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Wednesday, December 26, 2007

UNESCO, Hewlett Packard enter strategic deal

The United Nations Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) and Information Technology (IT) giant, Hewlett-Packard (HP) have signed a strategic partnership deal to strengthen collaboration on existing education projects.

The signing ceremony, which held in Paris, weekend was attended by the UNESCO Director-General, Mr. Koïchiro Matsuura and vice president, Global Citizenship HP Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA), Gabriele Zedlmayer.

In his comment, Matsuura said that it’s essential that UNESCO and HP help developing countries, in particular African countries, to bridge the information technology gap and to become full-fledged partners of today’s knowledge society.

“UNESCO’s education priorities are very much in line with the goals of HP’s education strategy. In Europe, the Middle East and Africa, HP has supported more than 200 education projects in over 20 countries, reaching over 50,000 young people in 2007,” he said.

Zedlmayer stressed that on a worldwide level, HP contributed grants to more than 850 schools in 36 countries, worth €30 million between 2004 and 2007.

Through the partnership, UNESCO and HP will work together on several projects in the area of education, especially to support UNESCO’s priority of “Education for All”.

This includes an evaluation on the extension of the existing brain drain project to additional regions in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. UNESCO and HP started to collaborate five years ago in South East Europe to help key universities connect to global research networks.

Champion Infotel recalls that in 2006 the project was extended to Africa, streamlined to fight brain drain by providing universities with an advanced technology called grid computing, which allows top quality researchers to play a key role in international research and contribute to economic development in their home countries.

Another project is the World Heritage Map, which enables the general public to visualize the spread of World Heritage sites around the globe, and raises the awareness of the World Heritage Convention.

The map is above all an educational tool, allowing UNESCO to communicate its work in this field on a large scale.

Equally, HP has provided a financial contribution to UNESCO for the “Printing and distribution of the Man and the Biosphere Map”. The Man and the Biosphere Map will be fully prepared and edited by the Division of Ecological and Earth Sciences of UNESCO, which will provide the full lay-out to HP for printing and distribution.

While the computer recycling training guide is also the fruit of UNESCO and HP cooperation aimed at supporting local stakeholders, in developing countries in particular, to manage electronic waste. The goal is to support local actors, especially those with a background in managing used computer equipment, and to create environmentally clean and healthy business opportunities.

Currently, HP is the only technology partner in the project, which also includes the French Agency for Environment and Energy Management (Agence de l’Environnement et de la Maîtrise de l’Energie - ADEME), EMMAUS, the international movement of solidarity, and TIC ETHIC, Information and Communication Technologies in the service of ethics and sustainable development.

UNESCO functions as a laboratory of ideas and a standard-setter to forge universal agreements in its fields of competences. It also serves as a clearinghouse – for the dissemination and sharing of information and knowledge – while helping its 193 Member States to build their human and institutional capacities in diverse fields.

HP worth $104.3 billion for the four fiscal quarters in revenue, which ended October 31, 2007, focuses on simplifying technology experiences for all of its customers – from individual consumers to the largest businesses, has a portfolio spanning printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure.

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