Exhibition on Iraq: UNESCO and Post-Conflict Response
Held during the Executive Board Session, and inaugurated jointly by the Director-General and the Iraqi Ambassador to UNESCO, the exhibition received high visibility helping to further inform the Member States’ of ongoing discussions on the Iraqi context, preparing the ground for new partnerships and highlighting the role of the donors.
In addition to the physical exhibition, thematic roundtables, Iraqi film screenings and a special “Iraqi night” were organized in tandem; the latter featuring a Baghdadi fashion show as well as a performance of Iraqi Oral and Intangible Heritage: the Maqam.
While the Exhibition provided a wealth of information on the Organization’s projects in Iraq, an additional purpose was to clearly demonstrate the added value that UNESCO makes to a country in a Post-conflict Post-disaster (PCPD) context, namely:
- Its technical expertise in providing assistance to national authorities in the field of education, natural sciences, culture and communication and the nature of the working relationship between the Organization and the Government of Iraq;
- The reinforcement of existing local and national capacities; UNESCO activities' link to international development priorities and processes as well as to existing national priorities;
- Its diverse partnerships with international and local organizations; Its capacity to act proactively vis-à-vis UN integration, and more generally UN reform in PCPD contexts;
- Its ability to advise on the development of evidence-based educational, cultural, scientific and media policies that reinforce sustainable transition from emergency contexts towards reconstruction and development;
- Its role as an “honest broker” in peace building and capacity development;
- Recognizing and safeguarding of cultural aspects and traditional knowledge of local communities, which represent important coping mechanisms and sustain local capacities;
- Its role as promoter of norms and standards, in particular freedom of expression and women’s and youth involvement in education, media, culture and science, as well as the protection of cultural heritage and the environment.