Articles in Category: In the News

OSI AT COP 21 in PARIS

on Monday, 14 December 2015. Posted in In the News

OSI was pleased to have had the privilege to make its own contribution at the historic Conference of Parties (COP 21) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which has just ended in Paris with a new legal framework on climate change.

Background: At the Rio 2012 Rio plus 20 Summit, Mr. and Mrs. Alvarez (co-founders of OSI), together with the Government of Kenya, with the then Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment of Kenya (Member of OSI), now climate change adviser to the President of Kenya, and the Deputy Director General of the United Nations Environment Program (Mrs. Amina Mohamed, now Foreign Minister of Kenya), the Assistant Secretary General of the UN for disasters (Mrs. Margaret Wahlstrom), as well as Dr. Wendy Watson Wright, the then Secretary of the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO, and the Secretary of Interior of the Governor of San Andres in Colombia, started the process, together with Dr. Sebek entitled “tri continental dialogue to defy disasters and respond to climate change”. The sequel was held in Doha, Qatar at the 18th session of COP, and then in Lima in December 2014 when OSI held its own conference on the eve of COP20.

Commissioner and Mrs. Alvarez were successful in applying to the United Nations to hold a side event on tricontinental process at the Paris COP. The side event was held on 5th December 2015 in Room 6 of the COP Centre.

The following activities were undertaken:

  1. On the 2nd December, Mrs. Alvarez with her partners, with OSI as a participant, opened an exhibition of paintings, symbolizing the role of art to confront challenges of climate change at the Booth 42 of COP21. 
  2. Mrs. Alvarez was a high level panelist , with a assistance of Mr. Sebek, on 3rd December at UNESCO commemorating, in the presence of the Assistant Secretary General of the UN and Director General of UNESCO, Dr. Irina Bokova, the International Day of Disabilities through a program of art as a tool to promote measures to combat climate change. Another member of OSI Advisory Board, Mrs. Ivonne Baki, a newly appointed Ambassador of Ecuador to six Arab countries with headquarters in Qatar, was also in attendance.
  3. On 4th December, Mr. Sebek joined Mrs. Alvarez at the Press Conference at COP21 highlighting the UNESCO event.
  4. On the 5th December, Mr. Sebek joined a high level panel as moderator during a side event where the following presentations were made: By OSI Members Commissioner and Mrs. Alvarez, by Mr. Nassir Khattak, member of OSI and Director of Climate Institute, Mr. Ali Mohamed, the newly appointed climate change adviser to the President of Kenya (also OSI member) and Dr. Yumkelle, the former head of the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO) and current candidate for the Presidency of Sierra Leone. Additionally, in view of tight security measures, two people and OSI members or contacts, could not attend in person but submitted video presentations which were screened in Paris. The first one was Mr. Francois. Baird, member of OSI and Chairman of Edelman, Africa and the second one by the newly elected Mayor of the City of Cali in Colombia and his designated Secretary of Education, Mrs. Luz Elena Azcarate. The presentations were followed by the exchange of views with the audience.


      
  5. Mrs. Alvarez, on behalf of her organization but also on behalf of OSI held two press conferences on 11th December at COP 21. At one of them, the paper of Mr. Dieter Rudolph from Lima was highlighted and in another the work which OSI carried out with the City of Cartagena on the protection of architectural patrimony of Cartagena from climate change.

Ocean Security and Marine Biodiversity: Challenges and Opportunities” a Summit in the Management Association of the Philippines

on Tuesday, 24 November 2015. Posted in In the News

Dr. Cora Claudio, chair of OSI Scientific and Academic Board, chaired on 10th November 2015 a Summit in Manila in the Management Association of the Philippines (MAP) on “Ocean Security and Marine Biodiversity: Challenges and Opportunities”.  This was another demonstration that the private sector believes that what is good for environment is also good for responsible business sector.  Senator Legarda, Chair of the Climate Change Commission and Environment Commission of the Philippine Senate also took part, and OSI Founding Chairman´s video message was also presented at the Summit. Dr.Claudio´s article, published in the “Philippine Enquirer” sums up the debate and conclusions of the Summit.

Philippine Center of the International Theatre Institute (ITI)

on Thursday, 21 May 2015. Posted in In the News

Mrs Cecile Alvarez has acted for many years on OSI as a pioneer in the campaign to use different forms of art as a tool for promoting disaster reduction and creation of   cities resilient to disasters, as well as actions to deal with climate change adaptation. This campaign is led chiefly through the UNESCO Dream Centre  in Manila and also her Philippine Center of the International Theatre Institute (ITI). In conjunction with the United Nations International Strategy on  Disaster Reduction, the Institute  has announced  Global Playwriting Contest 2015 on Confronting Climate Change and Defying Disasters .

