Thursday, November 28, 2013

Pieces of the Pie: Haitian-Dominican Republic divide

In the beginning it was Ayti and Ayti beget Quesqueya who became Hispaniola in Columbus' journals in which he claimed it for a ruler across the big waters. Following a drunken feast on the intoxicating liquor brought from across the big waters, the ruler and his once-rival held either ends of the wholesome Ayti and pulled her asundar. The rulers clanked glasses and patted each other's backs in brotherly in celebration of their feat in separating one island into two countries, each claiming ownership of the bits they held between their respective fingers, while her life-blood haemorraged through centuries of underdevelopment...the disjointed parts yearning for reunion while post colonial rulers relive the prejudices of their old masters ...
My friends on each side of the divide try to reach out as in Michaelangelo's fresco in the Sistne Chapel at the Vatican of the Creation of Adam following the indigeneous Separation of Light from Darkness, but what religion and politicians and new world Adams have torn asunder, no people can bring together .....  more Letters to Lizzie...
   


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Cultural Diplomacy: Ja-TT One Love alive and well


 Where One Love Lives - With the last of the Wailers - The Honourable Bunny Wailer as he graduated from our training at a UNESCO Workshop on Intangible Cultural Heritage in Jamaica last month. (Right photo)

This is how we do regional unity













Left Photo  Cutting the CARICOM cake at the CARICOM evening at the UNESCO General Assembly with Minister of Culture and Youth of Jamaica, The Honourable Lisa Hanna (
from right), Dr Kris Rampersad - Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO; other Caricom Delegates and Trinidad and Tobago Permanent Delegate based in Geneva, Ambassador John Sandy (left)
Kris Rampersad photos.
Website: krisrampersadglobal

Sunday, November 24, 2013

We are BOSS SIDS tell UNESCO General Assembly in Paris

Clear evidence of the revolution in perspectives sweeping the globe, not the least of which is at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, those dubbed in recent developmental terminology as Small Island Developing States - SIDS - have recommended a change in designation to Big Ocean Sustainable States during the UNESCO General Assembly in Paris, France. It provided a platform of equity for the convergence of small islands of the Caribbean, the Pacific and elsewhere to leverage away from representations on tthe bases of needs to their strengths ...more... 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

World Heritage being run like FIFA claim UNESCO member states

As UNESCO World heritage assembly meets in PARIS to examine governance finance administration of UNESCOs flagship programme and set priorities for net decade member states commended achievements while holding committee to account.... more

World Heritage Assembly resumes to continue agenda after suspension


World Heritage Assembly suspended as delegates debate equitable representation

Proceedings of the 19th General Assembly of the UNESCO World Heritage committee at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, France stalled and was suspended as delegates debated equitable representation and need for revision of the rules as regards compositon to the World Heritage Committee. The Assembly could not attract a forum as the majority of delgates assigned themselves to an informal working group set up to discuss revisions of the rules.
This arose from failure of any member of African groups to qualify for one of the 12 seats in the current rounds of elections to the Committee; and follows a similar situation involving Latin America and the Caribbean at the previous general assembly.
The situation actually points to the greater challenges facing the World Hritage Committee and UNESCO itself to transform and adapt to new global realities and the increasing demands for inclusivity and representation while upholding one ofthe principal pillars of what has become one of UNESCO's flagship programmes governed by the World Heritage Convention which has to date some 962 iscriptions
While the immediate attention is on the issue of equitable geographic and cultural representations, the need for more fundamental reforms to the 1972 World Heritage Convention as well as its other culture conventions related to Intangible, built and natural heritage to meet the dynmic and effervescent global realities as they relate to clture and which require creative and innovative ways of engagement ..... more     

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Caribbean News Now!: Trinidad and Tobago to sit on UNESCO executive board for first time in 16 years

Caribbean News Now!: Trinidad and Tobago to sit on UNESCO executive board for first time in 16 years

World heritage election categories questioned as Africa fails to qualify for a seat. Jamaica, Peru, in

UNESCO delegates call for review of elections to world heritage committee following failure of any African country to qualify in the elections held yesterday....calls for election that will promote more equitable regional representation....
Meanwhile Jamaica won the electoral category for country with no world heritage site and Peru also voted in - making two more from the Latin American and Caribbean (GRULAC) Group who join continuing member Colombia
Congrats to our Jamaican and Latin American colleagues! That's how we can succeed when we work together as a region!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

