On Friday 24 January 2008 in Davos, Switzerland, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, signed a partnership agreement with John Chambers, Chief Executive Officer of Cisco Systems, Inc. Mr Matsuura was in Davos to participate in the annual meeting of the World Economic Forum
The agreement sets the framework for cooperation between UNESCO and Cisco in education and learning; community access and development; cultural and linguistic diversity and preservation; digital inclusion and capacity-building; sharing expertise and strategies, in, for example, Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for socioeconomic development programmes, web-based communities of practice, knowledge-sharing and empowerment through participation.
UNESCO and Cisco have been cooperating on a number of projects since 2005. Together with other partners, they have developed ICT Competency Standards for Teachers and a programme in Azerbaijan to support secondary education. In keeping with an agreement concluded with Libya late last year, Cisco and UNESCO are also to collaborate on an ambitious project to: establish communication networks for Libyan universities and higher education institutions; develop e-learning and tele-education in the country; and create a national ICT resource centre for Libyan educators and train faculty and staff.
Another joint project underway concerns sharing knowledge and skills between UNESCO’s Regional Academy for Advanced Network Administration and Design in the Ukraine and Africa. Also underway, is a partnership aimed to improve the integration of information and communication technology in teacher education institutions in the Asia-Pacific region.