UNESCO Social and Human Sciences
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MOST Newsletter No. 9 - October 1998

Table of Contents


UN Technical Symposium on International Migration and Development

An important UN Symposium held at The Hague (Netherlands) from 29 June to 3 July debated the causes and consequences of global migration. The Technical Symposium on International Migration and Development was organised by the Working Group on International Migration of the United Nations ACC Task Force on Basic Social Services for All in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Government of the Netherlands. As a member of the organising Steering Committee, UNESCO was represented at a high level at the Technical Symposium, attended by UN agencies experts, representatives of the governmental and non-governmental organizations and agencies, and scholars from universities and research institutes. The five day meeting was part of the follow-up to the United Nations International Conference on Population and Development (Cairo, 1994).

The complexity surrounding causes of migratory movements became apparent: for example, absolute poverty makes it hard to migrate, while early stages of economic growth may encourage departure through greater availability of economic and cultural capital. Development thus encourages emigration at first, though a turning point is likely to be reached as income rises, leading to decreasing emigration and, eventually, immigration. The Symposium examined irregular forms of employment of migrants - a major political issue in many receiving countries. It became apparent that migrant workers were often simply the most visible and vulnerable groups in more general processes of socio-economic change. Emphasis was put on improving protection of migrant workers and asylum-seekers through government action and international cooperation. The Symposium found that return migration can be a valuable instrument for development, if effective ways are found of utilising the migrants' remittances and skills.

The Report of the Technical Symposium due to be released in October, will present the 'state-of-the-art' in research on migration and development. It will be submitted to the United Nations Commission on Population and Development, to help work out ways in which the international community can better respond to the pressing issues of global population mobility. The Commission's recommendations will be transmitted to the UN General Assembly.

    Stephen Castles
    University of Wollongong, Australia
    Director, APMRN Secretariat
    Rapporteur of the Technical Symposium

Small Coastal Cities: Urban Development and Freshwater Resources: from Essaouira to Saïda - Partnerships in Action

UNESCO organized an International Seminar in Essaouira (Morocco), from 24 to 26 November 1997, to seek partner cities in support of that municipality’s integrated urban development of its small coastal city, endangered by coastal erosion, freshwater mismanagement and major socio-economic transformations.

The Seminar, divided into plenary sessions and specialized workshops, was attended by the Mayors of:

  • Saint Malo (France),
  • Alghero, Taglio di Po, Licata, Sciacca (Italy),
  • Saïda (Lebanon);
representatives of the Municipalities of:
  • Esberg, Odense (Denmark),
  • Kotor (Montenegro),
  • Omisalj (Croatia),
  • Alexandria (Egypt)
  • Tunis (Tunisia);
and representatives of international NGOs:
  • ADEFRAM (Association pour le développement des échanges France/Maroc),
  • MDEM (Mission pour le développement des échanges méditerranéens),
  • IFLA (International Federation of Landscape Architects).
International experts, hydrogeologists, environment and coastal erosion specialists, socio-economists, town planners and architects contributed to their expertise.

Outcome: A co-operation agreement within the framework of UNESCO´s project "Urban Development and Freshwater Resources: Small Coastal Cities" was signed by representatives from Essaouira, Saint Malo, Alghero, Licata, Sciacca, Taglio di Po, Omisalj, Kotor, Odense, Esberg and Saïda. On-going activities include the exchange of expertise and experiences and the provision of technical support from MOST and the International Hydrological Programme (IHP). In addition, memoranda of co-operations were signed between Essaouira and Saint Malo, Alghero, Licata, Sciacca. This " Partnerships Between Cities " is particularly favourable to Essaouira, which will benefit from sustained follow-up by UNESCO’s Rabat Office.

    - The Representative from the Ministry of Environment of Tunisia offered to present a study case in Tunisia which will be supported by UNESCO Tunis Office.

    - The city of Mahdia is now one of the pilot projects. A leaflet dedicated to the plan of action for Mahdia in search of partnerships is available as of November 1998.

    - Two on site internships have been undertaken in summar 1998 by Spanish technical architect students: one in Essaouira by students from Granada and one in Saïda by students from Barcelona and Cuenca.

    - A fact finding mission to Saïda is planned end of 1998 to prepare operational activities for 1999/2000.

