New Publication on Marine Biodiversity in ABNJ


Dear colleagues,

We have the pleasure to announce the publication of a new article on the state of play of international discussions relating to the conservation and sustainable use of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction (ABNJ): "Getting to yes? Discussions towards an Implementing Agreement to UNCLOS on biodiversity in ABNJ".

It can be downloaded on our website under:

This article is a policy brief which summarises and develops the main conclusions of an in-depth study on the history and challenges of the current discussions taking place at the United Nations General Assembly, "A long and winding road. International discussions on the governance of marine biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction".

This study is available under:

Should you have any comment or question, please do not hesitate to contact us.
Best regards.

International Day for Disaster Reduction

MESSAGE FROM MS IRINA BOKOVA, DIRECTOR GENERAL UNESCO On the occasion of the International Day for Disaster Reduction, 13 October 2013

We know that disasters are increasing in frequency, complexity, scope and destructive capacity. We know also that, while we cannot stop disasters, we can do more to prevent and mitigate their impact.

This means thinking over the long term. Early warning systems and humanitarian efforts remain essential – but we must focus also on underlying vulnerabilities and risks in order to deepen resilience. Disaster risk reduction should be integrated into development plans and intervention strategies, and greater attention should be paid to education and training, which can save and sustain lives during and after emergencies.

All our efforts must include persons with disabilities. Representing an estimated 10 percent of the world's population, some 650 million people, these women and men are too often overlooked throughout the disaster management cycle, especially the response phase, and too seldom considered important actors – even though they are often most exposed. In moving forward, we must remain guided by the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which requires that persons with disabilities benefit from and participate in disaster relief, emergency response and disaster risk reduction strategies.

Disasters must be an opportunity to challenge prejudice and discrimination and to ‘build back better,’ by ensuring the inclusion of all women and men. Adults and children living with disabilities have an essential role to play in strengthening resilience before and after disasters.

This must include support to cultural heritage and expressions. UNESCO’s experience in supporting the Carnival of Jacmel in Haiti after the earthquake shows the power of intangible cultural heritage as a source of strength in helping communities recover. Science, technology and engineering are also important, to mobilise the knowledge necessary to better protect persons with disabilities. The media is critical for facilitating the flow of information between persons with disabilities and humanitarian actors in disaster situations. In Kenya, UNESCO has organized a National Forum of Community Radios on the occasion of this International Day, to enable community media practitioners and community actors to share knowledge and experience.

Education must be a strategic priority. This is why UNESCO is advancing initiatives for inclusive disaster risk reduction in schools across the world. We have also set up a web portal to enable persons with disabilities to exercise their right to access the best possible knowledge to protect themselves. In Pakistan, for instance, UNESCO has developed province-specific school safety action plans covering the needs of people with disabilities, with new institutional arrangements to mainstream Disaster Risk Reduction in the education sector.

Societies cannot be resilient if they are not inclusive. On this International Day of Disaster Risk Reduction, I call on all Governments and relevant actors to join forces to integrate the concerns of persons with disabilities into all efforts to reduce the risks of disasters.

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MESSAGE DE LA DIRECTRICE GENERALE DEL´UNESCO , Irina Bokova, à l’occasion de la Journée internationale de la prévention des catastrophes : Les personnes handicapées et les catastrophes, 13 octobre 2013

Nous savons que les catastrophes augmentent en fréquence, en complexité, en étendue et en capacité de destruction. Et même sans être capables d’empêcher les catastrophes, nous savons que nous pouvons faire davantage pour prévenir et atténuer leur impact.

Cela suppose une réflexion à long terme. Les systèmes d’alerte rapide et l’action humanitaire restent essentiels, mais nous devons également nous intéresser aux vulnérabilités et aux risques sous-jacents afin de renforcer la résilience. La réduction des risques de catastrophe devrait être intégrée aux plans de développement et aux stratégies d’intervention, et une plus grande attention devrait être portée à l’éducation et à la formation, qui peuvent sauver et prolonger des vies pendant les situations d’urgence et au-delà.

Tous nos efforts doivent englober les personnes handicapées. Bien qu’ils représentent approximativement 10 % de la population mondiale, soit 650 millions de personnes environ, ces femmes et ces hommes sont trop souvent négligés pendant le cycle de gestion des catastrophes, en particulier lors de la phase d’intervention, et trop rarement considérés comme des acteurs importants, alors même qu’ils sont généralement les plus exposés. Nous devons continuer à nous inspirer, pour aller de l’avant, de la Convention des Nations Unies relative aux droits des personnes handicapées, selon laquelle les personnes handicapées doivent pouvoir bénéficier des stratégies en matière de secours, d’intervention d’urgence et de réduction des risques de catastrophe, tout en y prenant part.

