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UNESCO and Least Developed Countries


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UNESCO- mainstreaming : the least developed countries

Part of the "UNESCO-mainstreaming" series produced by BSP.

Excerpt from the Director-General's introduction:

The situation of the forty-nine least developed countries (LDCs) implicates over 630 million individuals and today calls for more resources and greater resolve as UNESCO fully integrates the special needs of LDCs into the mainstream of its programmes. The situation in some countries is particularly critical, compounded as it is by the devastation wrought by HIV/AIDS, internal conflicts and governance crises. Given their perilous, fragile situation, the LDCs will receive special attention from UNESCO. The Organization has already begun to orient its programmes towards attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) adopted at the United Nations Millennium Summit in New York in September 2000, in particular the goal of cutting extreme poverty in half by the year 2015. Resources, expertise and competence in education, the sciences, culture and communications will be focused into effective interventions and actions, and these will be carried out in close cooperation and coordination with the other partners of the United Nations system, with bilateral partners, civil society and the private sector, drawing on UNESCO’s recently restructured and reinforced network of field offices. The May 2001 Brussels Declaration and Programme of Action for LDCs provides the framework for all these efforts.

In particular, we must devise new educational arrangements and approaches to address the needs of these countries, to promote education in science and technology, to spread technical and vocational education and to use the new information and communication technologies as invaluable tools for reaching out to the educationally deprived. We now have the Dakar Framework for Action, Education for All: Meeting our Collective Commitments, adopted at the World Education Forum (Dakar, Senegal) in 2000. It should be the starting point for all of our programmes in support of the least developed countries.

The challenges are enormous. Without urgent and effective action, the LDCs will plunge even deeper into poverty. But we must be wary of launching over-hastily into uncoordinated, ill-planned and inadequately targeted emergency operations. Each country must also be able to secure the support of its partners, both ‘internally’, through partnerships with civil society, local communities and the private sector, and ‘externally’, through assistance from multilateral agencies, international and regional donors, bilateral partners and non-governmental organizations. And we must all find a way of participating harmoniously in this great challenge that we have collectively set ourselves. We must learn to make more of our own potential, to work better with and to be more attentive to others.

Koïchiro Matsuura
Director-General of UNESCO

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Recent Publications that are for sale by UNESCO Publishing
on issues related to Least Developed Countries

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Volume 3 - Regional and subregional co-operation, and joint ventures
By Albert Sasson
2001, ISBN 92-3-103792-7
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     Since the 1980s, many developing countries have used the existing institutional regional and subregional co-operation frameworks to foster their collaboration in biotechnology research and development. This endeavour helps them to avoid being marginalized within a globalized economy and, complemented with economic, scientific and technological co-operation, serves them as a springboard for the endogenous development of biotechnologies.
     This 3rd volume presents an overview of regional and subregional co-operation as well as bilateral iniciatives between countries (North-South and South-South) and public research institutions, and joint ventures between private corporations, or between publicly-and-privatly-owned companies. All these forms of co-operation play an increasingly important role in promoting the advancement of biotechnologies and their benefits in the developing world.

Click here to order this book. COPYRIGHT - ENGINE OF DEVELOPMENT
An analysis of the role of copyright in economic development and cultural vitality
By Ralph Oman
2000, ISBN 92-3-103738-2
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     This work, the first digital publication proposed by UNESCO Publishing, highlights the economic benefits that flow to developing countries from strong copyright protection. It documents the cultural benefits that spring from the elimination of copyright piracy. Most important, though, it attemps to give the reader the arguments needed to answer the hard question posed at the outset, be they from a government minister, a law-school student, or one's own children: why copyright?
     The author, Ralph Oman, is a copyright expert from the United States, Counsel at Dechert Price & Rhoads and Former United States Register of Copyrights.
     The E-Book contents are presented on PDF format, with navigating facilities. A timescale allows access to a concise historical notice of copyright development and consultation is also possible through some 30 key questions or key words. Over 50 Internet links e references enlarge the references and bibliography.

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Strategies for sustainable growth
By Keith Levin and Françoise Caillods
2001, ISBN 92-803-1199-9
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     In 1990, at the World Conference on Education for All in Jomtien, and again in April 2000 in Dakar, most developing countries reaffirmed their commitment to providing their school-age children with universal access to a first cycle of education. The number of children who graduate from primary education is expanding rapidly and putting pressure on governments to open up educational opportunities at higher levels.
     This book explores the problems that surround secondary school financing, outlines the rationale for expanding secondary education and investigates under what conditions it might be possible to do so at sustainable levels of cost. It carries out the analysis for different groups of countries, using data derived from the UNESCO database. Then, it analyses the issue on the basis of case studies in Asia, Latin America and Africa. It concludes with a discussion of the policy options that offer prospects of improved access at sustainable levels of cost without unacceptable deterioration in quality.

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Par Daniel Noin et Abdelkader Sid Ahmed
2000, ISBN 92-3-203757-2
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Egalement disponible en arabe

Le monde arabe offre une surprenante unité qui le distingue fortement des pays du sud de l'Europe ou de l'Afrique subsaharienne. Mais les multiples évolutions intervenues au cours des dernières décennies ont bouleversé sa physionomie. Les mentalités n'ont pas évolué partout de la même façon et les différences démographiques, économiques et sociales se sont accusées vigoreusement.

Click here to order this book. WHY EAT GREEN CUCUMBER AT THE TIME OF DYING?
Exploring the link between women's literacy and development: a Nepal perspective
By Anna Robinson-Pant
2001, ISBN 92-820-1107-0
UNESCO Publishing / UIE
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     This book challenges the assumption that women's literacy rates can be measured and correlated with statistical indicators of development, such as child mortality or fertility rates. Using rich ethnographic data from two contrasting literacy programmes in Nepal, the author examines what kind of literacy and what kind of development are being promoted by international aid agencies. As well as bringing the voices of women participants, class facilitators and trainers into the policy arena, the book looks at how ethnographic research like this could be used to improve current development planning practices.
     The link between women's literacy and development is seen not as an equation that planners can somehow calculate, but as a dynamic process in which all the involved partners can and should play an active role.
     "Why Eat Green Cucumber at the Time of Dying?" is the winner of the 1998 International Award for Literacy Research, sponsored by the Canadian National Literacy Secretariat and the French governmental literacy agency Groupe Permanent de Lutte contre l'Illetrisme, and supervised by the UNESCO Institute for Education (UIE), Hamburg.