U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Other State Department Archive SitesU.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
U.S. Department of State
Home Issues & Press Travel & Business Countries Youth & Education Careers About State Video

U.S. National Commission for UNESCO, Volume 3, Issue 2, May/June 2007

In This Issue:

Overview from the Executive Director
Communications and Information Roundtable with Assistant Director General for Communication and Information Abdul Waheed Khan
Annual Meeting of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO
      Overview
      UNESCO Deputy Director General Opens Event
      Deputy Secretary of State Delivers Keynote Addresses
      Education
      Sciences
      Culture
      Communication and Information
Secretary Rice Message Delivered at Amistad America Event Marking the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade Route
Associated Schools Project Network meeting in Latvia
National Commission Establishes Subcommittee to Advise on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List
Sally Ride headlines L'Oreal For Women in Science Event; Reminder of Aug. 13 Deadline for International Fellowship 
U.S. Reelected to the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Council

UNESCO Job Vacancies


Comments from the Executive Director

Both the preparations for and the follow-up to the 3rd Annual Meeting of the U.S. National Commission was the main focus of the Commission's efforts during the last two months. We were delighted with such a strong turnout and productive dialogue amongst the panelists, commission members, and public attendees.

The Executive Secretariat also continued to learn first-hand more about the work that member groups such as the Gettysburg Foundation, American Film Institute, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services are doing in the areas of preservation, culture, education, and democracy.


Communications and Information Roundtable with Assistant Director General for Communication and Information Abdul Waheed Khan

Abdul Waheed Khan [left], Helene-Marie Gosselin [center], and Susanna Connaughton [right] lead the discussion on UNESCO Communication and Information related issues. [Source: Zemek, U.S. NatCom]
Abdul Waheed Khan (left), Helene-Marie Gosselin (center), and Susanna Connaughton (right) lead the discussion on UNESCO Communication and Information related issues. (Source: Zemek, U.S. NatCom)

On May 7, the UNESCO Liaison Office to the UN in New York coordinated along with the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO a discussion with visiting Assistant Director General for Communication and Information Abdul Waheed Khan, hosted at the United Nations Foundation headquarters in Washington, DC. The theme of the session built off a presentation by the Assistant Director General on "Building Partnerships for Knowledge Societies." Joining Mr. Khan and providing welcoming remarks were Hélène-Marie Gosselin, who is the director of the UNESCO Liaison Office to the UN in New York, and Executive Director Connaughton. Members of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO Communication and Information Committee as well as others from various non-governmental organizations and federal agencies participated in the discussion. The group addressed issues such as, press freedom in the world, information communication technologies being used to further education, and the UNESCO-related aspects of the World Summit on the Information Society. 

 

 


Annual Meeting of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO

Overview
The U.S. National Commission for UNESCO gathered on May 21 and May 22 at the Georgetown University Conference Hotel in Washington, DC for its third annual meeting. The meeting was opened by Deputy Director General for UNESCO Marcio Barbosa and included keynote addresses from Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte and Millennium Challenge Corporation Chairman Ambassador John Danilovich.

Executive Director Susanna Connaughton ,right, makes introductions of the annual meeting's plenary session's panel participants and speakers. [Source: Zemek, U.S. NatCom]
Executive Director Susanna Connaughton (right) makes introductions of the annual meeting's plenary session's panel participants and speakers. (Source: Zemek, U.S. NatCom)

Ambassador Louise Oliver provided an update on recent and ongoing events at UNESCO from reform efforts to Executive Board meeting successes and obstacles. The Commission also received an update and presentation from the Librarian of Congress, James Billington, on the World Digital Library, which Dr. Billington initially proposed at the Commission meeting two years earlier. The close to twenty presenters for the plenary and breakout sessions represented a wide-range of various federal agencies, non-governmental organizations, and other UN family organizations, such as National Geographic Society, UNICEF and the World Bank. These presentations helped focus the Commission's recommendations towards its theme of "UNESCO as Capacity Builder: Pursuing its Mandate Through Education, the Sciences, Culture, and Communications."

Meeting minutes, including the full text of the Commission recommendations to the government, will soon be available via the meetings and reports area of the Commission's website; below are some highlights of the meeting.

