Tajikistan and UNESCO Cooperation

05.11.2019 10:38

United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) was established after the Second World War to build Peace on the mind of Humanity.

The UNESCO Charter adopted on November 16, 1945 at the London Conference and came into force after signing of its declaration on November 4, 1946. At the moment 193 countries are full member of UNESCO.

UNESCO is an active organization in the UN system, contributing to the peace and mutual understanding in the world by promoting cooperation among nations through education, science and culture.

UNESCO Headquarters was established on November 5, 1958 in Paris, France.

UNESCO has 67 regional offices, which are located in different parts of the world.

The Organization has three governing bodies:

The General Conference of the Member States is the highest governing body of UNESCO, which meets once every two years. During the General Conference the program and budget of the organization are approved. Every state member has one vote during the conference.

The Executive Board consists of 58 Member States and meets twice a year. The Executive Board is an administrative body that prepares the activities of the General Conference and oversees the implementation of the decisions adopted at the conference.

The Secretariat is the Executive Body of the Organization, under the leadership of the Director-General implements the programs adopted by the States Parties. The UNESCO Director-General is elected for six years.

The regulator and coordination body between the government and UNESCO are National Commissions.

Tajikistan and UNESCO Cooperation

26 years have passed since the Republic of Tajikistan joined UNESCO and the National Commission of the Republic of Tajikistan for UNESCO was established. The National Commission is committed to achieving the goals of UNESCO and the dialogue between citizens and civil society in different countries. The National Commission brings together ministers, scientists and artists. The Republic of Tajikistan is making efforts to preserve peace through education, science, culture and the promotion of freedom of opinion.

Participation of the Founder of Peace and National Unity, Leader of the Nation, President of the Republic of Tajikistan H.E. Emomali Rahmon at the 34th Session of the UNESCO General Conference opened a new page on the relations between Tajikistan and UNESCO, giving new impetus to the fruitful cooperation between two sides. During the visit the Memorandum of Understanding between the Republic of Tajikistan and UNESCO was signed. In addition, within the framework of the conference Cultural Days of Tajikistan were held in UNESCO Headquarter.

At the 34th Session of the UNESCO General Conference in 2007, the Republic of Tajikistan for the first time was elected as a member of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee on information and communication.

Celebration and drawing attention to prominent figures, art works or events that have contributed to the mutual enrichment of cultures, promote the development of international understanding and rapprochement of the peoples of the world. Since 1956, UNESCO has been participating in commemorative events dedicated to historical events and anniversaries of prominent personalities celebrated by Member States in order to give them global significance. Thus, one of the positive results of cooperation between the Republic of Tajikistan and UNESCO was the inclusion of the following dates in the list of UNESCO Anniversaries:

  • - 1150th Anniversary of the founder of the Tajik-Persian classical literature Abu Abdullo Rudaki (2009)
  • - 100th Anniversary of the Tajik national poet of the Soviet era Mirzo Tursunzoda (2009)
  • - 100th Anniversary of the Soviet Tajik composer Ziyodullo Shahidi (2014)
  • - 600th Anniversary of the Tajik-Persian writer and poet, philosopher and musicologist, humanist and public figure Mavlono Abdurahmoni Jomi (2014)
  • - 3000th Anniversary of the ancient city of Gissar (2015)
  • - 700th Anniversary of the Tajik-Persian poet, scientist, philosopher and mystic Mir Said Ali Hamadoni (2015)
  • - 100th Anniversary of the founder of the Tajik choreography, stage director of operas and Tajik dances of the Soviet era Gafar Valamat –Zade (2016)
  • - 1250th Anniversary of the Tajik-Persian thinker and scientist Khakim Tirmizi (2016)
  • - 1150th Anniversary of the Tajik-Persian scientist and encyclopedist, physician, alchemist and philosopher Zakiriyo Rozi
  • - 400th Anniversary of the Tajik poet and enlightener Mirobid Saido Nasafi (2018)

The UNESCO Program Memory of the World raises worldwide awareness of the existence and significance of heritage, contributes to preservation through the most appropriate methods and promotes universal access to information and knowledge since 1992. According to the Program, the documentary heritage belongs to everyone, and it must be fully preserved and protected and constantly accessible to all. It contains the collective memory of our societies, nations and regions, as well as the memory shared by all of humanity. The manuscripts of “Kulliyat” of Ubaid Zakari and “Gazalliyat” of Hafiz Sherozi from the XIV century (2003) were included in the list of UNESCO “Memory of the World”.

The Republic of Tajikistan as an active member of UNESCO, carries out its activities in the field of culture, science and education, and also contributes to the protection of the cultural and natural heritage of the world. Tajikistan is a member of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage of 1972.

One of the achievements of Tajikistan is the inclusion of ancient city of Sarazm in the UNESCO World Heritage List during the 34th Session of the World Heritage Committee in 2010.

During the 37th Session of the World Heritage Committee, which was held on June 16-26, 2013 in Cambodia, the National Park of Tajikistan was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The subject of bioethics began to be discussed in UNESCO in the 1990s with the issue of the human genome program. Scientists have expressed concern whether it is possible to develop some modifications of the human genome with the help of a new technology. UNESCO and a group of international scientists decided to launch a program that included social aspects and ethical human rights issues. It was launched in Moscow in 1991, and led to the adoption of the normative text of the Universal Declaration on the Human Genome and Human Rights, and then the International Declaration on the Protection of Genetic Data. It also led to the development of educational activities and a research program.

