2012 UNESCO Publications in Review

2012 witnessed new publishing highlights significant for their innovative themes and their potential to reach new audiences, while strengthening UNESCO’s position in the international publishing arena.

The year started with the publication of Urban Water Conflicts in January. This latest title in the Urban Water Series co-published with Taylor & Francis proved a consistent bestseller throughout the year. To celebrate International Women’s Day on 8 March, UNESCO launched in Paris and New York a first-time World Atlas of Gender Equality in Education in English, French and Spanish. Featuring colour-coded maps and charts, it provided the latest sex-disaggregated data on educational access and progression from the UNESCO Institute of Statistics.

Managing Water under Uncertainty and Risk, the 4th edition of the UN World Water Development Report (coordinated by the UNESCO-hosted World Water Assessment Programme) was launched in Marseille, France on 12 March at the 6th World Water Forum, and covered by some 800 press articles. End of 2012, the report has been consulted over 25,000 times and is being translated into Chinese and Korean.

Successful completion of the writing of the General History of the Caribbean was achieved in April with the publication of Volume IV: The Long Nineteenth Century – Nineteenth Century Transformations. Almost entirely written by Caribbean historians and a long-time collaboration with Macmillan, the volume was launched in Kingston, Jamaica later this year.

The most historically valuable documents listed and preserved by the UNESCO Memory of the World programme were collected in one volume for the very first time in 2012. Co-published with HarperCollins, Memory of the World: The Treasures that Record our History from 1700 BC to the Present Day include beautiful full-colour photos and illustrations.

It was launched at the international conference ‘The Memory of the World in Digital Age: Digitization and Preservation’ organized by UNESCO in Vancouver, Canada late September and was made available for sale in mid-October.

In an attempt to strengthen understanding of African traditions, living conditions and conflicts, Amazing Africa – Incroyable Afrique was presented at the Frankfurt Book Fair in October. An exceptional book produced with Edition Lammerhuber, it includes texts in English, French and German and strikingly poignant images shot by photojournalist Pascal Maitre, a world-renown collaborator of Life, Paris Match and National Geographic.

Another original title presented at the Book Fair was the UNESCO World Heritage Atlas, co-published with Italian cartographer DeAgostini. With a first print run of 15,000 copies, it is being sold in English by UNESCO and Wilco (India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and the Middle East); in French by Glénat; in Spanish by Planeta and Panamericana (Spain and Latin America) and in Italian by DeAgostini.

Two major World Heritage publications were launched in Kyoto, Japan early November to close the celebration of the Convention’s 40th anniversary. Benefits Beyond Borders, co-published with Cambridge University Press, presents case studies on the role of local communities for the sustainable development of WH sites. A French edition will be ready in 2013. African World Heritage, with texts in English and French, offers a first-time overview of the management and impact of WH properties in the continent.

Early November also saw the publication of Global Survey on Internet Privacy and Freedom of Expression. Launched during the 7th Global Internet Governance Forum held in Baku, Azerbaijan, this unprecedented report gathers up-to-date and often staggering information on emerging issues that challenge the coexistence of freedom of expression and the right to privacy in both developed and developing countries.

For the very first time, a group of selected young people from around the world were asked to interpret the main conclusions of the 2012 EFA Global Monitoring Report. This Youth Version of the GMR entitled Be Skilled, Be Employed, Be the Change Generation was launched on 22 November. Human Rights Day (10 December) was greeted with the publication of the updated 6th edition of Human Rights: Questions and Answers, with texts by Leah Levin and cartoons by Plantu. One of UNESCO’s best and long sellers, it was first published in 1981 and has been translated into 36 languages. Greek, Italian and Korean versions of this new edition are underway through institutional and publishing partners. 

It is with great pleasure that we now welcome 2013 with new original projects on Underwater Cultural Heritage, Holocaust Education and the 20 years of World Press Freedom Day, as well as translations into different languages of exciting titles.  

Back to top