 UNESCO Deputy Director General Opens Event

UNESCO Deputy Director General Marcio Barbosa addresses a full crowd during the opening plenary session of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO annual meeting. [Source: Zemek, U.S. NatCom]
UNESCO Deputy Director General Marcio Barbosa addresses a full crowd during the opening plenary session of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO annual meeting. (Source: Zemek, U.S. NatCom)

Mr. Marcio Barbosa spoke on a variety of areas and sought to provide a sense of where UNESCO is headed and what it is aiming to achieve. He reiterated UNESCO's commitment to a series of Regional Literacy Conferences spurned from the September 2006 White House Conference on Global Literacy. Mr. Barbosa also addressed the overall review that took place of UNESCO's science sectors and announced that he will lead an internal task force on the topic. Mr. Barbosa said, "UNESCO this October perhaps faces its greatest challenge of all - the approval of its next six year strategy and two year program and budget." 

 

 

 


Deputy Secretary of State Delivers Keynote Address
Ambassador John D. Negroponte put capacity building and the work of the National Commission and UNESCO into context as he outlined the State Department's Strategic Plan, focusing on the pillars of "Governing Justly and Democratically" and "Investing in People." 

Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte delivers the keynote address to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. [Source: Zemek, U.S. NatCom]
Deputy Secretary of State John D. Negroponte delivers the keynote address to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. (Source: Zemek, U.S. NatCom)

Negroponte stated, "Much of the U.S. identity and appeal abroad is grounded in our belief that all people share fundamental rights that are best exercised and guaranteed by capable and democratic governance…With a mandate that covers Education, Natural Sciences, Social and Human Sciences, Culture, and Communication and Information, UNESCO has many ways to help contribute to preserving and strengthening the nation states of the world that need it most." He also referenced his experiences with the UN and his presence at President Bush's well-received announcement to the UN General Assembly in 2002 proclaiming the U.S. intention to rejoin UNESCO. Negroponte spoke of they key role that UNESCO can play in a post-September 11 world and said, "Our idea as a Department and as a supporter of UNESCO is that "Investing in People" should focus on improving the capabilities of individuals to contribute to economic development and democratic decision-making, while ameliorating the root causes of poverty and conflict. UNESCO can be a key organization in helping us achieve these objectives and UNESCO's education mandate is central in this effort." 

 

Members of the Education Committee discuss improving literacy and other important education issues. [Source: Zemek, U.S. NatCom]
Members of the Education Committee discuss improving literacy and other important education issues. (Source: Zemek, U.S. NatCom)

Education
The Education Committee, chaired by meeting host President Jack DeGioia of Georgetown, focused on the capacity building areas of literacy, Education for All, and vocational education and workforce development. The group was able to develop recommendations regarding the need for measurable in-country outcomes of the UNESCO Regional Literacy Conferences.  

 




 

Dr. Kathie Olsen [center] presents to members of the Social and Human Sciences and Natural Sciences and Engineering Committees on the status of UNESCO's review of its science sectors. [Source: Zemek]
Dr. Kathie Olsen (center) presents to members of the Social and Human Sciences and Natural Sciences and Engineering Committees on the status of UNESCO's review of its science sectors. (Source: Zemek, U.S. NatCom)

Sciences
The Natural Sciences and Engineering and Social and Human Sciences Committees met jointly for a period to receive an update from Dr. Kathie Olsen of the National Science Foundation who served on the UNESCO advisory panel which conducted an overall review of the organization's Science programs. The Committee advised that UNESCO should be urged to implement the recommendations with a timetable. When the Natural Science and Engineering Committee met separately, they produced recommendations on topics such as the International Hydrological Program, the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Committee, establishing Category II Centers, and implementing technical capacity building at UNESCO. The Social and Human Sciences group focused its recommendations on UNESCO's SHS sector Human Rights initiatives facilitating cross-sectoral capacity building and being anchored in international human rights law.  

