Director-General greets Directors and Heads of Governing Body Secretariats during a meeting hosted by UNESCO

Director-General greets Directors and Heads of Governing Body Secretariats during a meeting hosted by UNESCO
  • © UNESCO/M. Ravassard

On Monday 8 September, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, received the Directors and Heads of the Governing Body Secretariats of six Specialized Agencies of the UN system (FAO, ILO, ITU, UNESCO, UNIDO, WHO) who met in Paris for the first time on UNESCO’s initiative.

This meeting was designed to identify best practices and workable solutions in the search for the highest possible quality of service by these secretariats to the Member States.

The Director-General was pleased to note that during the one-day meeting, a long exchange of views was held on institutional issues – touching for example on election procedures and regional groupings, the composition and size of the governing bodies and matters relating to working methods. Managerial questions were also addressed, such as document quality and timeliness, records, dispatch deadlines, secretariat structures, budget and interpreting services, or again such modernization issues as electronic documentation and paperless meetings.

Mr Matsuura expressed the hope that this meeting would be the first in many. Indeed, the participants, concluding that there were many common issues but sometimes quite surprisingly varied approaches to their solution, agreed that the meetings should become a regular fixture. It was also concluded that the discussions would continue working on the usefully informal basis on which they had begun, and partly by teleconference, and that, as an immediate follow-up, a comparative matrix would be built up of rules and practices around the agencies in order to provide updated information to the Governing Bodies to assist them in their decision-making.

Participants also paid a courtesy call on Professor Olabiyi Babalola Joseph Yaï, Chairman of UNESCO’s Executive Board. He welcomed the initiative of organizing such a meeting and looked forward to learning of its outcomes, which would surely be of use to Member States in the broader UN family, particularly at this time of the quest for greater coherence. Discussions were also held with the Deputy Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Marcio Barbosa.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokesperson
  • Source:Flash Info N° 113-2008
  • 09-09-2008
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