Irina Bokova makes the Case for UNESCO before the UK Houses of Parliament All‐Party Parliamentary Group on the United Nations
On 5 December, at the Houses of Parliament, Irina Bokova spoke to United Kingdom Houses of Parliament All‐Party Parliamentary Group on the United Nations, exploring the value of UNESCO to the UK, as well as her vision and priorities for UNESCO ahead.
“UNESCO doesn’t deliver development financial aid – it helps craft conditions for sustainable development,” declared the Director-General. “UNESCO doesn’t keep the peace – it works to make it last, and this work is essential, and for this we need a sharper, ever more performing UNESCO.”
The Director-General reviewed the importance of UNESCO’s action across education, culture, the sciences, communication and information for advancing shared values and common objectives, including for the United Kingdom.
Promoting gender equality through education and protecting freedom of expression and the safety of journalists were a particular focus as examples, along with the safeguarding of cultural heritage and harnessing the power of the sciences. Irina Bokova thanked the UK National Commission for its groundbreaking work in exploring the value of UNESCO membership, and looked forward to sharing this experience with other National Commissions.
The Director-General underlined her commitment to continue to reform the Organization, to sharpen its focus ever more and to enhance delivery and impact in response to the needs of Member States.
“For this, we need the engagement of every Member State – the United Kingdom helped create UNESCO, inspired by a clear vision of peace, and we need similar vision today,” said the Director-General.
The meeting was held in the Houses of Parliament, opened and chaired by Lord Hannay and followed by a brief presentation by the Chairman of the UK National Commission, Professor W John Morgan on the recent Report “Wider Value of UNESCO to the UK”. Ambassador Matthew Sudders, Permanent Delegate of the United Kingdom to UNESCO, then spoke on the achievements of UNESCO reform and highlighted the recognition of these changes by the British Government.
The UK Houses of Parliament All‐Party Parliamentary Group on the United Nations (UN APPG) is a cross‐party group supporting the aims and ideals of the United Nations.
In the course of the visit, the Director-General met with the Rt Hon Alan Duncan MP, United Kingdom Minister of State for International Development.
Irina Bokova reviewed the results of the General Conference with the State Minister, in programmatic and financial terms, and highlighted her determination to forge on with reforming the Organisation. The State Minister welcomed the achievements made and the clear improvements seen, and pledged support as the Director-General continued to move forward, including in the review of the efficiency of all activities and programmes.
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