08.06.2012 - UNESCO

Senior Management Meeting of 5 June 2012 on the preparation of the next Medium-Term Strategy and the post-2015 environment

The SMT met on 5 June to discuss the preparation of the next Medium-Term Strategy (37 C/4) and the post-2015 environment.

The Director-General, in her opening remarks, stressed the enormous importance of the next Medium-Term Strategy, which should articulate in a compelling fashion the contribution of the Organization to two core challenges: peace and sustainable development. She called for intensive consultations with stakeholders, noting that the questionnaire, an important tool to help prepare the draft C/4, had already been responded to by 103 Member States, an unprecedented high level, which was expected to go even higher, testifying to the importance that Member States gave to this process. The process of consultations would not, however, be limited to the questionnaire. She recalled that the discussions on the next C/4 had originated in the last General Conference, in particular at the Leaders’ Forum, and emphasized that it should reflect the rich exchanges which have taken place since: at ECOSOC on education, at the several Information Meetings with Member States on the themes of peace, sustainable development, gender equality, Africa, SIDS. She emphasized the need to revisit strategically the findings and recommendations of the Independent External Evaluation. She mentioned the importance of the ongoing reflections on the post-2015 environment, in particular the recent report of the Task Team of the Secretary General on post-2015, as well as the discussions on the Secretary-General’s Initiatives on Science and on Education, the debates of ECOSOC on education, the future Oceans Compact, the recent Science and Technology Conference in Africa. In addition, she stated that the outcome of Rio + 20 and of the Regional Consultations of Member States, and with the National Commissions, on the next C/4 and C/5 should inform UNESCO’s preparations, and she informed the SMT that she intended to participate in formal meetings of all regional groups of UNESCO in the course of the summer.

The Director-General welcomed the many steps taken internally to reflect about the C/4 in an open and inclusive manner, recalling BSP’s lead role, the importance of ongoing sectoral reflections, but also of larger discussions within the group assembled by the DDG, focusing on the key challenges which the Organization should address, and of the need to closely consult with the Field and Institutes. She emphasized that these preparations should clearly focus on three issues: 1) leadership: to determine the areas where UNESCO has a recognized leadership role and an uncontested comparative advantage, and which should be clear priorities for UNESCO’s work; 2) focus:  being clear about UNESCO’s role and key functions in the UN and international environment, and working to avoid overlap, fragmentation and fringe endeavors and 3) impact:  improving and supporting our operational work at the country level to the benefit of Member States, within the UN environment, and ensuring sustainable results for the Organization. These discussions should be pursued actively in the next months, recalling the focus on peace – including broader approaches to crisis and conflicts, intercultural dialogue, reconciliation, dialogue, tolerance – and on sustainable development – including the Rio + 20 outcomes, environment, gender equality, the needs of Africa, LDCs, SIDS, etc.

The Director-General further stated that the discussions should also encompass issues of process and content, including: what structures would be best adapted to the realization of UNESCO’s goals? What skills, competence and knowledge does the Organization need? How can the Organization best adapt to the UN environment and Delivering as One? What partnerships are needed, etc.

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