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DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF UNESCO

The Director-General participates in UN meetings in New York

From 23 to 25 October 2008, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, participated in the autumn 2008 session of the Chief Executives Board (CEB) and other meetings at the UN held in connection with the CEB session.

The Director-General participated, with other Heads of Agency, in the Advisory Group to the UNDG. This meeting included an in-depth exchange on the impact of the global financial crisis, in particular on development prospects and the attainment of the MDGs. The Principals also discussed the role of UNDG in preparation for the upcoming conferences in Poznan on climate change and Doha on financing for development. They also reviewed progress with respect to the implementation plan for the management and accountability system for the UN development and the Resident Coordinator (RC) system.

The main agenda item of the meeting of the Committee of Co-sponsoring Organizations (CCO) of UNAIDS was the approaching departure of Executive Director Peter Piot at the end of 2008. Mr Matsuura spoke warmly of the commitment, skill and modesty with which Dr Piot has led UNAIDS since its formation thirteen years ago, referring in particular to his close cooperation with Dr Piot on promoting preventive education during UNESCO’s chairmanship of CCO. The Director-General further praised Dr Piot’s efforts to involve each co-sponsoring organization in the development of the UNAIDS partnership, which has become a model for inter-agency collaboration within the UN system. CCO members also discussed the list of candidates to succeed Dr Piot as Executive Director of UNAIDS, and which will be transmitted to the UN Secretary-General for decision. Finally, it was agreed that the next meeting of the CCO would take place in Paris in connection with the spring 2009 meeting of the CEB.

On the morning of 24 October, the CEB formal session endorsed the recommendations of its three subsidiary organs, the High-level Committee on Management (HLCM), the High-level Committee on Programme (HLCP) and the United Nations Development Group (UNDG). HLCP and HLCM had transmitted two major issues – climate change and staff safety and security - for further discussion by the CEB. With regard to the former, the Director-General paid tribute to the strong leadership of the Secretary-General in coordinating an action-oriented approach in support of Member States’ efforts to tackle climate change. Mr Matsuura underscored the importance of attending to the needs of Small Island Developing States and the Least Developed Countries which, while least responsible for global warming, would be hardest hit by climate change. He also emphasized the importance of strengthening the knowledge base, including capacity building in Member States, for which UNESCO has been assigned the lead together with WMO.

At the closure of the formal session, the CEB confirmed that the spring 2009 session of the CEB will be held in Paris on 6 and 7 April 2009, at the invitation of the Director-General.

The first part of the CEB retreat was devoted to the current crisis in the global financial markets in view of developing a common understanding of the scope of the crises and its implications for the international system in achieving the various commitments related to the Millennium Development Goals, poverty alleviation and climate change.

During discussions concerning the issue of energy, the Director-General called for a more integrated approach by the UN system and suggested establishing an inventory that would list the fields of action of the various agencies in this domain.

At the private meeting of CEB, the Secretary-General briefed the Heads of Agencies on current developments in the political and socio-economic fields.

Mr Matsuura also participated at the traditional working dinner of the Directors-General of Specialized Agencies (ILO, FAO, WHO, UNIDO and UNESCO), hosted by the Director-General of UNIDO. The Directors-General discussed, among others, the experiences gained with the ‘Delivering as One’ approach as well as the evolution of the UNDP/Spain MDG-Fund.

On 24 October, the Director-General, together with the other Heads of Agencies, attended the concert given by the Silk Road Ensemble of Yo-Yo Ma, UN Messenger of Peace, organized as part of the UN Day celebrations at the UN General Assembly Hall.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokesperson
  • Source:Flash Info N° 145-2008
  • 28-10-2008
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