Intercultural Competences-UNESCO

UNESCO has just published “Intercultural competences: A conceptual and operational framework.” This document is a synthesis of, and expansion upon, the numerous documents prepared for, and especially the discussion held during, the UNESCO Experts Meeting on Intercultural Competences, October 21-22, 2011, in Paris, France, organized by the Intersectoral Platform for a Culture of Peace and Non-Violence under the coordination of Katérina Stenou (who also serves as a member of this Center’s Advisory Board). The report benefited particularly from the following sources: a) five regional reports prepared by Milena Dragićević Šešić & Sanjin Dragojević, Alejandro Grimson, Prue Holmes, Melissa Steyn, and Magdi Youssef; b) a synthesis thereof by Darla Deardoff; and c) the stimulating discussions at the experts’ meeting, which included not only all of the regional report authors except Dragojević and Steyn, but also Eric Cattelain, Yolanda Onghena, Hanna Schissler, and Yves Winkin. In addition, many of UNESCO’s Chairs on Interreligious Dialogue for Intercultural Understanding joined the discussion on October 22, 2011. I drafted this report on behalf of the group, and with considerable input from the others, as well as from UNESCO staff. My thanks to Katérina Stenou for involving me in this project, and to the amazing set of international colleagues I met during the process.

This was the first time I was asked to participate in the design of a publication as well as the content, so I also thank the designers involved in the process for teaching me so much. The images of people or writing included in the report were provided by UNESCO; all of the other photographs were taken either by me or my husband on our international travels over the past several years. The cover uses a photograph of a hotel window in downtown Coimbra, Portugal, taken while I was there as a Fulbright Senior Scholar – the ultimate result of a connection made by Eric Cattelain at the experts meeting, and a good example of just the sort of expanding international network that this Center is designed to facilitate.

interculturalcomp_cover


Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz
Director, Center for Intercultural Dialogue

(See this discussion of the document by AFS.)

Fall 2013 update: the French version has now been published as well.

Save

UNESCO conf on Education

UNESCO convened the 16th UNESCO-APEID International Conference, The Heart of Education: Learning to Live Together, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education in Thailand, the Asian-Pacific Network for International Education and Values (APNIEVE), Pearson Thailand and J.P. Morgan. The Conference was intended to facilitate discussions on leading-edge thinking about learning, reflect on the linkages between learning and social development, explore approaches and tools to enhance learning, and identify enabling policies and instruments to promote learning to live together.

More than 250 participants from 30 countries all over the world attended the Conference that was held in Bangkok from 21 – 23 November. Copies of the papers presented are now available here.

Save

2nd World Forum Intercultural Dialogue

The 2nd World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue will be held from May 29 to June 1, 2013 in Baku, Azerbaijan in partnership with UNESCO, UN Alliance of Civilizations, UN World Tourism Organization, Council of Europe, CoE North-South Center and ISESCO. The opening ceremony and the lst East-West Ministerial Conference will take place on May 30, 2013.

The program of the upcoming forum implies several sessions and side events to be prepared and led by partner organizations, including the celebration of “Do one thing for Diversity and Inclusion,” Intercultural Innovation Award ceremony for Central Asia, Black Sea and Mediterranean regions, 1st Alumni Meeting of the “Emerging Leaders Network,” the workshops “Intercultural Dialogue through History Teaching: Best Practices and Challenges,” and “Urban policies for diversity in 21st century: the Intercultural Cities paradigm,” the sessions of “Tourism as a key driver of mutual understanding and tolerance among cultures,” “The New Era of Globalization: Hybridity of cultures in a changing world” and “Capitals of Culture: Trends and roles, intercultural dialogue through faith and science,” etc.

The 1st World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue was held on April 7-9, 2011, also in Baku. More than 500 representatives from 102 countries and many international organizations, NGOs, media representatives, scholars, experts, etc. participated. Details about that event, and this Center’s participation in it, available here.

