"Russian Tycoon Abramian Pushes Dialogue of Civilizations as UNESCO"
6 UNDIPLOMATIC TIMES 2004 - 1 Russian Tycoon Abramian Pushes Dialogue of Civilizations as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador In July 2003, UNESCO Director General Koichiro Matsuura, seeking to en- countries and Argentina. LETTER gage the initiative and drive of the private sector to the Dialogue among Civiliza- As founder-President of the Union of by tions, designated Ara Abramian, one of Russia’s new generation of multimillion- Armenians of Russia, Mr. Abramian has MEHRI aire businessmen as UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador. Of Armenian origin, born been a civic activist of long standing. MADARSHAHI into a well-to-do family in the small village of Malishka (literally, “my little dar- Recently he was also elected President ling”), Mr. Abramian brings a unique mix of experiences and skills to his new of the World Congress of Armenians in role. the Diaspora. He played a leading role The Return of the USA Growing up in a home with five sib- in organizing Round Table discussions The return of the United States to lings and with both parents busy medi- that brought together the representatives UNESCO after a 19-year absence was cal doctors, he learned early to compete of 154 nationalities within Russia. Those a major production, with a delegation and work hard to achieve success. With meetings contributed significantly to de- led by First Lady Laura Bush the cyno- a degree from the Yerevan agricultural fusing inter-ethnic tensions that inevi- sure of all eyes on 29 September 2003. institute, he went to work as an engi- tably arise in a country undergoing a Some 400 TV stations and major news- neer at the Neyron enterprise of the massive transition. As a result, President papers around the world covered the USSR Ministry of Electronic Industry Putin invited him into the Council of Na- event. Le Monde expressed apprehen- and rose to become its Director-General. tionalities, an advisory and liaison body. sion at the impact of a renewed US pres- In 1994, he became the founding presi- Mr. Abramian’s interest in and work ence on UNESCO, but most oth- dent of the Concord corporation, a post with UNESCO began long before be- ers viewed US re-entry as a posi- ® he continues to hold. Concord is now a ing appointed Goodwill Ambassador. dialogue and reconciliation, and the conglomerate with interests in dia- He will continue to raise support for training of young journalists. He would monds, construction, air transport, elec- UNESCO’s constructive programs on not speak about the funding of these ini- UNESCO PHOTO tronics, chemicals and publishing. education, preservation of culture and tiatives, beyond saying that “money is Mr. Abramian maintained an unim- promotion of science. He will also seek not a problem.” peachable reputation for integrity and to promote closer collaboration between Efforts to eliminate poverty and illit- professionalism as he rose to promi- the public and private sectors. eracy must be the “first steps” towards nence, partnering with the most promi- He has proposed seven projects to ad- peace and prosperity, he says. The new nent and influential Russian and foreign Ara Abramian vance the dialogue among civilizations global interdependence “dictates joint financial and industrial business groups. through education and innovative use of efforts and the search for synergies by He was designated ‘Man of the Year Putin, Mr. Abramian has also been cho- technology, including a center for long- all concerned to alleviate the pain and 2001” by the Russian media. With his sen to lead national business delegations distance learning based in Paris. Other suffering of those excluded and left be- close ties to Russian President Vladimir to the United States, several European projects touch on the human heritage, hind.” y Dialogue of Civilizations: A Story in Progress Speaking in Moscow in December 2003, UNESCO Director-General Koichiro phasis must be placed on concrete action and programmatic initiatives that can Matsuura summed up the “story-in-progress” of international efforts at promoting take “dialogue” from the conference hall into policies and practices with conse- a dialogue among civilizations. The highlights: quences for how people live together, interact with each other and un- In November 1998, the United Nations General Assembly, acting at derstand one another.” Pointing to the need to focus attention on “re- the initiative of Iran, proclaimed 2001 as the “Year of Dialogue among gions, sub-regions, countries and communities where intercultural dia- Civilizations.” logue is most needed,” There was “considerable scope for further devel- In preparation for the launch of the International Year (and on