Celebration of anniversaries in 2013

Angola
350th anniversary of the death of Queen Nzinga Mbande Ngola Kiluanji (Kingdom of Matamba-Ndongo), emblematic figure of the struggle against slavery and for women’s empowerment in Africa (1583-1663)

The Kingdom of Matamba-Ndongo (in present-day Angola) over which King Nzinga Mbande Ngola Kiluanji reigned, consisted of eight fertile provinces, with rich pastures, crops, and gold and diamonds transported by the Kwanza river. These riches were coveted by slave traders and traffickers along the west coast of Africa. Nzinga Mbande Ngola Kiluanji had to negotiate relentlessly to prevent the looting and dismantling of his kingdom.
When the king died, his son Ngola Mbande succeeded him but passed away without having made any remarkable achievements. Before dying, he entrusted his sister with continuing to negotiate a peace treaty with the Portuguese. That is how Ngola Mbande Nzinga Mbande kia Ngola went down in history.
In sixteenth-century Africa, Queen Nzinga was an educated, cultured woman who spoke both her mother tongue and the language of the Europeans with whom she had to negotiate. As a skilful diplomat, she negotiated with the Dutch and the Portuguese to maintain peace and the territorial integrity of her kingdom. She became an icon of the resistance to foreign domination and the slave trade. She succeeded in convincing the Portuguese to sign the Luanda peace agreement and agreed to convert to Christianity by changing her name to Ana de Souza.
The tribute paid to this African queen is a tribute to all African women. It illustrates the importance of education and culture for dialogue among peoples and civilizations, provides new insights into the General History of Africa, and highlights the role of women in the continent.
While history remembers Ngola Mbande Nzinga Mbande kia Ngola as a powerful, strong, independent woman, in the memory of Africa and the diaspora, she remains a key figure in the struggle against slavery and the resistance to occupation. In the collective unconscious, she will always be “she who was never defeated”


Azerbaijan
100th anniversary of the musical comedy Arshin Mal Alan of Uzeyir Hajibeyli (1913)

Arshin Mal Alan is the third and last musical comedy of the great Azerbaijan composer Uzeyir Hajibeyov, founder of the national composers’ school, and author of the first eastern opera.
He completed his work Arshin Mal Alan, which is close to the comic opera genre, in the summer of 1913, in St. Petersburg. Its depth of images and development level makes it a major and innovative musical and scenic form.


900th anniversary of achievements of Mahsati Ganjavi, poetess (12th century)

Mahsati Ganjavi was a 12th century poet, born in Ganje, Azerbaijan. She received an education closely acquainted with Eastern literature and music.
Mahsati Ganjavi was a famous rubai writer recognized not only in her epoch but much later also. Her most productive period of creation was spent in the palace of Sultan Mahmud Seldjuk and that of his uncle Sanjar Seldjuk. Mahsati Ganjavi commonly wrote rubai in Persian. The love plot holds the main place in her creations. The rubais are marked out by their worldliness, humanism, epicurism and optimism. Mahsati Ganjavi describes love as a fragile natural feeling which makes a man's fame higher. The poetess protested against religious prejudices, hypocrisy, conservatism and protected a man’s moral freedom. Her poems reflected the people’s, especially women’s, romantic dreams of a free and happy life.


550th anniversary of the death of Seyid Yahya Bakuvi (Shirvani), philosopher and poet (ca. 1390s-1463)

Founder of the Khalvatiyyah order, which is an important Sufi movement known for its strict ritual training of its dervishes and its emphasis on individual asceticism and retreat. This philosopher disseminated his movement worldwide. Today, his Mausoleum is very famous in the Old City of Baku (Icherisheher), which is now a World Heritage Site.

Brazil
100th anniversary of the birth of Vinicius de Moraes, poet and musician (1913-1980)

Marcus Vinicius de Moraes (1913-1980) was a Brazilian musician, composer, poet, playwright, and diplomat. He was a seminal figure in contemporary Brazilian music. As a poet, he wrote lyrics for a great number of songs that became all-time classics. As a composer of bossa nova, and as an interpreter of his own songs, he left several important albums which had and still have a national and international audience and influence.

