The meeting was presided by the Board’s Chair, Mr Raymond E Wanner, senior advisor at the United Nations Foundation.
The Director-General paid tribute to the Board for its role in the success of the Institute, stating that Board Members played a critical function in ensuring that IIEP’s work was well integrated with that of UNESCO’s Education Sector and supported the Organization’s strategic priorities. “The Institute continues to illustrate the wisdom of operating category I Institutes as semi-autonomous entities that dovetail their programmes with UNESCO’s Medium-Term Strategy and Biennial Programme and Budget”, he said.
Underscoring his ongoing effort to reinforce UNESCO’s country-level action, Mr Matsuura congratulated IIEP on its contribution to improving education systems in a number of Member States. He paid special tribute to the Institute’s role in restoring education services in Afghanistan and welcomed the plan to extend similar support to Angola. In encouraging IIEP to continue to strengthen its work at country-level, the Director-General also highlighted the importance of enhancing collaboration with other UN agencies engaged in education, especially within the context of UN system-wide efforts to “deliver as one”.
The Director-General further recognized the valuable strategic input IIEP was providing to the global education conferences planned for 2008-2009, in particular the forthcoming High-Level Group meeting on Education for All (EFA) in Oslo (16-18 December). The changing aid architecture, in particular the drive to strengthen country ownership of development processes, calls for greater investment in education programme management, planning and implementation. IIEP has been working closely with the rest of the Education Sector to develop a UNESCO Strategy Paper on Capacity Development for Achieving EFA. The paper was discussed at the EFA Working Group in November and will feed into the deliberations in Oslo.
In the question and answer session that followed Mr Matsuura’s introductory remarks, the Director-General and Board members discussed the Institute’s budget, in particular the increasing importance of extrabugetary support. Mr Matsuura said that the latter was a sign of the high international regard for the Institute’s work and the progress made in recent years to strengthen management, efficiency and focus. Here, again, he paid tribute to the Board’s oversight and guidance, as well as the leadership of Director Mark Bray, saying that he hoped IIEP would continue its excellent work, providing support to UNESCO as lead agency for EFA, and also helping Member States adapt to new emerging challenges and concerns.
Author(s): Office of the Spokesperson - Source: Flash Info N° 178-2008 - Publication Date: 15-12-2008