the opment and adaptation” of the process, for it was “unfolding at different eve of the Millennium Assembly in September 2000), UNESCO and the levels - at times involving the highest levels of political leadership and United Nations organized two Round Tables on the Dialogue among Civi- sometimes becoming concrete in the work of teachers, scientists, re- lizations in New York, one engaging Heads of State, the other an interna- searchers and media professionals.” tional group of Eminent Persons. One of UNESCO’s “most urgent tasks is to encourage a wider owner- The UN Year of Dialogue among Civilizations in 2001 saw much Koichiro Matsuura ship of the dialogue among civilizations” Mr. Matsuura said. The pro- activity around the world dedicated to promoting dialogue, peace and cess had to become “something that all parts of society can relate to and mutual understanding, the need for which was placed in sharp relief by the terrible become involved in: from primary school children to university professors, from events of 11 September. government officials to civil society associations, from scientists and engineers to The UNESCO General Conference in early November 2001 recognized that artists and writers.” He mentioned several UNESCO initiatives that was taking the war against terror had made the ideals and aims of dialogue all the more im- the effort at mobilizing a dialogue among civilizations to areas where there had portant and urgent. In addition to a resolution against terrorism, it adopted the been a history of conflict: Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. The Declaration aims not only to The Regional Forum on Dialogue among Civilizations (August 2003, Ohrid, preserve the world’s cultural diversity but to promote intercultural dialogue. Macedonia), brought together for the first time all eight Heads of State in the sub- Also in November 2001, the UN General Assembly established the Global region, including the five leaders of the former Yugoslav republics. The resulting Agenda for Dialogue among Civilizations as the agreed multilateral framework “Message from Ohrid” promised cooperation and exchange “with a view to so- for continuing international debate and activities on this matter. lidifying freedom and democracy and upholding human rights.” The “New Delhi Declaration on “Dialogue among Civilizations - The Quest The International Conference on Intercultural Dialogue and a Culture of Peace for New Perspectives” was adopted by the first ever international ministerial con- in Central Africa and the Great Lakes Region (Libreville, Gabon, November 2003), ference on the Dialogue of Civilizations in July 2003. Subsequently, the 32nd attracted over 100 political leaders, traditional chiefs, authors, intellectuals, aca- Session of UNESCO General Conference adopted by acclamation a landmark demics and students from 24 countries, especially those in the geographical areas resolution deciding that UNESCO’s actions on the Dialogue among Civilizations concerned. should henceforth be guided by the framework of the New Delhi Declaration. The international colloquium on dialogue among cultures and civilizations That framework involves activities in four key areas: * Education * Science and (Sana’a, Yemen, February 2004). Technology * Cultural diversity; and * Media and information and communica- A conference on “Eurasia in the 21st Century - Dialogue of Cultures or Con- tion technologies (ICTs). flict of Civilizations?” (to be held in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, in June 2004). Further Development An Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on “Promoting Dialogue among Cul- Mr. Matsuura said the “time for statements of general principles and avowals of tures and Civilizations for Peace and Sustainable Development,” to be hosted by global support for intercultural dialogue” had passed, he said; “from now on, em- Viet Nam in 2004. 2004 - 1 UNDIPLOMATIC TIMES 7 ference took some important decisions. erable reservations because of the po- It adopted a Convention on intangible tential of a Convention to inhibit free cultural heritage (see separate story); cross-cultural flow of ideas and cultural adopted international instruments on products (of which it is the world’s lead- multilingualism on the Internet and on ing exporter). The US draft emphasized human genetic data; and initiated action the importance of Article 19 of the Uni- to draft a standard-setting convention on versal Declaration of Human Rights on cultural diversity. The initiative on the protection of the right to freedom of Convention looks back to the adoption opinion and expression. It recognized in 2001 of the Universal Declaration on the importance to artists and creators of Cultural Diversity, which says such