between nations in all spheres of intellectual activity and by encouraging governments to adopt measures towards promoting creativity and increasing the production of national literary, scientific, musical and artistic works.

To learn more about UNESCO’s work in this field: https://en.unesco.org/creativity/policy-monitoring-platform/intellectual-property-rights-law

 

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16 May 2018 - Allame Tabatabai University Inaugurates UNESCO Chair for Communication of Science and Technology

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Tehran, 16 May 2018: Today, the Allame Tabatab’i University of Tehran inaugurated its first UNESCO Chair for Communication of Science and Technology. There are currently 16 UNESCO Chairs across different universities in Iran.

The inauguration ceremony of the Chair was attended by Dr. Mansour Gholami,  Minister of Science, Research and Technology; Dr. Hojatollah Ayoubi, Secretary-General of the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO; Dr. Ahmad Jalali, Iranian Ambassador to UNESCO in Paris, and many prominent academics.

Ms. Esther Kuisch-Laroche, Director and Representative UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office expressed her congratulations to the Chair, and said: “This is an extremely important field, as the role of communication in today’s society is very vital and cannot be underestimated.” She added: “Indeed, effective communication is even more important when we want to convey complex concepts and ideas regarding scientific information and technological subjects to the public. Too many scientists have difficulty in talking about their work in a way that ordinary people can understand. We therefore need researchers with good communication skills, who can provide a link between science, technology and the public.”

In 1992, UNESCO Chairs and the University Twinning and Networking (UNITWIN) Programme, was conceived as a way to advance research, training and programme development in all of UNESCO’s fields of competence – in education, the natural and social sciences, culture, and communication and information – by building university networks and encouraging inter-university cooperation through the transfer of knowledge across borders. Since its establishment, the programme has aroused great interest among UNESCO Member States, including the Islamic Republic of Iran.

Through the network, higher education and research institutions all over the globe can cooperate in research and generate new ideas to address pressing challenges and contribute to the development of their societies, while respecting cultural diversity. In many instances, the Chairs and Networks serve as think tanks and as bridge builders between academia, civil society, local communities, research and policy-making.

Today, 735 UNESCO Chairs and 45 UNITWIN Networks are established within the Programme, involving over 850 institutions in 134 countries.

 

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