| The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, opened on 19 October, in the presence of numerous permanent delegates and of the South African Minister of Social Development, Dr. Zola S. Skwejija, an extraordinary session of the Intergovernmental Council of the Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme at UNESCO Headquarters.This session, which followed the election on 18 October of 17 new Member States to the MOST Intergovernmental Council, was convened with to view to strengthening the IGC Bureau, as recommended in the MOST-Phase I evaluation, and to elect a new President.
The Director-General expressed his congratulations to the newly elected members to the IGC and conveyed his gratitude for the support to MOST that many Member States expressed during the 33rd session of the General Conference. The Director-General also thanked the outgoing MOST President, Professor Arie de Ruijter from the Netherlands, for his outstanding guidance during the first years of MOST Phase 2, which started in January 2004, as well as the outgoing Vice-Presidents of the IGC Bureau.
“By working specifically towards strengthening the ties between research in the social sciences and decision-making, MOST is now seeking to promote a culture of evidence-based policy formulation at national, regional and international levels”, said the Director-General.
Describing the MOST programme as an “international platform”, he underlined the growing necessity to provide decision-makers at all levels with relevant data and quality research results. “The fact that it combines international, comparative, interdisciplinary and policy-related dimensions gives it a distinctive character”, he added.
In this context, M. Matsuura underscored that one of UNESCO’s fundamental mission in the area of the social sciences was to inform the policies of governments and other bodies and to enhance the centrality of certain values, particularly the universal values of justice, freedom and human dignity.
“In association with UNESCO’s role as an ‘honest broker’, as a capacity-builder, as a convener, and as a clearinghouse of ideas and good practices, the MOST Programme has real potential to add a distinctive dimension to the social science research/policy-making nexus”, Mr Matsuura concluded.
Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme