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Iranian MP: UNESCO agenda not contradictory to Constitution

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A review of the 17 sustainable development goals of 2030 UNESCO Agenda shows that it does not contradict Iran’s Constitution and tenets of Islam, said a member of Education and Research Committee of Iran’s Parliament (Majlis). The 17 goals of the document are to a great extent in line with the Islamic Republic of Iran’s objectives, said Mahmoud Sadeghi, pointing to the 4th goal aimed at lifetime equal educational opportunities as an example. He added that Iran had declared reservations in implementing the document, particularly with regard to those parts that may be construed as contradictory to regulations and national priorities, religious teachings and cultural values of the Iranian society. Ending poverty in all forms and everywhere, ending hunger, providing food security, health and prosperity for every member at any age, as well as gender equality and empowering women and girls are among other goals of the agenda, according to the member of Parliament. Under one of the goals, for example, eliminating discrimination against women and girls is proposed, that may conflict with some views towards women rights in Iran, he said, adding that in the very case the national workgroup working on the agenda has used the term “justice” instead of “equality”. Iran has declared the reservation in implementing some parts of the 2030 agenda that are against Iran’s regulations or laws, added Sadeghi, emphasizing indigenizing the contradictory parts according to the values of each country as a solution to problematic areas.

Qeshm Island becomes UNESCO Global Geopark

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Morteza Sheikhzadeh, Director of Public Relations and International Affairs at Qeshm Free Zone Organization, said a 10-day session of UNESCO Global Geoparks Council was held in France and, on the final day of the event on May 05, UNESCO’s Executive Board endorsed the decision to assign UNESCO Global Geopark label to eight sites in Asia, Europe and Latin America including Iran’s Qeshm Island. Sheikhzadeh noted that Qeshm Island has received the label for a four-year period. The official recalled that the Qeshm Island’s application to become a UNESCO Global Geopark had been rejected in 2013 and some thought that its globalization was a mere slogan. However, infrastructure projects, including the road to salt cave, received necessary funds and the government made investments for locals to have their own sustainable income. Theses measured paved the path to globalization of the Iranian geopark. Qeshm Island UNESCO Global Geopark is an island shaped like a dolphin in the Strait of Hormuz, off the southern coast of Iran. Its exposed geological formations have been shaped by erosion generating a range of spectacular landscapes and beautiful rock deserts. Its preservation is supported by green tourism activities managed by local communities.

UNESCO forum in Riyadh focuses on youth participation.

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UNESCO forum for NGOs (2017) is held in Riyadh and for the first time in Saudi Arabia, stressing the importance of major and deepest involvement of youth, which could affect positively not only under economic side, but also social one worldwide. The Event was in partnership with Misk Foundation. The two days conference was about developing new innovative and technological ideas, which allow youth participation. It is really important creating new channels, through which it could be possible to civil society and NGOs expressing what they think and promote and especially develop a new dialogue among youth. Al-Ghafis, Labor saudi Minister, has declared to assure this partnership in all matters useful to building community. In addition to this, most of new opportunities are developed by the involvement of MiSK Foundation. This project is in compliance with Vision 2030, but also with National Transition’s Program 2020. One of the most importante challenges is involving young people in working fields, giving them the possibility of participating to decision-making process.

Israel, Palestinians battle for votes over Jerusalem resolution at UNESCO.

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Israel is battling to prevent a public-relations victory for the Palestinians at the UNESCO. Executive Board in Paris, which is expected to disavow Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem on Independence Day. Such a vote would provide Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas a boost when he meets with US President Donald Trump at the White House just one day later.The resolution’s text stated: “Any action taken by Israel, the occupying power, to impose its laws, jurisdiction and administration on the city of Jerusalem are illegal and therefore null and void and have no validity whatsoever”. This week in Paris, according to diplomatic sources, European diplomats, led by Germany, met with Arab state representatives to amend the text even further so that EU states could either abstain or support the document. The Palestinians are playing a game with the Europeans and others by trying to use UN language that refers to east Jerusalem and, “in their own political determinations, they mean the whole of Jerusalem”, Baker said.Israel’s struggle for votes at UNESCO has put it at odds with Germany, which last year opposed a resolution on Jerusalem but this year is expected to either abstain or support the text.


Egypt : Sinai monastery attacks kills one, injeres four.

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New clashes reported in North Sinai this Sunday. An attack on security forces near Egypt’s St Catherine’s Monastery in south Sinai has killed at least one person and injured four. According to a local media, a gunmen has attacked a checkpoint close to the main entry of St Catherine’s Monastery. St Catherine’s is one of the oldest Christian monasteries in the world and a UNESCO world heritage site. Attacks are common in northern Sinai, where an insurgency by extremist militants has raged for years, but rare in south Sinai. This attacks has created a moment of fear, recording recent attacks of Palm Sunday, which have killed 45 peoples.

Netanyahu asked Italy to oppose further UNESCO Jerusalem Resolution

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Benjamin Netanyahu asked Italy to make good on its pledge to oppose any resolutions that ignore Jewish ties to Jerusalem’s Temple Mount that will likely continue to come before the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organizations (UNESCO) boards and committees. This morning the Minister of Foreign Affairs met Netanyahu. Last fall, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi promised Netanyahu that his country would take a stand against the Palestinian drive at UNESCO to refer to the Temple Mount solely by its Muslim name of Al-Haram Al-Sharif. Alfano and Netayahu spoke about cooperation between Italy and Israel in particulary in Africa because both governments are helping African countries find solutions to issues relating to water and agriculture.

Japan will submit its long overdue annual contribution to UNESCO by the end of the year

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Under the threat of violating international laws and hurting its global reputation, Japan will submit its long overdue annual contribution to UNESCO by the year-end, according to government sources. The government’s decision also reflects concerns that its continued refusal to pay could allow China to hold more sway in UNESCO, while eroding Japan’s standing in the organization. Tokyo has held back its annual obligatory contribution of 3.85 billion yen ($32.63 million) after the Paris-based organization decided last year to add Chinese documents concerning the 1937 Nanking Massacre to its Memory of the World Register. Japan paid its voluntary contribution of 770 million yen in November.

Italy will try to lead a European op position to UNESCO’s votes on Jerusalem

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Saying that Jewish people has no connection to Jerusalem is like saying the “sun creates darkness,” Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi told Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the weekend. Netanyahu spoke to Renzi to thank him for a letter he wrote saying that Italy’s abstention in the recent UNESCO vote on a resolution expunging any Jewish connection to the Temple Mount was a mistake that would not be repeated. According to a statement put out by the Prime Minister’s Office, Renzi said that Italy will try to influence other European countries to vote against these types of anti-Israel resolutions in the future.

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