LiTTmas TTime in the CiTTy presents Trini Christmas literary memories

In asssociation with the Abercrombie Tea House, we will stage LiTTmas Time in the CiTTy from 5 pm on November 29, 2013 at the tea house on 98 Abercromby Street, Port of Spain.Website
The evening of tea, entertainment and readings will be inspired by LiTTscapes – Landscapes of Fiction from Trinidad and Tobago.
It will be a Christmas event with a literary twist. It was a pleasure to accept the invitation by Sister Mary Jane of the Abercrombie Tea House to partner with them in invoking and reliving Trini Christmas experiences at their tea house with a custom-made LiTTribute/LiTTevent that can be tailored and themed on request to any occasion – anniversaries, award ceremonies or any celebration or observances.
Our presentations will draw from the representations of Christmas by many of our writers of fiction who have captured the spirit of Christmas from our rural villages to our towns and in the city itself, and including early writers as Charles Kingsley in his nineteenth century travelogue, At Last, A Christmas in the West Indies to more recent representations of village Christmas, music, cuisine and practices and experiences through the eyes of authors and their fictional characters. These form part of the representations by the some 60 fiction writers in some 100 works described in LiTTscapes .
As with our other events, and publication of the LiTTscapes itself, this too is a gift to T&T and as it also makes the ideal gift for the season for friends at home and abroad, it will also be on special offer to patrons of LiTTmas Time In the CiTTy.
The highly acclaimed LiTTscapes, has been commended as full of Walcottian ‘visual surprise’ that captures almost everything about Trinidad and Tobago’s landscapes, culture, cuisine, sports, lifestyles, institutions in more than 500 full colour photographs and descriptions.   
 By LiTTmas Time in the CiTTy, we hope to provide a new layer of enjoyment of the season, and reinforce images and memories of a local Christmas, when much of the imagery of Christmas with which we are presented, by advertisers and others, are still largely drawn from mainly the indoctrination of British literature and foreign/American pop music and culture..
In keeping with our other events which were staged at historic heritage buildings, White Hall and Knowsley in Port of Spain, Moray House in Guyana, the National Museum in Antigua, the staging at the Abercrombie House is o n the grounds of the first teachers’ training college in Trinidad and this historic home of the sisters of St Joseph of Cluny.
LiTTmas Time in the CiTTy will be a prelude to reintroduction of our LiTTours.

For details email lolleaves@gmail.com,  and for bookings of the limited number of tables at the Abercrombie Tea House call  1-868-624-7756. 

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Trinidad and Tobago Tops Region in UNESCO Executive Elections

Takes its place on the world body for first time in 16 years

 PARIS, UNESCO - Nov. 13, 2013: For the first time in 16 years Trinidad and Tobago will sit on the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation. See Trinidad and Tobago National Statement to UNESCO 

Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission, Dr Kris Rampersad is representing Trinidad and Tobago at the first meeting of the executive board to take place on November 22, 2013 in Paris which follows the UNESCO General Assembly in Paris currently in progress.
 Trinidad and Tobago received the highest number of votes in the Latin America and Caribbean (GRULAC) UNESCO regional division in the elections of the UNESCO Executive Board held in Paris, France, last week.
Of seven candidates contesting six seats in the GRULAC group , the six now on the Executive Board are Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Belize, Argentina and St Kitts/Nevis. They were among the twenty eight new members who were voted in at the elections held at UNESCO Headquarters this week.
President of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO and Minister of Education, Dr Tim Gopeesingh was thrilled at the electoral results. Thanking everyone for their support He stated:
“After 16 years since it was last represented on this board, Trinidad and Tobago is ready to take its place on the Executive Board as a leader in the GRULAC region and consolidate national and regional activities through UNESCO to benefit our populations, the main agenda-setting organ of UNESCO.  Already, we have presented to UNESCO a concept for deepening and broadening the inclusion of special needs children – which amount to about 30 percent of the world’s children – into the education, and by extension, other social systems. Through our involvement on the Executive Board, we will be working towards the realisation of this, as well as strengthening UNESCO’s work in the region to other aspects of the education sector, as well as heritage and culture, communications and science,” he said.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Permanent Representative to UNESCO, Ambassador John Sandy said the involvement of Trinidad and Tobago in the main decision making organ of UNESCO will certainly help enhance its already very favourable image and profile in the UNESCO world, and presents an opportunity to deepen engagement and expand partnerships with other regions. “Victory came because of great team effort, not only among us on team Trinidad and Tobago, but also in our leadership of negotiations with the rest of the region, CARICOM and individual candidates,” he said.  
The keenly contested elections, involved intense behind-the-scenes negotiations which resulted in the Caribbean sub-sector presenting a “clean slate” including Trinidad and Tobago, Belize and St Kitts/Nevis to the UNESCO electoral community.

