The United Nations UNITWIN,
fosters inter-university technical cooperation, particularly in
developing countries. To this end it is implementing
UNESCO Chairs in different countries, as part of a successful
program of UNESCOs Higher Studies Division.
Chair UNESCO/UFRJ/EICOS related to sustainable development was
created by a covenant signed by director Federico Mayor and UFRJs
representative in October 1993 at the Unesco headquarters in Paris.
The Chairs Scientific Council has both Brazilian and foreign
experts from many fields, appointed by then Dean Professor Nelson
Maculan. It also has a Technical Executive Council coordinated
by Professor Maria Inácia D´Ávila Neto, officially
appointed by UFRJ.
EICOS Program Communities Interdisciplinary Studies and
Social Ecology Program is in charge of providing an institutional
basis for the activities of UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Development
EICOS/UFRJ, complementing both socially and culturally UNESCOs
network of Development Chairs, as per our conception of working
with communities, so as to join existing Chairs such as the University
of Laval, in Canadá (environmental policies component).
Others will also associate themselves to our network, as well
as the from Universidad de la Habana, Casa de las Americas, Instituto
de Ecologia Social (Frankfurt), and Ecole des Hautes Etudes en
Bertha Becker (Geography/UFRJ)
Celia Ribeiro Zaher (BIREME/SP)
Darcy Ribeiro (Senator and anthropologist/UFRJ) in memoriam
Eduardo Portella (Languages/UFRJ)
Gilberto de Oliveira Castro (Biophysicist/UFRJ)
Henrique Rattner (USP/SP)
Jose Pellucio (IBECC/ Academy of Sciences)
Jose Seixas Lourenço (Univ. of Pará)
Luis Pinguelli Rosa (COPPE/UFRJ)
Maria Inácia DÁvila (EICOS/UFRJ)
Nelson Maculan (Mathematics/UFRJ)
Silvano Santiago (UFF/RJ)
Tania Maria de Freitas Barros Maciel (EICOS/UFRJ)
Christine Von Fürstenberg (UNESCO, Paris)
Denise Jodelet (EHESS, Paris)
Egon Becker ( Inst. Sozial Ekologische, Frankurt)
Luiza Campuzano (Univ. de La Habana)
Eduardo Coutinho (Language/UFRJ)
Josimar de Almeida (Biology/UFRJ)
Lena Vania Ribeiro Pinheiro (IBICT/CNPq)
Maria Lucia Coutinho (EICOS/UFRJ)
Marisa Cassim (CNPq/UFRJ)
Valdo S. Marques (Geosciences /UFRJ)
United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO) was created on November 16, 1945 and started operations
one year later.
main purpose is to contribute to the maintenance of peace and
safety in the world by promoting collaboration among nations trough
educational, scientific, cultural and communications programs.
Its creed involves the respect for justice, law, human rights
and freedom for all the people in the world, without distinction
of race, sex, language or religion, as established in the United
order to achieve these goals, UNESCO integrates 5 key strategies:
Prospective Studies investigation of the forms of education,
science, culture and communications that could prove effective
in the future world.
Knowledge Transfer and Sharing - emphasizes research, teaching
and training activities.
Action Planning prepares and adopts international tools
Expertise directed to development policies and projects,
such as technical cooperation.
Exchange of Information emphasis on ongoing specialized
exchange of information.
main forum of decisions is the General Conference held every other
year, which determines the Organizations policies and approves
its program and budget. Program coordination is responsibility
of the Executive Committee, composed by 58 Members, who meet twice
Chair is created as a separate teaching and research unit at a
university (or another institution of higher studies) directed
to a specific theme. It must include a Coordinator, a group of
researchers from the institution itself and from other organizations
part of the project, and a group of students who will major on
encompasses a group of coordinated activities involving research,
information and documentation, as well as advanced studies on
work is done by a teaching and research program where the subject
matter is emphasized, and where special attention is given to
the dimension of international cooperation.
UNESCO/UNITWIN Chair Program introduced in 1991 is an innovative
undertaking in higher education directed to strengthening international
partnerships among higher studies institutions by establishing
cooperative networks with developing countries.
partnership project including different Chairs has been ratified
in the World Conference for Higher Education (UNESCO,1998), where
was stressed the importance of creating centers of excellence
in developing countries as part of UNITWINs program goals.
Higher education has become an imperative in todays world,
in a society where information and advanced training are key elements
to social and economical development. It is understood that developing
countries will only be able to overcome their distance from the
developed world when they have their own advanced study and research
programs, conferring them a certain autonomy and reducing their
scientific and technological dependency.
this context, the main characteristics of the UNITWIN Program
are the exchange of knowledge and the institutional development
of higher education, fostering the emergence of inter-regional
networks capable of contacting educational institutions located
in different parts of the world.
its ten years of existence, the UNITWIN Program obtained significantly
positive results, including the establishment of more than 380
Chairs and 60 inter-university networks.
stands out in this scenario is the essentially inter-disciplinary
characteristic of cooperative networks, such as education, sustainable
development, environmental and educational issues, peace, democracy,
human rights and culture.
MOST Program - Management of Social Transformations was
created by UNESCO in 1994 to promote research in different cultural
contexts, and specifically focused on development and social transformations.
Its main goal is to increase knowledge of such processes, and
at the same time, to highlight the importance of social research
in the formulation of public policies.
need for this kind of Program had already become apparent during
the Earth Summit discussion (Rio, 1992), with the realization
that the increasing inequality in the distribution of economical
and technological products has not been a consequence of a shortage
of goods, but of a misdirected political and social organization.
Such realization led to the creation of the term "bad development",
referring to processes excessively centered around economical
theories that have growth as their sole purpose. Later it became
obvious that there was a need for policies and actions capable
of focusing on development without forgetting the 5 central themes:
peace, economy, environment, justice and democracy.
is the scenario where the MOST Program appeared, bringing the
understanding that psychosocial research should be at the basis
of development strategies and should be part not only of the scientific
production involved in the knowledge of such themes through
scientific cooperation networks but also of the exchange
between researchers and final users, with emphasis on the social
participation aspect. Furthermore, all projects part of the MOST
Program must include an item related to the knowledge transfer
to those responsible for the formulation of social actions and
policies, defining clearly the strategies and recommendations
resulting from the knowledge produced.
under this format, the MOST Program considers as priorities three
(3) areas of social research/action:
The management of transformations in multi-cultural and multi-ethnic
- The understanding that cultural and ethnic diversity is a fact
in most societies. Therefore the MOST Program attempts to foster
the development of policies capable of assuring equal rights and
citizenship to different groups of people as well as resolution
of their ethnic conflicts. To this end, context-oriented and inter-disciplinary
projects are necessary, focusing on the following aspects: education,
culture and religion, identity, forms of democratic government,
and conflict and cohesion in complex scenarios.
Urban development and governance
-- Understanding that urban centers are the places where fast
social change takes place, the United Nations recognize that such
transformations create new and numerous issues related to the
sustainable government of such centers. Thus, aspects such as
demographic growth, urban planning, education, unemployment and
marginalization, social conflicts, health, and environment are
considered priority research themes capable of producing guidelines
for local governments.
Globalization and governance
--- Considering that the international transactions, the dynamics
of technological innovations, and the global communication networks
are creating a global and interdependent society, the MOST Program
considers it important to study the local impact caused by transformations
resulting from the globalization process. In a scenario where
the internal and external levels interact dynamically, research
must provide input so that government authorities are able to
propose policies where global changes are in harmony with local
Most Program is funded by the Intergovernmental Council, formed
by 33 states, and by the Scientific Council, formed by 9 international