ALL ABOUT UNESCO

What is UNESCO?
UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. It seeks to build peace through international cooperation in education, sciences and culture. UNESCO’s programmes contribute to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals defined in the 2030 Agenda, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015. UNESCO’s Headquarters are located in Paris and the Organization has more than 50 field offices around the world. It has 193 Members and 11 Associate Members (As of April 2020) and is governed by the General Conference and the Executive Board. Three UNESCO member states are not UN members: Cook Islands, Niue, and Palestine. While three UN member states (Israel, Liechtenstein, United States) are not UNESCO members.

UNESCO’s History

As early as 1942, in wartime, the governments of the European countries, which were confronting Nazi Germany and its allies, met in the United Kingdom for the Conference of Allied Ministers of Education (CAME). World War II was far from over, yet those countries were looking for ways and means to rebuild their education systems once peace was restored. The project quickly gained momentum and soon acquired a universal character. New governments, including that of the United States, decided to join in. Upon the proposal of CAME, a United Nations Conference for the establishment of an educational and cultural organization (ECO/CONF) was convened in London from 1 to 16 November 1945. Scarcely had the war ended when the conference opened. It gathered together representatives of forty-four countries who decided to create an organization that would embody a genuine culture of peace. In their eyes, the new organization was to establish the “intellectual and moral solidarity of mankind” and thereby prevent the outbreak of another world war.


Objectives


UNESCO focuses on a number of goals, including:

• Providing a high-quality education to all students and promoting lifelong learning
• Mobilizing scientific knowledge and policy for long-term development
• Taking up new social and ethical concerns
• Promoting cultural variety, intercultural communication, and a peace culture
• Through information and communication, we can create inclusive knowledge societies.
• The emphasis is on global priority topics such as “Africa” and “Gender Equality.”
UNESCO’s Areas of Specialization Education Transforms Lives
Education transforms lives and is important to UNESCO’s objective of promoting peace, eradicating poverty, and promoting sustainable development.
The Organization is the only United Nations institution tasked with overseeing all sectors of education.
It has been entrusted with the leadership of the Global Education 2030 Agenda via Sustainable Development Goal – 4.
The ‘Education 2030 Framework for Action’ (Incheon Declaration) serves as a road map for achieving the global education 2030 objective. Its work ranges from early childhood education to university education and beyond Global citizenship and sustainable development, human rights and gender equality, health and HIV/AIDS, and technical and vocational skill development are among the topics covered. It is becoming increasingly clear that no progress can be long-term without a substantial cultural component. UNESCO has taken a three-pronged strategy to ensure that culture is given its proper position in development policies and processes: Leads global advocacy for culture and development. Engages the international community in order to establish clear policy and legal frameworks. On the ground, works with governments and local partners to protect heritage, boost creative enterprises, and promote cultural pluralism.
Some of UNESCO’s most important agreements and international treaties for protecting and safeguarding the world’s cultural and natural heritage:
• The Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions is a treaty that aims to protect and promote the diversity of cultural expressions (2005)
• The Convention for the Protection of Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003)
• The Universal Declaration of Cultural Diversity is an international treaty that aims to promote cultural diversity (2001)
• The Convention for the Protection of the Cultural Heritage of the Sea (2001)
• The Convention for the Protection of the World’s Cultural and Natural Heritage (the Convention) (1972)
• The Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Traffic in Cultural Property (Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Traffic in Cultural Property) (1970)
Science for a Better Future
Science empowers us to solve today’s urgent economic, social, and environmental concerns, as well as to achieve sustainable development and greener society.UNESCO aims to support nations in investing in Scientific, Technology, and Innovation (STI), developing national science policies, reforming science institutions, and developing ability to monitor and assess performance using STI indicators. UNESCO also collaborates with its member countries to promote informed judgments on the use of science and technology, particularly in the subject of bioethics.Humanities and Social Sciences UNESCO assists individuals in creating and using knowledge for just and inclusive communities, as well as in understanding one another and working together to establish enduring peace. It promotes mutual understanding among member states through intergovernmental programmes such as the Management of Social Transformations (MOST), the Youth Programme, and the Culture of Peace and Nonviolence Program, which include initiatives for democracy and global citizenship, intercultural dialogue, and peace-building.