150th anniversary of the birth of Ernesto Nazareth, pianist (1863-1934)

Brazilian composer and pianist Ernesto Júlio de Nazareth (1863-1934) was noted for creatively combining diverse influences into his music, not only Brazilian music but also music from Europe, Africa and ragtime. Many of his compositions remain part of the repertory today. Nazareth composed more than 80 tangos, as well as waltzes, polkas sambas, galops, quadrilles, Schottisches, fox-trots, romances and other types of scores.

Bulgaria
100th anniversary of the birth of academician Lyubomir Iliev (1913-2000)

Lyubomir Iliev was an outstanding mathematician, recognized for his contributions in the field of complex analysis. His work stimulated further investigation of renowned scientists worldwide. His other outstanding achievements were his work as a founder of the Institute of Mathematics and Informatics in Bulgaria – which currently enjoys a high international recognition –, as well as his work as a pioneer of computer science at the national and international levels.

Croatia

150th anniversary of the birth of Milka Trnina, opera singer (1863-1941)

Milka Trnina or Ternina (1863-1941) was the greatest Croatian opera artist and one of the most important tragic actresses to have performed Wagner: her performances in Lohengrin, Tristan and Isolde, and Parsifal are internationally renowned.
Having lost her father at the age of six, she went to live with her uncle – a writer and government adviser – in Zagreb, where she studied singing. She continued her singing studies at the Conservatory of Vienna, where she obtained a diploma and gold medal.
In 1890, she was engaged by the Royal Opera of Munich, where she remained until 1899. There she gave remarkable performances of the works of Richard Wagner, who subsequently invited her to Bayreuth. She sang at all the major venues of that period, both in Europe and America.


450th anniversary of the death of Andrija Medulić/Andrea Meldolla Schiavone, painter (c. 1510-1563) (Croatia, with the support of Italy)

Andrea Meldolla, also known as Andrea Schiavone, Lo Schiavone or Andrija Medulić, was an Italian painter and etcher born in Zara. He was a Mannerist of the world-renowned Venetian school, and produced remarkable works involving the use of bold colours.


Cuba
100th anniversary of the founding of the Museum of Fine Arts (1913)

The National Museum of Fine Arts, founded in 1913, hosts two important collections: the Cuban art collection, the first museum overview of the Cuban visual arts; and the universal art collection, with its remarkable collection of ancient art, mainly from Egypt, Etruria, Greece and Rome, highlighted by nine funeral portraits from Fayum and the Greek ceramic collection.
The Museum of Fine Arts is located in Old Havana, a world heritage site, and through its collections and activities contributes to the promotion of the cultural heritage within the country and abroad.


Czech Republic
1,150th anniversary of the arrival of the missionaries Cyril and Methodius in Great Moravia (863) (Czech Republic and Slovakia, with the support of Serbia, Bulgaria, Croatia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Poland)

Cyril and Methodius arrived in Great Moravia in 863. In addition to bringing Christianity and thus bringing countries located in the territory of Great Moravia into the mainstream of European civilization of that time, they created the Glagolitic alphabet and spread the use of Old Church Slavonic as a liturgical and literary language. Thus they laid the foundations of Slavonic literature and erudition.
The anniversary of the arrival of Cyril and Methodius in Great Moravia celebrates literature, education and culture, since it marked the creation of the first Slavonic alphabet and the beginning of Slavonic literature. Translations of liturgical texts into Old Church Slavonic facilitated the direct participation of these nations in the establishment and development of European civilization in that period.


100th anniversary of the birth of Otto Wichterle, scientist (1913-1998) (Czech Republic, with the support of Slovakia)

Otto Wicherle was an eminent scientist and he was the first to invent a process on how to manufacture contact lenses from hydrogel based on polyhydroxyethyl methacrylate, abbreviated as HEMA. Soft contact lenses are now worn by over 100 million people worldwide. He has more than 150 patents from the period of 1938-1989.

Denmark
100th anniversary of the publication of Niels Bohr’s model of atom structure in Philosophical Magazine: “On the Constitution of Atoms and Molecules” (1913)

Niels Bohr was instrumental in building the theoretical framework of quantum mechanics and received the Nobel Prize in physics in 1922. He was very conscious of the social responsibilities of scientists.

