Irina Bokova, the new Director General of UNESCO addressed the Executive Board last week, her first opportunity to do so since her investiture. She previously served as the representative of Bulgaria to the Executive Board and so has inside knowledge of the functioning of the Board.
I quote from her address:
With our fields of competence in education, culture, natural science, social and human sciences, communication and information, combined with our two priorities – gender equality and Africa – we are in a unique position in the multilateral arena, in order:
- first, to assist in harnessing globalization more in the service of humanity andsustainable development and in attaining internationally recognized developmentobjectives, in particular the Millennium Development Goals;
- second, to make a difference internationally, and at the national level in particular, through effective high-quality activities in our fields of competence, in which we must play an international leadership role;
- third, to refine our unique role in the multilateral system, as an Organization that promotes and facilitates dialogue among decision-makers, scientists, the academic world, intellectuals, members of civil society, journalists, spiritual leaders and many others; this must have a definite impact on the overriding goal of our Constitution, which is to construct the defences of peace in the minds of men and women;
- fourth, to continue to contribute fully to the reform of the United Nations, in particular at the country level, in order to highlight our capability to meet the Member States’ priorities and demands.