Information and communication
UNESCO promotes freedom of expression and journalist safety, combats online hate speech, and disinformation and misinformation through public awareness campaigns. It also promotes open solutions, such as open educational resources, access for disadvantaged people, and multilingualism in cyberspace, to facilitate universal access to information and knowledge.
UNESCO’s Global Priorities – ‘Africa’ and ‘Gender Equality’
With a bolder and more targeted strategy, UNESCO is paying attention to 54 African nations.Adoption of the African Union Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which pave the way for the African Economic Community and the African Renaissance.
Equality of Gender
As equal citizens, women and men, according to UNESCO, must have equal chances, choices, capacities, power, and knowledge. Equipping girls and boys, as well as women and men, with the information, beliefs, attitudes, and skills needed to address gender inequities is a prerequisite for creating a sustainable future for all.
The 2019 report is the first version of the annual report released in India by UNESCO.
It emphasized the triumphs and issues related to children with disabilities’ right to an education (CWDs). The 2019 State of School Report from UNESCO is designed to assist the education system in better responding to the learning requirements of CWDs. This will allow us to make considerable progress toward our united goal of leaving no one behind and providing fair opportunities for excellent learning to all children and youth.

What is the UNFCC?

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) created an international environmental convention to address “dangerous human interference with the climate system,” which includes reducing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. [1] It was signed by 154 governments during the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED), sometimes known colloquially as the Earth Summit, which took place in Rio de Janeiro from June 3 to 14, 1992. It created a Secretariat in Bonn and went into effect on March 21, 1994. [2] The pact called for continuous scientific study as well as frequent meetings, talks, and future policy agreements to allow ecosystems to naturally adapt to climate change, guarantee food supply is not jeopardised, and allow economic development to occur in a sustainable way.

THE COP 26

There was a huge ambition gap heading into the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change’s (UNFCCC) 26th Conference of the Parties (COP26). According to the Climate Action Tracker, pre-COP26 commitments and objectives were insufficient to avoid global average temperatures from increasing by more than 1.5 degrees Celsius.

The annual Conference of the Parties is a technical procedure that cannot reduce emissions on its own; only national governments and corporations can do so.

Countries have been working for many years under the UNFCCC process to develop an international rule-based framework for regulating climate change. Now that we have it in the Paris Agreement, the character of the COP is shifting from one of rulemaking to one of implementation.

1. Green financing for a net-zero economy

$130 trillion towards net zero A noteworthy milestone at COP26 was the announcement of $130 trillion in private funding from the newly founded Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero to expedite the transition to a net-zero economy. Green financing supplied by banks, markets, insurers, and active climate-aware institutional investors will continue to play an increasingly important role in pushing climate action. It strengthens the emphasis on climate change for both public and private enterprises.

2. Private-sector disclosure and transparency

Greater transparency about climate change in the corporate sector Not only are governments’ climate promises being questioned for their veracity. The private sector is now being scrutinised by both clients and institutional investors to ensure that its net-zero pledges are similarly strong and credible. As a result, the new criteria proposed at COP26 for all listed firms in the UK to develop net-zero transition plans by 2023 are very welcome. The new regulations will improve openness and scrutiny of corporations’ net-zero initiatives. It’s also possible that this will be the start of a global movement toward net-zero target transparency. Clearer rules for assessing private-sector net-zero pledges António Guterres, the UN Secretary-General, has announced the formation of a “group of specialists” to develop clear rules for monitoring and analysing net-zero pledges by non-state entities. This will result in: set worldwide net zero criteria for all firms (which do not presently exist under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)) identify greenwashing and praise those who have implemented solid and legal net-zero plans.