200th anniversary of the birth of Søren Kierkegaard, philosopher (1813-1855)

Philosopher whose intellectual and spiritual influence is of global scope in the history of philosophy and prolific writer in the Danish “golden age” of intellectual and artistic activity. His work crosses the boundaries of philosophy, theology, psychology, literary criticism, devotional literature and fiction. Kierkegaard brought this potent mixture of discourses to bear as social critique and for the purpose of renewing Christian faith within Christendom. At the same time he made many original conceptual contributions to each of the disciplines he employed. He is known as the “father of existentialism”, but at least as important are his critiques of Hegel and of the German romantics, his contributions to the development of modernism, his literary experimentation, his vivid representation of biblical figures to bring out their modern relevance, his invention of key concepts which have been explored and redeployed by thinkers ever since, his interventions in contemporary Danish church politics, and his fervent attempts to analyse and revitalize the Christian faith.

Egypt
150th anniversary of the birth of Qasim Amin, author (1863-1908)

Qasim Amin is well known especially in Arab countries and the values that he espouses in his writing are clearly in line with UNESCO’s commitment to the advancement of women’s rights.

France
300th anniversary of the birth of Denis Diderot, writer and philosopher (1713)

Denis Diderot was one of the major figures of the Age of Enlightenment. The novels and essays of this writer and philosopher transformed eighteenth-century France, calling for unbiased reflection and encouraging objectivity and open-mindedness.
The magnum opus of Diderot is no doubt L’Encyclopédie (The Encyclopaedia), to which he devoted more than 20 years together with mathematician D’Alembert, and which was completed in 1772. The work, which covers all the knowledge of that period, was a tremendous undertaking.
His novels and critical and philosophical essays, many of which were published only after his death, show that Diderot wished to reveal the truth about human nature.
In the light of his recognition as one of the greatest eighteenth-century philosophers, this request is linked directly to UNESCO’s goals of building a culture of peace and promoting intercultural dialogue on the basis of human rights and philosophy.


100th anniversary of the birth of Aimé Césaire, poet and writer (1913-2008)

Aimé Fernand David Césaire (1913-2008) was a French poet and politician from Martinique. He was a founder of the “Négritude” literary movement and a fervent anti-colonialist. As a friend of André Breton, Aimé Césaire was significantly influenced by surrealism. Advocating “Négritude”, he sought to free himself from Western culture so as to recover his original identity and thus also that of an African in exile. Together with Rabindranath Tagore (India) and Pablo Neruda (Chile), he is one of the three emblematic authors selected by UNESCO to promote the idea of a reconciled universal.


100th anniversary of the birth of Albert Camus, writer (1913-1960)

Albert Camus (1913-1960), who lost his father as a child and came from a modest background, was a journalist and a writer with a passion for theatre. He marked French cultural life from 1936 to 1960. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1957 for “his important literary production, which with clear-sighted earnestness illuminates the problems of the human conscience in our times” and was one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century. His humanist approach is characterized by the struggle to reconcile justice and freedom, combat all forms of violence and promote peace and peaceful coexistence.

Georgia

150th anniversary of the birth of Ekvtime Takaishvili, historian and archaeologist (1863-1953)

Ekvtime Takaishvili (1863-1953) was a Georgian historian, archaeologist and public benefactor. In 1887 he graduated from Saint Petersburg University. From 1887 to 1917, he lectured on the history of Georgia at various prestigious schools in Tbilisi, including the Tbilisi Gymnasium for Nobility. During these years, he was actively involved in extensive scholarly activities and chaired, from 1907 to 1921, the Society of History and Ethnography of Georgia.


Germany
200th anniversary of the birth of Richard Wagner, composer (1813-1883)

Wilhelm Richard Wagner (1813 –1883) was a German composer, conductor, theatre director and essayist, primarily known for his operas (or “music dramas”, as they were later called). Wagner’s compositions are notable for their complex texture, rich harmonies and orchestration, and the elaborate use of leitmotifs: musical themes associated with individual characters, places, ideas or plot elements. Unlike most other opera composers, Wagner wrote both the music and libretto for every one of his stage works. Wagner transformed operatic thought through the synthesis of all the poetic, visual, musical and dramatic arts, thus creating his concept of the Gesamtkunstwerk (“total work of art”). Wagner’s influence spread beyond music into philosophy, literature, the visual arts and theatre. He had his own opera house built, the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, which contained many novel design features. It is here that his most important stage works continue to be performed today in an annual festival run by his descendants. His pugnacious personality and often outspoken views on music, politics and society made him a controversial figure during his life.


