IOU Vice Chancellor attends UNITWIN/UNESCO chairs programme in Paris

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The Vice Chancellor of the International Open University, Dr Cherno Omar Barry, attends the International Conference on “Transforming Knowledge for Just and Sustainable Futures” to mark the 30th anniversary of the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme. This event will be held at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France, from 3-4 November 2022.

Supported by the French National Commission for UNESCO, the 30th anniversary conference will celebrate the accomplishments of the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme and seek to advance interdisciplinary dialogue and inter-university cooperation to address the complex crises and challenges on the horizon. Framed around the theme of ‘Transforming knowledge for just and sustainable futures’, this two-day conference is grounded in a spirit of international scientific, moral, intellectual, and academic solidarity.

With over 950 UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks in over 110 countries, the Programme represents a unique platform for intellectual and scientific cooperation at national, regional and global levels. As the world faces multiple overlapping social, economic, political, technological and environmental disruptions, the Programme has a unique role to play as a global think tank and an observatory of emerging issues. Indeed, the UNESCO/UNITWIN Programme is more important than ever in shaping our collective futures.

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This 30th-anniversary celebration will allow the Organization, individuals, institutions and partners associated with the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme to:

Reinforce the visibility of the Programme by recognising the accomplishments of the past thirty years, collectively and as highlighted by UNITWIN members;

Invigorate interdisciplinarity and intellectual cooperation by catalysing collaborative programmes of cutting-edge research, education and foresight.

Participants will include UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks, higher education institutions, partner organisations, UNESCO specialists, and representatives of other UN agencies. National Commissions for UNESCO are invited as key partners of the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs programme. The conference agenda will include opportunities for dialogue, networking and partnership building.

It should be recalled that the International Open University is one of the leading private universities in the Gambia and which has expanded its operations globally in more than 200 countries, offering its courses in English, Arabic, Urdu, Bahasa and Russian. The IOU also launched a charitable venture to offer to scholarships to one Million underprivileged African youths. The Gambia will benefit from a thousand scholarships offered graciously by the Chancellor to His Excellency President Adama Barrow for Gambian-deserving youths.

On the sidelines of the meeting in Paris, Dr Barry is expected to meet senior French government officials and UNESCO partners to strengthen the IOU’s network of friends. He is expected to return to The Gambia in mid-November.