The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, presented a roadmap to respond to current financial difficulties to the 189th session of Executive Board, meeting in Paris from 27 February to 10 March.
“The international community faces strategic cross-roads that require UNESCO’s full contribution,” said the Director-General referring to the 40thanniversary of the World Heritage Convention, the 6th World Water Forum, the 3rd International Congress on Technical and Vocational Training, Rio +20, the Expo 2012 on “The Living Ocean and Coast”, the 20th anniversary of the Memory of the World, our work on youth, including in Africa, and much more.
“All of this demands a stronger UNESCO,” declared the Director-General. “The difficulties we face call for action immediately and over the long term (…) I am pleased to have this opportunity now to report formally on my assessment of the situation, on the actions I have taken and on the steps I propose to move forward,” she continued, explaining actions that were taken to close year 2011 on balanced terms and measures put in place to help bridge the funding gap.
The Director-General highlighted the three major principles on which the roadmap is based. “First, an initial refocusing of the programmes; then, mobilizing additional resources; and last, the reduction of administrative expenses,” said Irina Bokova.
“It is vital that UNESCO manages its current difficulties while remaining focused on its objectives, its ability to maintain its status and to guide the world debate,” said the Director-General. “I think it is important to start thinking of the UNESCO that we want. There is no time to waste”.