207th Session of the Executive Board
EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE ON NON-GOVERNMENTAL PARTNERS
October 11, 2019
Speech by Marie-Claude Machon-Honoré, Chair of the International Conference of NGOs & NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee
Mr Chair of the NGP Committee, Mr Representative of the Director General, Dear Mr Le Saux, Excellencies, Dear NGOs, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The role of the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee is to represent the interests of all NGOs, implement the recommendations as adopted by the International Conference of NGOs (ICNGO) and thus define a strategy for the collective cooperation of the 2 years’ mandate.
The ICNGO, which I have had the honour of chairing since December 2018’s elections, gathers UNESCO’s official NGO partners every two years; according to the 2011 guidelines, it is an element of collective cooperation, meeting and dialogue between NGO partners and the Member states.
The last Conference’s theme was “Valuing the commitment and contribution of UNESCO’s NGO Partners” and focused on “The collective strength of NGOs” and on “Communicating, informing and engaging in dialogue.”
The Conference called for a strengthened partnership with NGOs and reaffirmed its commitment to the success of Agenda 2030.
The Conference called on the Liaison Committee to contribute to the creation of new opportunities for interaction and dialogue for more effective cooperation with Member States and UNESCO.
That is why, as part of its 2019-2020 strategy, the Liaison Committee has launched a collective reflection to strengthen our partnership.
Several proposals on new ways of dialogue within appropriate spaces, governing bodies and existing mechanisms for interaction between NGOs and Member states, have been put together in a document which aims to contribute to the reflection carried out by Member States on improving the modalities of dialogue with NGOs (Document 207EX/33).
Regarding NGO’s engagement and collective contribution to UNESCO programmes, another group of NGOs is working on a ‘Climate Campaign’. In addition, the Liaison Committee, with the assistance of NGOs, is continuing its cooperation with the CCONG/Education 2030 as an active member of the coordination group.
The 2018 Conference also reaffirmed the importance of forums organised in consultation with UNESCO, as provided by the Guidelines, in the various regions. The Conference called on the Liaison Committee to continue its efforts to better take into account the cultural and geographical diversity of NGOs.
The forums are the showcase of our collaboration with UNESCO. They offer an opportunity to strengthen our partnership by involving more Member States, UNESCO field offices and National Commissions.
The Committee will hold the 11th International NGO Forum, the first of its mandate, on 16 and 17 December at UNESCO Headquarters on the theme “Challenging Inequalities”.
Other themes selected for the forums in preparation are Global Citizenship; Science, Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship in support of the UN Agenda 2030, and Cultural Heritage.
We are looking forward to your important participation in these forums, in order to raise awareness and mobilize civil society organizations around UNESCO’s values and priorities both internationally and locally.
The ICNGO’s recommendations also include the NGO’s celebration of two international days in 2020: Peace, with a choir festival and youth participation, and the Girl Child , in line with our cross-cutting priorities on youth and gender equality.
I will conclude by emphasizing the importance of strengthening the NGO-UNESCO partnership for the successful implementation of UNESCO’s programmes and the Agenda 2030 more generally speaking, and by being convinced that an active and increased dialogue with Member states and the Secretariat is an essential part of our success for all of us.
The next UNESCO General Conference will provide us with another opportunity to engage with Member states in the NGO Space and we will welcome you there to discuss our activities and look to the future together and for the common good.
I thank you for your attention,
Marie-Claude Machon-Honoré, Chair of the ICNGO and NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee.
Video of the speech (in French), click HERE : Discours-PNG