22.01.2021 -

Online meeting with National Commissions on UNESCO’s key priorities in the field of communication and Organization’s 75th anniversary celebration

The meeting highlighted main activities planned for the 75thanniversary of UNESCO and new insights into the Organization's digital communication strategy

On 19 January 2021, UNESCO gathered some 150 members of National Commissions, representatives of Permanent Delegations, UNESCO Field Offices and Headquarters staff for an online meeting devoted to UNESCO’s 75th anniversary celebration and the Organization’s key priorities in the field of communication.

In his introductory speech, Mr Firmin Edouard Matoko, UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Priority Africa and External Relations, welcomed the participants of this first online meeting in 2021 and outlined the importance of the topic of global communications and public engagement. He stressed that this meeting was also an opportunity to discuss various projects, activities and initiatives scheduled this year on the occasion of  the 75th anniversary of UNESCO and to examine how National Commission can be closely involved and support those initiatives. Mr Matoko also recalled the dates of the 7th Interregional meeting of National Commissions scheduled to take place from 22 to 25 February next in a virtual format. 

Mr Matthieu Guével, Director of UNESCO’s Division of Public Information, started his presentation with the question of communication priorities marked by UNESCO's response to COVID-19 and the increasing importance of information as a public good. In this regard UNESCO should position itself as a solution provider for peace and development, at the forefront of intellectual cooperation to preserve, transmit and bring out the best in our shared humanity.  Mr Guével pointed out that UNESCO’s role, beyond public information and awareness raising, is to inform, inspire and engage public. This means to share reliable and authoritative content, inspire people to care and mobilize action and motivate audience. Defining a global message of UNESCO common to all sectors and programmes was also set as a priority for the year to come. To attain the objectives abovementioned, UNESCO counts on its unique network, including the family of National Commissions as well as other United Nations agencies.

Another question addressed during the presentation was a plan of activities in the framework of the Organization’s 75th anniversary celebration, which includes, among others, the organization of a permanent exhibition of treasures, documents, archives and objects localized in the UNESCO premises. This activity would require extrabudgetary support in the amount of US$100 000. Other activities to be undertaken by the Secretariat with the support of the Member States are a temporary exhibition of emblematic photographs illustrating the projects of the Organization implemented over the 75 years, UNESCO Forum on contemporary issues with leading intellectuals and influential activists, Presence For Peace Global Concert and Interactive website and map to showcase Delegations and National Commissions' events for the 75th anniversary, as well as special initiatives by National Commissions which may be granted the 75th anniversary logo.

Mr Guével also addressed the issue of the UNESCO logo’s visibility. In the digital environment the question of visibility rises even more sharply, thus underlining the task of enhancing the name and branding of UNESCO. Based on the Organization's iconic emblem created in 1948, several new visual proposals concerning the graphic identity of the logo were presented. 

The presentation was followed by Q&A session, during which the keynote speaker addressed questions raised by a wide range of National Commissions, including Angola, Egypt, Germany, Haiti, Morocco, Togo, United Kingdom, Uruguay and Qatar.


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