Executive Board lays the groundwork for the General ConferenceThe 172nd session of UNESCO’s Executive Board, chaired by Ambassador Hans-Heinrich Wrede (Germany), ended today after two weeks of work focusing primarily on the preparation of the Organization’s 33rd General Conference, which opens on October 3.
“The session accomplished its task well,” said Ambassador Wrede. “it recommended the priorities of UNESCO for the General Conference, nominated the Director-General, approved a candidate for the President of the General Conference and agreed on a 2006-2007 budget recommendation.”
In his closing address as Chairman of the Board, Ambassador Wrede declared: “For the credibility of the Organization, UNESCO must fully engage in achieving the Millennium Development Goals pertaining to universal primary education and gender equality, in particular. If we don’t deliver, we will have failed our responsibility. Education should be the culmination of all our activities.”
The Board nominated Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, the incumbent Director-General, in secret ballot, by virtual unanimity. For the post of President of the 33rd General Conference, the Executive Board recommended, by acclamation, Ambassador Musa Bin Jafaar Bin Hassan, the Permanent Delegate to UNESCO of the Sultanate of Oman.
The Executive Board also considered several standard-setting instruments. It voted by overwhelming majority to recommend for adoption by the General Conference a draft convention on cultural diversity. Moreover, the Board took, in a genuine spirit of responsibility, consensus decisions on safeguarding the cultural heritage of the Old City of Jerusalem and on educational and cultural institutions in the occupied Arab territories.
The Executive Board will submit to the General Conference a “zero nominal growth” budget recommendation of US$610 million (for the 2006-2007 biennium) and endorsed an additional US$25 million programme package to be funded by extrabudgetary contributions, to reinforce principal priorities, especially “Education for All”.