New partnerships concluded in the first quarter of 2014

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UNESCO works with a wide range of partners in all of its fields of competence.

Paris, 8 April - UNESCO signed more than 50 new partnership agreements with Member States, other United Nations agencies and private sector organizations during the first quarter of 2014, maintaining the momentum of its partnership strategy.

Several of the private sector partnerships will boost UNESCO’s educational activities, particularly those targeting girls and women in Asia and Africa (HNA Group) and the development of mobile learning (Samsung). In the same spirit, the Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States (ABEGS) will support UNESCO in educational capacity building for the Arab region.

The framework agreement signed with Pakistan marked the launch of activities by the Malala Fund in support of girls’ right to education, which was created in 2012. It aims to raise the awareness of educators to gender issues. The purpose of the programme is to reduce the gap between girls’ and boys’ enrolment in primary education from ten percent today to five percent by 2016.

Several of the projects recently announced give life to framework agreements signed earlier with Indonesia and Malaysia. They concern the promotion of sustainable development through environmental protection, the rehabilitation of the city of Kota Tua (Indonesia), natural hazard mitigation, improving the quality of education, and boosting technical and vocational education.

The Director-General furthermore signed a framework agreement with the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs in March 2014 setting the ground for a significant increase in Norway’s extra budgetary contribution, notably for education.

More than 24 agreements and partnerships were concluded with United Nations agencies, expressing UNESCO’s declared intention of developing closer ties to sister organizations within the UN system. These partnerships concern specific projects for the empowerment of women, water management, media development and conflict prevention.

The Director-General’s stated priority to reinforce UNESCO’s action in emergency situations was also the subject of several agreements concluded with Japan: support for the reconstruction of the educational system in Nord-Kivu and HIV/AIDS preventive education for young girls in Bas-Congo, (both in the Democratic Republic of the Congo); emergency education in Mali; and psycho-social support for secondary school students hit by the Yolanda Typhoon in the Philippines.

The total amount of these new agreements is estimated at $40 million. “Partnerships represent a major strategic concern in the reform of UNESCO. New partners do not only bring funds, they also bring new ideas and perspectives. It is only through them that we can achieve more sustainable development” Said the Director General.

The development of strategic partnerships is in line with the reform policy instituted by the Director-General and recommended by the independent external evaluation of UNESCO (2009) and the policy framework for strategic partnerships.

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