8th session of the Intergovernmental Council of UNESCO’s Management of Social Transformations programme (MOST)

8th session of the Intergovernmental Council of UNESCO’s Management of Social Transformations programme (MOST)
  • © UNESCO/M. Ravassard

Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, inaugurated on Monday 16 July, at UNESCO Headquarters the 8th session of the Intergovernmental Council of UNESCO’s Management of Social Transformations programme (MOST).

This session was opened in the presence of the President of the MOST Intergovernmental Council, Minister for Social Development Zola Skweyiya from South Africa, of Mr Johan Schölvinck, Director, Division for Social Policy and Development, United Nations Department for Economic and Social Affairs (UN-DESA), and of Mr Gudmund Hernes, President of the International Social Science Council (ISSC). During this three-day event, 20 Ministers from all regions of the world, mostly responsible for social development, will discuss ways of linking social science research and policy development, and of institutionalizing regional and sub-regional fora of ministers for social development.

"This week’s Intergovernmental Council of the MOST Programme is a unique opportunity for inter-regional exchange and peer learning in the field of social sciences. UNESCO has six decades of action and experience in international social sciences, a field with a direct impact on all societies. No other field of knowledge can so decisively contribute to building a bridge between reflection and thought about human affairs, on the one hand, and policy and action to improve the lives of human beings, on the other. The MOST programme can well assume a catalytic role in this regard. It is, in my opinion, well placed to weave together the different threads. But it also needs clear commitments from the Member States to enable it to carry out its mission," emphasized Mr Matsuura in his introductory remarks.

The Director-General, in particular, called upon participants to facilitate the coordination of common strategies for social policy and consolidate the sharing of information and best practices: “MOST's work in bringing together Social Ministers for regular peer-exchange and horizontal coordination is of critical importance. In order to be effective for social welfare, scientific results must be communicated to the highest levels of political power”, he underlined.

Referring to the ongoing planning process of UNESCO’s Medium-Term Strategy for 2008-2013 (34C/4) and its Programme and Budget for 2008-2009 (34 C/5), and to the Recommendations of the Overall Review Committee of UNESCO’s major programmes in the Natural and Social and Human Sciences, Mr Matsuura also expressed his wish to see the MOST programme fully contributing to some of the priorities and challenges identified. “This entails, in particular, reinforcing its links with other UNESCO programmes in crucial areas such as the strengthening of national and regional research systems, the sustainable development in small islands development states and education for sustainable development”, he underscored.

"UNESCO needs today to better integrate its work in the sciences, and to strengthen interdisciplinary and intersectoral activities. To achieve sustainable development, social, economic and environmental goals must be considered on the same level, with social equity and social justice as an overriding goal (…). What is at stake is a long-term objective. That objective is the strengthening of democracy through instilling a new culture of evidence-based policymaking,” concluded the Director-General.

  • Auteur(s):La Porte-parole
  • Source:Flash Info N° 098-2007
  • 17-07-2007
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