Save

UN Do one thing for diversity campaign

The United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (UNAOC) in partnership with UNESCO and various other partners from corporations to civil society is launching the world campaign “Do One Thing for Diversity and Inclusion”, aimed at engaging people around the world to Do One Thing to support Cultural Diversity and Inclusion.

Following the adoption in 2001 of the Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity the UN General Assembly declared May 21 as the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development.

This Day raises awareness on the richness of world cultures and the opportunities that cultural diversity can bring to societies.

Why does diversity matter? How to participate?

Three-quarters of the world’s major conflicts have a cultural dimension.

Bridging the gap between cultures is urgent and necessary for peace, stability and development.

The 2012 campaign, by encouraging people and organizations from around the world to take concrete action to support diversity, aims:
*To raise awareness worldwide about the importance of intercultural dialogue, diversity and inclusion.
*To build a world community of individuals committed to support diversity with real and every day-life gestures.
*To combat polarization and stereotypes to improve understanding and cooperation among people from different cultures.

Every one of us can do ONE thing for diversity and inclusion; even one very little thing can become a global action if we all take part in it.

Simple things YOU can do to celebrate the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development on May 21, 2012.
*Visit an art exhibit/museum that reflects diverse cultures.
*Rent a movie or read a book from another country than your own.
*Learn another language
*Invite a family or friends in the neighborhood from another culture to have lunch/diner with you and share a traditional dish.
*Explore music of a different culture
*Invite people from a different culture to share your customs
*Spread your own culture around the world through our Facebook page and learn about other cultures
*Learn about traditional celebrations from other cultures; learn more about Hanukkah or Ramadan or about amazing celebrations of New Year’s Eve in Spain or Qingming festival in China.
*Play the “stereotypes game.” Stick a post-it on your forehead with the name of a country. Ask people to tell you stereotypes associated with people from that country. You win if you find out where you are from.

There are thousands of things that you can do, are you taking part in it?

How to join the 2012 campaign?
*”Like” us on Facebook….and start a discussion on our “wall” and get surprised with posts and videos (http://facebook.com/DoOneThingforDiversityandInclusion)
*Tell others about this day.
*Take part in the photo and slogan contests
*Organize an event or put your event under the umbrella of the Campaign

Paris-UNESCO experts meeting

On September 21-22, 2011 I participated in the UNESCO Experts Meeting on Intercultural Competences at their headquarters in Paris. My thanks to Dr. Katérina Stenou, on this Center’s Advisory Board, for including me.

The goal of the meeting was to respond to a series of regional reports (prepared by Drs. Milena Dragicevic Sesis of Belgrade, Serbia; Alejandro Grimson of Buenos Aires, Argentina; Prue Holmes formerly of New Zealand but now in Durham, UK; Melissa Steyn of Cape Town, South Africa; and Magdi Youssef formerly of Egypt, but now in London, UK) and the synthesis of these prepared by Dr. Darla Deardorff (North Carolina, USA). The other respondents were Drs. Noureddine Affaya (Rabat, Morocco), Eric Cattelain (Bordeaux, France), Yolanda Onghena (Barcelona, Spain), Hanna Schissler (Berlin, German), and Yves Winkin (Lyon, France). On the second day we were joined by a large group of UNESCO Chairs on Interreligious Dialogue for Intercultural Understanding.

We were too busy working to take photographs, but the next day I had time to see the exhibit “Go West!” (a collaboration between artists in Paris and Texas) at UNESCO headquarters.


Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz
Director, Center for Intercultural Dialogue

Museums for ICD

UNESCO launches the network of Museums for Intercultural Dialogue

The role of museums as messengers of peace and intercultural understanding cannot be overemphasised, as they stand as major attractions in our globalised world where millions of people travel for the discovery of other cultures.

UNESCO launches an appeal to the international museum community to join its network by contributing to the enrichment of its new on-line virtual museum for intercultural dialogue where invaluable objects and new narratives can be consulted, for the enjoyment of the public and a deeper understanding of the interconnectedness of historical actors, since the early times to present.