di- intellectual property protection and the versity is part of humanity’s “common free circulation of contemporary cultural heritage” and deems its protection a con- goods and services within and across crete and ethical imperative, inseparable borders. And it invited the Director-Gen- UNESCO PHOTO from respect of human dignity. eral to convene a group of experts to Quick Controversy consider the ways in which UNESCO Expectations that the return of the might best support and promote cultural United States would lead to controversy diversity, taking into account relevant over the proposed Convention were international legal instruments adopted United States First Lady Laura Bush speaking at the opening of the 32nd General swiftly realized. The US delegation, by other organizations, including Conference of UNESCO in Paris, the first the US has attended as a member in 19 years. which had announced its intention to UNCTAD, WTO and WIPO. The DG remain initially in a “listening mode,” was asked in the US draft to report on tive step for multilateralism. US First Lady appeared on the podium. wasted no time circulating a draft reso- those consultations to the 169th session Budget Windfall However, Ambassador Jalali did not go lution to counter the unanimous recom- of the Executive Board. Much prominence was given to the quietly; his humorous final speech (per- mendation of UNESCO’s Executive The US move led to a passionate dis- fact that the re-entry would at one stroke haps performance would be a more apt Board that the Director-General begin cussion over several days, with a ma- increase the UNESCO budget by 22 per word) had delegates grinning. work on the Convention with a view to jority of countries (including customary cent. Whether the money would be ac- Graceful Speech submitting a complete draft to the 33rd US allies Portugal and Canada), in op- tually forthcoming immediately was Mrs. Bush, who earlier in 2003 had position. The Portuguese representative General Conference in 2005. The United cast in some doubt by the Senate Ap- been designated Honorary Ambassador in an emotional aside said that the ori- States views the proposal with consid- propriations Committee, which struck for the UN Literacy Decade (2003- gin of mankind and its civilizations out all of the $71 million for UNESCO 2012), made a graceful speech, saying owed little to Hollywood and the movie in the Bush administration’s budget re- the United States had “much to offer and industry. The French Minister of Cul- quest. However, the money was put … much to learn” and that “given the ture declared that the Convention would back in during the reconciliation of the many changes in our world today, our fill a legal vacuum and create a great House and Senate version. The finan- work is more urgent and more impor- opportunity for dialogue aimed at pre- cial weight of the re-entry was acknowl- tant than at any time in UNESCO’s his- venting a Hollywood culture “mo- edged by the hasty adjustments made by tory.” She highlighted the importance of nopoly.” The Canadian Minister also Group I countries that were bidding for programs for primary education for all, went to bat for the proposed Conven- election to the Executive Board. Portu- especially girls, and for the reconstruc- tion, arguing that in a period of global- gal, Greece, Monaco and Luxembourg tion of education systems in post-con- ization country’s had the right to defend dropped out of the process, and the US flict areas. In Iraq, she noted, 80 per cent their domestic culture and languages. In was elected, along with Canada, France, of primary and secondary schools and Canada — where American cultural in- Italy, and Switzerland. all but two universities had reopened: fluence was very strong — there was Jalali Says Adieu “5 million text book free of Baathist pro- an increasing awareness of the need for There was also a note of procedural paganda –thanks to a UNESCO pro- a national policy to protect indigenous comic relief prior to the US First Lady’s gram”- was being distributed to schools. cultural and linguistic diversity. She appearance on stage at the opening While speaking of the need to “preserve noted that only 3 per cent of English and meeting of the 32nd General Confer- the cultural heritage of our past, and il- 17 per cent of French movies produced ence. Traditionally, the outgoing Presi- luminate a future of scientific advance in Canada made it to domestic screens. dent of the General Conference presides and discovery with careful ethics and a Two days into the debate, the Inter- at the opening meeting, and his/her re- reverence for the dignity of life,” she national Network for Cultural Diversity placement takes over the gavel only af- steered clear of any explicit reference (INCD) consisting of