 

 

 

Dr. Richard Kurin [center] of the Smithsonial Institute discusses intangible heritage with fellow Culture Committee members including Murray Horowitz of American Film Institute [left] and Sandra Gibson of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters [left]. [Source: Zemek, U.S. NatCom]
Dr. Richard Kurin (center) of the Smithsonian Institute discusses intangible heritage with fellow Culture Committee members including Murray Horowitz of American Film Institute (left) and Sandra Gibson of the Association of Performing Arts Presenters (right). (Source: Zemek, U.S. NatCom)

Culture
The Culture Committee tackled various cross-cutting issues ranging from dialogue and exchange to heritage preservation and sustainable development to cultural diversity and intangible cultural heritage. Many of the group's recommendations highlighted the role that partnerships and economic viability play in the success of cultural efforts. 

 

 

 

 

 

Librarian of Congress Billington updates members of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO both verbally and visually on the status of the World Digital Library. [Source: Zemek, U.S. NatCom] hspace=
Librarian of Congress Billington updates members of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO both verbally and visually on the status of the World Digital Library. (Source: Zemek, U.S. NatCom)
Communication and Information
The Communications and Information Committee stressed the importance of cross-sectoral communication and collaboration in areas such as intercultural dialogue, education, and sciences. The World Digital Library program was specifically cited as a program that fuses attributes and aims across UNESCO's sectors. The group also built off presentations received on free press and media development and UNESCO's role in the follow-on to the World Summit on Information Society.

 

 

 

  


Secretary Rice Message Delivered at Amistad America Event Marking the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade Route

With the boom of the mainsail of the Amistad behind and hundreds of attendees in front, Susanna Connaughton delivers a farewell message on behalf of Secretary Rice. [Source: Zemek, U.S. NatCom]
With the boom of the mainsail of the Amistad behind and hundreds of attendees in front, Susanna Connaughton delivers a farewell message on behalf of Secretary Rice. (Source: Zemek, U.S. NatCom)

Secretary Condoleezza Rice produced a message honoring the launch of the Freedom Schooner Amistad, which will be making a fourteen-month transatlantic, international journey retracing the historic triangular trade in honor of the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Trade Route. The vessel left the port of New Haven, Connecticut on June 21 to a fanfare attended by hundreds. As UNESCO and the U.S. National Commission are celebrating this anniversary during 2007-2008, the Executive Director of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO delivered the message on behalf of Secretary Rice. One passage read, "It is important to remember the struggles of the past as we work to transform the future. I very much have in mind our own history as I work to promote freedom and fundamental human rights around the world."

The ship is a near-replica of the historic 19th Century schooner La Amistad. The crew of this expedition will include college students who will be using information communication technologies to report back to classrooms of the travels from port to port. The Secretary Rice message added, "This schooner is about to embark on a new journey. This time, the Amistad sails the Atlantic as a symbol of freedom. Her voyage will highlight education, tolerance, and freedom for all mankind." The United Kingdom Minister of Culture and the UN Ambassador from Sierra Leone also participated in the event; large events are planned for the ships arrivals in Liverpool, England and Freetown, Sierra Leone later this year. The U.S. National Commission for UNESCO has a webpage dedicated to the 200th Anniversary of the Abolition of the Transatlantic Slave Route.


Associated Schools Project Network meeting in Latvia

U.S. National Commission for UNESCO education officer Emily Spencer attended the UNESCO ASPnet Training Seminar for National Coordinators in Jurmala, Latvia. The training, designed for coordinators in Europe and North America, was hosted by the Latvian National Commission and featured three days of presentations, discussions, and a tour of several ASPnet programs in Latvia. Sigrid Niedermayer, International Coordinator for UNESCO ASPnet attended and provided attendees with updates from the UNESCO Secretariat.


National Commission Established Subcommittee to Advise on the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List

A view of Mount Cooper and Lamplugh Glacier at Glacier Bay National Park and Reserve on the border between Alaska and Canada, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1992. [Source: National Park Service]
A view of Mount Cooper and Lamplugh Glacier at Glacier Bay National Park and Reserve on the border between Alaska and Canada, which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1992. (Source: National Park Service)

The U.S. National Commission for UNESCO in collaboration with the U.S. Department of Interior, National Park Service, has established a World Heritage Tentative List Subcommittee. The group will provide advice on the draft tentative list currently being compiled by the National Park Service comprised from the 36 sites in the United States which have applied for possible future inclusion on the prestigious UNESCO World Heritage List of the world's most significant cultural and natural treasures.The applications received represent a diverse collection of natural and cultural sites, located in 25 states and one U.S. territory.