UNESCO Museums for Intercultural Dialogue EN | FR | AR

Inauguration of the pilot exhibition in Egypt and Syria (link)

World Heritage site museums project (link)

Contact: Nao Hayashi Denis

Media, Info Lit, ICD

UAC-MILID

UNESCO and UNAOC have created the UNESCO UNITWIN UNAOC Network of Universities on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (“UAC-MILID”).

UAC-MILID specific objectives include:
*Act as a Observatory for critically analyzing: the role of Media and Information Literacy (“MIL”) as a catalyst for civic participation, democracy and development; for the promotion of free, independent and pluralistic media; as well as MIL’s contribution to the prevention and resolution of conflicts and intercultural tensions and polarizations.
*Enhance intercultural and cooperative research on MIL and the exchanges between universities and mass media, encouraging MIL’s initiatives towards respecting human rights and dignity and cultural diversity.
*Develop within the participant universities educational and media production practices that contribute to dissolving prejudice and intercultural barriers and favour global dialogue and cooperation among citizens as well as social and political institutions around the world. In addition to the international dimension, these practices will be reflected at the local level in the 8 cities or neighbourhoods in which the partner universities are located.
*Promote global actions relating to MIL (including adaptation of the UNESCO MIL Curriculum for Teacher Education and other relevant tools, publications, congresses, seminars, teaching resources, and faculty and students’ exchanges) that could contribute towards stimulating dialogue and understanding among people of and within different cultures and societies.
*Create a virtual centre to research on, and study and develop MIL initiatives aimed at the creation of projects and publications linking universities and research centres.
*Promote and support other global media initiatives that could reinforce civic participation through open, free and independent media and information systems that favour intercultural dialogue and cooperation.
*Encourage and support citizen participation as well as educational and cultural institutions whose initiatives promote media and information literacy, cooperation and intercultural dialogue.

UAC-MILID current universities include:
*The Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain
*The University of Cairo, Egypt
*Tsinghua University, Beijing, China
*Temple University, Philadelphia, USA
*The University of Sao Paulo, Brazil
*Queensland University of Technology, Australia
*University of the West Indies, Kingston, Jamaica
*Mohamed Ben Abdellah University, Fez, Morocco

For information on UAC-MILID, please contact Jordi Torrent, torrent@un.org and/or see original post.

Fellowships for Japan

UNESCO/Keizo Obuchi Research Fellowships Programme for young researchers from developing countries- 2012

Study Subject(s): Environment (with particular emphasis on Water Sciences), intercultural dialogue, information and communication technologies, and peaceful conflict resolution.

Course Level: Research

Scholarship Provider: Japanese Funds-in-Trust

Scholarship can be taken at: Japan

Eligibility: Applicants, a maximum of TWO from each applying National Commission, must meet the following general criteria:
1. Candidates under this Programme must be post-graduate researchers, already holding either an M.A. or M.Sc. degree (or equivalent) and wishing to pursue research work abroad (preferably in their own region) with a view to enhancing knowledge in one of the four specific fields mentioned in paragraph D.1 below. Thus, those who are in the process of completing their Master’s degree must have completed it PRIOR to taking up their Fellowship.
2. Candidates must be persons of high intellectual promise who may be expected to make significant contributions to their country on return.
3. Candidates must be no more than 40 years of age. Thus, applicants born before 1 January 1972 will not be considered under the Programme.
4. The selected Fellow must carry out the research under the auspices of an academic supervisor in a host institution. Confirmation of acceptance from the academic supervisor is imperative.
5. Priority attention will be given to:
– Women candidatures
– Candidates from least developed countries (LDCs)
– Palestinian researchers
6. Candidates must be proficient in reading and writing the language of instruction in the proposed country of study/research.
7. Applicants must be in good health (both physically and mentally).

