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DIRECTRICE GENERALE DE L'UNESCO

Director-General opens the Information Seminar for New Secretaries-General of National Commissions for UNESCO

Director-General opens the Information Seminar for New Secretaries-General of National Commissions for UNESCO
  • © UNESCO/M. Ravassard

On Monday 26 February, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, opened the interregional Information Seminar for New Secretaries-General of National Commissions for UNESCO at the Organization’s Headquarters.

This five day seminar brings together newly appointed Secretaries-General for a comprehensive briefing on the Organization and their role. This year’s meeting gathers 43 new Secretaries-General, one third of whom are women and another third from countries that host a UNESCO Office.

In his opening address, the Director-General underlined the importance of training seminars such as this for providing the Secretaries-General with information on UNESCO’s strategy and programme priorities, so they can better align the work of their National Commissions with the Organization’s goals.

Mr Matsuura also highlighted the importance of these meetings in helping National Commissions exchange views and experiences on the roles and functions of National Commissions. He went on to emphasise his concern for having “strong, capable and active National Commissions,” which he described to be “in the best interest of both Member States and UNESCO”. “National Commissions are more important today than ever. They are important with regard to programme conceptualization and implementation, especially as UNESCO seeks to strengthen its action in the field. They are crucial to forging partnerships with civil society, local authorities, the academic community, the private sector and other core stakeholders. They are also vitally important to enhancing the visibility of the Organization, and protecting its image and reputation,” he added.

The Director-General outlined the two main challenges that the Organization is currently facing: “[t]he first is the preparation of our medium-term strategy (the 34 C/4), as well as the programme and budget that define the first two years of implementation of this strategy (the 34 C/5). The second is that of UN reform.” With regard to the latter challenge, Mr Matsuura said “National Commissions will now need to integrate themselves much more proactively in national structures, working to determine the government’s priorities.” He assured the new Secretaries-General that “for its part, the Secretariat will do all it can to promote and integrate your valuable knowledge and expertise into common country processes.”

After his address, the Director-General was able to engage in a short discussion session with the new Secretaries-General. The main topic of discussion was the effect of UN Reform and the One UN on the relations between UNESCO and the National Commissions.

  • Auteur(s):La Porte-parole
  • Source:Flash Info N°032-2007
  • 28-02-2007
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