3. Accelerating the implementation of the Paris Agreement

One of the major achievements of COP26 was the agreement “to revisit and strengthen the 2030 targets in their nationally determined contributions…by the end of 2022,” as well as the establishment of a new annual high-level ministerial meeting beginning in 2022 and a leader’s summit beginning in 2023. This will put pressure on nations to maintain their desire to meet the Paris Agreement’s temperature target at a quicker rate than specified in the Paris Agreement. The ‘rulebook’ of the Paris Agreement Furthermore, significant work was made on the Paris Agreement’s ‘rulebook’ for Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which deals with carbon markets and accounting. . The now-approved rules will open the door to market and non-market methods to climate change mitigation and adaptation by ensuring operational transparency and certainty.

COP26’s Shortcomings

  • Failure to reach the 1.5°C goal
  • Perhaps most importantly, the UK COP26 leadership failed to reach its stated objective of “consigning coal to history” by obtaining an agreement in the closing Glasgow Climate Pact that phases coal “down” rather than “out.” Furthermore, the phrase “phasing out fossil fuel subsidies” was changed to “inefficient fossil fuel subsidies.” This puts the Paris Agreement’s temperature objective of much below 2°C in jeopardy. However, we are on course for a 2.4°C rise. According to the International Energy Agency, new national commitments to zero net emissions might be sufficient to keep global warming to 1.8°C. However, Climate Action Tracker discovered that we are still on course for 2.4°C warming due to a “huge credibility, action, and commitment gap,” since many of the promises have minimal specifics on near-term issues. Despite being exceedingly concerning, this represents improvement in comparison to COP21 (2015) in Paris, when the world was on course for 3–4°C warming. Although the revised objectives fall short of earlier forecasts, they show that states can reduce global warming through aggressive collective action supported by the COPs.
  • Not securing $100 billion climate finance
  • Further, COP26 did not manage to secure the $100 billion per year in climate finance by 2020 as promised at COP15 (2009) in Copenhagen, instead delaying the finance to 2023.
  • This not only fails to urgently provide resources to countries most vulnerable to climate change, but also logically raises the question as to whether similar long-term commitments made at COP26 will be delivered on time

Important goals from cop26

  • According to the Glasgow Financial Alliance for Net Zero (GFANZ), more than $130 trillion (£95 trillion) in private money has already been “committed to reforming the economy” toward the Paris climate goal of 1.5°C by using a science-based strategy with near-term and long-term ambitions. However, there are still concerns about how this enormous sum will be used in actuality.
  • The First Movers group brings together multinational firms with supply networks in carbon-intensive industries. They would pool their purchasing power to create market conditions for new solutions in the heavy carbon industry.
  • Major international banks have pledged to halt all international public financing of new unabated coal power plants by the end of 2021.
  • multilateral development banks: Nature, People, Planet formed a commitment to connect their portfolios with the Paris Agreement aims as well as nature.
  • Nearly 100 nations have agreed to reduce methane emissions by 30% by 2030, compared to 2020 levels. Methane is responsible for around 0.5°C of the world’s current warming of 1.1°C–1.2°C.
  • Six world leaders from 110 countries have signed a statement pledging to cease and reverse deforestation and land degradation by 2030.
  • There is a new need for listed firms in the UK to have net zero transition strategies in place by 2023.
  • A new International Sustainability Standards Board (ISSB) has been established which will increase the global focus on climate risk disclosure and reporting.
  • The Glasgow Breakthroughs are The Breakthrough Agenda’s first set of global leader-led objectives. By 2030, the Breakthrough Agenda promises to reduce the cost of sustainable solutions such as clean energy, electric cars, green steel, sustainable agriculture, and hydrogen manufacturing.
  • At least 23 countries have pledged to phase out coal power in the 2030s for leading nations and the 2040s for the rest of the globe, including five of the world’s top 20 coal-using countries.