Scholarship Open for International Students: Yes

Scholarship Description: The UNESCO/Keizo Obuchi Research Fellowships Programme (UNESCO/Japan Young Researchers’ Fellowship Programme) funded under the Japanese Funds-in-Trust for the capacity-building of Human Resources will aim, in particular, to impact on capacity-building and research activities in the following areas: Environment (with particular attention to Water Sciences); Intercultural Dialogue; Information and Communication Technologies; and Peaceful conflict resolution. No other research topics will be considered.

How to Apply:  by Post

Scholarship Application Deadline: 13 January 2012

Further Scholarship Information and Application

Prue Holmes

RESEARCHER PROFILE

Prue Holmes is Senior Lecturer in International and Intercultural Education in the School of Education, Durham University. She has also taught intercultural communication at the University of Waikato, New Zealand, and English as a Foreign Language and English language teacher education in Italy, China, and Hong Kong.

Her research has been published in international journals and includes, most recently, a special issue on intercultural dialogue in the Journal of International and Intercultural Communication. Current research interests continue to explore intercultural dialogue in expanded contexts such as internationalisation. Other research includes the intercultural communication and learning experiences of international and Chinese students; intercultural competence, immigrant communication experiences; and intercultural education. She has received commissions from UNESCO to research intercultural communication in the Asia-Pacific region, and from Education New Zealand and the Ministry of Education (International), New Zealand, to research international and Chinese students’ learning and intercultural communication experiences.

Prue supervises post-graduate theses and dissertations in intercultural communication, identity, and competence; international and intercultural education; English and foreign language education; and Chinese and other international students’ learning and communication experiences. She also teaches modules in international and intercultural education and communication at post-graduate and under-graduate levels.

Prue is co-chair of the International Association of Language and Intercultural Communication (IALIC) and will be hosting the conference at Durham University in December 2012.

World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue – Report

On April 7-9, 2011, the World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue was held in Baku, Azerbaijan. I gave a presentation entitled: “Dialogue about Dialogue: Taking a (Meta)Communication Perspective on the Role of Women in Intercultural Dialogue.” All presentations will be posted to the Forum site in the near future, and published in a proceedings volume.

The World Forum was supported by the UN Alliance of Civilizations, UNESCO, Council of Europe, North-South Center of the Council of Europe, ISESCO and Euronews. Building on several prior events, the Forum highlighted intercultural dialogue as one of the most pressing challenges that the global community faces today. The forum addressed conceptual, governmental, policy and practical aspects of intercultural dialogue, providing an opportunity for sharing good practices and making new connections. In addition, since the event was hosted by the President of Azerbaijan, we were all treated as guests of the state, and went everywhere with a security escort. Highlights were the formal entertainment and elaborate banquets on both Thursday and Friday evenings. Upon our arrival, we were given not only the usual conference program, small notebook and briefcase labeled with the conference information, but also dozens of brochures and a guidebook about Azerbaijan. When we returned from closing ceremonies, a gift package was waiting, with a small handmade carpet and hand-painted silk scarf (local craft specialties), a mug and local tea, as well as a bronze plaque noting our participation. In fact, there were so many presents that I mailed them back to the US rather than carry them around with me for the next several months.

The Forum was opened by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan, His Excellency Mr. IIham Aliyev. The plenary panel on which I participated was “Women as Key Agents of Intercultural Dialogue.” This panel was co-chaired by Dr. Katérina Stenou (Director, Cultural Policy and Intercultural Dialogue, UNESCO, and member of this Center’s Advisory Board) and the First Lady of Azerbaijan, Ms. Mehriban Aliyeva (she is also President of the Heydar Aliyev Foundation, and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador). Rapporteur for the panel was Ms. Pramila Patten (CEDAW expert). The other panelists were: Ms. Hijran Huseynova (Chairperson of the State Committee on Family, Women and Children Affairs, Azerbaijan); Ms. S.Y.Orlova (Deputy chair of Council of Parliament of Russian Federation), Ms. Rachida Dati (Mayor of the 7th arrondissement of Paris), Ms. Concepcion Olavarrieta (Chair of the Mexican Node of  the Millennium Project), Ms. Mbarka Bouaida (Member of Parliament, Morocco), and Mr. Alexander Ageev, (General Director of Institute of Economic Strategies, Department of Humanitarian Sciences, Russian Academy of Sciences, Russian Federation). Respondents to the panel included several ministers of culture, as well as Dr. Ruth Halperin-Kaddari (Director, The Ruth and Emanuel Rackman Center for the Advancement of Women’s Status, Bar-Ilan University, Israel), Dr. Bibi Bakare-Yusuf (publisher of Casava Republic Press, based in Abuja, Nigeria), and Ms. Natalia Molebatsi (performance poet and storyteller, based in South Africa).