100th anniversary of the death of Rudolf Diesel, inventor and mechanical engineer (1858-1913)

Rudolf Diesel was born to German parents and grew up in France, moving with his family to London at the outbreak of the Franco-Prussian War in 1870, and then to Augsburg. He decided on a career in engineering, and enrolled at the newly-founded Industrial School of Augsburg, and was subsequently offered a scholarship at the Royal Bavarian Polytechnic of Munich, under Professor Carl von Linde. Diesel graduated with highest academic honours in 1880 and returned to Paris to assist von Linde with the design and construction of a refrigeration plant, becoming the director of the plant a year later. Diesel moved to Berlin in 1890 to become the manager of Linde’s corporate research and development department. Diesel sought to diversify his research interests and worked on improving the efficiency of engines, first on steam, using ammonia vapour as the working fluid, and then on the Carnot cycle and internal combustion engine, following the invention of the motor car by Daimler and Benz in 1887. In 1893 he published a paper that formed the basis for his work and invention of the diesel engine. Diesel died in slightly mysterious circumstances in 1913 and the diesel engine, as it became known, was developed further for larger stationary engines, transportation vehicles and more recently, for smaller, fuel-efficient passenger cars.


Greece
150th anniversary of the birth of Constantine Cavafy, poet (1863-1933)

Constantine P. Cavafy (1863-1933), was a renowned Greek poet who lived in Alexandria and worked as a journalist and civil servant. Poems by Cavafy appeared only in pamphlets, privately printed booklets and broadsheets during his lifetime as he played non-conformist roles. The first publication in book form was “Ποιήματα” (Poems) published posthumously in 1935. His poetry is divided into three major topics, historical poems, sensual poems and philosophical poems. Cavafy was instrumental in the revival and recognition of Greek poetry. He is also credited with establishing many facets of 20th century European poetry.

Hungary
100th anniversary of the birth of Robert Capa, photographer (1913-1954) (Hungary, with the support of France and the United States of America)

Robert Capa (1913-1954), born Endre Ernő Friedmann, was an American photographer and photojournalist of Hungarian origin. He is one of the most famous war photographers, and covered all of the major conflicts of his time.

India
150th anniversary of the birth of Swami Vivekananda, philosopher and spiritual thinker (1863-1902)

Swami Vivekananda is considered a key figure in the introduction of Hindu philosophies of Vedanta and Yoga in Europe and America and is also credited with raising interfaith awareness, bringing Hinduism to the status of a major religion during the end of the nineteenth century. He is considered to be a major force in the revival of Hinduism in modern India. He is perhaps best known for his inspiring speech beginning with “Sisters and Brothers of America”, through which he introduced Hinduism at the Parliament of the World’s Religions in Chicago in 1893.
“Jiva is Shiva”, each individual is divinity itself, is a central thought to Vivekananda’s teaching.
Several leaders of twentieth century India and philosophers have acknowledged Vivekananda’s influence. He is widely considered to have inspired India’s freedom struggle movement. Vivekananda inspired Jamshedji Tata to set up Indian Institute of Science, one of India’s finest Institutions. Above all he helped restore a sense of pride amongst the Hindus, presenting the ancient teachings of India in its purest form to a Western audience.
Swami Vivekananda’s ideas have had a great influence on Indian youth. In many institutes, students have come together and formed organizations meant for promoting discussion of spiritual ideas and the practice of such high principles.
Swami Vivekananda was the first Indian to be invited to accept the chair of Oriental Philosophy at Harvard.
As such, this request is in line with the priorities of document 35 C/5 (building a culture of peace and promoting intercultural dialogue, on the basis of human rights and philosophy)


100th anniversary of the birth of Amrita Sher-Gil, painter (1913-1941)

Amrita Sher-Gil (1913-1941) was a renowned Indian painter and one of the most promising Indian artists of the pre-colonial era. Born from a Sikh aristocrat father and a Hungarian pianist mother, she spent her life in Hungary, Italy, France and India. Most of her paintings reflect vividly her love for the country and more importantly her response to the life of its people. At the end of her brief life the subject of her paintings were the poor, the villagers and beggars. This gave her the opportunity to achieve the simplicity she always wanted in her paintings. Her contribution to exploring new paths for artistic creation is internationally recognized.