“That the highest numbers voted for Trinidad and Tobago in the GRULAC group suggests the tremendous faith and confidence the UNESCO world and the region have in our country and the leadership, vision, programmes and policies we have been presenting to UNESCO,” said national commission chair, Dr Kris Rampersad. “From the international spread of votes, it also indicates the high esteem in which the rest of the UNESCO world also involving Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East hold our country  This year our National Commission launched what will be one of its flagship projects – Leading for Literacy – which taps into the entire education system through strengthening leadership skills of principals and teachers towards improving literacy levels, and now the President has asked that we also prioritise further inclusion of special needs children.  We look forward to deepening our engagement with UNESCO for the benefit of Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean and the wider GRULAC region, working in partnership with our counterparts on the executive board. The congratulations are still coming in and there is a tremendous amount of good will and expectations from among our counterparts about our admission to the board.”
Trinidad and Tobago was represented at the elections by Ambassador John Sandy, Permanent Representative to UNESCO based in Geneva; Dr Kris Rampersad, Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO and Ms Susan Shurland, Secretary General of the National Commission. Minister of Education, Dr Tim Gopeesingh, who led the four member delegation returned to Trinidad on November 12.
The Executive Board, which comprises 58 members, is one of the three constitutional organs of UNESCO (others are the General Conference and Secretariat) charged with examining UNESCO’s programme of work and budget estimates submitted to it by the Director-General. It makes recommendations on the admission of new States, for the appointment of the Director
General and summons international and non-governmental conferences on education, the sciences and the humanities.
F
or more on UNESCO Executive Election and Executive Board see:
Previous Blog: Trinidad and Tobago ask UNESCO to focus on Special Needs Children
https://sites.google.com/site/krisrampersadglobal

Captions:
  1. Ambassador John Sandy, Trinidad and Tobago’s Permanent Representative to UNESCO based in Geneva and Dr Kris Rampersad, Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO, vote at the elections for the UNESCO Executive Board at UNESCO headquarters, Paris, France.  
  2.  Caption: (L-R) President of the National Commission for UNESCO Minister of Education, Dr Tim Gopeesingh; Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO, Dr Kris Rampersad; Secretary General Ms Susan Shurland; and Permanent Delegate of Trinidad and Tobago to UNESCO, Ambassador John Sandy in a planning meeting at UNESCO General Assembly, Paris. 

T&T Tops Region At Election To UNESCO Executive Board

Dr Kris Rampersad, Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO
Ambassador John Sandy, Trinidad and Tobago’s Permanent Representative to UNESCO based in Geneva and Dr Kris Rampersad, Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO, vote at the elections for the UNESCO Executive Board at UNESCO headquarters, Paris, France.
Ambassador John Sandy, Trinidad and Tobago’s Permanent Representative to UNESCO based in Geneva and Dr Kris Rampersad, Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO, vote at the elections for the UNESCO Executive Board at UNESCO headquarters, Paris, France.
Takes its place on the world body for first time in 16 years.

PARIS, France -- For the first time in 16 years Trinidad and Tobago will sit on the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission, Dr Kris Rampersad is representing Trinidad and Tobago at the first meeting of the executive board to take place on November 22, 2013 in Paris which follows the UNESCO General Assembly in Paris currently in progress.
 Trinidad and Tobago received the highest number of votes in the Latin America and Caribbean (GRULAC) UNESCO regional division in the elections of the UNESCO Executive Board held in Paris, France, last week.
Of seven candidates contesting six seats in the GRULAC group , the six now on the Executive Board are Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Belize, Argentina and St Kitts/Nevis. They were among the twenty eight new members who were voted in at the elections held at UNESCO Headquarters this week. 
President of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO and Minister of Education, Dr Tim Gopeesingh was thrilled at the electoral results. Thanking everyone for their support He stated:
“After 16 years since it was last represented on this board, Trinidad and Tobago is ready to take its place on the Executive Board as a leader in the GRULAC region and consolidate national and regional activities through UNESCO to benefit our populations, the main agenda-setting organ of UNESCO.  Already, we have presented to UNESCO a concept for deepening and broadening the inclusion of special needs children – which amount to about 30 percent of the world’s children – into the education, and by extension, other social systems. Through our involvement on the Executive Board, we will be working towards the realisation of this, as well as strengthening UNESCO’s work in the region to other aspects of the education sector, as well as heritage and culture, communications and science,” he said.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Permanent Representative to UNESCO, Ambassador John Sandy said the involvement of Trinidad and Tobago in the main decision making organ of UNESCO will certainly help enhance its already very favourable image and profile in the UNESCO world, and presents an opportunity to deepen engagement and expand partnerships with other regions. “Victory came because of great team effort, not only among us on team Trinidad and Tobago, but also in our leadership of negotiations with the rest of the region, CARICOM and individual candidates,” he said.   
The keenly contested elections, involved intense behind-the-scenes negotiations which resulted in the Caribbean sub-sector presenting a “clean slate” including Trinidad and Tobago, Belize and St Kitts/Nevis to the UNESCO electoral community.
“That the highest numbers voted for Trinidad and Tobago in the GRULAC group suggests the tremendous faith and confidence the UNESCO world and the region have in our country and the leadership, vision, programmes and policies we have been presenting to UNESCO,” said national commission chair, Dr Kris Rampersad. “From the international spread of votes, it also indicates the high esteem in which the rest of the UNESCO world also involving Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East hold our country  This year our National Commission launched what will be one of its flagship projects – Leading for Literacy – which taps into the entire education system through strengthening leadership skills of principals and teachers towards improving literacy levels, and now the President has asked that we also prioritise further inclusion of special needs children.  We look forward to deepening our engagement with UNESCO for the benefit of Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean and the wider GRULAC region, working in partnership with our counterparts on the executive board. The congratulations are still coming in and there is a tremendous amount of good will and expectations from among our counterparts about our admission to the board.”
Trinidad and Tobago was represented at the elections by Ambassador John Sandy, Permanent Representative to UNESCO based in Geneva; Dr Kris Rampersad, Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO and Ms Susan Shurland, Secretary General of the National Commission. Minister of Education, Dr Tim Gopeesingh, who led the four member delegation returned to Trinidad on November 12.
The Executive Board, which comprises 58 members, is one of the three constitutional organs of UNESCO (others are the General Conference and Secretariat) charged with examining UNESCO’s programme of work and budget estimates submitted to it by the Director-General. It makes recommendations on the admission of new States, for the appointment of the Director General and summons international and non-governmental conferences on education, the sciences and the humanities.
For more on UNESCO Executive Election and Executive Board see:

Three Caribbean countries elected to UNESCO executive board

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© UNESCO/Michel Ravassard
Plenary hall of the 34th General Conference of UNESCO with flags
PARIS, France– Three Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries have been elected to serve on the 58-member executive board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
 Belize, St. Kitts-Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago will join the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Argentina from the Latin America and Caribbean grouping in the 58-member board.
This is the first time that Port of Spain has been elected to the executive board since 1997. The first meeting of the executive board is due to take place on Friday and Trinidad and Tobago will be represented by the Chair of its National Commission, Dr Kris Rampersad.
 Trinidad and Tobago received the highest number of votes in the Latin America and Caribbean (GRULAC) UNESCO regional division in the elections of the UNESCO Executive Board held here last week.
“After 16 years since it was last represented on this board, Trinidad and Tobago is ready to take its place on the Executive Board as a leader in the GRULAC region and consolidate national and regional activities through UNESCO to benefit our populations, the main agenda-setting organ of UNESCO,” said Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh.
“Already, we have presented to UNESCO a concept for deepening and broadening the inclusion of special needs children – which amount to about 30 percent of the world’s children – into the education, and by extension, other social systems. Through our involvement on the Executive Board, we will be working towards the realisation of this, as well as strengthening UNESCO’s work in the region to other aspects of the education sector, as well as heritage and culture, communications and science,” he said.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Permanent Representative to UNESCO, Ambassador John Sandy said the involvement of Trinidad and Tobago in the main decision making organ of UNESCO presents an opportunity to deepen engagement and expand partnerships with other regions.
 “Victory came because of great team effort, not only among us on team Trinidad and Tobago, but also in our leadership of negotiations with the rest of the region, CARICOM and individual candidates,” he said.
The keenly contested elections, involved intense behind-the-scenes negotiations which resulted in the Caribbean sub-sector presenting a “clean slate” including Trinidad and Tobago, Belize and St Kitts/Nevis to the UNESCO electoral community.
“That the highest numbers voted for Trinidad and Tobago in the GRULAC group suggests the tremendous faith and confidence the UNESCO world and the region have in our country and the leadership, vision, programmes and policies we have been presenting to UNESCO,” said Rampersad.
The Executive Board, which comprises 58 members, is one of the three constitutional organs of UNESCO charged with examining UNESCO’s programme of work and budget estimates submitted to it by the Director-General.
It makes recommendations on the admission of new States, the appointment of the Director General and summons international and non-governmental conferences on education, the sciences and the humanities.

Trinidad and Tobago tops region in UNESCO Executive elections

posted Nov 17, 2013, 12:28 PM by Kris Rampersad
Takes its place on the world body for first time in 16 years
 PARIS, UNESCO - Nov. 13, 2013