more than 400 ter the ceremonial opening is over. But to the controversies over the initiative NGOs representing artists, cultural pro- the United States did not want Mrs. to draft a Convention on cultural diver- ducers, academics and cultural activi- Bush to speak with Ahmed Jalali of Iran sity. See below. ties from 70 countries issued a commu- in the Chair, so Michael Omolewa of 32nd General Conference nique explaining why the US draft reso- Nigeria was quickly installed before the The 32nd session of the General Con- lution would deter progress in the adop- tion of the Convention. After a number of informal negotiating sessions and bi- UNESCO to Protect “Intangible” Culture lateral powwows, a compromise pro- A form of traditional chanting in India that has kept alive the wisdom of the Vedas for posal was presented by Japan. It recom- well over three millennia, the thousand-year Guqin musical tradition of China, the mended that the Director General sub- encyclopedic knowledge of plant species maintained by itinerant doctors in Bolivia, the sand drawing of Vanuatu that cut across linguistic lines; the woodcraft of the mit to the 33rd session of the General Zafimaniry of Madagascar: these are among the 28 “Masterpieces of the Oral and Conference in 2005 a preliminary draft Intangible Heritage of Humanity” declared by a UNESCO jury on 7 November 2003. on the protection of cultural diversity Noting that three weeks earlier the agency’s 32nd General Conference had adopted an and artistic expression, with an accom- International Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, panying report explaining the scope and UNESCO UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura said that “20 years of pioneering substantive content of the proposed stan- action” had led to “the beginning of a new era.” The jury’s second declaration — the dards. For the moment, the movement first was in 2001 — underlined the urgent need for action to protect and preserve the towards a Convention on Cultural Di- most “fragile, perishable and vulnerable” elements of the human heritage, he said. The wonderful collage of human diversity versity seems to have stalled. y See www.unesco.org for more details. is ancient; the need to protect it is new. 8 UNDIPLOMATIC TIMES 2004 - 1 Year to Commemorate Slavery Officially Launched in Ghana At a ceremony in Cape Coast, Ghana, one of the slave trade’s most active centres and today a World Heritage site, UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura officially launched the International Year to Commemorate the Struggle Against Slavery and its Abolition on January 10. The Year was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly, with UNESCO as the lead agency for implentation. Mr. Matsuura said that “recalling the consequences for cultural diversity and memory of a tragedy that for long years the transfer of knowledge, and contem- remained hidden or unrecognized” was porary slavery and racism. On March a “duty” the world owed to the victims 21, the International Day for the Elimi- of a “crime against humanity.” He urged nation of Racial Discrimination, that “this major episode in the history UNESCO will launch a project called of humanity, whose consequences are “International Coalition of Cities United permanently imprinted in the world’s geography and economy, should take its full place in the school textbooks and Milestones curricula of every country in the world.” The year 2004 marks the bicentenary As the lead agency for the Year, of the first independent black state, UNESCO will undertake a wide range Haiti, a symbol of the slaves’ resistance of activities in cooperation with States, (www.unesco.org/culture/unysa). The National Commissions, non-govern- uprising in Saint-Domingue (present- mental organizations, groups and indi- day Haiti and the Dominican Republic), viduals to promote the development of which began on the night of August 22, historical sites connected to the slave 1791, played a decisive role in the abo- trade, and celebrate events and person- lition of the transatlantic slave trade. alities linked to its abolition. The goal August 23 is celebrated each year as the will be to deepen knowledge of slavery International Day for the Remembrance and the slave trade, and highlight the of the Slave Trade and its Abolition. philosophical, political and legal lega- (see http://www.unesco.org/culture/ UNESCO PHOTO cies that we must continue to deal with. dialogue/slave/html_eng/day.shtml). The House of Slaves on the island of Gorée in Senegal. Built in 1776 by the Dutch, Activities will focus on three areas: Sci- In the Americas, slavery was first for- it was the last of a number of slave houses to be used by slavers. The earliest entific Research, Living Memory, and