Iran, Islamic Republic of
1,000th anniversary of the compilation of Avicenna’s Kitab-al-Qānūn fī ţ-ţibb (The Canon of Medicine) (1013)

The Medical Encyclopaedia The Canon of Medicine was the first book which used a scientific approach to the “various states of the body; in health and when not in health”. It had an extremely important influence on the scientific community for centuries; providing a precise guide for practical experimentation, the text contributed to the development of inductive logic and the scientific method. The celebration of this anniversary would symbolize the celebration of the birth of the scientific methodology and it would increase public awareness of science in line with UNESCO’s mandate.

1,000th anniversary of the achievements of Abu Saeed Ab al-Kheir, writer and philosopher (978-1059)

Abusa’id Abolkhayr or Abū-Sa’īd Abul-Khayr, also known as Sheikh Abusaeid or Abu Sa’eed, was a famous Persian Sufi who contributed extensively to the evolution of Sufi tradition.
The biggest part of what is known from his life comes from the book Asrar al-Tawhid (or “The Mysteries of Unification”) written by Mohammad Ibn Monavvar, one of his grandsons, 130 years after his death. The book, which is an important early Sufi writing in Persian, presents a record of his life in the form of anecdotes from a variety of sources and contains a collection of his words.
During his life his fame spread throughout the Islamic world, even to Spain. He was the first Sufi writer to widely use ordinary love poems as way to express and illuminate mysticism, and as such he played a major role in the foundation of Persian Sufi poetry.


1,100th anniversary of al-A’lāq al-Nafisa compilation of the prominent work of Iranian geographer Ebn Rosteh (Ibn Rusta), geographer and explorer (913)

Ibn Rustah was a 10th century Persian explorer and geographer born in Isfahan. He wrote a geographical compendium. The information on his home town of Isfahan is especially extensive and valuable. There is a description of the twenty districts (rostaqs) of Isfahan containing details not found in other geographers’ works. His information on the non-Islamic peoples of Europe and inner Asia makes him a useful source for these far away regions (he was even aware of the existence of the British Isles and of the Heptarchy of Anglo-Saxon England) and for the prehistory of the Turks and other steppe peoples. The book is supposed to be compiled between 903 and 913.

Italy

200th anniversary of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi, musician (1813-1901)

Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (1813-1901) was an Italian Romantic composer, mainly of opera. He was one of the most influential composers of the 19th century. His works are frequently performed in opera houses throughout the world and, transcending the boundaries of the genre, and style. His most famous opera works are Rigoletto, Nabucco, La traviata and Aida. Verdi’s masterworks dominate the standard repertoire a century and a half after their composition. (


Latvia
150th anniversary of the birth of Pauls Valdens, chemist (1863-1957)

Pauls Valdens was a famous scientist who invented the stereochemical reaction known as Walden inversion and synthesized the first room-temperature ionic liquid, ethylammonium nitrate. He also formulated Walden’s rule, which relates conductivity and viscosity in nonaqueous solutions.
This anniversary is well-planned and the impact on Latvia as well as the world is documented in detail.


150th anniversary of the birth of Rūdolfs Blaumanis, writer (1863-1908)

Rūdolfs Blaumanis (1863-1908), a Latvian writer, is one of the most eminent representatives of the Realist movement in Latvian literature. In the late 1890s, he wrote remarkable novels, such as Spring Frosts (1898), In the Quagmire (1898), Andriksons (1899), and In the Shadow of Death (1899). His tragedies – The Prodigal Son (1893), Indrāni (1904) and In the Fire (1905) – in which social and psychological aspects play a significant role, illustrate the new developments in Latvian drama. Rūdolfs Blaumanis also wrote comedies, the most famous of which is Tailors in Silmacos (1902), and humoristic poems. His works, while disseminated throughout Europe, are still insufficiently known.

