ACTIVITIES

23-26 October 2016: President of the UNESCO General Conference on official visit in Jamaica

From 23 to 26 October 2016, H.E. Mr Stanley Mutumba Simataa, President of the General Conference of UNESCO, met Ms Katherine Grigsby, Director and Representative of the UNESCO Cluster Office for the Caribbean, as well as her team and key Ministers and government representatives in Kingston. The mission provided the opportunity for the Director to introduce the mandate, key activities and latest developments of the Office. The Director thanked the President for his visit as it is the first time that a President of the General Conference comes to Jamaica and as such missions reflect the strategic importance of Field Offices from the perspective of Member States.

During his visit, H.E. Mr Simataa participated in the Board meeting of the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO, chaired by The Hon. Olivia Grange, Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, and Chair of the National Commission, and which included the participation of Senator The Hon. Pearnel Charles Jr., Minister of State for National Security; Mr Everton Hannam, Secretary-General of the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO; Professor Ronald Young, University of the West Indies, Ambassador Marcia Gilbert-Roberts, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, as well as representatives of national institutions and high-level experts in the fields of competence of UNESCO. On this occasion, H.E. Mr Simataa acknowledged the strong cooperation between UNESCO and Jamaica and the recent recognition of the need for the Organization to embrace the priorities of the Small Island Developing States (SIDS). The Chair of the National Commission recalled the dedicated involvement of Jamaica to fully contribute to UNESCO’s programmes, networks and various international bodies, and recalled that Jamaica’s first cultural and natural property was inscribed on the World Heritage list in 2015, while the City of Kingston was designated as a UNESCO Creative City in Music in the same year. 

The President of the General Conference also paid courtesy calls to Senator The Hon. Ruel Reid, Minister of Education, Youth and Information; Ms Joy Douglas, Chairperson of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management; Ambassador Sheila Sealy-Monteith, Acting Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade; Mrs. Angela Brown-Burke, Her Worship the Mayor of Kingston; and Mr Bruno Pouezat, United Nations Resident Coordinator. H.E. Mr Simataa also had the honour to participate in the cocktail reception organized by the Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport. 

While thanking the national authorities for their warm welcoming to the country, H.E. Mr Simataa highlighted that the activities of UNESCO’s Field Offices should be fully in line with the programme priorities of Member States, while pointing to the need for Member States to consider consolidating self-benefiting schemes, whereby UNESCO should be fully associated to the development and implementation of national policies and programmes. The President of the General Conference welcome the quality of exchanges held, notably on the specificities of Jamaica as a middle-income country, but also highly vulnerable as part of the SIDS and in terms of strong reliance on the tourism sector and, notably, vis-à-vis the urgent need of the country to reinforce disaster risk reduction, preparedness, and management. 

“UNESCO stands ready to support the country in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, through its flagship programmes, the whole diversity of its networks, and ability to propose interdisciplinary approaches to solve key challenges facing Member States”, concluded the President.

20-22 October 2016: President of the UNESCO General Conference on official visit in Cuba

From 20 to 22 October, H.E. Mr Stanley Mutumba Simataa, President of the General Conference of UNESCO, met Ms Katherine Müller-Marin, Director of the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean, together with her team, as well as key government representatives and partners of UNESCO in Havana.

The President acknowledged the key role of the UNESCO Office, not only as Regional Bureau for Culture, but also as UNESCO Cluster Office covering Cuba, the Dominican Republic, Aruba and Haiti. H.E. Mr Simataa recalled that ‘it is key to engage Member States at country level to support appropriate investments in UNESCO from a political, financial and human resources perspective’ and that ‘the role of UNESCO’s networks should be maximized in the implementation of the programme of the Organization’.

After thanking the President for his visit, the Director of the Office made a detailed presentation on the Office, the nature of its mandate, counterparts, flagship activities, overall management, challenges and potential future opportunities.

During his mission, H.E. Mr Simataa met H.E. Oscar León González, President of the Cuban National Commission for UNESCO; H.E. Oberto Santín Cáceres, Deputy Minister of Higher Education; H.E. Marcelino Medina González, acting Minister of Foreign Affairs; H.E. América Santos Rivera, Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Environment; H.E. Rolando Forneiro, Deputy Minister of Education; H.E. Jorge Luis Perdomo Di-Lella, Deputy Minister of Communications; and H.E. Kenelma Carvajal Perez, Deputy Minister of Culture.

