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Asunto:[CeHuNews] 26/06 - CULTURES AND CIVILIZATIONS FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT (CCHD) Report 03/2006
Fecha:Lunes, 24 de Julio, 2006  21:06:37 (+0000)
Autor:Alexander von Humboldt <cehumboldt @.........ar>

CeHuNews 26/06

CULTURES AND CIVILIZATIONS FOR HUMAN DEVELOPMENT (CCHD)

 

Report # 03/2006 

July, 2006

Editor: Adalberto Vallega

Assistant Editor: Dawn Bissell

 

 

Introduction

The CCHD initiative was launched as a result of the international workshop held
in Rome
in December 2005, with the aim of helping intercultural and intercivilizational
dialogue
as an essential tool to pursue human development, as defined by the United
Nations
Development Programme (UNDP).

 

Other scientific organisations, including the Organisation Arabe pour
l’Education, la
Culture et les Sciences (ALECSO), have joined the IGU in this initiative,
thereby giving
rise to a multicultural and multidisciplinary approach.

 

The CCHD initiative will be operated at two levels:

 

§         The first level, which is presented in the CCHD Action Plan, will
consist of a
set of actions to be carried out in the medium term focusing on i) education,
ii) the
media, iii) social communication, and iv) collaboration with decision-making
centres.

 

§         The second level will consist of a proposal to the United Nations to
proclaim
an International Year on Cultures and Civilizations for Human Development. 

 

In spite of being conceived and designed by the International Geographical
Union, CCHD is
essentially interdisciplinary, and multi-perspective from a cultural point of
view.

 

 

Links with the International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE)

The CCHD initiative may be regarded as having close links with the IYPE
initiative,  
particularly with the celebration of the UN Year. The key conceptual reason of
such a
link is that the sustainable management of Earth cannot disregard the role of
cultures
and civilizations, and that the approach to biogeochemical cycles in individual
spaces
and places greatly depends on how individual cultures and civilizations perceive
and
imagine nature.

 

 

Organisation

Following the input arising from the December Workshop, the CCHD organisation
comprises:

§         a Co-ordinator, who, in this start-up phase, is the IGU President;

§         a Management Team comprising 14 members from 13 countries;

§         Regional Promoters, comprising 10 members from 9 countries;

§         a Secretariat, located at the Home of Geography.

 

 

Participation and collaboration

CCHD benefits from the involvement of partners and sponsors.

 

Partners and funding— Partners are organisations and institutions which allocate
funds to
CCHD. They are subdivided into two groups: (i) Partner: a body which allocates
no more
than 50,000 US$ to CCHD and, hopefully, collaborates with individual
initiatives; (ii)
Excellent Partner: a body which allocates more than 50,000 US$ to CCHD and,
hopefully,
collaborates with individual initiatives. At the present time, namely in 2005
and in the
first half of 2006, CCHD has received funds from the Municipality of Rome and
the
Fondazione della Cassa di Risparmio di Roma (Rome Savings Bank Foundation)
through a call
for funds made by the Societŕ Geografica Italiana (SGI). As a result, the SGI is
currently the only Partner on whose funding CCHD can rely. A call for funds was
addressed
to the Rockfeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, Volkswagen Foundation, and
ZEIT-Stiftung
Ebgelin und GerdBucerius. The Rockfeller Foundation has not replied. The other
foundations replied that they were unable to assist with funding CCHD.

 

Sponsors — Sponsors are organisations and institutions which are able to support
CCHD in
spite of not allocating any funds. They are subdivided into two groups: i) Moral
Sponsor:
a body which states its support of the CCHD initiative because of its social and
cultural
roles, and ii) Operational Sponsor: a body which states its support of the CCHD
initiative and that it will collaborate with the relevant Action Plan. 

 

At the present time, CCHD is supported by:

§         7 moral sponsors from 7 countries, including 3 non-geographical
sponsors, equal
to 43 percent of the total;

 

§         18 operational sponsors from 13 countries, including 6
non-geographical
sponsors, equal to 33 percent of the total.

 

 

IGU National Committees and National Geographical bodies

National Committees — A call for participation and collaboration was circulated
to 58
National Committees (NCs). At the present time, 15 of them, equal to 26 percent
of the
total number contacted, have expressed their willingness to collaborate.
Recently, the
NCs were invited to produce a national report on cultural diversity with
specific
reference to the 2005 “Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the
Diversity of
Cultural Expressions”. 

 

Geographical societies and associations — A call for participation and
collaboration was
circulated to 131 national geographical bodies. At the present time, 18 of them,
equal to
14 percent of the total number contacted, have expressed their willingness to
collaborate.

 

 

Cardinal co-operation: United Nations

UNESCO, Culture Sector, and the United Nations University have expressed their
support
for CCHD and their desire to establish operational co-operation.