And then, in 1998, UNESCO expanded the scope of its interests to the global problem of bioethics, creating the Intergovernmental Committee on Bioethics. Moreover, the creation of the World Commission on the Ethics of Scientific Knowledge and Technology led to the formation of a commission on the ethics of communication, the ethics of space. In 2017, the Declaration of Ethical Principles for Climate Change was adopted.

The Bioethics Committee of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tajikistan was established within the framework of this program, which is also one of the most visible results of effective cooperation with UNESCO.      

In June 2003, the International Conference on "Women's role in the cultural dialogue in Central Asia" was held in Dushanbe. At the conference, it was decided to establish the UNESCO Faculty on cultural dialogue in the modern world at the Russian-Tajik Slovanic University.

The UNESCO Convention on the Safeguarding of Intangible Cultural Heritage which was adopted by the member states of the organization on October 11, 2003 and entered into force after ratification by individual member states in 2006, marked a new stage in the international legal protection of intangible cultural values. Indeed, this act was a pioneering international legal act in the field of the protection of intangible cultural property. Republic of Tajikistan acceded to this Convention in 2010. During these years, Tajikistan introduced the following nominations:

On November 11, 2008 "Shashmaqom" - the ancient Tajik classic music was recognized by UNESCO as an intangible heritage of humanity. Every year on May 12th, Shashmaqom Day is celebrated in Tajikistan.

In March 2015, Tajikistan in cooperation with 11 other Navruz countries (Republic of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Republic of Turkmenistan, Republic of Uzbekistan, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, Islamic Republic of Pakistan, Islamic Republic of Iran, Republic of Azerbaijan, Republic of Turkey and Republic of Iraq) proposed to include Navruz celebration in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. During the 11th Session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection of Cultural Heritage, which was held on December 1, 2016 in Addis Ababa, the Navruz celebration and the Tajik national cuisine "Oshi palav" were included in the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

From November 26 to December 1, 2018, during the 13th Session of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Protection of Cultural Heritage which was held in Port Louis, Mauritius, the nomination of Tajikistan "Chakan - Art of Embroidery in the Republic of Tajikistan" was included in the Representative list of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity. This initiative was considered to protect and popularize the heritage of ancestors and present folk art, the rich and ancient culture of the Tajik people in international arenas one of the important achievements.

At the same time, such nominations of Tajikistan as “Khulbuk”, “Falak” and “Atlas and Adras” were presented to UNESCO as national nominations, and “Mehrgon” was presented as a joint nomination of Tajikistan and Iran.

In 2004, the city of Dushanbe, capital of Tajikistan, was awarded the UNESCO prize "City of Peace".

On September 17, 2008, Amri Aminov, a well-known Tajik scholar, was awarded the UNESCO Artist for Peace.

On August 20-22, 2013 UNESCO Secretary General Irina Bokova visited the Republic of Tajikistan. During her visit Ms. Bokova met with the Founder of Peace and National Unity, Leader of the Nation, President of the Republic of Tajikistan H.E. Emomali Rahmon. During the meeting Ms. Bokova presented the President of Tajikistan with the medal of "60th Anniversary of UNESCO" for honorable contribution to the peace-building and sustainable development. Also, the UNESCO Director-General participated in the International High-Level Conference on Water Cooperation.

Tajikistan and UNESCO have an active cooperation within the framework of UNESCO Participation Programme. This program is aimed at expanding and strengthening capacity of participating countries through financing of various projects. In this connection, the National Commission on UNESCO's activities within the framework of this programme, during the 1993-2019, offered various projects in the fields of education, science and culture.                                                                  

In 2018, the UNESCO Associated schools program celebrated its 65th anniversary. This network has 11 thousand educational institutions in more than 180 countries of the world. Institutions that are members of this international network set themselves the task of educating young people in the traditions of tolerance and intercultural dialogue through educational programs that focus on the active participation of the students themselves. In the Republic of Tajikistan there are 9 UNESCO associated schools.

The institutions participating in this international Project are the following educational levels of the UNESCO member states: pre-school, primary school, secondary school, vocational education institutions, teacher training programs. In their activities the schools are guided by the national education system of the country.

At the same time project participants around the world combine four main areas of activity:

- Dissemination of information about the UN and UNESCO;

- Ecology, environmental protection;

- Study of the world cultural and natural heritage;

- Human rights, child rights, democracy, non-violence.

The UNESCO Clubs Movement was formed shortly after the UN was founded, in which enthusiasm and faith in the ideals of UNESCO from representatives of several countries were united. The first UNESCO Club was created on November 19, 1947, in the city of Sendai (Japan). On November 4, 1949 during his lecture in France on the occasion of the third anniversary of the creation of UNESCO Mr. H.T. Bode, the then Director-General of UNESCO, called for the creation of UNESCO Clubs in high schools and universities. The number of members of the Federation of UNESCO Clubs in the Republic of Tajikistan is 22, and there are more than 4,000 members in the world.