United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Norway signs a Programme Cooperation Agreement with UNESCO

On 21 January 2008, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, met Mr Jostein Leiro, Deputy Director-General of the Department for Global Affairs and Head of the UN Section at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Norway, who had traveled to Paris to sign a Programme Cooperation Agreement with UNESCO for 2008-2009.

During his meeting with Ambassador Neple, Permanent Delegate of Norway to UNESCO, and Mr Leiro, the Director-General expressed his appreciation about Norway’s renewed confidence in UNESCO and the country’s generous extra-budgetary contribution to the Organization. Paying tribute to Norway as the fifth largest contributor in terms of extra-budgetary activities, Mr Matsuura highlighted the importance of Norway’s having based its funding decision on the evaluation of previous Nordic cooperation under the capacity-building programme for EFA.

The Ambassador transmitted his authorities’ satisfaction at UNESCO’s pro-active engagement in the UN reform process and at the importance the Director-General attached to UNESCO’s cooperation with the other UN agencies at country level.

The Director-General underscored the importance of striking the right balance between UNESCO’s capacity-building function at country level and UNESCO’s role at the global level.

The Director-General and Mr Leiro also spoke of plans for the 8th meeting of the EFA High-Level Group, which will take place in Oslo, Norway, from 16 to 18 December 2008. They underscored the importance of achieving top-level participation, in particular from donor countries. “This is vital if the High-Level Group is to realize its function as the main lever of resource mobilization for EFA”, Mr Matsuura argued, stating that UNESCO would be working closely with the Norwegian authorities to ensure that the meeting’s agenda was attractive to top decision-makers. This is something that the EFA International Advisory Panel (IAP) will be discussing when it meets next week in Oslo.

The Programme Cooperation Agreement defines Norway’s extra-budgetary cooperation with UNESCO for 2008-2009 and amounts to 12 million US$. The Capacity-Building for Education for All Programme and the Education for All Global Monitoring Report are the main beneficiaries of this support. An annual NOK 20.5 million (USD 3,740,875) will support the multi-donor Capacity-Building for Education for All Programme, which focuses on literacy and teacher education - two of UNESCO’s core initiatives - at country level. Norway will also contribute NOK 3 million (USD 547,445) annually to the Education for All Global Monitoring Report. The rest of Norway’s support goes to the field of culture (NOK 9 million annually i.e. around 1.6 million US$) and the International Programme for the Development of Communication (IPDC) (NOK 1 million i.e. around 180,000 US$).

Author(s): Office of the Spokeswoman - Source: Flash Info N° 005-2008 -  Publication Date: 21-01-2008

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