mally abolished in Saint Domingue houses on Gorée date back to 1536 and were built by Portuguese, the first Encounters and Dialogue. They include: (1793), and last in Brazil (1888). It was Europeans to set foot there (in 1444). The Dutch Slave House is well preserved, Meetings of experts on the history banned by the 1948 Universal Decla- and has rooms marked out for men, women and children, as well as those who of slavery, its impact on the populations ration of Human Rights and by the 1956 were “temporarily unfit.” affected by the trade, the slave trade’s UN. Lively Debate in Mediterranean States as a common enemy or a shared ally.” Speakers focused on the emer- justification for interventionism. “The United States has occupied two Muslim Forum: Is Islam a Threat? gence of America as a “hyperpower,” its “missionary” foreign policy and re- countries, Afghanistan and Iraq, and in- directly occupies Palestine” said one by Mehri Madarshahi Minister Dominique de Villepin and sponses to its newly risen “Empire.” speaker. Some discussants thought After three days of lively discussion former President of Senegal Abdou Former UN Secretary-General Boutros democratic values were a neocolonial about the troubled relationship between Diouf (current Secretary-General of the Boutros Ghali reviewed the present Western imposition on the Arab world. Islam and the West at the Forum Euro organization of French-speaking coun- unilateralist policies of the United States Despite such views there was a broad Mediterranee at UNESCO in January, tries, Francophonie), were among the with its history of support for agreement that the way forward in- there was one broad area of consensus: most prominent politicians present. multilateralism, which was mainly an volved democratization and moderniza- there is no “clash of civilizations.” There were business executives, scien- American concept advanced by Presi- tion of the Arab world. A concluding No one denied that tensions between tists, academics, teachers and many dents Roosevelt and Truman. Robert panel on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict East and West have been aggravated and leading journalists and correspondents Baer, a former CIA officer, argued that discussed the Geneva Initiative of Yossi that the Islamic threat is real, danger- of the French TV and radio. present “imperial policies” could not be Beilin and Yasser Abed Rabbo, both of ous and distressing. But the reason was One panel debated the history of Is- sustained because of the increasing fi- whom were present and active partici- not enmity. To the contrary, it was glo- lam and its contribution to humanity’s nancial burden they imposed and grow- pants. balization, and the growing intimacy cultural heritage. Some speakers con- ing public opposition. Former French Summing up the main strands of among peoples, regions, religions and trasted the rigidity of Islamic practice Interior Minister and Presidential Can- thought that had been reflected in three civilizations. and belief today with the spirit of en- didate Jean-Pierre Chevenement saw the days of intense discussion, former Some saw 9/11 as an indicator of a lightenment and discovery in science US as neither a common enemy — for French Foreign Minister Hubert Vedrine battle already in progress between the and philosophy in the early period of the it was tackling problems that affected underlined the need for constructive dia- Judaeo-Christian Western democracies religion. Most Muslim participants dis- all — nor a shared ally, for it was forg- logue aimed at reducing tensions and and a radical Islamic world bent on con- associated themselves from jihadist vio- ing exclusive alliances for specific pur- resolving conflicts on the basis of jus- quest; some even saw that clash as not lence, seeing it as the result of political poses, and acting unilaterally when it tice; genuine social reforms, particularly just inevitable but desirable. But every- manipulation of religion. In the name wanted. Multilateralism could only be the promotion of gender equality; one foresaw a resolution, an intellectual of the many philosophers, poets and sci- revived on a new political consensus broader education efforts in the Arab and and political process that would play out entists of the Arab world who had, down that gave a central role to the United Muslim world; and accelerated eco- over the next decade. the centuries, contributed to the shap- Nations. nomic development. The Forum was Participating in the Forum was a wide ing of modern Western civilization, they A Panel on “Is the Arab world un- largely a men-only affair, a shortcom- spectrum of social activists from the called for renewed dialogue between the dergoing another colonization” touched ing the organizers pledged to