The UNESCO partnership with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) representing civil society constitutes a valuable cooperation network in the service of people for sustainable development, equity, international understanding and peace in UNESCO’s fields of competence.
The International Conference of Non-governmental Organizations meets every two years to examine the state of cooperation between NGOs and UNESCO, to conduct collective consultations concerning the broad lines of UNESCO programs and to facilitate cooperation between the organizations with shared interests.
During the interval between sessions of the International Conference of NGOs, the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee, whose members and president are elected by the Conference, represents the interests of the entire group of NGO official partners of UNESCO, oversees the effective functioning of the partnership and promotes consultation between the NGOs and the exchange of relevant information.
The strategy developed by the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee for the period 2013-2014 is based on the mandate of the Liaison Committee to implement a strengthened partnership NGO/UNESCO, as defined by the Directives concerning UNESCO partnership with NGOs as well as the proceedings of the Conference that took place in December 2012.
- Developing a culture of partnership between the NGO community and UNESCO, in particular concerning intellectual cooperation in all the Organization’s fields of competence.
- Taking into account the cultural diversity of civil society in the collective actions undertaken by the UNESCO non-governmental partners, including increasingly NGOs located in diverse parts of the world.
- Promoting continuous information exchange within the non-governmental network, making use of social networks and new technologies of communication.
- Strengthening the credibility and the visibility of NGO collective action, particularly towards the UNESCO Member States.
To reach these objectives, the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee considers its mission to be:
- Encouraging the identification of new organizations representative of civil society, located in parts of the world where they are isolated or fragile for historic, cultural or geographic reasons, and promoting their integration into the NGO-UNESCO partnership.
- Leading and coordinating the collective work of the NGOs by supporting concrete project implementation, notably within the framework of the two annual forums and during the celebrations of international UN days.
- Developing and strengthening the interaction and the work of UNESCO at all levels (Headquarters, field offices, institutes, UNESCO Centres and National Commissions).
An Action Plan for 2013-2014
- Organizing 4 forums (3 of which to be held outside Headquarters) on themes selected in cooperation with UNESCO, and taking into account priority themes retained during the Conference: Africa, gender equality, human rights, youth, Education for All, cultural diversity, social inclusion, eradication of poverty. The 3 regions foreseen are Asia, Africa and Eastern Europe.
- Organize events (at Headquarters and in field offices on certain international days celebrated by UNESCO) (water, human rights, poverty, education, peace, etc.)
- Establish working groups for fixed periods in agreement with UNESCO, on specific themes in order to prepare the forums and international days. The Liaison Committee will ensure that the groups be representative of cultural diversity, by associating NGOs outside UNESCO Headquarters.
- Contributing to the preparation of the debates of the Committee on Non-governmental Partners of the Executive Board, in particular by encouraging to the extent possible, the participation of a large number of NGOs.
- Preparing the new NGO representatives for an active participation in the General Conference, and more broadly in the actions of the Organization, through training activities in cooperation with UNESCO.
- Strengthening the Committee policy of “constant information flow” by renewing the Website, by re-positioning it on that of UNESCO and by opening a Facebook page.