GLOBAL PLAYWRITING CONTEST 2015

1.     Everyone is eligible to join the “Global Playwriting Contest 2015 on Confronting Climate Change and Defying Disasters”. We cannot resolve party unless we address the global warming Armageddon.

2.     Each entry must focus on the theme of climate change linked to promoting a mindset for disaster prevention and reduction. A short paragraph should be appended to the entry, identifying and describing the climate change issue including m portrait of generating the will to build disaster risk reduction mindset and resilience in communities that is tackled in the play.   There are many evident happenings throughout the world as a rich resource for entries to have a reality based experience for dramatic compelling storytelling with lessons learned to gain a safer healthier sustainable future for our children

3.     The term “climate change” is defined the way it is defined in Article 1 of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC), namely, change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.” As explained by UNESCO, “Carbon dioxide and other gases in Earth’s atmosphere act like a greenhouse moderating the temperatures we experience. These warm the surface of the planet naturally by trapping solar heat in the atmosphere. This is a good thing because it keeps our planet habitable. However, by burning fossil fuels such as coal, gas and oil and clearing forests we have dramatically increased the amount of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere and temperatures are rising.”  The UN 3rdConference on Disaster Reduction was just held in Sendai. The declaration and results of the inclusive management concerns and building of resilient cities are accessible in the UNISDR web.  Likewise, the web notes of UNESCO on education for sustainable development will be interesting briefers for participants. Other sources are UNEP and IPCC. 

4.     Each play may be written by one or more playwrights. In case there is more than one playwright, a written statement signed by each contributing playwright should accompany the entry, certifying that each playwright will get an equal share of the cash award, if the play wins.

5.     The title of the play, the name/s and contact information (email address, mobile phone number, and mailing address) of the playwright or playwrights, and the estimated playing time on stage should be indicated on the first page of each entry. A scanned copy of the contestant’s passport or other identification card (containing name and address) should accompany the entry; in case there are two or more playwrights, scanned copies of their passports or identification cards should be attached.

6.     Each play should run for at least 30 minutes but not more than 45 minutes without intermission on a stage. There is no limitation on the type of stage to be used. If it will not be a proscenium stage, there should be an indication in the page that describes the setting of the play.  The drama can integrate lyrics if there is music composition required. It can also include in the stage instructions if mixed media is used, the necessary visuals desired.

7.     There will be one (1) prize for the best play focusing on defying disasters. The prize of Five Thousand US Dollars (USD 5,000.00) will be given by the United Nations International Strategy for Disaster Reduction (UNISDRR) headed by Dr. Margaret Wahlstrom, the special representative, of Secretary-General Ban ki moon.

8.     The criteria for choosing the winning play are: 50% quality of writing and 50% accuracy and effectiveness of the twin message of confronting climate change and generating resilient and disaster prepared communities.

The winning play will be given to every member country of the United Nations, for staging on stage or adaptation to radio, television, and/or film through the mechanism of dissemination of information via the UNESCO National Commissions through the cooperation of the office of the UNESCO Director-General, Dr. Irina Bokova. It will be accessible for replication through the network of UNESCO associated schools and the UNESCO Assembly of Goodwill Ambassadors and Artists for Peace.

10.  The copyright to the winning entry will remain with the playwright or playwrights. The project is organized through the Philippine center of the international theatre institute and ITI-CIDC Social Action Network and the Earthsavers-UNESCO Artist for Peace under the direction of Cecile Guidote-Alvarez.

11.  Notwithstanding Rule 10, the playwright or playwrights will allow the International Theatre Institute (ITI) to stage the play (live on stage) for one performance each in each United Nations member country without payment of royalties. The playwright or playwrights will allow the staging and or dramatic reading of the play at a United Nations and/or UNESCO event without payment of royalties. The playwright or playwrights will allow ITI Philippines to premiere the play on radio with live Web streaming, without payment of royalties, in Filipino translation. Subsequent performances, as well as radio, television, and film productions, have to pay royalties to the playwright or playwrights. Similarly, all translation rights belong to the playwright or playwrights and any translation into languages other than that or those of the original play needs explicit written permission from the playwright or playwrights to be done, except in the case of ITI Philippines, as provided above.

12.  Each entry can be written in any language or combination of languages, but plays not in English should be accompanied by an English translation of the entire text.

