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DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF UNESCO

The Director-General holds bilateral talks at the United Nations Headquarters

The Director-General holds bilateral talks at the United Nations Headquarters
  • © UN Photo/E. Debebe

From 28 February to 2 March 2007, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, visited New York to hold bilateral meetings with Mr Ban Ki-moon, UN Secretary-General; Ms Asha-Rose Migiro, UN Deputy Secretary-General; Mr Kermal Derviş, UNDP Administrator; Ms Ann Veneman, UNICEF Executive Director; Ms Thoraya Obaid, UNFPA Executive Director, and Ambassador Dalius Čekuolis of Lithuania, President of ECOSOC for 2007.

This visit was planned in the context of the ongoing discussions on UN reform and in particular on the implementation of the recommendations put forward in the report of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel (HLP) on UN System-wide Coherence, entitled “Delivering as One.”

During his meetings, Mr Matsuura reiterated his commitment to strengthening UN coherence, in particular at the country level, as exemplified by UNESCO’s participation in the 8 One UN pilots and in the CCA/UNDAF roll-out countries for 2007. The Director-General expressed his appreciation of the flexible approach adopted in these pilots, which would allow the UN members, in particular the Specialized Agencies, to address different country needs and priorities and to draw on the full range of UN sectoral expertise. The Secretary-General told Mr Matsuura that his views on the High-level Panel report would be presented to the General Assembly in the course of the month of March. The President of ECOSOC informed the Director-General of the planned discussions on the HLP report’s recommendations at ECOSOC upon receipt of the Secretary-General’s comments thereon.

Referring to UNESCO’s contribution towards the achievement of the MDGs, Mr Matsuura underscored the need to widen their scope to include all the 6 Dakar goals of Education for All and the importance of culture as a pillar of development. With regard to the Alliance of Civilizations, the Director-General informed the Secretary-General of UNESCO’s readiness to cooperate in the implementation of the recommendations of the High-level Group for the Alliance of Civilizations alongside other partners.

The Director-General shared with Mr Ban Ki-moon his views on the strengthening of the Chief Executives Board (CEB), which he felt should assume the role of central body for decision-and policy-making within the UN.

As regards the preservation of cultural heritage in the Old City of Jerusalem, Mr Matsuura informed the Secretary-General of the recent dispatch of a technical mission to assess the situation concerning work on the access to the al-Haram al-Sharif. The Secretary-General commended the Director-General for the appropriate action taken in this respect.

When meeting with UNDP Administrator Derviş, Mr Matsuura expressed his appreciation at UNESCO’s inclusion in the UNDG Steering Committee for the One UN pilots. Mr Derviş thanked the Director-General for his active engagement in the reform process and for UNESCO’s cooperation in the preparation of the draft Terms of Reference for Proposals to be submitted for funding to the Spanish MDG Achievement Fund.

In his meetings, Mr Matsuura also outlined the progress in the development of the EFA Global Action Plan, which he saw as a model of UN coherence both at the global and country levels. The five convening agencies – UNICEF, UNFPA, UNDP, UNESCO and the World Bank - have closely cooperated on the preparation of the Plan, which, as agreed between Mr Derviş and Mr Matsuura in New York, will now be sent by the Chair of UNDG to UNCTs for implementation.

During his stay in New York, the Director-General opened with the Secretary-General at UN Headquarters a travelling exhibition entitled “Lest we Forget: The Triumph over Slavery” co-organized by UNESCO with the Schomburg Center for Research on Black Culture in New York to commemorate the struggle against slavery and its abolition. On 28 February, Mr Matsuura hosted a luncheon for representatives of US-based foundations, including UN Foundation, the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, TFF Study Group, Reed Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, the Nestle Waters, as well as UN Fund for International Partnerships (UNFIP).

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash Info N° 035-2007
  • 07-03-2007
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