As I write this letter, the 211th session of UNESCO’s Executive Board is being held and the Board is considering two documents of strategic importance for the Organization, the Draft Medium-Term Strategy for 2022-2029 (41 C/4) and the Draft Programme and Budget for 2022-2025 (41 C/5).
The conclusions of the collective consultation of NGO partners on these strategic documents, which I transmitted to the UNESCO Director-General, have been included for information of the Board.
The draft documents already reaffirm the importance of our global community, and the 41 C/4 clearly states: “NGOs, with their specific knowledge and capacity to act swiftly at global, regional and local levels and to offer platforms for strong civil engagement, will be critically important partners for UNESCO”.
I am pleased to inform you that I had the honour of meeting the UNESCO Director-General, accompanied by our Vice-Chairperson, Ms Victoria Lovelock (CCIVS), and we were encouraged of the support offered to the Liaison Committee. We came out of that meeting with the assurance that the vision of a more inclusive and efficient collective cooperation with a stronger connection with UNESCO’s Programme sectors is shared and will be supported by the Director-General and the Secretariat.
Furthermore, I am proud to report that the Liaison Committee is now fully operational, and thanks to the support of our members, and especially of our Executive Secretary, Ms Teresa Kennedy (ICASE), and of our Treasurer, Mr Philippe Beaussant, the Committee has already started defining its work programme and implementing the recommendations adopted by the 2020 International Conference of NGOs.
In this regard, I am happy to invite you to an online meeting on Tuesday 4 May 2021 at 02:30 p.m. (CET), where we will have the opportunity to present to all interested NGOs in official partnership the Committee’s programme and plans for the months ahead. Please save the date on your agendas. More technical information regarding the meeting will soon follow.
Among the works in progress, it is worth mentioning that the Vice-Chairperson is currently designing, in close cooperation with the Unit for Civil Society Partnerships, regional meetings in a view of getting closer to those NGOs based in underrepresented regions, alongside Mr Christian Gregoire Epouma (FAPE), Ms Nelsy Lizarazo (CLADE) and Ms Petya Zelensky (Sozopol Foundation), members of the Committee.
We are also undertaking a major reassessment and redesign of the communications channels of the Committee thanks to Mr Nick Newland (ACWW) who is in charge of Communication.
Thanks to Ms Marie-Claude Machon-Honoré (BPW), we are continuing to actively contribute to the Coordination Group on the UNESCO Collective Consultation of NGOs on Education 2030 which has recently published a report on “The role of Civil Society Organisations in 2050 and beyond”.
We have also re-activated the Steering Committee of the Forum on Global Citizenship, which includes the UNESCO Education Sector. In addition, Ms Thais Queiroz (WOSM) who is in charge of youth, is currently elaborating new ways to actively engage youth in collective cooperation starting with UNESCO’s 75th anniversary while Mr Christian Breuil (CMA) is following up with NGOs involved with the celebration of UNESCO International Days.
Besides their specific tasks, each member of the Committee is actively contributing to the overall work of the Committee and in the near future we will find the best way to include all of you in the process of design and implementation. The Liaison Committee remains flexible for any opportunity that might arise or proposal you might have.
Thanking you for the trust put in our team, I am looking forward to your participation in our online meeting.
21 April 2021
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