 

UNESCO, Culture Sector — In April, this branch of UNESCO responded positively to
IGU’s
invitation. In order to initiate collaboration, the following papers were sent
to Mrs
Katérina Stenou (Director, Division of Cultural Policies and Intercultural
Dialogue):

 

§         “United Nations Year of Cultures and Civilizations for Human
Development:
Rationale and Background”: a paper setting out the rationale of the proclamation
of a UN
Year on Cultures and Civilizations;

 

§         “UNESCO Approaches to Culture in the Prospect of Intercultural
Co-operation”: a
preliminary project to carry out investigations tailored to the subject area of
the 2005
“Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural
Expressions”;

 

§         An English and French presentation of CCHD for inclusion on the UNESCO
website.

 

United Nations University, UNU — In March, Hans J. A. van Ginkel, Rector of UNU,
sent a
letter in which the UNU agreed to be included in the Roster of Operational
Sponsors and
to jointly convene actions concerned with education. 

 

 

Cardinal co-operation: ICSU

A call for participation and collaboration was sent to 14 ICSU bodies. 

 

The ICSU Office for Africa reacted promptly, expressing its willingness to
establish
operational collaboration. 

 

In the framework of the above-mentioned December workshop, close interaction
between the
International Year of Planet Earth (IYPE) and the CCHD, particularly as regards
the
proposal to the UN to proclaim an international year on cultures and
civilizations, was
regarded of mutual interest. In this respect, a feedback process could be
envisaged
between the IYPE and the UN Year on CCHD. The operational aspects of this
potentially
close collaboration are yet to be defined.

 

 

Other co-operation prospects

Among the non-UN and non-ICSU milieus which have expressed an interest or a
willingness
to collaborate with CCHD, two of them are worthy of particular mention:

 

International Social Science Council — An interest in becoming an operational
sponsor was
expressed last May. The collaboration prospects are expected to be discussed
over the
coming  months, and will be presented at the November ISSC General Assembly.

 

The Arab League Educational, Cultural and Scientific Organization (ALECSO) —
Following
the Memo of Understanding which, last December, was signed by IGU and ALECSO,
effective
collaboration is expected to take place in the framework of CCHD. In this
respect, an ad
hoc meeting has been proposed to Mr Mongi Bousnina.

 

 

The UN Year on Cultures and Civilizations

With reference to the second objective of the CCDH initiative, namely the
proclamation of
a UN Year, it is worth taking into account that:

according to the UN regulations, the proposal to proclaim a UN international
year has to
be presented by a national delegation to UNESCO and the UN General Assembly.
Hence, the
key prerequisite is diplomatic and political;
 

support from the scientific community, as envisaged in the case of CCHD, is
desirable and
fundamental;
 

hence, the scientific community should be mobilised in parallel with the
mobilisation of
political and diplomatic milieus.
 

As far as the diplomatic paths are concerned, the following actions have been
undertaken:

 

Contact with the UN — Last April in New York, Antoine Bailly met Jean Ziegler,
special
councillor to the UN Secretary General, in order to seek suggestions as to how
to
proceed. He was able to ascertain that the current UN conditions are rather
complicated,
but at the same time, that this should not frustrate the efforts of CCHD
partners and
sponsors. 

 

Contacts at the national scale — A number of letters have been received from
scientists
and bodies from all over the world expressing their intention to explore whether
their
local government could play the role of promoter in the framework of UNESCO and
the UN.
The countries concerned are listed below (the name of the IGU liaison person is
mentioned
in brackets):

§         China (Wuyi Wang)

§         Denmark (Christian Wichmann Matthiesen)

§         Egypt (M.S. Abulezz)

§         Finland (Markku Löytönen)

§         Japan (Hiroshi Tanabe)

§         New Zealand (R.D. Bedford)

§         Norway (Tor Halfdan Aase)

§         Republic of Slovenia (Irena Rejec Brancelj)

§         Romania (Dan Balteanu)

§         Saudia Arabia (Mohammad S. Makki)

§         Slovak Republic (Jan Feranec)

§         South Africa (Lindisizwe M. Magi)

§         Switzerland (Antoine Bailly) 

§         Tunisia (Alě Toumi)

 

 

Key issues

At the present time, the following key issues must be dealt with: 

Funding — Fundraising is a precondition for implementing the CCHD initiative.

 

Convening selected specific actions — On the basis of the CCHD Action Plan and
input from
intergovernmental bodies, particularly from UNESCO, UNU, and the ICSU Office for
Africa,
attention should focus on a select number of actions.

 

Collaboration with IYPE, the UN and ICSU organisations — Actions should be
selected with
the aim of implementing interdisciplinary collaboration, and interaction with
the
above-mentioned organisations.

 

CCHD  Management Team and Regional Promoters — In order to achieve the CCHD
objectives,
the efficiency of these bodies must be optimised.

 

 

Moving to the second CCHD phase

It may be considered that the initial phase, encompassing the activity set in
motion by
the discussions held at the December 2005 Workshop, is drawing to a close, and
that a new
phase is beginning. This new phase will be characterised by convening specific
projects,
leading to operational improvement, and by greater involvement of the management
bodies,
leading to organisational improvement.



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