The Director-General exchanges views with members of the High-level Panel on UN System-wide Coherence

On 3 June 2006, Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, together with a number of Heads of Geneva-based agencies, participated in a consultation with members of the Secretary-General’s High-level Panel on UN System-wide Coherence in Geneva.

Established by the Secretary-General as a follow-up to the Outcome Document adopted by global leaders at the 2005 World Summit in New York, the High-level Panel is to develop concrete and comprehensive analysis and recommendations as concerns the further strengthening of the management and coordination of United Nations operational activities in the areas of development, humanitarian assistance and the environment.

The aim of the 3 June meeting was to continue the exchanges that the Panel members had had with Heads of the UN Funds, Programmes and Specialized Agencies at the retreat of the spring session of the UN Chief Executives’ Board (CEB) in Segovia, Spain, in April 2006.

The Director-General presented the main lines of UNESCO’s perspective on the discussions regarding the follow-up to the World Summit Outcome Document, in particular as concerns the issue of coherence. Reiterating UNESCO’s support for the UN reform, Mr Matsuura alerted the Panel members to the dangers of separating operational activities from normative, analytical and policy matters. Drawing on the examples of UNESCO’s action in the field of the protection of cultural heritage and the promotion of the six Dakar goals of Education for All, the Director-General argued that “to be effective, the feedback loop between theory and practice needs to be direct. Therefore, any tendency towards divorcing the Organization’s normative functions from implementation should be considered as a false dichotomy.”

With regard to action at the country level, Mr Matsuura underlined the need for better coordination and harmonization. “The UN system and its partners must align themselves with country-driven strategies and priorities”, he said. “UNESCO fully subscribes to the Secretary-General’s vision of the need to create one United Nations at the country level.”

Mr Matsuura also stressed that the strength of the UN system compared to the Bretton Wood institutions lies in its sectoral expertise, which often rests with the Specialized Agencies - be it in the areas of education, culture, health or agriculture -and would need to be preserved and fully utilized. He therefore advocated the importance of a sectoral approach to UN action at the country level.

  • Auteur(s):Flash Info n°085-2006
  • Source:Flash Info n°085-2006
  • 03-06-2006
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