Sunday, November 8, 2015

UNESCO Education Commission adopts Budget & Programmes 2015 to 2017

The UNESCO General Conference unanimously adopted the Report of the Education Commission with high praise for quality and efficiency from member states and the Conference Chair on November 13, 2015.
This follows the adoption of the report by the UNESCO Education Commission of the report of UNESCO’s number one programme area - Education – and its aligned budgets at Commission sessions at the 38th General Conference .
 The more than US$117 million dollar budget and aligned programmes for education were subjected to intensive scrutiny by member states but was piloted to successful consensus.
Chairing it was challenging and taxing at times, but member states were intent on value for money and in redirecting focus on programmes and activities that would meet the global agenda to 2030 in the new United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the interrelation with SDG 4 of Quality Education to Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all’. 
The Commission met to consider the programme and budgets for 2016-2017 of UNESCO Major Programme I – Education - and to prepare the draft programme and budget for 2018-2021.
Education holds the largest share of UNESCO’s US$667 million budget and is labelled its number one programme area, which may explain the avid participation.
The major task was to assist members states and the secretariat in ensuring that initiatives reflect expectations of the Education framework for action to 2030 and would help bridge the gaps in reaching the education for all goals and stimulating synergies between the formal and conventional school and classroom-based education focus with equally influential non formal arenas of knowledge acquisition and transmission through home, community, media, culture and other spheres so as to make the global education thrust more inclusive, more holistic and therefore more sustainable.
Member States expressed concerns that the global financial crisis and other economic challenges that have affected UNESCO’s financial position but were reassured by the Assistant Director General for Education, Mr Qian Tang that UNESCO’s education agenda continues to attract partners and sponsors as ‘everyone wants to be involved in education’. That Mr Tang and his Secretariat were able to promptly respond to all queries posed to the Commission helped in the success of our deliberations.
Balancing the diversity of interests and priorities were perhaps the most challenging, but at the end of the day we were able to work our way from at times extreme and conflicting positions to a centre of consensus that found a balance between global and national priorities.
With key pitches on inclusivity, equity, transformation to reach all through intersectoral and multidimensional approaches, we believe we have defined a path that will see the global education agenda directing meaningful actions that will give effect to other SDGs and be beneficial to communities everywhere. It was energising to have such keen and enthusiastic participation from both member states and the support of the UNESCO Secretariat under Mr Tang and Mr Borhene Chakroun and our team Lee Sohae, Paz Portales, Mariana Kitsiona, Katrien Daelman, Jennifer Dajczman and Maimouna Niang.
The Commission sat from November 4 to 7 when member states proposed revisions and recommendations to align the programmes and budgets to their national priorities and to reflect global development goals. Also examined by the Commission which received consensual approbation were the following: implementation of the resolution concerning UNESCO educational and cultural institutions in the occupied Arab territories; management and establishment of UNESCO institutes and centres, recommendations from the Youth Forum of the 38th General Conference presented by Ms Biru Anjanie from Indonesia, Ms Esther Van Duin from the Netherlands, and Mr Faisal Khalid Bin Ghannam from Saudi Arabia.
For more see this blog; and
Photos Above:
UNESCO Secretary General Mrs Irina Bokova greets Dr Kris Ramperad, Chair of the UNESCO Education Commission at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris France. (Photo UNESCO: Cyril Balleul). 
1.      Chair of the UNESCO Education Commission, Dr Kris Rampersad and Secretary to the Commission Mr Borhene Chakroun talk to a delegate at the meeting of the commission at the 38th UNESCO General Conference. (Photo: Kris Rampersad Archives, 2015)
2.       Chair of the UNESCO Education Commission Dr Kris Rampersad and the secretariat at work behind the scenes during the 38th UNESCO General Conference at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris France. Mr Borhene Chakroun and our team Lee Sohae, Paz Portales, Mariana Kitsiona, Katrien Daelman, Jennifer Dajczman and Maimouna Niang.  (Photo: Kris Rampersad Archives)

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