Culture and Education

UN celebrates books as ‘bridges across cultures’

The UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization UNESCO has long celebrated the power of International Book and Copyright Day, marked on 23 April, but this year, special attention is being paid to the protection of indigenous languages, many of which are threatened with extinction.

‘Counter and reject’ leaders who seek to ‘exploit differences’ between us, urges Guterres at historic mosque in Cairo

Speaking in Cairo’s historic al-Azhar mosque on Tuesday, UN chief António Guterres issued a call for societies, faiths and cultures everywhere to “focus on what unites us”, urging everyone to work together towards realizing the 2030 Agenda “for the collective benefit of all”.

Autonomous weapons that kill must be banned, insists UN chief

UN Secretary-General António Guterres urged artificial intelligence (AI) experts meeting in Geneva on Monday to push ahead with their work to restrict the development of lethal autonomous weapons systems, or LAWS, as they are also known.

Easing fears and promoting gender equality in Chad’s girls-only classrooms

A teacher holds up a drawing of an adolescent girl who has just been caught unawares by her first menstruation cycle, while at school. She’s addressing neat rows of young women sitting in class, in the town of Bol, in Chad.

‘Informing is not a crime’ UN chief calls for better protection of journalists, press freedom

Paying tribute to reporters around the world who “put their lives on the line” to tell important stories, UN chief António Guterres lamented on Monday that freedom of the press was increasingly “shrinking” worldwide, and called on decision-makers to better protect journalists and media workers.

UN rights chief ‘deeply concerned’ over Jehovah’s Witness sentencing in Russia

The sentencing in Russia of a Danish Jehovah’s Witness on Thursday to six years in prison on charges of “organising the activity of a banned extremist organisation” has been described as a “dangerous precedent” by the UN human rights chief.

Safer Internet Day: ‘Be kind online’, says UNICEF, urging action to prevent cyberbullying, harassment

Online violence, cyberbullying and digital harassment affect over 70 per cent of young people globally, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) said on Tuesday, calling for concerted action to tackle and prevent this form of violence.

Palestinian children’s education deeply impacted by ‘interference’ around West Bank schools, UN warns

Alarmed by a high number of reported incidents of interference in or near Palestinian schools in the West Bank since the beginning of the school year in September, the UN called on Wednesday for them to be better-protected from the effects of Israeli occupation.

UN lauds special chemistry of the periodic table, kicking off 150th anniversary celebrations

On Tuesday, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) launched the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements at its headquarters in Paris, kicking off a series of events and activities to be held throughout the year, as the world celebrates the 150th anniversary since its creation by Russian scientist Dmitri Mendeleev.

FROM THE FIELD: Free tutorials in Mali, ‘a life-saver’ for Fatouma

After fleeing her home in Macina, a small village in central Mali, where she was due to be forced into marriage against her will, 16-year-old Fatouma took shelter with her brother.