COVID-19: The importance of collaboration, science and communication

In light of the Government’s decision on Monday 23 March to move immediately to level 3 (and subsequently level 4) of the COVID-19 response, we felt it was important to reflect on the responsibility UNESCO has—both as a National Commission and internationally—to support the sharing of reliable, trusted information.

Kia Ora Tātou

Firstly, internationally UNESCO has been instrumental in collating information about the education sector and tracking the impact of COVID-19 on the education system across the world and within individual countries; this work helps build a global picture of education needs during and beyond the pandemic.

Multilateralism is many countries working together to pursue a common goal – and this interconnected system is working well in light of the pandemic.

Expert information, collaboration and transparency are crucial at times of uncertainty.

Trusting the evidence-based research we receive is vital, now is the time to trust science. UNESCO values scientific evidence and communicating science in a way that’s meaningful and clear.

We’ll be sharing information from UNESCO and from organisations whose work is also focused on education, science, and culture on our Facebook page over the next few weeks.

Seeking out reputable sources of information is essential in these times and we want our work to support the sharing of accurate information.

On Monday, Prime Minister Ardern recognised the stress that this lockdown is putting on all of us, and reminded us to be kind to each other. Being connected and having an understanding of what’s happening right now will be immensely reassuring for us all. Our work is about connecting people through ideas and fostering peace through dialogue and we encourage you all to stay connected and support each other. We are going to need a strong, inclusive society now, more than ever.

We would like to support creative thinking that will build social inclusion – albeit at a physical distance. The National Commission is now inviting applications from people with ideas for projects that can connect us all in these disparate times.

We wish you safety, strength and peace as we traverse these difficult times,

Robyn Baker

National Commission Chair

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