13.  Each entry (in pdf form) must be received on or before noon of 30 August 2015 (Manila TimeS) by email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ITI Philippines Secretary General or by postal service stamped august 30 . Send to: 

     ITI-Earthsavers UNESCO DREAM Center

     Gotesco Twin Towers B, Unit 1203

     Natividad Lopez St. ,Ermita 

     Manila, Philippines

14.  The project is a contribution for the commemoration of the   70th anniversary of UNESCO It has been conceived to demonstrate the immense value of a cultural communications ingredient as a force for education in popularizing scientific data in symbols people can understand and relate to as well as provide a conscienticizing platform to help forge the collective will for the crucial global deal in Paris.to prevent the irreversible threshold of 2°degree centigrade of devastation. It is  also meant to call attention  on the dynamic possibilities of applying effectively an arts based psycho social  therapy to heal trauma of victims and refugees of disaster as part of recovery and reconstruction efforts to address the mental health of survivors.  It aims to harness a creative army of artists concerned to help confront the global challenge of survival of mankind and Mother Earth.

15.  The winner will be announced on October 15, 2015.   Dramatic reading of the winning play is being arranged through the UNFCCC secretariat headed by Ms.  Christiana Figueres, at a  side event exhibit in COP21 as part of a continuing Tri-Continental  South-South Intercultural Interfaith Dialogue on Defying Disasters. Co-convened by the Philippines, Colombia and Kenya coordinated through the Earthsavers UNESCO DREAM Center, Ocean Security International and Climate Institute.

16.  The awards will be given in appropriate ceremonies at a proposed side event at COP21. If not in the home country of the winning playwright or, in the case of several playwrights, in the home country of the first playwright listed on the title page of the play.

17.  The decision of the board of judges is final and unappealable.

18.  The board of judges is composed of Isagani R. Cruz of ITI Philippines (chair), a representative of ITI Director-General or president through the International Playwrights Forum (IPF), The board of judges for content consultation and dissemination of rules will be assisted by UNESCO, UNEP, the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR), and the Office of Commissioner Heherson Alvarez of the Philippine Climate Change Commission. 

OSI Director Paulo Botta Appointed Honorary Consul of Kazakhstan to Argentina

on Saturday, 04 April 2015. Posted in In the News

Paulo

OSI extends its warmest congratulations to its Director Paulo Botta on his appointment by the Foreign Minister of Kazakhstan as the honorary consul of that country to Argentina. Click here to download the letter Dr Botta is a distinguished scholar in oriental studies , has been lecturing for several years at the University of Astana and frequently accompanied ministers from Argentina on their official visits to Kazakhstan.

 

OSI signs Framework Agreement of Cooperation with the Municipal Government of Cartagena

on Sunday, 01 March 2015. Posted in In the News

The Institute for Patrimony and Culture of Cartagena (IPCC), and OSI have signed a Framework Agreement of Cooperation whereby OSI commits itself, in the spirit of its Lima Declaration, to assist the efforts of Cartagena to save the cultural patrimony of this historical city from adverse impacts of climate change, especially sea rise level. OSI is currently involved actively in a public awareness campaign at the highest level to fulfill its duties in accordance with this Agreement. It is in the process of dialogue with heads of four UN agencies, many Governments in Europe, Asia, the Caribbean, Central and South America and Sub—Saharan Africa, and also municipal governments.

OSI intends to follow this pattern with other municipal governments within south-south dialogue.

OSI represented at the World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction

on Sunday, 01 March 2015. Posted in In the News

The World Conference on Disaster Risk Reduction was held in Sendai, Japan from 14th to 18th March. OSI was represented by Mrs. Cecile Guidote Alvarez, member of its Scientific and Academic Advisory Board and Mr. Kiyoshi Daimatsu, OSI coordinator for Japan. It adopted the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030 which replaced the previous Hyogo Framework for Action 2005-2015 (HFA).At a parallel private meeting during the Conference, Mrs. Alvarez l handed a formal invitation from the Municipal Government of Cartagena to Ms. Margaret Wahlström the Special Representative of the Secretary-General (SRSG) for Disaster Risk Reduction, to attend the IPCC/OSI Conference on 31st May and 1st June.

