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The chair and the objectives of UNESCO


Following the dramatic long term of global wars ending in 1945, UNESCO charter (article 1) considered that peace must be established on the basis of humanity’s moral and intellectual solidarity, targeting social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom. Its article 55 framed economic and social issues with cultural and educational cooperation.

The territory, amidst a stressful and often dramatic world in transformation, remains the ground that conditions the various possible futures for humans, and therefore the ground for peace or battles. The chair focuses primarily on four dimensions: how humans become aware and face dilemmas; how this is conditioned by the resilience of sociocultural matrices; how these interfere in knowledge sharing and transformation; and how specific transdisciplinary tools may be designed to analyse and offer foresight to society, anchored in long-term reasoning. The alternative, we argue, is alienation, then disruption and then potentially extreme violence.

This chair is explicitly aiming to converge with UNESCO-MOST. The MOST programme of UNESCO is focused on the interaction between knowledge and action, to foster positive social change. This is precisely the goal of the HUM.CILM. The chair aims at being in regular contact with the MOST programme coordination, in relation with its research pillar and, particularly, on sustainability and knowledge sharing involving multi-stakeholders. More specifically, the HUM.CILM chair will seek advice from MOST on best coordination with eventual projects launched by UNESCO in the human and social sciences sector.
HUM.CILM will also seek advice from the Portuguese national Commission on best ways to contribute towards a collaborative strategy of UNESCO chairs and other UNESCO projects in Portugal.

UNESCO current mid-term strategy is guided by the concern on focusing on its core priorities and to keep flexibility while setting a series of overarching and strategic objectives. The HUM.CILM chair relates directly to the overarching objective on “Equitable and sustainable development”, since it concerns the issue of landscape management in the context of sustainability.

While the success of sound and integrative sustainability policies diminish disruptive threats and thus contribute towards peace (the second overarching objective of UNESCO), the chair is in line with the global priorities of UNESCO: gender balance is considered in terms of the networking of the chair but, more than this, the  philosophy of the HUM.CILM stresses the importance to maximise the diversity of perspectives and, hence, the need to secure all related required balances (gender, but also cultures, regions, ages, disciplines and other); also the chair network is designed as part of a global network involving North (primarily European) / South-South (Africa, Latin America, Asia) sharing. HUM.CILM meets the UNESCO strategic objectives on lifelong education (SO1 – since this is part of pillar one of the chair methodology, as it has been implemented for example in Mação, recognised in 2016 as a member of UNESCO’s “Global Learning Cities Network”, a strategy that, from 2019, HUM.CILM will also contribute to launch in Brazil and in Cabo Verde), on education for all (SO3 – since inclusive education processes are one of the components of the chair programme), on the relevance of science and technology (SO4 – since it is in this line that the chair encompasses the natural sciences and technology), on international scientific cooperation (SO5 – the chair directly linking  a large number of research centres) and on the relevance of heritage (SO7 – for reasons already stated above).

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