Addresses delivered in the general policy debate by the Head of Delegation at the General Conference
37 session of the General Conference Mr Matthew Sudders, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to UNESCO Speech delivered during the General Policy Debate of the 37th session of the General Conference - revised and corrected version of the verbatim records of plenary meetings
36 session of the General Conference H.E. Mr Alan DUNCAN, Minister of State for International Development Speech delivered during the General Policy Debate of the 36th session of the General Conference and posted as received
35 session of the General Conference H.E. Mr Peter Landymore, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO
“(…) May I first associate myself fully with the statement made yesterday by the distinguished representative of Sweden, on behalf of the Member States of the EU. I wish to begin by paying tribute to the achievements of the outgoing Director-General, Mr Matsuura. Under his leadership, UNESCO has made considerable progress in recovering its relevance to the challenges facing the world today. (...) The UK also welcomes the nomination of Ms Irina Bokova to be the next Director-General. (...) We hope she will continue Mr. Matsuura’s emphasis on UNESCO’s role in the global effort to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.”
“(…) The fact that Programmes still receive less than half of UNESCO's budget resources remains a major concern for the UK.”
“The British Government believes that UNESCO, and the UN more broadly, should work above all in the service of the developing countries, and especially the poorest among these. We strongly support UNESCO's priority for Africa, and we want to see this more effectively demonstrated in practice. (…) It is important, (…) for new proposals on Decentralization to look primarily to deploy UNESCO staff in UN country teams and not to operate separate UNESCO country offices except in the most exceptional circumstances.”
“The British Government believes also that the achievement of the MDG Education Goals, and the wider EFA goals, is one of the most important tasks facing the world. Britain is spending $16 billion between 2006 and 2015 to promote their achievement in the poorest countries. This must remain the top priority for UNESCO, truly its flagship programme. UNESCO should be the loudest advocate of EFA; should celebrate the progress of those countries which achieve it; and should draw attention to those where the needs are not matched by sufficient policy dynamism, or internal and external resources, or co-ordination of aid agencies. We welcome the creation of the new Task Force to Teachers, and salute the EFA Global Monitoring Report as one of the best products of any international organization. (…) We want to see a much more significant redirection of resources towards education in the following 2012-13 programme and budget.”
“UNESCO has much to be proud of, including in connection with the conservation of the World's Heritage. It is also important that UNESCO's expertise in ensuring that the standards of the World Heritage Sites are maintained, important that also maintains resources for this expertise in its next programme on Budget.”
34 session of the General Conference H.E. Mr Peter Landymore, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate to UNESCO
The United Kingdom associates itself with the statement made by the representative of Portugal on behalf of the Member States of the European Union.
“The United Kingdom attaches great importance to a strong and effective multilateral system with leadership from the United Nations system. That leadership should be exercised to confront the two main challenges that the world faces: conflict and poverty. In both of these, UNESCO has its part to play.”
“It is clear that progress has been made towards the attainment of the Millennium Development Goals, but unless we redouble our efforts, the MDGs will not be met by 2015. […] We face a development emergency.”
The United Kingdom urges to develop a system-wide coherence and supports firmly the United Nations reforms. A United Nations system that delivers as one can have a unified presence on the ground and be focused on nationally owned objectives.
The United Kingdom is not entirely satisfied with the progress of the Global Action Plan. The Plan is not yet implemented and only four countries were chosen for starting it. The United Kingdom intends to give US$16 billion to countries with viable plans to make primary education universal and urges all other agencies to work together for the same goal.
UNESCO should be the international leader of the education MDGs and the other EFA goals. The United Kingdom expects now a stronger and more visible implementation of the flagship programmes of UNESCO on EFA, on literacy, and on teacher training in Africa.
Priority for Africa needs to be turned into real and visible results in the sciences. The Major Review of this programme still needs to be translated into better resource allocations.
The International Oceanographic Commission needs more resources. The same goes for building up African science policy capacities.
The United Kingdom welcomes the new Medium-Term Strategy and the 2008-2009 Programme and Budget. However it is still unclear how the resources of UNESCO are used to deliver these programmes. Furthermore, the United Kingdom recommends placing more of the central resources into specific priority programmes.
The World’s Heritage work is the best example of UNESCO’s visibility and success. The United Kingdom also supports the Convention on Cultural Diversity and plans to ratify it in the nearest future.