    - The two cities of Omisalj and Taglio di Po signed a mutual co-operation agreement to be implemented by the Venice Office. The Mayor of Saïda has strongly requested that this city become the second pilot case on this project.

Signature of the letters of intentions between
Dr. A. Aureli for the cities of Sciacca and Licata (Sicily)
and Dr. A. Kalash, Mayor of Saida (Lebanon)

Essaouira International Seminar 97:
"Creation of the Network of Small Coastal Historical Cities"
Signature of the letters of intentions between
Mr. Louis Pottier, Deputy mayor of St-Malo (France) and
Mr. Tahar Afify, Mayor of Essaouira (Marocco)

The City of Saïda , supported by the Hariri Foundation, has proposed activities for 1998-1999 with the assistance of the UNESCO Beyrouth Office, such as:

    - A technical Architectural workshop for the revitalization of a small square in the Old City of Saïda;

    - A training workshop for technicians and decision-makers within the framework of the MOST "Growing Up in Cities" Project;

    - Identification of the main components of Saïda´s Urban Coastal redevelopment plan;

    - Organization of an International Seminar early 1999.

From the Old Mogador (Essaouira) to the Phoenician Sidon (Saïda), partners, municipalities, NGOs and UNESCO together will achieve improved urban and environmental development for Small Coastal Cities along the Mediterranean Coasts.

Co-operation and student exchange in the field of technical architecture
"Spanish technical architects for small coastal cities"

In the pipeline: An agreement is under way to officialize the exchange of technical architecture students from all Spanish universities with MOST Urban Site Projects. This would apply to operational actions in Essaouira (Morocco), Saïda (Lebanon) and Guadalajara (Mexico).

Essaouira´s Medina last year received the visit of three technical architects from the University of Madrid who produced architectural surveys for a Portuguese Church and an Orphanage and a socio-economic study of the Old Jewish neighbourhood of the Medina. Local authorities are drawing on this work in redeveloping Essaouira´s Urban Center.

In co-operation with the Spanish Permanent Delegation to UNESCO and the Previsión Mutua de Aparejadores y Arquitectos (PREMAA), the " Spanish Technical Architects for small coastal cities programme " will do the following: over the next year and a half, it plans to undertake the activities outlined below:

  • Site surveys and socio-economic studies of Essaouira´s Medina, Saïda’s Old City and Guadalajara.
  • Essaouira, Saïda and Guadalajara Municipalities will host the Spanish students during the summer holidays (1998/99).
  • UNESCO will edit into French, Arabic and Spanish the works of the Spanish students for use by the municipalities concerned, and will support student exchange programmes.
  • Spanish universities involved in the project will train Moroccan, Moroccan, Lebanese and Mexican students during a two-month period in 1999.
  • UNESCO and the Spanish Universities of technical architects will promote a student network as an additional tool for Small Coastal Cities to eradicate exclusion and poverty amongst young people in inner cities. B.C.
Primary school in the Old Medina of Essaouira.
Picture taken by the Spanish Young Architects
within the framework of UNESCO/Spain cooperation agreement
for on site training of architects.

New Initiatives for Children and Youth: Building Partnerships
Paramaribo, Suriname, 22-24 June, 1998