1For the first time in 16 years Trinidad and Tobago will sit on the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation.
Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission, Dr Kris Rampersad is representing Trinidad and Tobago at the first meeting of the executive board to take place on November 22, 2013 in Paris which follows the UNESCO General Assembly in Paris currently in progress.
 Trinidad and Tobago received the highest number of votes in the Latin America and Caribbean (GRULAC) UNESCO regional division in the elections of the UNESCO Executive Board held in Paris, France, last week.
Of seven candidates contesting six seats in the GRULAC group , the six now on the Executive Board are Trinidad and Tobago, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Belize, Argentina and St Kitts/Nevis. They were among the twenty eight new members who were voted in at the elections held at UNESCO Headquarters this week.
President of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO and Minister of Education, Dr Tim Gopeesingh was thrilled at the electoral results. Thanking everyone for their support He stated:
“After 16 years since it was last represented on this board, Trinidad and Tobago is ready to take its place on the Executive Board as a leader in the GRULAC region and consolidate national and regional activities through UNESCO to benefit our populations, the main agenda-setting organ of UNESCO.  Already, we have presented to UNESCO a concept for deepening and broadening the inclusion of special needs children – which amount to about 30 percent of the world’s children – into the education, and by extension, other social systems. Through our involvement on the Executive Board, we will be working towards the realisation of this, as well as strengthening UNESCO’s work in the region to other aspects of the education sector, as well as heritage and culture, communications and science,” he said.Trinidad and Tobago’s Permanent Representative to UNESCO, Ambassador John Sandy said the involvement of Trinidad and Tobago in the main decision making organ of UNESCO will certainly help enhance its already very favourable image and profile in the UNESCO world, and presents an opportunity to deepen engagement and expand partnerships with other regions. “Victory came because of great team effort, not only among us on team Trinidad and Tobago, but also in our leadership of negotiations with the rest of the region, CARICOM and individual candidates,” he said.
The keenly contested elections, involved intense behind-the-scenes negotiations which resulted in the Caribbean sub-sector presenting a “clean slate” including Trinidad and Tobago, Belize and St Kitts/Nevis to the UNESCO electoral community.
“That the highest numbers voted for Trinidad and Tobago in the GRULAC group suggests the tremendous faith and confidence the UNESCO world and the region have in our country and the leadership, vision, programmes and policies we have been presenting to UNESCO,” said national commission chair, Dr Kris Rampersad. “From the international spread of votes, it also indicates the high esteem in which the rest of the UNESCO world also involving Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East hold our country  This year our National Commission launched what will be one of its flagship projects – Leading for Literacy – which taps into the entire education system through strengthening leadership skills of principals and teachers towards improving literacy levels, and now the President has asked that we also prioritise further inclusion of special needs children.  We look forward to deepening our engagement with UNESCO for the benefit of Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean and the wider GRULAC region, working in partnership with our counterparts on the executive board. The congratulations are still coming in and there is a tremendous amount of good will and expectations from among our counterparts about our admission to the board.”
Trinidad and Tobago was represented at the elections by Ambassador John Sandy, Permanent Representative to UNESCO based in Geneva; Dr Kris Rampersad, Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO and Ms Susan Shurland, Secretary General of the National Commission. Minister of Education, Dr Tim Gopeesingh, who led the four member delegation returned to Trinidad on November 12.
The Executive Board, which comprises 58 members, is one of the three constitutional organs of UNESCO (others are the General Con
ference and Secretariat) charged with examining UNESCO’s programme of work and budget estimates submitted to it by the Director-General. It makes recommendations on the admission of new States, for the appointment of the Director General and summons international and non-governmental conferences on education, the sciences and the humanities.
For more on UNESCO Executive Election and Executive Board see:
http://www.unesco.org/new/en/executive-board/mandates-and-functions

Captions:
  1. Ambassador John Sandy, Trinidad and Tobago’s Permanent Representative to UNESCO based in Geneva and Dr Kris Rampersad, Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO, vote at the elections for the UNESCO Executive Board at UNESCO headquarters, Paris, France.  
  2.  Caption: (L-R) President of the National Commission for UNESCO Minister of Education, Dr Tim Gopeesingh; Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO, Dr Kris Rampersad; Secretary General Ms Susan Shurland; and Permanent Delegate of Trinidad and Tobago to UNESCO, Ambassador John Sandy in a planning meeting at UNESCO General Assembly, Paris. 

Three Caribbean countries elected to UNESCO executive board

By CMC - Monday, November 18th, 2013.
Article Hits: 87
No Comments

© UNESCO/Michel Ravassard
Plenary hall of the 34th General Conference of UNESCO with flags
PARIS, France– Three Caribbean Community (CARICOM) countries have been elected to serve on the 58-member executive board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO).
 Belize, St. Kitts-Nevis and Trinidad and Tobago will join the Dominican Republic, El Salvador and Argentina from the Latin America and Caribbean grouping in the 58-member board.
This is the first time that Port of Spain has been elected to the executive board since 1997. The first meeting of the executive board is due to take place on Friday and Trinidad and Tobago will be represented by the Chair of its National Commission, Dr Kris Rampersad.
 Trinidad and Tobago received the highest number of votes in the Latin America and Caribbean (GRULAC) UNESCO regional division in the elections of the UNESCO Executive Board held here last week.
“After 16 years since it was last represented on this board, Trinidad and Tobago is ready to take its place on the Executive Board as a leader in the GRULAC region and consolidate national and regional activities through UNESCO to benefit our populations, the main agenda-setting organ of UNESCO,” said Education Minister Dr Tim Gopeesingh.
“Already, we have presented to UNESCO a concept for deepening and broadening the inclusion of special needs children – which amount to about 30 percent of the world’s children – into the education, and by extension, other social systems. Through our involvement on the Executive Board, we will be working towards the realisation of this, as well as strengthening UNESCO’s work in the region to other aspects of the education sector, as well as heritage and culture, communications and science,” he said.
Trinidad and Tobago’s Permanent Representative to UNESCO, Ambassador John Sandy said the involvement of Trinidad and Tobago in the main decision making organ of UNESCO presents an opportunity to deepen engagement and expand partnerships with other regions.
 “Victory came because of great team effort, not only among us on team Trinidad and Tobago, but also in our leadership of negotiations with the rest of the region, CARICOM and individual candidates,” he said.
The keenly contested elections, involved intense behind-the-scenes negotiations which resulted in the Caribbean sub-sector presenting a “clean slate” including Trinidad and Tobago, Belize and St Kitts/Nevis to the UNESCO electoral community.
“That the highest numbers voted for Trinidad and Tobago in the GRULAC group suggests the tremendous faith and confidence the UNESCO world and the region have in our country and the leadership, vision, programmes and policies we have been presenting to UNESCO,” said Rampersad.
The Executive Board, which comprises 58 members, is one of the three constitutional organs of UNESCO charged with examining UNESCO’s programme of work and budget estimates submitted to it by the Director-General.
It makes recommendations on the admission of new States, the appointment of the Director General and summons international and non-governmental conferences on education, the sciences and the humanities.


