United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

Director-General holds Information Meeting for Permanent Delegates on UN System-wide Coherence

On 25 April 2008, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, welcomed to UNESCO Ambassador Augustine Mahiga, Permanent Representative of Tanzania to the UN, and Ambassador Paul Kavanagh, Permanent Representative of Ireland to the UN, who are co-chairing informal consultations on UN system-wide coherence on behalf of the United Nations General Assembly.

The Director-General had invited the two co-Chairs to come to UNESCO for an exchange of views with representatives of UNESCO’s Member States.

The co-Chairs are leading the ongoing consultations on the follow-up to the report of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on UN System-wide Coherence issued in November 2006. They have been tasked to work towards an agreement on the modalities for achieving greater coherence across UN development activities. This includes a thorough assessment of the progress made so far, in particular, the implementation of the ‘Delivering as One’ pilots, as well as obstacles encountered and opportunities for further implementation.

After a meeting with the Director-General, the Ambassadors addressed UNESCO’s Permanent Delegates at an information meeting.

In his introductory speech at the information meeting, the Director-General reiterated UNESCO’s commitment to making the UN system more effective for the benefit of its Member States. He felt that the report of the High-level Panel and the rich discussions it has provoked “have created a unique opportunity for reform that must not be missed”. “What is at stake is not just the credibility of the United Nations and multilateralism at large. It is also the development efforts of the people and countries we serve. Today, more than ever, the world needs a UN that is strong and coherent and delivering with quality”, stated Mr Matsuura.

The Director-General outlined UNESCO’s engagement in the UN reform process. He spoke of the Organization’s efforts, together with the other Specialized Agencies, to shape the debate so as to ensure that the comparative advantage of the various UN agencies could be brought to bear. He also identified the steps taken in house to position the Organization “more effectively as a trusted partner and advisor to Member States in their national development efforts”, including UNESCO’s increased focus on country-level action.

“Of course, new challenges will emerge as we start implementing the One Programme/Plan and try to harmonize business practices in the pilots”, underscored Mr Matsuura. “Yet, the UN’s commitment to ‘delivering as one’, and the real momentum for reform that now exists, should help us find the right solutions”, he added.

Informing UNESCO’s delegates of the current status of consultations on the development-related recommendations of the High-level Panel report - and more particularly, the ‘Delivering as One’ pilots, funding, governance, and gender - the two Co-Chairs paid tribute to the Director-General for UNESCO’s proactive engagement in and contribution to the reform agenda. The two co-Chairs felt that much progress has been made in promoting UN coherence, noting that UN country-level delivery has become more inclusive, and above all increasingly driven by the countries’ developing priorities.

The statements of the co-Chairs were followed by a lively question and answer session with the Delegates.

Author(s): Office of the Spokeswoman - Source: Flash Info N° 052-2008 -  Publication Date: 29-04-2008

© UNESCO 1995-2010 - ID: 42316