Information Meeting of UNESCO’s Executive Board with the Director-General
The Information Meeting of UNESCO’s Executive Board with the Director-General held today 3 July 2014, witnessed very fruitful exchanges pivoting around five central themes for the Organization: Reform process, the Organization’s budgetary situation and extra-budgetary resources, Post-2015 development agenda related issues, Cooperation with UN system and Global priorities and priority areas.
The meeting was opened by the Chairperson of UNESCO’s Executive Board H.E. Mr Mohammed Sameh Amr who said that it was an opportune moment for UNESCO Member States to meet “to see where we stand in order that we can be updated on the implementation of our programmes, since we are in the new C/4 and C/5 cycles…” He said that the meeting came at an important moment for the Organization “immediately after the conclusion of the recent redeployment exercise undertaken by the Director-General and her team”. He also said that 2015 was an important year because it represented the culmination of all collective efforts by Member States towards the elaboration of the Post-2015 sustainable development agenda.
In the closing segment of the meeting, the President of the General Conference of UNESCO H.E. Mr Hao Ping addressed the Executive Board on this occasion. He spoke about the importance of sharing and exchanging information together in order to move forward as one. He noted that the restructuring and redeployment exercise had been carried out according to plan and that this progress could not have been possible without the support of each Member State. He also took note that the external audit, which was a top priority for Member States was steadily progressing, and finally that UNESCO’s actions in the Post-2015 agenda will guide the process of promoting peace and development.
For her part, the Director-General in the morning session replied to questions related to the reform and restructuring of the Organization, with a special emphasis on the field reform and on budgetary issues. She said, “reform is not over’” and that she was “determined to sharpen the delivery of UNESCO by strengthening monitoring and evaluation mechanisms, delegating authority to Heads of Field Offices and completing the reform process”. Views were expressed during the afternoon session relative to the execution of UNESCO’s programmes, especially the World Heritage Convention and the General History of Africa as concerns the Culture Sector. Indeed, the Director-General mentioned the success of the World Heritage Committee in Doha (Qatar) with the List now exceeding 1000 World Heritage Sites. The situation in certain countries of the Middle East was also raised. In this regard the Director-General reiterated that the Organization will continue to give utmost priority to the region in its field of competences.
Member States also underlined the importance of preserving the core mandate of the Organization. Discussions largely focused on the Post-2015 Agenda and benefited from inspiring observations and recommendations. They also reflected the ongoing concern over the current financial situation. Finally, the Information Meeting allowed Members States to prepare themselves for the tasks set out in the upcoming 195th Executive Board session.
The meeting showed the strength of UNESCO as a forum for debate and led its Members States to move one step further in the Organization’s mission. Interventions were made by 22 Member States of the Executive Board and 3 Observers.
This meeting follows yesterday’s Informal Meeting of the Executive Board with Ms Amina Mohammed, UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning on “UNESCO’s Role and the post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda” organized in the framework of the Executive Board’s decision on “UNESCO at 70 and Future Prospects” at the initiative of the Chairperson of the Executive Board.
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