Trinidad and Tobago to sit on UNESCO executive board for first time in 16 years
Published on November 19, 2013Email To Friend    Print Version

unesco.jpg
(L-R) President of the National Commission for UNESCO Minister of Education, Dr Tim Gopeesingh; Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO, Dr Kris Rampersad; Secretary General Susan Shurland; and Permanent Delegate of Trinidad and Tobago to UNESCO, Ambassador John Sandy in a planning meeting at UNESCO General Assembly, Paris.

PARIS, France -- For the first time in 16 years, Trinidad and Tobago will sit on the executive board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission, Dr Kris Rampersad will be representing Trinidad and Tobago at the first meeting of the executive board to take place on November 22, 2013, in Paris, which follows the UNESCO General Assembly.

Trinidad and Tobago received the highest number of votes in the Latin America and Caribbean (GRULAC) UNESCO regional division in the elections for the UNESCO executive board.

Of seven candidates contesting six seats in the GRULAC group, the six now on the executive board are Trinidad and Tobago, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Belize, Argentina and St Kitts-Nevis. They were among the 28 new members who were voted in at the elections held at UNESCO Headquarters.

President of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO and Minister of Education, Dr Tim Gopeesingh was thrilled at the electoral results.

Thanking everyone for their support, he stated: “After 16 years since it was last represented on this board, Trinidad and Tobago is ready to take its place on the executive board as a leader in the GRULAC region and consolidate national and regional activities through UNESCO to benefit our populations, the main agenda-setting organ of UNESCO.”

“Already, we have presented to UNESCO a concept for deepening and broadening the inclusion of special needs children – which amount to about 30 percent of the world’s children – into the education, and by extension, other social systems. Through our involvement on the executive board, we will be working towards the realisation of this, as well as strengthening UNESCO’s work in the region to other aspects of the education sector, as well as heritage and culture, communications and science,” he said.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Permanent Representative to UNESCO, Ambassador John Sandy said the involvement of Trinidad and Tobago in the main decision making organ of UNESCO will certainly help enhance its already very favourable image and profile in the UNESCO world, and presents an opportunity to deepen engagement and expand partnerships with other regions.

“Victory came because of great team effort, not only among us on team Trinidad and Tobago, but also in our leadership of negotiations with the rest of the region, CARICOM and individual candidates,” he said.

The keenly contested elections involved intense behind-the-scenes negotiations, which resulted in the Caribbean sub-sector presenting a “clean slate” including Trinidad and Tobago, Belize and St Kitts-Nevis to the UNESCO electoral community.

“That the highest numbers voted for Trinidad and Tobago in the GRULAC group suggests the tremendous faith and confidence the UNESCO world and the region have in our country and the leadership, vision, programmes and policies we have been presenting to UNESCO,” said Rampersad. “From the international spread of votes, it also indicates the high esteem in which the rest of the UNESCO world also involving Asia-Pacific, North America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East hold our country This year our National Commission launched what will be one of its flagship projects – Leading for Literacy – which taps into the entire education system through strengthening leadership skills of principals and teachers towards improving literacy levels, and now the president has asked that we also prioritise further inclusion of special needs children. We look forward to deepening our engagement with UNESCO for the benefit of Trinidad and Tobago, the Caribbean and the wider GRULAC region, working in partnership with our counterparts on the executive board. The congratulations are still coming in and there is a tremendous amount of good will and expectations from among our counterparts about our admission to the board.”

Trinidad and Tobago was represented at the elections by Ambassador Sandy; Rampersad; and Susan Shurland, secretary general of the National Commission. Gopeesingh, who led the four member delegation, returned to Trinidad on November 12.

The executive board, which comprises 58 members, is one of the three constitutional organs of UNESCO (others are the General Conference and Secretariat) charged with examining UNESCO’s programme of work and budget estimates submitted to it by the director-general. It makes recommendations on the admission of new states, for the appointment of the director general and summons international and non-governmental conferences on education, the sciences and the humanities.


