Director-General takes part in informal dialogue with Group of Ambassadors of Latin America and the Caribbean to UNESCO
On 4th July, 2016, upon the invitation of H.E. Mr. Marco Tulio Chicas Sosa, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Guatemala to France, and Permanent Delegate of Guatemala to UNESCO; Chair of the Group of countries of Latin America and the Caribbean at UNESCO (GRULAC), the Director-General took part in an informal lunch and dialogue with the Group on issues of common interest for the cooperation between UNESCO and GRULAC.
Ambassadors stressed the excellent cooperation in all areas of competence of the Organization, especially quality and lifelong education, tangible and intangible cultural heritage, scientific cooperation, the promotion of freedom of expression and safety of journalist.
They equally emphasized UNESCO's contribution and expertise in fostering inclusive societies, and the Organization's leadership role in the UN in contributing to peace and reconciliation. In this context, they referred to the strong expectations for UNESCO to accompany the ongoing processes for for social transformations in their respective countries.
Irina Bokova commended the commitment of countries to implementing the 2030 Agenda, referring in particular to the progress already achieved in devising national plans for the implementation of the sustainable development goal 4 on education in many countries of the region.
The Director-General further recalled her very recent visits to Paraguay and Uruguay between 23 and 27 June during which she signed, among others, two important Memorandum of Understanding respectively with the Supreme Court of Justice of Uruguay to strengthen cooperation on freedom of expression, access to public information and security of journalists and with the Ministry of Education and Culture to support reform of the country's education system.
In the course of their interventions, Ambassadors also stressed the importance attached by their region to the values championed by UNESCO, values that enshrine promoting a culture of peace and moral solidarity, and the wealth of cultural diversity. They emphasized their engaged commitment to the Organization in trying to preserve a concerted position within their Group.
Referring to the forthcoming deliberations in view of defining the priorities for the Medium-Term Strategy of the Organization together with its next Programme and Budget in a context of reduced funding, Ambassadors commended UNESCO's leadership in the implementation of SDG 4 on Education reaffirming the importance of developing indicators, providing support to national educational reforms and expertise in the areas of quality education and global citizenship education. They reaffirmed their commitment to UNESCO's work in the cultural conventions, underlining the link between culture and development embedded across a number of sustainable development goals in the Agenda 2030. They also underscored the importance of fostering scientific diplomacy, the relevance and expertise of the Organization in the area of environmental protection, emphasizing their attachment to programmes such as the Man and the Biosphere and UNESCO's action to mitigate the impact of climate change and disaster risk reduction.
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