The majority of the Forum’s participants were ministers of culture or other politicians (and I did meet a few, including Ms. Irina Cajal-Marin, Under Secretary of State for the Ministry of Culture in Romania, and Mr. Ali Elamin, Director of the Minister’s Office for Sudan). Others were CEOs of NGOs or non-profits (and among those I met were Ms. Wajiha Haris, President of Scheherazade, in Bucharest, Romania, Dr. Catherine Fieschi, Director of Counterpoint, just separated from the British Council, in London, Ms. Lila de Chaves, President of Heritage & Museums, in Athens, and Mr. Peter Gorgievski, CEO of Global Dialogue Foundation in Moonee Ponds, Australia). There were also a number of people connected to one of the international organizations co-sponsoring the event (I met several, including Mr. Hans d’Orville, Assistant Director-General for Strategic Planning of UNESCO in Paris, Dr. Liubava Moreva, Program Specialist for Culture in UNESCO’s Moscow office, and Ms. Neslihan Demirkol Sonmez, representing the Turkish National Commission for UNESCO; as well as Dr. Mir Asghar Husain, of the North-South Centre Think Tank for the Council of Europe). There were even a few other faculty present (I met Dr. Darla K. Deardorff, Executive Director of the Association  of International Education Administrators, based at Duke University in the US). And these are only some of those with whom I exchanged business cards – I am looking forward to continuing conversations with dozens of people as a result of the event.

Two other events occurred simultaneously with the Forum, an academic conference (“Traditions and prospects for intercultural dialogue in CIS countries: culture, education and communication”), as well as the first convention of the Global Youth Movement for the Alliance of Civilizations, and so I met some individuals from each of those events. For example, Ms. Emilia Katosang (Deputy Permanent Representative, Permanent Mission of Palau to the UN) and Ivaylo Stoimenov (a Bulgarian journalist) were both part of the GYM meeting; Prof. Samir Sleiman (cultural anthropologist in Lebanon, and Editor in Chief of Le Debat) presented at the academic conference. I also met several of the many international journalists covering the event, including Mr. Mohammad Malick, of The News, in Pakistan, and Mr. Ghassan Ali Osman, covering the event for Sudan. And, like most of the presenters, I was interviewed for Azerbaijani television. The audience was so large (600-1000, depending on whether participants of the 3 events overlapped at the same event or not), that two screens were used to ensure everyone could view the speakers. Look for images of Katérina Stenou on screen, and then being interviewed in the gallery included below.

Ms. Samaya Mammodova and Ms. Chinara Shakarova, two English majors studying in Baku, were assigned to help the dozen participants from the USA. Since I had a few hours free Saturday morning, after the conference concluded but before leaving for the airport, they took me on a personal tour of Icheri Shekhar (the old city in Baku). A few photos are below, for those who have not yet been to Baku themselves, along with photos of the conference.

My thanks to Katérina Stenou for my invitation to participate in this fascinating event. And thanks to Neslihan Demirkol Sonmez for 2 of the photos included below (the one of the dinner celebration, and 4 of us talking).

Euronews video coverage of the event is now available online. (I’m included, but as part of a conversational grouping, so look carefully!)

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz
Director, Center for Intercultural Dialogue

This slideshow requires JavaScript.