Resident Coordinators in Latin America and the Caribbean attend first-ever UNESCO virtual consultation on inter-agency cooperation and the 2030 Agenda
11 April 2022
In late March, UN Resident Coordinators in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) attended an information briefing on UNESCO’s five sectoral programmes and how they contribute to the delivery of the 2030 Agenda at country and regional levels.
The interactive, online meeting—the first of its kind—drew nearly 100 participants, mainly from the LAC region.
In the reinvigorated UN Development System, the role of the UN Resident Coordinators is crucial for the work of the UN Country Teams in every country where UNESCO operates. This is particularly true in the places where UNESCO is not resident. To ensure that the Organization’s priorities be fully captured in the UN Sustainable Development Cooperation Frameworks—planning tools at the county level—UNESCO cited the need for an increased push.
The informative exchange, which lasted 2 hours, was therefore initiated as part of UNESCO’s efforts to scale up inter-agency cooperation with the UN system.
“UNESCO is fully committed to the UN reform process. We are one of the organizations that bear a considerable brunt in terms of our contribution to the financial sustainability of the RC system,” stated in the opening remarks Mr Firmin Edouard Matoko, Assistant Director-General for Priority Africa and External Relations (ADG/PAX). “This, together with our participation in the Regional Collaborative Platform and the Issue-Based Coalitions, as well as our active collaboration in the UNSDG Gateway, speaks of our commitment to the UN reform.”
The digital consultation also gave UNESCO a chance to brief about its five sectoral programmes: education, culture, natural sciences, social and human sciences, and communication and information.
The meeting was convened by the Regional Director of the UN Development Coordination Office for the LAC region, Mr Roberto Valent, and moderated by the Director of the UNESCO Regional Office in Santiago, Ms Claudia Uribe.
Among other topics, Ms Giannini focused on the 2022 Transforming Education Summit (TES) and the role that UN Resident Coordinators are expected to play. This Summit, set for September 2022, is a major proposal of UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stemming from the “Our Common Agenda” report, as part of the focus on better representing young people and future generations.
Ms Nair-Bedouelle spoke of the important priorities of Natural Sciences in the LAC region, including the Intergovernmental Hydrological Programme, the Man and the Biosphere Programme, the role of Disaster Risk Reduction, Science Policy and Basic Sciences, and the prominent role of the Small Island Development States (SIDS), and UNESCO's work on Open Science.
Ms Ramos mentioned that in the context of societies with deep inequality, as is the case in the LAC region, UNESCO works with its Members States on a series of policy responses, including through the Management of Social Transformation Programme (MOST) and its diverse set of mechanisms such as the Inclusive Policy Lab and the Futures Literacy Labs. The important work around the ethics of Artificial Intelligence was also stressed.
Mr Jelassi spoke of freedom of expression and the safety of journalists. He stressed how UNESCO’s Judges Initiative has trained over 23,000 judicial actors on these matters. He informed that UNESCO and the Government of Uruguay will host the World Press Freedom Day Global Conference from May 2 to 5, 2022, and referred to UNESCO’s guidelines for UN Country Teams to promote freedom of expression through the Universal Periodic Review. He also emphasized UNESCO’s leading role in the International Decade of Indigenous Languages (2022-2032).
Mr Ottone talked about the importance of culture in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. For him, the LAC region is a pioneer in promoting culture as an engine for socio-economic development and protecting its rich, diverse cultural heritage. The region is home to 147 World Heritage sites and nearly 85 intangible cultural heritage elements inscribed on the UNESCO Lists. It also hosts 50 UNESCO Creative Cities and a rich number of Indigenous Peoples and Afro-descendant communities. Mr Ottone also mentioned the UNESCO World Conference on Cultural Policies and Sustainable Development - Mondiacult 2022 - to be held in Mexico from 28-30 September 2022.
Adapted with the support of Ernesto Calderón, PAX/UN, UNESCO. Editorial support by the Development Coordination Office. For further information on UN Resident Coordinators' engagement with UNESCO, please contact:
Mr Bobir Tukhtabayev Chief a.i./ Section for Relations with the UN and Intergovernmental Organizations (PAX/UN)
Tel.: + 33 (0)1 45 6 8 19 19