Les catastrophes peuvent être l’occasion de lutter contre les préjugés et la discrimination et de « reconstruire en mieux », en garantissant l’inclusion de l’ensemble des femmes et des hommes. Les adultes et les enfants qui vivent avec un handicap ont un rôle essentiel à jouer dans le renforcement de la résilience avant et après les catastrophes.

Cela suppose notamment un appui au patrimoine et aux expressions culturels. L’expérience de l’UNESCO, qui a soutenu le Carnaval de Jacmel en Haïti après le tremblement de terre, témoigne de la force que le patrimoine culturel immatériel peut transmettre aux communautés en les aidant à se reconstruire. La science, la technologie et l’ingénierie, qui mobilisent les connaissances nécessaires pour mieux protéger les personnes handicapées, ont également leur importance. Les médias sont essentiels pour faciliter l’échange d’informations entre les personnes handicapées et les acteurs humanitaires dans les situations de catastrophe. Au Kenya, l’UNESCO a organisé un Forum national des radios communautaires à l’occasion de la Journée internationale de la prévention des catastrophes, afin de permettre aux professionnels des médias communautaires et aux acteurs des communautés de partager leur savoir et leur expérience.

L’éducation doit être une priorité stratégique. C’est pourquoi l’UNESCO favorise les initiatives en faveur d’une réduction inclusive des risques de catastrophe dans les écoles du monde entier. Nous avons également mis en place un portail Web permettant aux personnes handicapées d’exercer leur droit d’accès aux meilleures connaissances en vue de se protéger. Ainsi, au Pakistan, l’UNESCO a élaboré des plans d’action de sécurité en milieu scolaire propres à chaque province, répondant aux besoins des personnes handicapées et comportant de nouvelles dispositions institutionnelles pour intégrer la réduction des risques de catastrophe dans le secteur éducatif.

Les sociétés non inclusives ne peuvent être résilientes. À l’occasion de cette Journée internationale de la prévention des catastrophes, j’invite tous les gouvernements et les acteurs concernés à unir leurs forces afin de prendre systématiquement en compte les préoccupations des personnes handicapées dans le cadre des efforts visant à réduire les risques de catastrophe.

International Day of Peace, September 21,2013

Message from Ms Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, on the occasion of the International Day of Peace, 21 September 2013

International Day of Peace, which we celebrate on 21 September, is devoted this year to peace education.

This message embodies UNESCO’s founding values: since wars begin in the minds of women and men, it in the minds of women and men that the defences of peace must be constructed. Education is the foundation of any lasting peace. It is the driving force behind freedom and tolerance. It stems the tide of ignorance and mutual misunderstanding, the means by which disagreements all too often degenerate into violence. Education fosters the culture of dialogue that is necessary to resolve conflicts.

That is why UNESCO campaigns for quality education for all going further than the basics of reading and writing. Education must encompass the teaching of human rights, living together and respect for others. Peace education is one of its key components. Every child in the world should know their rights, and learn their own history and that of other peoples, so as to be able to understand the equal dignity of cultures and draw lessons from the crimes and violence of the past. This vision is the key to tolerant citizenship in a globalized world. It requires a widespread effort to train teachers and design suitable school curricula. These principles inspire all of UNESCO’s work, in particular through the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022), adopted by UNESCO’s General Conference and the United Nations General Assembly.

Education is a fundamental human right, and there can be no justification for depriving anybody of that right. As we mobilize the potential of education to prevent war, we must ensure the quality and continuity of teaching, even in the event of conflict. This is the purpose of UNESCO’s work to protect schools and teachers, and to bring education to refugees and displaced persons. It is also, for UNESCO, the way to lay the foundations of future peace.

With this hope in mind, I call upon all Member States of UNESCO, governments and civil society organizations to join their forces, and to join us to make education a force for peace. We must give to future generations a culture of dialogue and build, through education, a world that is not only more connected, but also more compassionate.






Message de la Directrice générale de l’UNESCO, Irina Bokova, à l’occasion de Journée internationale de la paix, 21 septembre 2013

La Journée internationale de la paix, célébrée le 21 septembre, est consacrée cette année à l’éducation à la paix.

