In paying tribute to the Government of Spain for establishing the Fund, a € 528 million contribution to sustain UN Reform, and in particular joint UN action at the country level, Mr Matsuura explained that he was “personally convinced that the Reform of the UN System [would] enhance the impact of UN action in the world. …. UN entities have to join forces in order to build on their respective strengths, added value and comparative advantage. In this regard, the MDG-F is a unique example and very encouraging experience of joint work to help countries reach the Millennium Development Goals, for which I wish, once again, to praise Spain. The Fund has palpably improved UN effectiveness and given strong impetus to [our] efforts to deliver as one, encouraging country teams to work with national government in achieving country priorities through joint design and programme implementation”.
The Director-General praised the decision to dedicate one of the eight thematic windows under the Fund** to culture and development as a testimony to its role as “a fundamental requirement for development”, affirming that “UNESCO, the only agency with a cultural mandate, will be able to ensure its role of advocacy in this regard in the framework of the Reform”.
Mr Matsuura also expressed his appreciation for the excellent cooperation between UNESCO and UNDP under the Fund, which he hoped would continue in future years.
* Representing UNDP; UNEP; ILO; ODS; UNICEF; UNIDO; and UNESCO; the Government of Spain and the MDG-Fund Secretariat. UNIFEM was also represented at the meeting.
** UNESCO, represented by the Assistant Director-General for Culture, is the Convenor of the “Culture and Development” Thematic Window of the UNDP/Spain MDG Fund, and technical lead agency for 14 of the 18 programmes retained under it as of January 2009. The combined total value of all 18 programmes is US$96 million.
UNESCO is also participating in the thematic windows on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment; Climate Change and Environment; Economic Governance and Youth; Employment and Migration; and Conflict Prevention and Peace Building.
Author(s): Office of the Spokesperson - Source: Flash Info N° 054-2009 - Publication Date: 03-04-2009