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UNESCO Implementing Mauritius Strategy


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UNESCO at Mauritius '05
Contributions & events
From Barbados'94 to Mauritius'05
UNESCO involvement
Related information






University Consortium of Small Island States (UCSIS)

On 14 January 2005, as part of the high-level segment Plenary session during the Mauritius International Meeting, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed on the setting up of the University Consortium of Small Island States. The Memorandum was signed by representatives of five founding member institutions: University of Malta, University of Mauritius, University of the South Pacific, University of the Virgin Islands, University of the West Indies. The main aim of the consortium is to strengthen the national capacity of small-island states to implement the Barbados Programme of Action (BPoA).

The consortium is a product of a UNDP Ministerial Round Table hosted by Jamaica in May 2002. Development of the consortium has been supported by UNDP through its Capacity 2015 initiative. UNESCO was represented at a planning meeting held in the US Virgin Islands in August 2004, with preliminary proposals for the consortium being examined by representatives of interested universities at an informal meeting held at UNESCO House on 4 November during the 'University Community and Education for All' meeting. Subsequently, in December, draft proposals were circulated by proponents on possible affiliation of the consortium with UNESCO's UNITWIN network, and informal discussions held on possible links with the Decade of Education for Sustainable Development.

Since the Mauritius International Meeting in January 2005, a meeting of the Programme Committee of the University Consortium was held at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies in Jamaica on 29-30 August 2005. Preliminary proposals for support of the University Consortium have been prepared and submitted to possible donor and partner organizations.

A cooperative programme between the University of West Indies (as Secretariat to the Consortium) and UNESCO, aimed at capacity-building for implementing the Barbados Programme of Action (BPoA) and the Mauritius Strategy in the framework of the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme.

The UCSIS Technical Advisory Meeting met on 4-6 June 2007 in Marlborough House, London and adopted a draft regulations for a proposed MSc in Sustainable Development of Islands and Small States, a common stand on a programme of study and a common ground for distance delivery.

Since 2009, the UNDESA SIDS Unit and UCSIS - now including new member institutions the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the the University of Seychelles - has been implementing a project to establish a common Information and Communication Technology (ICT) platform through which UCSIS will deliver a masters degree programme in small islands sustainable development. UNESCO provides technical advice and support to the project, through UCSIS’s status as a UNITWIN network. This endeavor is one of two components of the UNDESA project “Capacity Development through Education for Sustainable Development and Knowledge Management for Small Island Developing States (SIDS),” a follow-up project of the 2005 Mauritius International Meeting on further implementation of the Barbados Programme of Action for the Sustainable Development of SIDS, with Funds in Trust from the Government of the Kingdom of Spain. Together with the second component - the revitalization of SIDSNet, the project aims to establish solid foundations for capacity development for the sustainable development of SIDS through enhanced institutional, human resource, and technological capacities in the areas of knowledge management and education for sustainable development.

The inception workshop for the UCSIS virtual training component was held at the University of the West Indies in Mona, Jamaica on 9-12 December, 2009. Another meeting of the UCSIS Programme Committee was organized by the UNDESA SIDS Unit and hosted by UNESCO at its Headquarters in Paris on 26-28 May 2010. The Programme Committee discussed the design, structure and institutional arrangements for the virtual delivery of a cross-border Masters on Sustainable Development in SIDS. The Masters programme is expected to be established and a common platform for delivery in place in the second half of 2011.

For further information on UNESCO cooperation with the University Consortium, contact:
  • Mr Hans THULSTRUP, Small Islands and Indigenous Knowledge Section (h.thulstrup@unesco.org)
  • Ms Sonia BAHRI, Division of Higher Education (s.bahri@unesco.org)
  • Mr David C Smith, UCSIS Secretariat / The University of the West Indies (david.smith02@uwimona.edu.jm), website






Sustainable capacity development and education for sustainable development: UNESCO's Role and Contribution (since the International Mauritius Meeting of January 2005 and future activities)

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