» Director-General participates in the UN Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB)
26.04.2017 - ODG

Director-General participates in the UN Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB)

© WIPO/Violaine Martin

On 26 and 27 April, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova participated in the first regular session of the UN Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB) for 2017, held under the chairmanship of the new UN Secretary-General at WIPO in Geneva and in Montreux.

The CEB was organized around three segments – “the state of the world”, “the future of multilateralism”, and “the reform of the UN Development System.”

During the opening segment on the current “state of the world,” the major global trends that define today’s world were discussed, such as rapid urbanization, migration, climate change, scarcer resources, shifting global economic power, demographic changes, growing social and cultural tensions and technological and scientific breakthroughs that are individually and in combination, radically changing the global landscape, including Artificial Intelligence.

This then led to a discussion on how the UN should enhance its adaptability and capacity to respond to such frontier challenges by becoming more agile, creative, proactive and streamlined.

“The importance of leveraging education, culture, science and communication and information to address these interlinked, complex frontier challenges and transform societies cannot be underestimated. For example, pushing forward the climate change agenda calls for increasing public awareness about climate change through the media, including social media, and through education, based on solid scientific evidence and data so as to combat disinformation,” said Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO.

The CEB then discussed the future of multilateralism and its related challenges.

This included discussions around the need for more assertive, targeted and relevant advocacy to reassert universal norms and standards and strengthen the underpinnings of multilateralism.

“The importance of gaining trust in universal values, which calls for scaling up our action on global citizenship education; freedom of expression, including press freedom; human rights; and gender equality must be a key focus of our efforts,” said the Director-General.

She further stressed the importance of countering the propaganda of hatred, xenophobia and discrimination through new forms of communication – such as the global social media campaign, #Unite4Heritage - to engage the public, particularly youth, in challenging the propaganda of violence and to strengthen unity around shared values. 

The CEB then turned to discussions on the reform of the UN System, during which it discussed UN system priorities in the short and medium term and how the UN system could work better together to meet them. It also focused on the expectations for the reform of the UN development system, which will inform the follow up of the 2016 Quadrennial Comprehensive Policy Review of Operational Activities (QCPR).

This includes the four strategic exercise that will be led by the Secretary-General, namely: (1) a system-wide outline of UN development system functions and capacities, (2) a system-wide strategic document in order to improve the collective support to 2030 Agenda implementation and to align funding modalities with UNDS functions, (3) a comprehensive report on governance of the UN development system, and (4) a comprehensive proposal on RC system strengthening.


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