UNESCO's Executive Board to meet from September 28 to October 14UNESCO’s Executive Board, chaired by Ambassador Hans-Heinrich Wrede (Germany), will hold its 170th session in Paris from September 28 to October 14.
The Executive Board meets twice a year, consisting of 58 of UNESCO’s 190 Member States. It is responsible for the execution of the programme adopted by the Organization’s General Conference. The Secretariat, headed by Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura, has the task of implementing the programme.
The Board’s agenda for this session includes among its topics the elaboration of a “Declaration on Universal Norms on Bioethics”; strengthening cooperation with Angola, Côte d’Ivoire and the Democratic Republic of the Congo; and the joint UN Programme of Assistance to Afghanistan.
A principal subject for discussion is the strategic review of UNESCO’s role in Education for All (EFA). Since the World Education Forum held in Dakar, Senegal, just over four years ago, UNESCO has been the global champion of EFA, coordinating the efforts of many partners. UNESCO is undertaking new initiatives in key areas of UNESCO’s work: literacy; HIV/AIDS prevention education; and teacher training in Sub-Saharan Africa.
The promotion of Cultural Diversity and the “Dialogue among Civilizations” in a globalized world will be debated as well. According to Ambassador Wrede: “Globalization offers advantages, but it also represents a formidable challenge for the preservation of the rich cultural and intellectual diversity of civilizations.” This topic will be considered during a special debate on October 13. The internationally renowned Professor Tu Weiming, who teaches Chinese history and philosophy at Harvard University, will discuss the subject with the Board Members. Prof. Tu Weiming was selected by Kofi Annan to join the distinguished “Group of Eminent Persons”. The group authored in 2001 the book “Crossing the Divide”, which advocates a forward-thinking approach towards a genuine “Dialogue among Civilizations”.
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