remedy at Mediterranean region as well as the opposite shores of the Mediterranean. upon the fear inspired by ‘rogue states’ the next event, planned for 2005. United States. President Chirac, Foreign Another panel discussed “the United and the rise of Islamism that provided a 2004 - 1 UNDIPLOMATIC TIMES 9 ture/slaveroute). The project’s educa- (Angola - Cap Vert - Guinée Bissau - The tional component, “Breaking the Si- Sao Tome et Principe). In 2004, Slave lence,” involves some 100 schools on the three continents. Its research com- UNESCO’s “ Iron Roads in Africa” project will publish “The Origins of Iron Ships ponent has produced two books, Voices Metallurgy in Africa - New light on its of Slaves and Voyages of Slaves, for use antiquity: West and Central Africa” (see Are in the schools. A third volume, Visions www.unesco.org/publishing). of Slaves, will come out in 2004. An In- To trace the slave trade itineraries, the Gone ternational Youth Forum in August will Slave Route project and the World Tour- launch a worldwide drive to mobilize ism Organization (WTO) in 1995 Not Slavery schools in the fight against racism (see launched the Slave Route cultural tour- www.unesco.org/education/asp and ism programme for Africa, aimed at Although universally banned now, slavery continus to exist in various forms, www.antislavery.org/breakingthesil identifying, rehabilitating, restoring and including bonded labour for debt, forced labour of adults and children, sexual ence). promoting sites, buildings and places of exploitation of children, trafficking and displacement of human beings and forced One of the goals of the Year is “know- remembrance of the slave trade. This marriage. ing and recognizing the major imprint economic, historical and ethical ap- The non-governmental organization Anti-Slavery says at least 20 million people of African cultures on the formation of proach to tourism reflects the duty of are held in bonded labour around the world. the world’s cultures and civilizations.” remembrance (www.unesco.org/culture/ The United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) puts the estimated The millions of African slaves uprooted dialogue/slave/html_fr/tourism.shtml). number of people trafficked for bonded or forced labour at 700,000 a year. from their homes, deported and sold in About ten significant sites on the The International Labour Organization (ILO) has published estimates putting the Americas, brought with them not Slave Route have already been inscribed the number of child labourers at 245 million in 2002. The ILO further says that only their spiritual and cultural values, on UNESCO’s World Heritage List: the 1.2 million children fall victim to traffickers every year. It has denounced the but also traditional know-how, as shown island of Gorée in Senegal (http:// trade in children in central and western Africa reporting that, “10,000 to 15,000 in a series of works published by webworld.unesco.org/goree/); the forts Malian children work on plantations in Côte d’Ivoire - many of them victims of UNESCO, among them the General and castles of Volga and Accra in Ghana; trafficking. History of Africa, Tradition orale et ar- Mozambique Island; the ruins of Kilwa Nigeria reports that in 1996, some 4,000 children were trafficked from Cross chives de la traite négrière (2001), Kisiwani and Songo Mnara in Tanza- River State to various parts within and outside its borders. Déraison, esclavage et droit: les nia; the royal palaces of Abomey in Benin registered over 3,000 trafficked children between 1995 and 1999. fondements idéologiques et juridiques Benin; the Sans-souci citadel in Haiti; Against Racism”, which will include a (pending confirmation), proceeds from de la traite négrière et de l’esclavage and several historic centres and towns series of regional seminars and confer- which fund UNESCO projects for the (2002), Montesquieu, Rousseau, in Brazil, Cuba, the Dominican Repub- ences to define a 10-point action plan rehabilitation of Slave Route sites. Diderot : du genre humain au bois lic and Panama. Though not directly to fight racism at the municipal level Celebrations of leaders of the fight d’ébène, les abolitions de l’esclavage connected to the slave trade, Robben Research studies focusing on the against slavery, such as Toussaint (2002), Les Sources orales de la traite Island in South Africa remains the most preservation of documents and the digi- Louverture, Victor Schoelcher, Moreau négrière en Guinée et en Sénégambie powerful symbol of one of its lasting tization of archive collections, as well de Saint-Mery and Vicente Guerrero. (2003), Tradition orale liée à la traite consequences: the spread of a racist as on the establishment of databases. On Moreover, this year UNESCO will cre- négrière et à l’esclavage