UNESCO: a will and a way
631 million dollars – this is the minimum amount UNESCO needs to operate for the next two years. The budget will be set at the 34th session of UNESCO’s General Conference, which brings together - in Paris, from 16 October to 3 November - the representatives of the Organization’s 193 Member States who will also determine the 2008-2009 programme. A preview of the Organization’s future priorities is presented in this issue of the UNESCO Courier.
In an interview, the Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, shares his thoughts about the Organization’s role in the reform of the United Nations, and underlines Africa and gender equality as priorities that concern all sectors of UNESCO.
The culture sector, illustrated by the article “Cultures travel with humanity”, emphasizes particularly the importance of cultural diversity and dialogue between cultures; the natural sciences sector, focus of the article “Water, an obvious priority”, stresses education and furthering knowledge about this crucial resource.
The new Assistant Director-General for Education, Nicholas Burnett, puts forward in an interview his vision of the Organization’s mission to promote education. In spite of extremely strict budgetary restrictions, he does not believe that financial resources represent a real problem.
The article “Towards inclusive knowledge societies”, describing the communication and information sector, highlights freedom of expression and the ways in which the new technologies contribute to safeguarding knowledge and sharing information. “Making room for dialogue”, about the social and human sciences sector, defines capacity building as the sector’s number-one goal.
The features in this latest UNESCO Courier include a chronological presentation of past sessions of the General Conference since 1946; excerpts from the international symposium “60 Years of UNESCO” (2005); clips of early Courier articles about the General Conference; and a closer look at the Organization’s budget.
Jasmina Šopova, Editor-in-Chief
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