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7, Place de Fontenoy
75352 PARIS 07 SP, France


Nurturing the democratic debate.  
14-04-2005 2:20 pm The Executive Board of UNESCO, chaired by Ambassador Hans-Heinrich Wrede (Germany), will hold its 171st session in Paris from April 12 to 28. This will be the session to welcome the Sultanate - Brunei Darussalam, which joined UNESCO as its newest and 191st Member State on March 17, 2005.

The Board’s agenda, this time, is extremely charged with 66 items including, inter alia, the draft programme and budget for 2006-2007 and the preparation for the next General Conference (October 3 to 21, 2005).

“This session takes place at a crucial moment, as it will lay the groundwork for the next General Conference and help determine the Organization’s orientation for the 2006 – 2007 biennium”, said Ambassador Wrede.

UNESCO’s role in Education for All (EFA) is on the agenda as well. A strategic review is now due, with particular emphasis on the urgent 2015 deadline set by the Millennium Development Goals. The Board will also take stock of UNESCO’s activities in the aftermath of the tsunami of December 2004.

Some especially important standard-setting instruments will be considered at this session as well: a draft convention on cultural diversity; a declaration on universal norms for bioethics; and an international convention against doping in sports.

The Chairman of the Board declared: “In a time of extremely scarce resources, the Board has - on the basis of recommendations made by the Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura - to take courageous and perhaps even painful decisions on the top priorities of UNESCO’s mission. That might unfortunately entail substantial cuts in existing programs in order to give the necessary funds to UNESCO’s priority number one: Education for All!”

The plenary sessions of the Executive Board will take place from April 18 to 20 and on April 27 and 28.

    The Board meets twice a year. Consisting of 58 of UNESCO’s 191 Member States,
    it is responsible for the execution of the programme adopted by the General Conference.
    The Secretariat, headed by the Director-General, has the task of implementing the programme.

Journalists wishing to cover the work of the Executive Board should request accreditation from the Press Relations Section: phone: +33 (0)1 45 68 17 48 fax: +33 (0)1 45 68 56 52 i.le-fournis@unesco.org


Source Media Advisory N° 2005-26


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