The advisory group -- consisting of members from the federal government, non-governmental organizations, and expert individuals -- will meet this September and will provide recommendations to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO who will in turn provide recommendations to the U.S. Department of State for further use by the U.S. Department of Interior. Before the tentative list is finalized the U.S. Department of Interior will also provide a public comment period on the draft tentative list.

 

 

  


Sally Ride Headlines L'Oreal For Women in Science Event; Reminder of Aug. 13 Deadline for International Fellowship

Dr. Sally Ride delivers the keynote address at the L'Oreal USA For Women in Science awards ceremony at the Museum of Natural History in New York. [Source: Zemek, IO/UNESCO]
Dr. Sally Ride delivers the keynote address at the L'Oreal USA For Women in Science awards ceremony at the Museum of Natural History in New York. (Source: Zemek, IO/UNESCO)

On May 24, at a ceremony in New York City, L'Oreal-USA honored Dr. Mildred Dresselhaus, laureate for North America in the L'Oreal UNESCO For Women in Science Awards Program, as well as the current cadre of young American Women in Science fellowship recipients. The American Association for the Advancement of Science collaborated on the project as well as Ralph Cicerone, President of the National Academy of Sciences, who served as the chair of the award review panel. Dr. Sally Ride, the first American woman in space, delivered the keynote address.

A reminder that another program, the L'Oreal-UNESCO For Women in Science International Fellowship program has a deadline for applications to the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO of August 13. The program awards worldwide fellowships to 15 promising young women scientists, doctorate or post-doctorate researchers, for work encouraging international scientific cooperation and the development of cross-cultural networks. The length of the fellowship is up to two years and worth a maximum of $40,000.

  


U.S. Reelected to the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Executive Council

U.S. representative to Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, Rick Spinrad, led a delegation to the annual IOC Assembly in Paris in June. During the meeting the U.S. was reelected to the IOC Executive Council.


UNESCO Job Vacancies

UNESCO has posted a number of open positions. Professional posts (P) range from junior professionals P-1/P-2, to middle-ranking professionals P-3/P-4, to management professionals and directors P-5 and D-1/D-2. Should you or someone you know apply for a UNESCO position, please feel free to inform the Executive Secretariat of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO.

Current jobs listed on UNESCO's website http://recrutweb.unesco.org/ include:

DIRECTOR, UNESCO OFFICE CAIRO, UNESCO Representative to Egypt, Sudan, and Yemen, Bureau of Field Coordination, (AR/RP/EGY/BFC/0001) - (D1) (Cairo, Egypt) Closing Date: July 25, 2007

SENIOR AUDITOR, Central Services, Internal Oversight Service, (IOS 003) - (P5) (Paris, France) (re-advertisement) Closing Date: August 29, 2007

PROGRAM SPECIALIST, Social and Human Sciences Sector, UNESCO Office Beijing, (AS/RP/CPR/SHS/0005) - (P4) (Beijing, China) Closing Date: July 31, 2007

SENIOR RESEARCH SCIENTIST, The Abdus Salam International Center for Theoretical Physics, (EU/TP/ITA/SC/0824) - (P4) (Trieste, Italy) Closing Date: September 30, 2007

PROGRAM SPECIALIST IN EDUCATION, Education Sector, UNESCO Office Kabul, (AS/RP/AFG/ED/0003) - (P3) (Kabul, Afghanistan) Closing Date: August 27, 2007


  Back to top

U.S. Department of State
USA.govU.S. Department of StateUpdates  |   Frequent Questions  |   Contact Us  |   Email this Page  |   Subject Index  |   Search
The Office of Electronic Information, Bureau of Public Affairs, manages this site as a portal for information from the U.S. State Department. External links to other Internet sites should not be construed as an endorsement of the views or privacy policies contained therein.
About state.gov  |   Privacy Notice  |   FOIA  |   Copyright Information  |   Other U.S. Government Information

Published by the U.S. Department of State Website at http://www.state.gov maintained by the Bureau of Public Affairs.