Trinidad and Tobago calls for focus on Special Needs Children at UNESCO Caption: (L-R) President of the National Commission for UNESCO Minister of Education, Dr Tim Gopeesingh; Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO, Dr Kris Rampersad; Secretary General Ms Susan Shurland; and Permanent Delegate of Trinidad and Tobago to UNESCO, Ambassador John Sandy in a planning meeting at UNESCO General Assembly, Paris. (Photo Courtesy: Ministry of Education) November 16, 2013: President of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO and the Honourable Minister of Education, Dr Tim Gopeesingh has requested that UNESCO engage the United Nation’s system to pay specific attention to children with special education needs. He was speaking at a meeting of CARICOM delegates with the UNESCO Director General, Mrs Irina Bokova at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris where he was attending the 37th UNESCO General Assembly last week. The meeting involved signing of a memorandum of agreement between UNESCO and CARICOM which included cooperation for promotion of inclusive quality education and effective learning programmes and strengthening of health education; sustainable development of Small Island Developing States; mitigation of natural hazards; heritage preservation, education and strengthening institutional capacities; and for promotion of freedom of expression as a basic human right. CARICOM Secretary General, Mr Irwin La Rocque signed on behalf of CARICOM. Stating that it is estimated that some 30 percent of the world’s school children have special needs in the areas of dyslexia, autism, ADHD, Down Syndrome, behavioural and psychological abnormalities and neurological diseases, Dr Gopeesingh noted that educators needed to be alert from early childhood care and education (ECCE) levels, but for the most parts, special needs children are not catered to and “fall out” of the education system. In response, Mrs Bokova stated that the significant numbers cited by Dr Gopeesingh certainly warranted that UNESCO re-examine its programmes and actions to integrate engagement of such special needs children. Dr Gopeesingh brought greetings on behalf of the Chair of CARICOM, the Honourable Prime Minister of Trinidad and Tobago, Mrs Kamla Persad-Bissessar. He announced that Mrs Persad-Bissessar would be promoting development of regional policy to address special needs children and hoped UNESCO can also facilitate this focus throughout the UN system. He expressed gratitude to UNESCO for its support to the region in the drive of Education for Sustainable Development that is helping to “not just widen but also deepen our impact”. He drew attention to the Leading for Literacy project launched by Trinidad and Tobago’s National Commission for UNESCO this year which is an offspring of the UNESCO Director General’s 10,000 Principals’ Leadership Programme, with support from the UNESCO Participatory Programme and public-private-NGO sector partnerships. It is a pilot to train principals and teachers in Leading for Literacy in primary schools. “Already we are seeing tangible results from this as part of a Decade for Literacy focus by our National Commission which also foresees extending this drive to our Caribbean counterparts,” he said. He explained that he hopes to see a similar focus in Leading For Numeracy soon, in the thrust towards “not just quantitative but also qualitative education’, and expansion of the school curriculum to include moral values, ethics, citizenry, character development, physical education, visual and performing arts.” Dr Gopeesingh also identified successes and other areas in which support was needed in the region as: Early Childhood Care and Education; IT and ICTs, technical and vocational education, Universal ECCE, and teacher training and development. Dr Gopeesingh led Trinidad and Tobago’s delegation to the General Assembly which included Permanent Delegate of Trinidad and Tobago to UNESCO, Ambassador John Sandy; Chair of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO, Dr Kris Rampersad and Secretary General Ms Susan Shurland. At the General Assembly, Trinidad and Tobago was voted on to the Executive Board of UNESCO receiving with the highest number of votes cast for the six newly-admitted representatives from the Latin American and Caribbean region. http://www.news.gov.tt/content/trinidad-and-tobago-calls-focus-special-needs-children-unesco#.UokRo8Rwo0o http://www.tntfinder.com/articles/1113/tt-calls-for-focus-on-special-needs-children-at-unesco.html


Trinidad and Tobago asks UNESCO to help with ageing population 


Minister of Education Dr Tim Gopeesingh has asked UNESCO to assist Trinidad and Tobago in dealing with the challenge of its ageing population. Addressing the 37th session of the General Conference of UNESCO on Thursday in Paris, France, Gopeesingh, who is also seeking membership on UNESCO’s executive board for the next four years, told newly-installed UNESCO president Hao Ping, “While there continues to be focused emphasis on youth development, we also propose that UNESCO take a closer look at the challenges our countries face in relation to ageing populations and the need to integrate elderly citizens and help them adjust to this technologically-driven age, while mobilising and utilising their knowledge and skills to inform the next generations. “We propose that as a member of the executive board, Trinidad and Tobago can lead this as a global UNESCO effort at inclusion of all citizens and to bridge the gap, and so we look forward to your supporting our membership bid.” Gopeesingh also outlined T&T’s efforts to maintain UNESCO’s Education for Sustainable Development drive which, he said, ensured active educational intervention to students with special needs in the areas of dyslexia, autism, ADHD, Down’s Syndrome, behavioural and psychological abnormalities and neurological diseases, with an inclusion focus. “The director general will be pleased to know that, as an offspring of her 10,000 Principals Leadership Programme, we launched this year with resources from my Government, the private sector and from UNESCO’s PP, a pilot to train principals and teachers in Leading for Literacy in primary schools,” he added. Gopeesingh led a four-member delegation, including Ambassador John Sandy, Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva; Dr Kris Rampersad, chair of the National Commission for UNESCO; and Susan Shurland, secretary general. The conference was expected to shape the organisation’s strategy and direction for the next eight years. UNESCO is in the midst of a major reform, aimed at making UNESCO more relevant, more effective and more responsive to global challenges to peace and development. http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/Gopeesingh-asks-UNESCO-to-help-with-ageing-population-231376101.html

De marche

LA MARCHE, marchante, merchande-the French/West Indies term for: the vendor, market man or woman: here's the root - a market in Paris, France much like markettscapes in littscapes - landdcspes of fiction from Trinidad and Tobago

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Creative economy

Creative economy report launched at UNESCO General Assembly. So what can it do to reposition culture at centre of sustainable developnent agenda. Stay tuned for incisive review....

Demokrissy in action

SHORT STORY Creative days at UNESCO General Assembly Culture Commission meeting: A motion is moved to open the debate on a resolution presented; a counter motion is moved to abort the debate; a counter motion is moved to counter the counter motion on aborting the debate; and a counter motion is moved to endorse the counter motion to abort the debate...this is gonna b a long short story...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Trinidad and Tobago wins at UNESCO Executive Board election

President of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO and Minister of Education, Dr Tim Gopeesingh; Chair of the Commission, Dr Kris Rampersad, Secretary General, Ms Susan Shurland and Permanent Repersentative of Trinidad and Tobago to UNESCO Ambasssador John Sandy,  at the UNESCO General Assembly in Paris, France. Trinidad and Tobago received the highest number of votes for the Executive Board of UNESCO among the Latin American and Caribbean Group (GRULAC) of countries. Six members of the group were elected to serve on the board, including Trinidad and Tobago, Belize, and St Kitts/Nevis in the Caribbean- sub-region and Argentina, San Salvador and the Dominican Republic of Latin America...

Caption: President of the Trinidad and Tobago National Commission for UNESCO and Minister of Education, Dr Tim Gopeesingh; Chair of the Commission, Dr Kris Rampersad, Secretary General, Ms Susan Shurland and Permanent Repersentative of Trinidad and Tobago to UNESCO Ambasssador John Sandy,  at the UNESCO General Assembly in Paris, France.
See www.kris-rampersad.blogspot.com

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

T&T Participates at UNESCO General Assembly

Caption: (Sitting)- Minister of Education, Dr. the Hon. Tim Gopeesingh, Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva, Ambassador John Sandy, (standing); Chair of the National Commission for UNESCO, Dr. Kris Rampersad and Secretary General of UNESCO, Ms. Susan Shurland (Photo courtesy Ministry of Education)
November 8, 2013: A four-member delegation, led by Dr. the Honourable Tim Gopeesingh, Minister of Education and President of the National Commission for UNESCO, is participating in the 37th Session of the General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) currently taking place in Paris, France.
The delegation also includes Ambassador John Sandy, Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva; Dr. Kris Rampersad, Chair of the National Commission for UNESCO and Ms. Susan Shurland, Secretary General.
The 37th Conference will shape the organisation’s strategy and direction for the next eight years. UNESCO is in the midst of a major reform, aimed at making UNESCO more relevant, more effective and more responsive to global challenges to peace and development.
At this conference, Trinidad and Tobago will also be seeking membership on UNESCO’s Executive Board for the next four years. The Executive Board, comprised of 58 Member States, is one of the three constitutional organs of UNESCO (the others being the General Conference and the Secretariat) and it is elected by the General Conference. Acting under the authority of the General Conference the Board examines the programme of work for the organisation and corresponding budget estimates submitted to it by the Director General. The Executive Board represents the General Conference, exercises the power delegated to it, and deals with the questions with which it is entrusted. Elections for Executive Board members take place on Wednesday 13 November, 2013.
Among the activities in Trinidad and Tobago’s lobby in support of its candidacy includes a performance of the Our Boys Steel Orchestra from Tobago, currently on tour in Europe.
The UNESCO General Conference, held every two years, is attended by Member States and Associate Members, together with observers for non Member-States, intergovernmental organisations and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).  It is exploring directions and actions for the immediate and post 2015 global agenda. It determines the policies and main lines of work of the Organization by:
discussing all issues concerning the general policy of the organization; adopting for the next two years a programme and budget which is submitted to the General Conference and is the outcome of a consultation process with Members States;  electing Members of the Executive Board; appointing, every four years, the Director General and adopting the Medium Term Strategy of the Organization.
http://www.news.gov.tt/content/tt-participates-unesco-general-conference#.UoKW-_lwo0ohttp://www.news.gov.tt/content/tt-participates-unesco-general-conference#.UoKW-_lwo0o