Second meeting of the working group on Rehabilitation and Reconciliation in Sudan

On 9 June 2006, the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, chaired the second meeting of the Working Group on Rehabilitation and Reconciliation in Sudan, established in September 2005 “to lead and coordinate strengthened assistance by the Organization in support of post-conflict reconstruction and reconciliation in the country”. This second meeting offered an occasion to take stock of UNESCO’s programmes, activities and operational presence in Sudan.

Mr I. Sidibe, Head of UNESCO’s Antenna in Sudan, made a comprehensive presentation of the political situation in the country, providing the Working Group with information related to UNESCO’s participation in the different coordinating and partnership mechanisms established by the international community. He also detailed the process of setting up the UNESCO Antenna in Khartoum and its outpost in Juba.

Then, the Assistant Directors-General of the programme sectors involved in Sudan – namely, education, science, culture and communication – presented the main activities that have been launched in the country. All agreed that a truly intersectoral approach was needed in order to achieve the objectives of the peace process. It was noted that several intersectoral programmes have already been implemented in Sudan. These include: training courses for broadcasters (Communication and Culture); the establishment of a strategy for the Ministry of Culture and Information; and measures to promote cultural diversity and peace education (Culture and Education).

Taking the floor, Mr Matsuura expressed his satisfaction that, despite the difficulties in Sudan, a UNESCO Antenna had now been established on the basis of an agreement signed on 22 May 2006 between the Government of Sudan and UNESCO. Mr Matsuura highlighted the important number of projects and activities that are being implemented in the fields of competence of the Organization, underlining the real expertise that UNESCO could bring to these areas given its experience in post-conflict situations.

The Director-General also affirmed the importance of developing an intersectoral approach, which alone could contribute effectively to the establishment of a sustainable peace. Mr Matsuura likewise expressed his desire to see UNESCO act closely with the UN country team in Sudan, urging the need for greater coherency within the UN system at country level.

In order to facilitate the work of UNESCO and consolidate its presence in the country, Mr Matsuura announced his intention to ask the Executive Board to authorise the creation of a National Office in Sudan, located in Khartoum, with an Antenna in Juba. In this regard, he instructed the Working Group to elaborate a comprehensive strategy for submission to the next session of the Executive Board in September.

  • Author(s):Flash Info n°086-2006
  • Source:Flash Info n°086-2006
  • 12-06-2006
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