 

Commissioner Heherson Alvarez makes a statement at the Sustainable Development Summit in Delhi

on Thursday, 26 February 2015. Posted in In the News

OSI is very proud that its eminent Policy Advisory Board member , Commissioner Heherson Alvarez joined the panel on climate change at the 15th Delhi Sustainable Development Summit organized on 6th February. HE Ms Ségolène Royal, Minister of Ecology, Sustainable Development and Energy, France was in chair and the panelists included

 

  • Mr Heherson T Alvarez, Commissioner, Climate Change Commission, Philippines
  • HE Mr Leo Brincat, Minister for Sustainable Development, Environment and Climate Change , Malta
  • The Hon’ble Jean Charest, Partner, McCarthy Tétrault & Former Premier, Québec & Former Minister of the Environment, Canada
  • HE Dr Maciej Grabowski, Minister of Environment, Republic of Poland
  • Mr Suresh Prabhu, Honorableble Minister for Railways, India
  • HE Dr Oyun Sanjaasuren, Former Minister for Environment and Green Development; Member of Parliament of Mongolia & President of UNEA
  • Mr Kamalesh Sharma, Commonwealth Secretary-General

OSI warmly applauds the results of the Delhi Summit and is pleased to enclose the text of Commissioner Alvarez´ statement.

Click here to download

Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean - a New Partner of OSI

on Friday, 30 January 2015. Posted in In the News

OSI is pleased to announce that it is in process of developing a partnership with the Caribbean Diplomatic Academy in Trinidad with a module on ocean security with assistance of some of its leading technical experts.. This is a result of the partnership which already exists with the University of West Indies, with campuses in Trinidad, Barbados and Jamaica through our member of Scientific and Academic Board, Professor Andy Knight.

The following is a brief description of some of Academy-s early plans for 2015:

The Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean (DAOC), the first of its kind in the region, offers both accredited and executive courses in Modern Diplomacy providing intensive exposure to leading global diplomatic experts, immersion in practical training exercises and simulations, and collaborative and diverse learning.

The Diplomatic Academy of the Caribbean (DAOC) is a joint project between The University of the West Indies (UWI) through its Institute of International Relations and the Government of Trinidad & Tobago and its Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Since its May 2014 launch, the DAOC has successfully run seven stand-alone modules on diverse topics such as Diplomatic Protocol, United Nations' studies and Intelligence Security, which form an integral part of a wider training in diplomacy and foreign relations.

This year 2015 kicked off with a training Module on « The Rise of China and it's impact on the Caribbean ». According to Professor Andy Knight, Director of the Institute of International Relations at UWI, who also leads the DAOC, “China is too big and important to ignore. This is why anyone who is working in the multilateral environment, especially individuals from small states in the Caribbean, should try to grapple with what it means to have China challenge the US for global supremacy.”

Continuing the Diplomatic Academy’s tradition of soliciting prominent international and regional experts, this module was led by His Excellency Dr Richard Bernal, who is a Diplomat as well as an Economist at the Inter-American Development Bank in Washington DC via video-conference, and Mr Gordon Houlden, Director of the Chinese Institute of the University of Alberta, Canada.

It was followed by a special training Module on « The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia : Business, Politics and Culture », the first ever educational programme in the Caribbean region on in-depth knowledge about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) in partnership with the Trinidad Saudi Chamber of Commerce.

Arab/Middle Eastern relations with the Caribbean date back to the 19th century, and through the discovery of oilfields and economic development, many Middle Eastern countries have become wealthy and powerful actors on the international scene. This Module aimed at providing the knowledge needed for persons to effectively engage the KSA and pursue opportunities therein and was facilitated by His Excellency Dr. Fahad Al Dawood, a Saudi expert on the judicial apparatus & law enforcement System on the KSA and Professor Brinsley Samaroo, Trinidad and Tobago historian and former UWI lecturer.

New projects for this year include developing Modules covering other regions of the world such as Latin America, forge partnerships with prominent Diplomatic Academies and institutions and take the DAOC show on the road across the Caribbean. As such, an offshore Module on « Small States and Trade Diplomacy » will be conducted in Barbados in March 2015 in partnership with the Shridath Ramphal Center of UWI Cavehill, as part of the DAOC’s mission to facilitate training programmes regionally for a better Caribbean future.

Photos from the DAOC curriculum on Saudi Arabia

 

Mr Owen Arthur delivers a Distinguished Lecture at the Institute of International Relations of the University of West indies, Trinidad campus

on Sunday, 25 January 2015. Posted in In the News

OSI is pleased to report that its Policy Advsory Board Member, the former Prime Minister of Barbados, The Rt Hon Owen Arthur, delivered a lecture on Regional Integration and Economic Challenges in the Caribbean as the first 2015 Distinguished Lecture at the Institute of International Relations of the University of West indies, on the Trinidad, Port of Spain campus .

The Institute is headed by Proefssor Andy Knight, an eminent member of OSI Scientific and Acaxdmei Board. The lecture was held on 19th January and it was streamed live.campus. It demonstrated yet again Mr. Arthur´s commitment to the Caribbean economic integration through CARICOM’s Single Market Economy (CSME)