United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

The Director-General attends the spring 2008 session of the Chief Executives Board for Coordination in Bern

From 27 to 29 April 2008, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, participated in a series of UN meetings in Bern, Switzerland, on the occasion of the spring 2008 session of the Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB).

In the evening of 27 April, the Director-General hosted an informal dinner of the Executive Heads of the five major Specialized Agencies to discuss issues of common concern, in particular with regard to the Delivering as One pilots, the reform of the United Nations Development Group (UNDG) and the establishment of its Advisory Group, as well as some items on the agenda of the CEB. The Director-General also briefed his counterparts on the visit of Ambassadors Mahiga (Tanzania) and Kavanagh (Ireland), the current co-Chairs of the UN General Assembly informal consultations on UN system-wide Coherence, to UNESCO on 25 April. (see Flash Info N°052-2008)

The spring 2008 session of the Chief Executives Board for Coordination (CEB), which brings together the heads of the various UN entities under the chairmanship of Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, was hosted by the United Nations Postal Union (UPU).

The formal session focused on the examination and endorsement of the reports of the three High-level Committees of the CEB – United Nations Development Group (UNDG), High-level Committee on Management (HLCM) and the High-level Committee on Programme (HLCP).

Among the programmatic issues brought to the attention of the CEB was climate change. The decision taken by the CEB in this regard outlines the UN system response to the challenge of climate change in the context of sustainable development in light of the evolution of the inter-governmental discussion and identifies key emerging areas for UN leadership (i.e. adaptation, technology transfer, capacity building, reduction of emissions from deforestation and forest degradation and mitigation/finance). In his intervention during the discussion on this agenda item, the Director-General strongly endorsed the recommendation for a coherent UN response under the leadership of the Secretary-General. Mr Matsuura underscored, however, that in a longer-term perspective it would also be important to establish a mechanism to coordinate other areas of concern to Member States, which are covered by the various UN agencies beyond those identified by the HLCP. The Director-General said that UNESCO is prepared to take the lead together with WMO in the area of “science, assessment, monitoring and early warning”.

On 28 April, at the CEB private meeting, the Secretary-General gave an overview of current political trends, in particular in Africa, the Middle East and South-East Europe. The Chief Executives also discussed the current global food crises triggered by soaring prices. Highlighting the threat the crises posed to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, the Secretary-General called for a collective response and established a Task Force for this purpose under his chairmanship.

The Secretary-General announced that the spring 2009 session of the Chief Executives Board for Coordination would be hosted by UNESCO in Paris at the invitation of the Director-General.

The major focus of the CEB retreat on 29 April was on staff security. The Committee of Cosponsoring Organizations of UNAIDS met briefly to discuss the process of recruitment of the new UNAIDS Executive Director.

Author(s): Office of the Spokeswoman - Source: Flash Info N° 054-2008 -  Publication Date: 05-05-2008

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