This workshop was organised in two stages, with the first day having the character of a seminar, attended by over 150 participants and the two subsequent days as workshops attended by approximately 50 participants. It was opened by his Excellency Soewarto Moestadja, the Minister of Social Affairs, and closed by his Excellency Faried Pierkhan, Minister of Education, Surinam. The three-day event had as its main goal to contribute to the healthy development of children and youth in Suriname and adjacent Caribbean countries. It sought to achieve this primarily by bringing together local, regional and international specialists. The following objectives were set at the onset:
  • identification of information, training and other programme support needs;
  • identification of new ideas, new donors and resources;
  • strengthening of regional networking between agencies working for children and youth;
  • development of an action-research agenda; and
  • building of new partnerships between implementers, programme developers, and donors at the local, regional and international level.
Conclusions of the workshop sessions are:
  • Little factual information about the situation of children and youth in Suriname is available, and concerted efforts should be made to collect data, qualitative and quantitative, to raise awareness, to guide practice and to inform policy;
  • Increased regional exchange within and between countries in the Caribbean on good practices for involving children and youth in decisions affecting them;
  • In efforts to improve the situation of children and youth, the needs of the parents must be addressed since parents have a pivotal role in the healthy development of their children;
  • Family policies and policies for children and youth in Suriname must reflect the rich cultural differences that exist in the country. To be effective, regional networking within the Caribbean should be sensitive to the differences and similarities between Caribbean youth, and seek to promote social and cultural exchange;
  • More efforts need to be directed toward raising awareness within families of how parent's violent behaviour has a direct bearing on the potential for violence in their children;
  • Efforts must be made toward developing a language policy within Suriname, that respects the country's diversity of cultures and peoples;
  • In building sustainable and productive partnerships at the national and regional level, donors need to co-ordinate their funding efforts in order to reduce piecemeal initiatives by implementing agencies;
  • Co-ordination of funding would support efforts to design a coherent strategy and approach to development in Suriname, and would diminish overlaps between efforts.
Workshop Recommendations:
  • Seek further co-operation between UNESCO and the Suriname Government, particularly in the fields of youth and education policy, including research on youth issues;
  • Establish a joint UNESCO/ICDI committee to closely follow up on the outcome of this workshop with the Government of Suriname;
  • Organise an evaluation seminar in two years to take stock of the progress on the Children in Suriname Programme;
  • Contribute to the establishment of a national policy for children and youth in Suriname;
  • Assist the Government of Suriname in establishing a national education policy;
  • Assist the Suriname Government in strengthening its capacity to collect social data through data-collection training workshops;
  • Collaborate with UNICEF and other international and regional agencies in attaining these objectives. NA


In the aftermath of Habitat II, there is a need to reassess and renew the basic training of city professionals (architects, urban planners, managers, economists and sociologists) and city actors (politicians, unions, associations and inhabitants). UNESCO, with its interdisciplinary specificity in educational, cultural, scientific and social issues, has a long tradition in professional training. Hence, at the Twenty-ninth session of the General Conference (1997), the UNESCO Charter for Architectural Education was presented by the Director-General.

This programme designs innovative and interdisciplinary training modules for main city actors. It teaches social-policy on sustainable and participatory development of settlements, promotion of citizenship and governance, poverty and exclusion. The first activity is in Latin America, organized in the framework of the UNESCO Chair network.

The UNESCO Chair "Management of the habitat and socially sustainable development" will be set up by ITESO (Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Occidente de Guadalajara, Mexico) during the first academic term of 1998-1999. Beginning in Latin America, it will develop a technical co-operation and partnership for setting up a platform of mutual assistance and exchange of experience with a view to working on pedagogical programmes relative to the training of city professionals. These experiences will be concerned, for example, with participatory composition and design, creation of partnerships for the implementation of micro-enterprises and work site-schools and participation of the university in the social and economic life of the region. G.S.

MOST and the African Development Bank:
cooperating for poverty reduction in Guinea Bissau

The main objectives of this ADB/UNESCO identification mission were to collect and assess information on poverty, identify key issues, and recommend a strategy for reducing poverty in Guinea Bissau.

Poverty data on this country is very scarce with discrepancies between official reports. Donor attempts to produce reliable data on social development are impeded by the country´s difficulty in maintaining an accurate national database. The World Bank and the United Nations Development Programme have pulled efforts in order to elaborate the National Poverty Programme, within the framework of the Second Structural Adjustment Plan.

Social sustainability of the rehabilitation project in Quito

In partnership with the Interamerican Development Bank, the Entreprise d´économie mixte and the UNESCO Office in Quito, this project on the socio-cultural dimensions of urban rehabilitation:
  • establishes a method, agreed upon by all stake-holders for the rehabilitation of the historic centre of Quito;
  • mediates and resolves issues related to social exclusion;
  • recomposes links between the social fabric and the geographic space of the historic centre.
The citizenship-territory relationship is the central challenge of this initiative and concerns respect for cultural identity, peaceful co-existence of social groups and the improvement of living conditions of the society as a whole in the rehabilitated city.
Quito: Daily animation in the historic city centre

The main objectives of providing the local population the means to participate in reconstructing the city centre are:

  • to contribute to the development of an integrated social-cultural population policy within the rehabilitated historic zone;
  • to raise awareness and promote civic values in the rehabilitated area;
  • to develop global means of management and integration of the civil society in the process of urban rehabilitation. G.S.

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