UNESCO Courier

Articles from July-August

A Dream City Built on Salt
DEEP in rural France, on a wide plain beneath the foothills of a mountain range, stands a group of massive stone buildings arranged in a semi-circle and surrounded by a high wall. They have vast tiled roofs, neo-classical pillars, porticoes and pediments...
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Africa's Long March
There is much for the West to learn from the original art, religion and society of black Africa. But first of all Africa must learn to believe in itself. "When your friends do not tell you the truth, ask your enemy and pay him to tell you" MALINKE...
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A Global Partnership
COURAGE is when you have choices," declared the American journalist Terry Anderson emerging from four years of terrible captivity. We have a choice. But do we have the courage? This was the great underlying question at the United Nations Conference...
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A Golden Age of Dialogue
Mixing reason and intuition, the pre-Socratic philosophers of ancient Greece reached some surprisingly modern conclusions and developed a spirit of intellectual tolerance that still has much to teach us. At the wellspring of universalist thought,...
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Antarctica, Continent of Science and Peace?
A few months from now we shall know whether the international community has the good sense to respect a continent where the dawn is more beautiful than anywhere else in the world--but one which already has a hole in its ozone layer'. A continent...
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A Worldwide Synergy
"We're not doing any research ourselves, but we help with research at an international level. We don't have any laboratories of our own, yet we work with the best labs in the world. We don't teach, but thanks to us knowledge gets around." Andras...
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Between Two Worlds
The uncomfortably acute perceptions of the intellectual who is an intermediary between two cultures. IN 1967, the Moroccan historian Abdallah Laraoui published in Paris a book called L'Ideologie arabe conternporaine ("Arab Ideology Today"). In it...
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Eastern Europe: An Uphill Road to Freedom
Post-communist societies face many pitfalls as they seek to modernize themselves. LESS than three years have gone by since the collapse of communism in central Europe, and we are only beginning to realize the extent of the fail-out and to come to...
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Francesco Di Castri
The second installment of an interview with the co-ordinator of UNESCO'S environment programmes. The world's forests have been called "the lungs of the planet". Is this an accurate metaphor? -- The metaphor arises from the continuous exchange...
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Latin America: A Different Way Forward?
Robotized industrial nations can learn a salutary lesson from the supposedly "less advanced" societies. THE problem of the relationship between cultures is subtly linked to that of national or regional identity. For proof one need only look to Latin...
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Louder Than Words
THE universal can no longer be regarded as an abstraction. The process of unification resulting from membership of a single trading nexus, the worldwide domination of media and information networks, and the sharing of mythologies at the planetary level...
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Mikis Theodorakis
No one who has heard the wonderful bouzouki melodies written by the Greek composer Mikis Theedorakis for Zorba the Greek or his theme music for two other noted films, Z and Etat de Siege, will ever forget them. Theodorakis has infused the soul and...
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Of Cockroaches and Roses
ALL living species--whales and cockroaches, roses and the AIDS virus, pandas and people--make up the biological diversity of the Earth. All biological entities and systems are interconnected and interdependent, from a DNA molecule to an ecosystem to...
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One Sky, One World
A flash of colour rises swiftly into the wind, dances softly, then comes to rest as a meditation against a bright blue sky. A tradition more than 2,000 years old, the serene act of kite flying continues to lift our spirits beyond the insistent gravity...
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Stefan Zweig
HE was a man of letters, a cosmopolitan European in that period between the World Wars when the old world had been shaken but not destroyed by the fall of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. It was Hitler who finally delivered the death-blow. In his London...
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The Common Ground of Humanity
If North and South are to meet, both must make an effort-the North to stop thinking it has a monopoly on universal values, the South to incorporate the principle of universality within its own value systems. THE European Enlightenment ushered in...
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The Face of a Stranger
A distinguished French philosopher reflects on the process of ethical awakening triggered by scrutiny of the face of another human being. THE process Of reflection stirred by the face of another individual is not a thought about--a representation--but...
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The Moral Imperative
Contrary to the view of some modern thinkers, a universal ethic complements and even guarantees the right to be different. EUROPEAN universalist philosophy--and I am thinking particularly of moral philosophy and the philosophy of law--has always...
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The Return of El Nino
DROUGHTS and floods in 1987 in India, Africa, Australia, Indonesia, North and South America and the Philippines were caused by the El Nino effect. El Nino is the name given to the recurring tropical phenomenon that brings a warm current to the west...
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The Road from Rio
ATTENDED by more than a hundred heads of State and government, with over 170 countries represented and with a total of 40,000 participants, including 14,000 representatives of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), under the eyes of some 10,000 accredited...
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The Two Faces of Europe
European imperialism has led many peoples to look askance at the universal values proclaimed by Europe. But it is on this heritage that the future must be built. WHY should we be concerned with the universal? For one thing surely because the future...
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Two Great Traditions
Attempting to understand the European Christian tradition of thought is a compolex and challenging experience for the Chinese mind. THIS article endearours to answer a difficult question: How does Christianity differ (beyond purely religious differences)...
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Ziryab, Master of Andalusian Music
"There never was a man of his profession, either before or since, who was so unanimously loved and admired. Even in the twilight years of the kingdom of Granada, which fell in 1492, poets were still finding in his glory a subject for their songs."...
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