150th anniversary of the birth of Jāzeps Vītols, composer (1863-1948)

Jāzeps Vītols (1863-948) was a Latvian composer, pedagogue, conductor, pianist and prolific music critic. He studied composition in 1880 at the Saint Petersburg Conservatory with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, to whom he owes the brilliance of its orchestrations. In 1919 he established the first Latvian Conservatory of Music. His large-scale works, which are mostly cast in sonata form, are often characterized by impressive dramatic development. His melodies clearly draw upon his heritage, and often directly feature Latvian folk tunes. His style tended to be rather conservative but nonetheless possessed a masterly composition technique.

Lithuania
100th anniversary of the birth of Meilė Lukšienė, professor and social scientist (1913-2009)

The celebration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of Meilė Lukšienė, winner of the 2004 UNESCO Jan Amos Comenius Medal, would highlight the role of culture in education. Her contributions are important in raising cultural awareness with modernization of education and social justice, and continue to influence development of education, science, and culture in the region. The event will take place in 2013, and while some initial preparations have already been made with the Ministry of Education and Science, National Library, and Vilnius University, the National Commemoration Program is to be further elaborated. Although the event will mainly be national, manifestations will also be organised in other countries.

Poland
100th anniversary of the birth of Witold Lutosławski, composer (1913-1994)

Witold Lutosławski (1913-1994) Polish musician and conductor was the leading progressive figure in contemporary music of the second half of the twentieth century. He showed an exceptional musical talent at an early age, with his first compositions dating from 1922. He survived the difficult war years as well as the subsequent period by writing for radio, film and theatre. In addition, he arranged folk-songs and composed music for children.
He composed nearly 20 major orchestral works, including Symphony No. 3 (1982), for which he was awarded the prestigious Grawemeyer Award, and his final Symphony No. 4 (1992), commissioned and premiered by the Los Angeles Philharmonic.
Lutosławski’s extensive experience conducting his own works helped him to refine his musical language.


Republic of Korea
400th anniversary of the publication of Donguibogam (1613)

Donguibogam is a landmark in traditional Korean medicine and remains important in that body of medical practice as well as a classic work and reference for Oriental medicine today.

Romania

350th anniversary of the Church of the Holy Archangels in Rogoz (1663)

The request is relevant, it concerns a World Heritage property, namely the Church of Rogoz, inscribed on the World Heritage List as part of the Wooden Churches of Maramures.


Russian Federation
150th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Vernadsky (Volodymyr Vernads’ky), scientist and thinker (1863-1945) (Russian Federation and Ukraine)

Vladimir Vernadsky is well known as one of the founders of geochemistry, biogeochemistry, and of radiogeology. His work on the noosphere (the sphere of human thought and reason) is, according to him, the third in a succession of phases of development of the Earth, after the geosphere (inanimate matter) and the biosphere (biological life).
The work of this great scientist brings together the study and preservation as well as conservation of the earth, biodiversity and life – all sciences. The celebration of this anniversary would increase public awareness of science in line with UNESCO’s mandate, in particular the Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme and thus should be included in the list of anniversaries for UNESCO.


150th anniversary of the birth of Constantin Stanislavsky, actor and founder of the Moscow Art Theatre (1863-1938)

Constantin Stanislavsky (1863-1938), Russian director and actor whose research and acting methods became internationally praised and followed. In 1898 he founded, with Vladimir Nemirovich-Danchenko, the Moscow Art Theatre. He trained his actors to achieve greater realism by identifying deeply with their characters, a technique that became known as the Stanislavsky method. His company toured Europe and the United States of America where his method influenced the later development of the Group Theatre and the Actors Studio. He is one of the most distinguished theatre theoreticians of his time.

