Meeting with President-elect of the next session of the UN General Assembly
On 21 July, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova met with Ambassador Peter Thomson of Fiji, President-elect of the seventy-first session of the UN General Assembly, at UN Headquarters in New York.
The Director-General congratulated Ambassador Thomson on his election, and underlined UNESCO's commitment to continue its close cooperation with the UN General Assembly across UNESCO's mandate and areas of competence, in order to advance issues of common concern.
Ambassador Thomson stated that a key measure of success for the upcoming General Assembly session was to demonstrate meaningful progress made on each of the Sustainable Development Goals. He underlined the crucial importance of 'personalizing' the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, ensuring practical awareness of every person, including children and youth, of the rights and responsibilities enshrined in this Agenda. "Education has a key role to play in this regard... we need a universal push to incorporate the Sustainable Development Goals in all schools and curricula", stated the Ambassador, highlighting areas of potential collaboration with UNESCO.
The Director-General and Ambassador Thomson also reviewed the preparations for the High Level UN Conference on the implementation of SDG 14, to take place in Fiji from 5 to 9 June 2017, co-hosted by Fiji and Sweden. The Director-General briefed Ambassador Thomson UNESCO's work targeted on Small Islands Developing States (SIDS), including through the Organization's dedicated Action Plan based on the SAMOA Pathway for SIDS. She also highlighted the full engagement of UNESCO International Oceanographic Commission (IOC) in the preparatory process to the conference, focusing on science based assessments on the state of the ocean; supporting capacity development and the transfer of marine technology of Member States through dedicated regional mechanisms; and providing normative support to countries to establish, implement, monitor, and report on implementation of the Ocean-related SDG targets.
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