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DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF UNESCO

The Director-General participates in the UNDG meeting

On 12 July 2006, Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, participated in the thirty-fourth meeting of the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) in Geneva, Switzerland.

Chaired by the Administrator of UNDP, Kermal Derviş, the UNDG brings together the UN funds and programmes and specialized agencies to prepare policies and procedures that allow member agencies to work together and analyse country issues, plan support strategies, implement support programmes, monitor results and advocate for change.

The 12 July UNDG meeting discussed the findings and recommendations of the UNDG Task Team on Gender Equality, which aims to ensure that gender issues are one of the main focuses of the work of UN Country Teams (UNCTs). UNDG agreed to implement two specific measures proposed by the UNDG Task Team on Gender Equality, namely to introduce a scorecard for gender mainstreaming by UNCTs and to exchange best practices in the field. The Heads of Agencies underscored that the actual success of gender mainstreaming depends on strong commitment to the implementation of the recommendations at senior levels. As concerns the Programme of Action for the Second International Decade of the World’s Indigenous People, the UNDG decided to instruct UNCTs to promote the objectives of the Decade and develop a plan to address the integration of indigenous people’s issues within operational activities. Mr Matsuura referred to the three culture-related UNESCO Conventions that provide the necessary normative basis for the preservation of the culture of indigenous people. He noted in particular that the recent entry into force of the Convention on Intangible Cultural Heritage boded well for the future. The UNDG took note of the progress achieved by the UNDG Working Group on Non-Resident Agencies and urged the completion of the work plan for the roll-out of the proposed measures by October 2006.

The UNDG had a rich exchange of views on issues arising from the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on UN System-wide Coherence, in particular as regards proposals concerning: funding and the Resident Coordinator system. There was strong support for the concept of “One UN” at the country level. Considerable support was also expressed for the Administrator’s suggestion to maintain the Resident Coordinator system under the authority of UNDP, on the understanding that UNDP would withdraw from operational activities falling under the mandates of the other agencies. Mr Matsuura underscored that the strength of the UN system rests in its sectoral expertise. He expressed support for a strengthened Resident Coordinator system, but argued for flexibility as concerns the introduction of One UN House, so that different models could be considered, depending on the varying conditions of countries.

Introducing the agenda item on the Global Action Plan (GAP) on Education for All, the Director-General highlighted the need for further development of the GAP, especially through enhanced cooperation among the five convening agencies (UNDP, UNESCO, UNFPA, UNICEF and the World Bank). In their decision, the five agencies expressed their readiness to continue to work on the EFA Global Action Plan as a platform for collaboration and enhanced action in support of national efforts to achieve the EFA goals. [For further information on this, please consult the Flash info No 116.]

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash info n°115-2006
  • 13-07-2006
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