The meetings between H.E. Mr Simataa and the national authorities allowed fruitful exchanges on Cuba’s relations with UNESCO and on the joint implementation of key operational projects. The meeting with the President of the Cuban National Commission also provided the opportunity to highlight the strategic situation of the Commission within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as this allows the Commission to ensure appropriate coordination with all line ministries in the fields of UNESCO’s mandate and competence.

Following Hurricane Matthew, the President of Cuba requested ten Government Ministers to be based in the eastern part of the island that had been most damaged by the hurricane in order to lead reconstruction operations and closely monitor the most affected communities. While commending the Cuban authorities for the resilience of their country and their inhabitants in anticipation of and during the disaster caused by the hurricane, H.E. Mr Simataa recalled that UNESCO stands ready to support Cuba in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in its fields of expertise, building on the diversity and quality of its networks. In particular, Mr Simataa highlighted to need to pursue the close cooperation already in place between the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Culture in Latin America and the Caribbean and the Cuban National Commission for UNESCO.

10 July 2016: President of the General Conference at the 40th session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee Opening Ceremony

President of the General Conference meets the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe

(c) UNESCO

President of the General Conference meets the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe On 11 and 12 April 2016, during his visit to Venice, Italy, H.E. Mr Stanley Mutumba Simataa, President of the General Conference of UNESCO, met Ms Ana Luiza Thompson Flores, Director of the UNESCO Regional Bureau in Venice and her team to examine the mandate and activities of the Bureau as well as its unique governance system, which relates to the annual contribution of Italy to the programme activities of the Bureau.

The President acknowledged the diversity of activities led by the Bureau, in Europe and particularly South-East Europe, as well as in Central Asia with regards to the UN interagency coordination mechanism and processes, in cooperation with the concerned UNESCO Offices, in the field of the Natural Sciences and Culture.

The President was also presented with both the opportunities and challenges related to the governance of the Bureau, which relies, in addition to the Medium-Term Strategy and the Programme and Budget of UNESCO, on the role of the Bureau’s Steering Committee and Scientific Council as regards the planning, implementation and monitoring phases of the Italian contribution workplan.

“At a time when the UNESCO Governing Bodies are discussing key structural issues of the Organization, such as its governance architecture, it is important to recall that effective results delivery at country level is essential and that the UNESCO Field Offices are a key component in this regard”, stated the President of the General Conference.

The Director thanked the President for his visit as it is the first time that a President of the General Conference visited the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Science and Culture in Europe.

Presentations delivered by the Director, the Head of the Bureau’s Antenna in Sarajevo and the Programme Specialists for Natural Sciences and Culture provided a detailed overview of the strategic position of the Bureau, notably taking into account its role in supporting the implementation of the regional cooperation strategy of the Council of Ministers of Culture of South East Europe, among others. The President also congratulated the team for its pro-active fund-raising efforts, which are indeed key in programme delivery.

On the occasion of his mission, the President also benefited from the courtesy visit of Mr Umberto Marcello del Majno, Chairperson of the Association of International Private Committees for the Safeguarding of Venice (ACP), who, together with the Director of the UNESCO Regional Bureau, renewed the commitment of both institutions to pursue effective relations in view of the safeguarding and promotion of the cultural heritage of the City of Venice.

10 years of achievements of the African World Heritage Fund (AWHF)

(c) P. Chiang-Joo

12 November 2015

On the occasion of the 38th session of the General Conference of UNESCO, the President of the General Conference, H.E. Mr Stanley M. Simataa, attended the ceremony of the 10th anniversary of the creation of the African World Heritage Fund and the proclamation of May 5th as the African World Heritage Day, co-organized by Ms. Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO, and His Excellency Mr. Jean-Marie Adoua, President of the African Group of UNESCO.

Over the past 10 years, the AWHF has supported the implementation of the World Heritage Convention in Africa and the safeguarding of the diversity of the continent’s rich heritage, as a source of identity and sustainable development. In his speech, Mr Simataa expressed the very special meaning for Africa since the establishment of the Fund. He underlined that “World Heritage is not only about economic development and return on investments. World Heritage is about our identity. It brings a testament to who we are, where we come from and what can be transmitted to future generations”. He insisted on the importance of youth as an integral part of the global development agenda and ended by highlighting that the African World Heritage Fund is a key player, an essential partner, in the Organization’s global action.

The ceremony was the occasion to proclaim the African World Heritage Day, while reaffirming the commitments of the international community as a whole to the safeguarding of the African World Heritage Properties.

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