Slovakia
100th anniversary of the birth of Tatarka Dominik, writer (1913-1989)

Dominik Tatarka (1913-1989) was a writer, commentator, essayist, translator and one of the most important figures in modern Slovak literature and culture. Tatarka’s literary writing was affected by his personal political experiences. His first books The Miraculous Virgin, The Clerical Republic, The First and Second Strike are sound protests against Fascism and were an expression of the author’s intent to become active in post-war life and his acceptance of socialist realism. However, the following novels Conversations without End, Wicker Armchairs and particularly The Demon of Conformism express the author’s critical attitude to social and interpersonal relationships in a totalitarian regime and to the world where man becomes a mere slave serving bureaucratic machinery, using satirical parable to fight the red-tape practice so typical of the communist regime in Slovakia. This last book became a symbol of the democratization process and had great influence on the new wave in Slovak literature.

Turkey
500th anniversary of the Piri Reis World Map (1513)

This map marks a significant event in the history of the country and has enabled its collective knowledge to be transmitted through generations. As a rare world map from the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, Piri Reis World Map is an invaluable piece of the world’s documentary heritage as it provides insight on the history of its time. It is therefore part of the Memory of the World and should be made better known.

Uganda
50th anniversary of the foundation of the University of East Africa (1963)

The University of East Africa created in 1963 is one of the most ambitious pan-African academic experiments. It was established as an independent external college of London University. In 1970, it was broken up into three independent universities: University of Nairobi, University of Dar es Salaam and Makarere University.
Even if the East Africa University was located in different countries of the subregion, it constituted a whole body, ruled by an international governing structure. It enables the creation of an African elite, fruit of the academic mobility and inspired by the principles of an African unity.
Medical and agriculture teaching were based in Makarere College in Uganda, while engineering was entrusted to the University of Nairobi. The University of Dar es Salaam came to specialize in law and later expanded into agriculture and economic research.
The high standard of medical research developed at the East Africa University positioned the pan-African university as one of the candidates for the Nobel Prize. Unfortunately this didn’t happen, as the university collapsed only eight years after its establishment.


Ukraine
100th anniversary of the birth of Mykola (Nikolai) Amosov, scientist (1913-2002)

Mykola (Nikolai) Amosov was a heart surgeon, inventor, best-selling author, and exercise enthusiast, known for his inventions of several surgical procedures for treating heart defects.

150th anniversary of the birth of Vladimir Vernadsky (Volodymyr Vernads’ky), scientist and thinker (1863-1945) (Russian Federation and Ukraine)

Vladimir Vernadsky is well known as one of the founders of geochemistry, biogeochemistry, and of radiogeology. His work on the noosphere (the sphere of human thought and reason) is, according to him, the third in a succession of phases of development of the Earth, after the geosphere (inanimate matter) and the biosphere (biological life).
The work of this great scientist brings together the study and preservation as well as conservation of the earth, biodiversity and life – all sciences. The celebration of this anniversary would increase public awareness of science in line with UNESCO’s mandate, in particular the Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme and thus should be included in the list of anniversaries for UNESCO.


United States of America

50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech (1963) (United States of America)

The “I Have a Dream” speech is widely recognized as a masterpiece of rhetoric, in which King calls for racial equality and an end to discrimination. Not only for its educational and historical value, but especially for its meaning for the struggle against racism and discrimination, UNESCO should very much be associated with this anniversary. Its objectives, values and significance are fully in line with one of UNESCO’s main pillars, that of promoting human rights and the fight against racism and discrimination.


150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address (1863)

The Gettysburg Address is one of the best-known speeches in the United States history that was pronounced by the 16th President of the United States of America President Abraham Lincoln at a time when the country was torn due to the American Civil War, and in which he called for the complete equality for all Americans.
UNESCO whose aim is to contribute to building a durable peace through the promotion of the universal respect for justice, for the rule of law, for human rights and fundamental freedoms without any discrimination through deepening democracy and advancing understanding among peoples, should be closely associated with the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address.


100th anniversary of the birth of Rosa Parks, civil rights activist (1913-2005)

Rosa Parks is an African-American hero and a symbol of the fight against racial discrimination. Most known for refusing to give up her bus seat to a white man under the laws of racial segregation in Montgomery, Alabama, Parks helped spark the civil rights movement in 1950s and 1960s America, which called for racial equality. In later years, Parks continued her work as an activist in her role as co-founder of civil rights education programmes.
On this occasion, the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development (Detroit, Michigan) will be in charge of the organization of commemorative celebrations on a national scale.

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