United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO)

206th session of the UNESCO Executive Board European Union statement

Paris, 10/04/2019 - 10:44, UNIQUE ID: 190410_4
Local Statements

206th session of the UNESCO Executive Board European Union statement

Mr President,
Madam Director-General,
 
1. I have the honour to speak on behalf of the European Union and the Candidate Countries Albania, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Turkey.
 
2. We thank the Director-General for the update on the activities of the organization and take this opportunity to focus on a number of issues which remain important for the European Union, in particular in the run-up to the 40th General Conference later this year.
 
3. This session of the Board addresses several of the building blocks for the future of UNESCO, including the process of strategic transformation. We appreciate the update provided by the Director–General in her report on the progress made in the definition of measures for greater operational efficiency of UNESCO under pillar 2, which provide the essential means for the delivery of its programme. We note the proposals for UNESCO's field presence as well as strategic partnerships in this regard. We welcome the report on the lessons learned in the first Structured Financing Dialogue and encourage the consideration of its recommendations for future dialogues.
 
4. We note that substantial work still awaits all of us in the next stage under pillar 3 on the comprehensive programme review leading to the next Medium-Term Strategy (C/4) and the associated Programme and Budget (C/5). We underline the importance of ensuring that this process, which should be guided by UNESCO's Constitution, its areas of expertise and comparative advantage, will be transparent and consultative and include all stakeholders. We look forward to further discussions with the Secretariat as well as the High-Level Reflection Group on this item.
 
5. We have supported the reform efforts of the UN Secretary-General from the start, and we are pleased that his main reform proposals for the three strands of reform have now all been endorsed by the General Assembly and have entered the implementation phase. Similarly to all UN agencies, from big to small, resident to non-resident, and normative, technical and operational agencies, we at UNESCO need to actively engage in this process, to help ensure that all members of the UN Sustainable Development Group do their part. Only that way will all of them benefit from a more integrated UN system. The success of UNESCO's strategic transformation and its support to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda is grounded in its integration with the ongoing repositioning of the UN Development System.
 
6. Nous soulignons qu’il est important de s’appuyer sur les diverses analyses existantes, y compris la récente évaluation du MOPAN, qui valorise le rôle essentiel de l’UNESCO dans la mise en oeuvre de l'Agenda 2030, dans ce processus.
 
7. Dans ce contexte, nous rappelons que le succès de l'Agenda 2030 est intrinsèquement lié au respect, à la protection et à la réalisation des droits de l'Homme. Les droits de l'Homme et l'égalité des genres constituent une part indissociable du mandat de l'UNESCO, comme en témoignent sa Convention et les décisions de ses organes directeurs. Parmi le large éventail d'activités de l'UNESCO à cet égard, nous attachons une grande importance et considérons comme indispensables ses travaux sur la liberté d'expression, notamment le soutien apporté aux efforts internationaux et nationaux en faveur de la sécurité des journalistes. Nous nous félicitons pleinement du rapport d'étape soumis au Conseil sur ce point et invitons la Directrice générale à continuer de renforcer la mise en oeuvre du Plan d'action des Nations Unies pour la sécurité des journalistes et la question de l'impunité.
 
8. Dans le cadre de nos efforts en vue de la mise en place d'une organisation moderne, pertinente et tournée vers l'avenir, nous notons les points relatifs à l'intelligence artificielle, à la science ouverte et à l'éducation qui figurent à notre ordre du jour de cette session, et nous attendons avec intérêt de poursuivre la réflexion sur l'expertise de l'UNESCO et la valeur ajoutée qu'elle apporte aux discussions internationales dans ces domaines.
 
9. With respect to the continuing implementation of the Board decisions we recall that the EU remains concerned about the situation in the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the city of Sevastopol (Ukraine). The EU position on this matter remains unchanged. We continue to support UNESCO's focus on the issue by concrete follow-up to the decisions of the Executive Board.
 
10. We note the importance of finding a consensus on the next 'Draft programme and budget' (C/5) of the organisation.
 
11. We will remain close partners to UNESCO - the EU Member States continue to be collectively the largest contributors to the regular budget of UNESCO, and the EU and the EU MS also represent the organisation's largest voluntary donors.
 
Mr President,
 
12. We look forward to our discussions during this session and to open and constructive dialogue with all colleagues on issues of shared importance.
 
Thank you.

 

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