en Afrique mentality, systematized by the apartheid the occasion of the 15th International ate a medal and award to commemorate centrale (2003) and Lieux de mémoire regime. Archives Conference (Vienna, Austria, Toussaint Louverture and the fight de l’esclavage et de la traite négrière August 23-29), an international confer- against racial discrimination, xenopho- ence on the archives of the slave trade bia and intolerance. will take place as part of the “Archives Meetings, such as the Third Con- First Global Education Digest Provides of the Slave Trade” project gress of African, American and Carib- ((webworld.unesco.org/slave_quest/en/ bean Writers, whose scheduled theme Key Performance Indicators ). is “From the Abolition of Slavery to the How to gain an accurate picture of Universal Primary Education.” It analy- Creation of slavery and slave trade Fight Against Colonialism and the Place the performance of education systems ses the different yardsticks used to mea- museums and research centres, such as of Blacks in the Age of Globalisation” around the world? How to guage par- sure educational participation, progress the one planned for the island of Gorée (date and place to be decided) and the ticipation and school completion rates? and completion, and underlines the im- (Senegal), the place from which millions Smithsonian Folklife Festival, which A new publication from UNESCO’s In- portance of using a range of indicators of African slaves left for the Americas brings craftspeople, musicians, cooks stitute for Statistics (UIS) in Montreal, in monitoring educational achieve- and today a World Heritage site, and the and traditional storytellers together in Canada, provides answers, using the lat- ments. It emphasizes the need to evalu- restoration of landmarks like Brazil Washington, D.C. each summer; this est available statistics from countries ate the knowledge acquired by students House in Accra and Bois Caïman in year (June 23 to July 4), the festival is around the world. during their schooling, especially in Haiti, with the aim of setting up tourist joining forces with UNESCO to honour The first edition of Global Education developing countries. itineraries of remembrance. “Haiti: Freedom and Creativity”. Digest, which is to be issued annually, “This new digest is a solid first step Exhibitions, including “The Slave UNESCO is also sponsoring the reports data for the school years 1999/ towards making data more useful” says Route: Africa’s Connections With Ja- “Forgotten Slaves” project of the 2000 and 2000/2001. An accompanying Denise Lievesley, Director of the UIS. maica” (February 27, UNESCO, Paris); Groupe de Recherche en Archéologie CD-Rom includes that data as well as The comparative framework of the Di- “The Slave Trade and Abolitions” (trav- Navale (France). The recent discovery information on school year 1998/1999. gest, she says, “allows countries to elling exhibition organized in coopera- of the wreck of the Utile, a slave ship of This first edition of the Digest pre- benchmark their progress against tion with New York’s Schomburg Cen- the French East India Company that sents detailed statistical tables from neighbouring or similar countries and ter for Research in Black Culture that is sank off the coast of Tromelin Island in early childhood to higher education, provides a lens to interpret the outcomes scheduled to be presented at the Head- the Indian Ocean in 1761, is at the root using categories set in the International of education reforms from different quarters of the United Nations during of this project. Standard Classification of Education parts of the world.” the 59th session of the General Assem- Background (ISCED97). It also provides data on for- bly in late 2004); works by French In 1994, UNESCO launched “The The Global Education Digest and CD-Rom eign students — how many there are, sculptor Gérard Voisin that evoke inter- Slave Route” project to raise conscious- are available free of charge from: UNESCO where they are from and where they are Institute for Statistics Publications, P.O. Box cultural dialogue (September, Nantes, ness of the trade that from the 16th to studying — and on how much money 6128, Succursale Centre-Ville, Montreal, France). 19th century took countless lives and governments are spending on education. Quebec H3C 3J7, Canada. The education Concerts, including a July perfor- changed the economics and demograph- The Digest also presents a chapter database can be accessed and the report mance in Paris featuring Gilberto Gil ics of Europe, Africa, the Americas and entitled “State of Global Education Sta- downloaded from the UIS website at: http:/ with Cesaria Evora and Manu Dibango the Caribbean (www.unesco.org/cul- tistics: Measuring Progress Towards /www.uis.unesco.org.