Ce message incarne les valeurs fondatrices de l’UNESCO : les guerres prenant naissance dans l’esprit humain, c’est dans l’esprit humain que doivent s’élever les défenses de la paix. L’éducation est le fondement de toute paix durable. Elle est un moteur de liberté et de tolérance. Elle fait reculer l’ignorance et l’incompréhension mutuelle, par où les désaccords dégénèrent trop souvent en violences. L’éducation favorise la culture du dialogue pour résoudre les conflits.

C’est pourquoi l’UNESCO milite pour une éducation de qualité qui aille au-delà des rudiments de lecture ou d’écriture. L’éducation doit englober l’enseignement des droits humains, du savoir vivre ensemble, du respect d’autrui. L’éducation à la paix en est une composante essentielle. Tous les enfants du monde doivent connaître leurs droits, apprendre leur propre histoire et celle des autres peuples – pour comprendre l’égale dignité des cultures et tirer les leçons des crimes et des violences du passé. Cette vision est la clé d’une citoyenneté tolérante dans un monde globalisé. Elle suppose un effort massif de formation des enseignants et la conception de programmes scolaires adaptés. Tels sont les principes qui inspirent notamment nos efforts pour la décennie internationale pour le rapprochement des cultures (2013-2022), adoptée par la Conférence générale de l'UNESCO et l'Assemblée générale des Nations Unies.

L’éducation est un droit humain fondamental, et rien ne justifie que quiconque en soit privé. Tout en mobilisant davantage le potentiel de l’éducation pour prévenir les guerres, nous devons garantir la qualité et la continuité de l’enseignement, même en cas de conflits. C’est le sens du travail de l’UNESCO pour protéger les écoles et les enseignants et pour apporter l’éducation aux personnes réfugiées ou déplacées. C’est aussi, pour l’UNESCO, le moyen de poser les conditions de la paix future.

Dans cet espoir, j’appelle tous les Etats Membres de l’UNESCO, les gouvernements et les organisations de la société civile à unir leurs forces et à se joindre à nous pour faire de l’éducation un outil pour la paix. Nous pouvons offrir aux générations futures une culture du dialogue et construire, par l’éducation, un monde non seulement plus connecté, mais plus solidaire.

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Website: unesco/about-us/who-we-are/director-general/



Caribbean Tsunami Information Center (CTIC) Director Appointed

Caribbean Tsunami Information Center (CTIC) Director Appointed!

We are pleased to welcome Ms Alison Brome as Director (a.i.) of the Caribbean Tsunami Information Center (CTIC). Ms Brome has vast experience in project and procurement management, natural hazard assessment, geography, urban planning and research.  Ms Brome has also previously served as Technical Coordinator for the Tsunami and Other Coastal Hazards Warning Systems Project, which involved close collaboration with the Intergovernmental Coordination Group for the Tsunami and other Coastal Hazards Warning System for the Caribbean and Adjacent Regions (ICG/CARIBE-EWS) of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the University of West Indies Seismic Research Centre (SRC). 

Ms Brome, who started duties on 2nd September 2013, will be based at the Department of Emergency Management (DEM) of the Government of Barbados, responsible for setting up the CTIC.  She can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Ground-breaking online climate risk management tool launched in Caribbean

Ground-breaking online climate risk management tool launched in Caribbean

The Caribbean Climate Online Risk and Adaptation TooL (CCORAL), a web-based tool designed to help decision makers in the Caribbean integrate climate resilience into their decision making and planning processes, was launched on Friday 12th July at an event at the Coco Palm Hotel in Saint Lucia, where the Prime Minister Dr Kenny Anthony, is to give the feature address. CCORAL was developed by the Caribbean Community Climate Change Centre (CCCCC) and Acclimatise, based on a thorough consultation process involving significant inputs from across the region. Critical inputs have been provided by Government Ministries in the four CCORAL pilot countries – Barbados, Belize, Jamaica and Suriname, non-governmental and civil society organisations, business and financial services sectors, universities and research institutions, and development partners. The new online support tool is an important step towards increasing the climate resilience of the region.

Dr Rajendra Pachauri, Chairman of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), said of CCORAL “The development of the... tool [is] an extremely important asset in assessing the risk from the  impacts of climate change in the Caribbean region. I would like to compliment the CCCCC for having taken this initiative”.

CCORAL has been developed with support from the Climate and Development Knowledge Network (CDKN) and the United Kingdom Department for International Development (DFID) under the Caribbean Climate Risk Management Project.

CCORAL guides users through several steps, helping them to quickly identify whether their activity is likely to be influenced by climate change and is a priority for further investigation, understand climate influence at each stage of their activity, and take action to increase climate resilience.

See the tool here: