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Zuriel Oduwole, the 14-year-old Nigerian filmmaker and advocate, who has received much fame on the international scene recently, was a guest of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) at a conference on gender equality in France. Oduwole was part of 55 women invited by Irina Bokova, the UNESCO Director-General. They were to gather to discuss the soft power approach to women's development.

Campaigners who believe funding for schooling in the world’s poorest countries has hit crisis levels say next month’s G20 meeting will be a “make or break” moment for education. The share of aid funding spent on education has fallen for the past six years, from 10% in 2009 to 6.9% in 2015, according to new figures from the UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (Unesco). Education now receives as little in aid funding as transport.

Protecting cultural diversity is vital for peacebuilding in the Middle East, the head of the UNESCO Irina Bokova said at Madrid Conference today. [...] “Violent extremists target both heritage and human lives – they target victims and minorities from all backgrounds, Shebak, Turkmen, Yezidis, Muslims, Christians..." [...] “Violent extremists target schools, because they know the power of knowledge to counter their rhetoric drawing on false visions of faith and history," Irina added. 

The Geneva Centre for Human Rights Advancement and Global Dialogue celebrated the World Day for Cultural Diversity for Dialogue and Development, an occasion it described as an opportunity to achieve the goals set by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation, UNESCO, and move from cultural diversity to cultural pluralism to build sound inter-cultural relations.

ASEAN and UNESCO underscored the role of documentary heritage in binding ASEAN people together and recognised the importance of preserving and promoting access to this valuable part of ASEAN’s collective heritage.“Documentary heritage can shed light into the rich and diverse cultures of the peoples of ASEAN. They help us understand each other better and catalyse inter-cultural dialogue towards peace,” 

'Hard power' can no longer stop conflicts nor the rise of violent extremism and “ancient hatreds” such as antisemitism and racial discrimination, the head of the United Nations cultural agency said today, insisting that “we need 'soft power' of education, knowledge, culture, communication, the sciences, to strengthen the values we share and recognize the destiny we hold in common.”

Under the patronage of the President of Azerbaijan H. E. Mr. Ilham Aliyev, Baku will be hosting the 4th World Forum on Intercultural Dialogue on May 5-6, 2017. The topic of this year’s Forum is: “Advancing Intercultural Dialogue: New Avenues for Human Security, Peace and Sustainable Development;” it is being organized in cooperation with UNESCO, UN Alliance of Civilizations and other prestigious international organizations.

Egyptian-Lebanese visual artist Bahia Shehab has become the first Arab woman to ever receive the UNESCO-Sharjah Prize for Arab Culture for her innovative use of Arabic calligraphy in street art. [...] As an artist, designer and art historian, Shehab has worked for many years on integrating ancient Arabic script into the modern context for use in graphic design and Arab visual culture. 

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