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The UNESCO Unveiled

Introduction Link to the Report : UNESCO, short for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization, is a specialized agency of the United Nations. Established in 1945, its fundamental purpose is to promote international cooperation in the fields of education, science, culture, and communication. Ij-Reportika presents to you a comprehensive report which aims to shed light on the organization’s intriguing past and its current controversies, providing an in-depth analysis of key areas of focus. In recent times, the relationship between UNESCO and China has been a subject of growing interest and scrutiny. Chapter One examines the dynamics of the UNESCO-CHINA alliance, encompassing various aspects such as increased funding, the presence of Chinese personnel in top management roles, the controversial blockade of Taiwan’s participation, and the alleged rewriting of history to suit China’s narrative. Moreover, we analyze China’s rising influence within UNESCO and the ensuing reactions from other global players, most notably the USA, as they gear up to counter China’s actions within the organization. Additionally, we explore the controversies surrounding the publication “The UNESCO Courier” and UNESCO’s handling of intangible cultural heritage, particularly the inclusion of Sowa Rigpa and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage. Chapter two takes a deep dive into UNESCO’s tumultuous history, unearthing significant controversies that have shaped its reputation over the years. We scrutinize UNESCO’s involvement in conflicts such as the Israel-Palestine dispute, the Palestinian youth magazine controversy, and the Islamic University of Gaza controversy. Furthermore, we investigate instances of corruption within the organization and explore the contentious issue of the New World Information and Communication Order. The report also delves into UNESCO’s role in mediating the Kurdish-Turkish conflict, assessing the challenges faced and the outcomes achieved. The UNESCO-CHINA Alliance China has been increasing its influence in UNESCO in recent years. This is evident in a number of ways, including: Increased funding China is now the largest contributor to UNESCO’s annual budget, providing around $65 million. This gives China a significant say in how UNESCO’s resources are allocated. People in top management China has several people in top management positions at UNESCO, including Xing Qu, who is the deputy director general. This gives China a strong voice in decision-making at the agency. Qian Tang: Qian Tang is the President of the UNESCO International Bureau of Education. The International Bureau of Education is a specialized agency of UNESCO that is responsible for promoting education around the world. Qian Tang has been a strong advocate for China’s educational policies in UNESCO. She has worked to promote China’s experience in education and to ensure that China’s voice is heard in the organization’s decision-making process. Zhang Xu: Zhang Xu is the Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of China to UNESCO. He is responsible for representing China’s interests in the organization. Zhang Xu has been a strong advocate for China’s cultural heritage in UNESCO. He has worked to promote China’s World Heritage sites and to ensure that China’s voice is heard in the organization’s decision-making process. Blockade of Taiwan  China has consistently blocked Taiwan’s attempts to become a member of UNESCO. This is seen by many as an attempt to undermine Taiwan’s sovereignty. Rewriting the History of China Ij-Reportika discovered that UNESCO has published several articles and reports mentioning them as parts of China. Download the complete report to know more. China’s Influence in the recent times The following are some examples from UNESCO’s official website that illustrate China’s influence in the organization: Vice Minister of Education and Director of the Chinese National Commission for UNESCO Chen Jie the event emphasized the importance of Chinese as a medium for China to participate in international cooperation and its positive role in promoting cultural exchange and people-to-people connections. During the event, China’s Permanent Representative to UNESCO, Yang Jin, highlighted the importance of the Chinese language in international cooperation and cultural exchange. Tawfik Jelassi, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information, emphasized that Chinese is not only a language but also a window into unique ways of thinking, culture, history, and centuries of civilizational exchange. French writer Nicolas Idier mentioned that the French government places great importance on Chinese language education, with over 40,000 French middle school students learning Chinese between 2022 and 2023. Check out the report on how the USA is gearing up to counter China in UNESCO: Controversial Publication: The UNESCO Courier Created in 1945, The UNESCO Courier magazine states its mission to “promote UNESCO’s ideals, maintain a platform for the dialogue between cultures and provide a forum for international debate”. UNESCO has been accused of publishing its Courier, with a bias toward promoting the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and China’s interests. The magazine’s content consistently emphasizes the benefits and positive aspects of the BRI while downplaying or overlooking potential concerns or criticisms. Through articles, interviews, and opinion pieces, the Courier portrays China’s involvement in the BRI as a catalyst for economic growth, infrastructure development, and connectivity, often presenting a narrative that aligns with China’s strategic goals. Following are some of the controversial pages from the UNESCO Courier publication:  Tales of Silken Times. Intangible Cultural Heritage UNESCO established its list of Intangible Cultural Heritage with the aim of ensuring the better protection of important intangible cultural heritages worldwide and creating awareness of their significance. It aims to draw attention to the importance of safeguarding intangible heritage. Following UNESCO’s 2003 Convention for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage, this list has been classified into five broad domains in which intangible cultural heritage is manifested: Article 36 of the Law of the People’s Republic of China on Intangible Cultural Heritage(Link) states that “The State encourages and supports the citizens, legal persons and other organizations to set up display premises and inheritance premises for intangible cultural heritage and exhibit and inherit the representative items of intangible cultural heritage in accordance with the law.” China’s expanding influence and keen interest in intangible cultural heritages raise concerns about the underlying motivations and potential consequences. As China takes center stage in promoting…

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