National Commissions Meet during the 195th session of the Executive Board
The traditional meeting of the National Commissions for UNESCO took place from 22 to 23 October 2014, during the 195th session of the Executive Board at UNESCO Headquarters. Over 100 participants, representing 86 National Commissions attended this encounter. In order to reinforce the collaboration between the National Commissions and the Secretariat and subsequent to the recent restructuring of the External Relations and Public Information Sector, the staff responsible for all matters concerning the interaction between Headquarters and the National Commissions were individually presented to the assembly.
The “Guidelines for Interface and Cooperation between UNESCO Field Offices and National Commissions for UNESCO” presented and discussed were revised by the National Commissions during the first interregional meeting of National Commissions held in Astana, Kazakhstan in July 2014 and later, by the Secretariat including the Field Offices.
In order to generate renewed impetus in the development of partnerships with civil society, the active participation of National Commissions is paramount. Participants also highlighted the need for greater accountability of the National Commissions vis-à-vis the movement of UNESCO Clubs nationally and globally.
During the discussions related to the celebrations of the 70th Anniversary of UNESCO, some of the National Commissions seemed highly motivated, and others were ready to mobilize efforts to organize events. It was pointed out that the anniversary is not only an opportunity of highlighting the Organization, but also to analyze its historical milestones for the promotion of peace. National Commissions acting as mobilizing partners should strengthen cooperation amongst themselves at both the regional and interregional levels, in synergy with the field offices of UNESCO, and with particular attention to youth.
Finally, the participants stressed the need for National Commissions and their partners to support the plan of action for the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022) focused on promoting universal values for an inclusive and peaceful society. The next Interregional Meeting of National Commissions will be held during the 38th session of the General Conference.