New Commissioner appointments

Education Minister Hekia Parata today announced five appointments to the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO.

“I am delighted to appoint these five Commissioners. They are all respected experts in their fields and well positioned to advise and represent New Zealand on UNESCO matters”, says Ms Parata.

“I would also like to thank the outgoing Commissioners and Chair for their service and convey my appreciation for the time and energy they have given. They have each made a valuable contribution to the National Commission.”

The new commissioners are:

Robyn Baker, Chair (November 2016– November 2019)
Ms Baker is an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to education. She has international experience as Deputy Chair of the Australian Council for Education Research and at the Royal Society.

Materoa Dodd, Social Sciences Commissioner (June 2016 – June 2018)
Materoa Dodd has been a Senior Lecturer at the School of Māori and Pacific Development, Waikato University. She has served as a trustee, governor and Chair for a diverse range of organisations.

Dr Cheryl Stephens, Education Commissioner (June 2016 – June 2018)
Cheryl Stephens currently sits on the New Zealand Council for Educational Research and has been a member of the New Zealand Association for Research in Education (NZARE) Council for fourteen years.

Geoff Hicks, Natural Sciences Commissioner (November 2016 – November 2019)
Geoff Hicks has recently retired from the role of Chief Scientist at the Department of Conservation. He is a member of the Interdisciplinary Committee of the World Cultural Council.

Trish Carter, Communication Commissioner (November 2016 –November 19)
Trish Carter has been reappointed to the Commission. She has significant experience in international news media.

Arapata Hakiwai is continuing in his role as Culture Commissioner.

Supporting Global Citizenship Education in New Zealand

GCED

Participants at the Global Citizenship Education Conference in Wellington, May 2016.

In 2015, the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO granted $50,000 to the New Zealand Centre for Global Studies (NZCGS) as a contribution to a project titled ‘Global Citizenship Education in New Zealand’.

The grant has allowed the centre to both further develop its student conference programme and to explore global citizenship education in other parts of the world.

New Youth Reference Group Members

YRG

Youth Reference Group Members (L-R): Raven Maeder, Teina Wells-Smith, Samantha Allen, Danielle Newton, Kya Raina Lal, Sophie Goulter and Shawn Thomas.

Five new young people have recently been appointed as members of the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO's Youth Reference Group. Raven Maeder, Teina Wells-Smith, Danielle Newton, Kya Raina Lal and Shawn Thomas join existing members Samantha Allen and Sophie Goulter.

2016 World Journalism Education Congress

 The New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO was principal sponsor of the fourth World Journalism Education Congress in July.

Organised by Auckland University of Technology (AUT), the 2016 World Journalism Education Congress addressed the most pressing issues confronting journalism and journalism educators around the world today.

More than 200 participants from 48 countries attended the event, to discuss topics such as concerns for reputation and media freedoms, and journalism in today’s digital environment.

Among the attendees were Ian McKinnon, Chair of the New Zealand National Commission, who provided a welcome address and chaired a session and Trish Carter, National Commissioner for Communication, who also led one of the sessions. 

Congress delegates

From left: Ian McKinnon, Dr Fassy Yusuf, Dr Shailendra Singh, Professor Ahmed Hidass, Associate Professor Verica Rupar, Professor Abiodun Salawu, Assistant Professor Jeremaiah M Opiniano, Trish Carter, Dr Cait McMahon. Photo: Mandy Te

The National Commission provided funding for Dr Cait McMahon to participate in a panel, 'Reporting Trauma and Suicide'. In addition, the Commission provided travel grants to enable nine journalists from developing countries to attend the congress. The following recipients received up to NZD2000 each to help cover the cost of travel to Auckland: 

  • Haiyan Wang, School of Communication and Design, Sun Yat-Sen University, China
  • Dr Fassy Yusuf, University of Lagos, Nigeria
  • Assistant Professor Jeremaiah M Opiniano, University of Santo Tomas, The Philippines
  • Professor Ahmed Hidass, Instit Superieur d'Information et Communication, Morocco
  • Eno Akpabio, University of Namibia, Namibia
  • Abiodun Salawu, North West University, South Africa
  • Dr Shailendra Singh, Fiji
  • Victoria Lepou, Samoa
  • Moh Zaenal Abidin Eko Putro, Indonesia.

Freedom of information is a key theme for UNESCO. 

New Zealander appointed to UNESCO Young Professionals Programme

Tim Francis

Cantabrian Tim Francis has been selected from over 900 applicants from across the globe to be part of the UNESCO Young Professionals Programme (YPP). The programme offers young people an opportunity to join UNESCO at the early stage of their professional career.

Tim was nominated by the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO and, following his successful appointment, has joined the Communication and Information Sector at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris.

