Hari UNESCO Malaysia 2011
Highlights Nation's Successes at the International Level
More than 50 years after Malaysia became a member of united Nations Educational, Scientific and cultural Organization (UNESCO), Malaysia's UNESCO day 2011 that will be celebrated on the 18th and 19th November will not only showcase Malaysia's active involvement and commitment in UNESCO's activities and programs at the international level, but also carved a history of its own as the celebration is being held for the first time ever since Malaysia became a member of UNESCO on June, 1958.
Apparently, Malaysia's commitment in contributing its expertise to the international community was demonstrated by the establishment of the Malaysian national Commission for UNESCO (SKUM) operated under the Malaysian Education Ministry with six sub-committee members that include the Higher Education Ministry, Information, Communications and Culture Ministry, Science Technology and Innovation Ministry and Foreign Ministry to strengthen Malaysia's involvement in this organization.
According to Education Ministry's Secretary- General Dato' Dr Rosli Mohammed, Deputy Prime Minister, who is also Education Minister. Tan Sri Muhyiddin Mohd Yassin when charring the 37th annual general meeting of SKUM last April.
"Considering Malaysia as being so active in UNESCO, the Deputy Prime Minister felt it is apt to celebrate a special day to highlight the nation's successes and to honour and award those who have enhanced Malaysia's image'', he said.
Dr Rosli, who is also SKUM vice- president, acknowledged that there are many people who are still unaware of Malaysian's involvement and achievements in UNESCO. Thus, the UNESCO day celebration is part of efforts to promote and highlight the nation's achievements to all walks of life with in the community as well as the government bodies and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), educational institutions and certain communities.
Among the objectives of the celebration are to enlighten the community on the functions and responsibilities of SKUM as well as encouraging more participation from the government agencies and non-governmental organizations and also publics in UNESCO's programs and activities whilst strengthening collaborative networking between all parties and also to enhance SKUM's visibility.
According to Dr Rosli, Malaysia's UNESCO Day celebration is divided in two major programs with the opening ceremony being officiated by Muhyiddin on 18 November 2011 at the institute of Diplomacy and Foreign Relations, Malaysia (IDFR). He will also launch UNESCO Club's website, Institution of Higher Learning Malaysia.
"Meanwhile, at the UNESCO level, the Deputy Regional director of UNESCO in Bangkok will represent the director-General of UNESCO to attend the opening ceremony,'' he said.
The celebration will be continued the next day at the Central Market, Kuala Lumpur.
Thus, it is our hope that the array of events and activities lined up will open up the opportunity for people to participate and take a closer look at Malaysia’s participation in UNESCO”, he added. In the meantime, an agenda that can't be ignored is the acknowledgment of Malaysians who were recognized by UNESCO in various fields.
“Previously we only can see the listing of Malaysia’s achievements in the UNESCO’s world heritage sites and we were never exposed to Malaysian achievements in the fields of education, science, social science, communications and culture.
‘With this in mind, the secretariat has listed 20 Malaysians who were awarded by UNESCO in the said fields to be feted in the celebration”, explained Dr Rusli.
Among those listed are the UNESCO-L’OREAL International Fellowships program for Young Women in life Sciences Award recipient, namely Assoc Prof Dr Suraini Abd Aziz from Universiti Putra Malaysia(UPM).
She is also the first Malaysian to receive the prestigious award through her research: To study bacteria, which in their natural environment, are specialized in degradation of plants debris and produce an enzyme which has great industrial potential.
The award was presented to encourage scientific cooperation for new research networking among young woman scientists around the world .This annual program is offered to 15 recipients, in which each of them will receive a scholarship of USD40,000 for a period of two years to carry out their research.
Dr Suraini also received seven other awards including The young Asian Biotechnology Prize 2002, awarded by Bioengineering Society, Japan, in addition to receiving a grant from the Malaysian Government to undertake research on Microbial fermentation of palm kernel cake using selected fungal strain for poultry feed; the Bioconversion of food wastes to environmental friendly biodegradable packaging materials or the Construction of local recombinant vaccine against cholera.
Recognition is also given to another woman researcher, Dr Widad Ismail from Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) who has received the L’Oreal Malaysia for woman in Science Fellowships 2010 (Life Science) Award. The program which was launched in 2006 was a collaborative program between SKUM and L’Oreal Malaysian agency, MOSTI, Higher Education Ministry and the academy of science Malaysia.
This is to encourage young women aged between 25 to 35 years to be interested for a career in science and undertake studies/research in science and technology in hopes of encouraging the younger generation to participate in science and technology development in Malaysia. Participants will receive financial assistance amounting to RM20,000 for their science projects.
“From these, we can see that the achievements are not limited amongst the researchers, but also include all walks to life within the community without any boundaries.
Source: The Sun ONFRIDAY- November 18, 2011