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New Zealand supports UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education

New Zealand has officially become the third country to accede to the UNESCO Asia-Pacific Regional Convention 2011 on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education, joining China and Australia as the leading countries in the process of accession.

Paris

(New Zealand's Permanent Delegate Susannah Gordon handed over the instrument of accession to the Asia-Pacific Regional Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education to Qian TANG, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Education.)

This Convention provides a multilateral legal framework to improve international recognition of higher education qualifications and periods of study within the Asia-Pacific region.

The convention could help to facilitate greater mobility of students, academic staff and workers from the Asia-Pacific region. It could also improve the understanding and recognition of New Zealanders’ qualifications internationally as well as making it easier for skilled migrants from the region to work and study here. It could have significant benefits for New Zealand particularly in the areas of export education, trade and foreign policy relationships.

Engaging with this Convention will align New Zealand with its competitors in the export education market and enhance linkages within the Asia-Pacific region. It also supports New Zealand’s efforts to increase international connections through the tertiary education system and facilitates more New Zealanders to study overseas.

Two more countries need to accede before the Convention can come into force.

UN Holocaust Remembrance Day 2016

The Chair of the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO, Ian McKinnon, read the UNESCO Director General's message on the occasion of UN Holocaust Remembrance Day at an event at Parliament on 27 January 2016. 

The event was organised by the New Zealand Holocaust Centre and hosted by Hon. Chris Finalyson QC.

The Director General's message reminded us that 'commemorating the victims is a common duty of humankind. It is a call to "remember together" and to share this universal memory, regardless of origin or religion. It is also the desire to understand the historical and social processes that unleashed such an outbreak of violence, in order to prevent them from recurring today'.

The full message can be downloaded from UNESCO's website http://unesdoc.unesco.org/images/0024/002433/243350E.pdf

 

Media Release: Fighting genocide - UNESCO speaks out

The UNESCO director-general's message to the world for United Nations International Holocaust Remembrance Day is powerful and timely, said New Zealand Holocaust Centre director Mrs Inge Woolf today.

Headed "Antisemitic propaganda and the Holocaust: from words to genocide," Mrs Bokova's words challenge us all to commemorate the Holocaust victims regardless of our origin or religion; to answer hate speech and propaganda with intelligence and reason; to stand against racism and antisemitism; and to use the media and education programmes to spread knowledge and understanding of the Holocaust.

"Mrs Bokova's powerful message is a spur to all Kiwis to see through propaganda and the falsification of history, because we know they lead to hatred and violence," Mrs Woolf added.

"As Mrs Bokova stated, the Nazi genocide of European Jews confronts us with the most extreme perversion – the negation of humanity in the human being. That must not be allowed to happen again.

"The New Zealand Holocaust Centre is dedicated to educating New Zealand society, through Holocaust history and remembrance, that we need to oppose prejudice in all its forms, and guard against attempts to make any group a target, as happened to the Jews in Nazi Germany.

"Although studying genocide confronts us with the worst of humanity, as Mrs Bokova says, it also inspires and empowers individuals to stand against prejudice and apathy.

"The death of 1.5 million Jewish children has inspired Wellington children to collect 1.5 million buttons which we plan will be the genesis of a national Holocaust Children's Memorial – for the children, by children.

"We want New Zealand children to respect the diversity in our society, and see the dangers inherent in bullying; and also the dangers of being bystanders to the bad actions of others.

"We invite all Wellington children to join us on UN Holocaust Remembrance Day, Wednesday 27 January at 2pm at the Holocaust Memorial, Makara Cemetery, to lay buttons to remember the children who died so tragically," Mrs Woolf concluded.

Marking UNESCO's seventh decade

Education Minister Hekia Parata spoke during an event at Parliament on Tuesday 8 September 2015, to mark UNESCO’s seventh decade supporting education, science and culture.

(L-R Ms Trish Carter, Professor Arohia Durie, Mr Etienne Clement, Mr Ian McKinnon, Hon Hekia Parata, Dr Arapata Hakiwai, Dr Bob Frame, Ms Sophie Goulter)

She said that New Zealand lived up to its reputation for forward-thinking when it became the second nation to sign UNESCO’s constitution in the wake of World War II. UNESCO’s mandate, to build peace through dialogue, is still making a difference in people’s lives, in New Zealand and around the world.

The National Commission, as the face of UNESCO in New Zealand, supports a range of projects that have a positive impact by fostering quality education, cultural heritage and youth development. They cover a variety of subjects, including multiculturalism, the training of Adult Education champions and global citizenship education through the Model UN General Assembly.

UNESCO and the New Zealand National Commission will continue to build on the work of the past seven decades in order to make a difference in the lives of upcoming generations.