NGO UNESCO Liaison committee

NGO International Conference

NGO UNESCO Liaison committee - NGO International Conference

Speech by the Chairperson of the ICNGO and UNESCO-NGO Liaison Committee at the NGP Committee, October 11, 2019

207th Session of the Executive Board 


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

International Day of the Girl Child : Girls’ education






On the occasion of

International Day of the Girl Child

Friday 11 October 2019 at 6 p.m.

UNESCO House, Paris




Special Event

Girls’ education: a force
for gender equality
and lasting change

An event organized jointly by UNESCO, Plan International France

and the French Ministry of Europe and Foreign Affairs
with a roundtable and audience engagement activities




the Award Ceremony of the


for Girls’ and Women’s Education

Rewarding this year

a Costa Rican project empowering girls from vulnerable contexts
with digital skills and another in Spain providing the foundation
for gender equality in and through education.



I will be attending

Online RSVP mandatory:   

UNESCO House, Room I | 125, avenue de Suffren – Paris 7e

Cover photo: © United Nations/Marco Dormino


#GirlForce | #HerEducationOurFuture  | #GirlsGetEqual

News on the 9th Global Meeting of the CCNGO-Education 2030

Below, you will find the online links regarding the 9th Global Meeting of the CCNGO-Education 2030. It will take place in Hammamet, Tunisia, from December 2 to 4, 2019. (English) (French) (Spanish)

The NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee’s Strategy 2019-2020

The UNESCO partnership with non-governmental organizations (NGOs) representing civil society constitutes a valuable cooperation network in the service of people for development, equality, 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 400 NGO partners in relation to 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 2019-2020 is based on the mandate of the Liaison Committee as defined by the Directives concerning UNESCO partnership with NGOs as well as the proceedings of the Conference that took place in December 2018.


Strategic objectives :

  •  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 increasing NGOs located in diverse parts of the world.
  •  Promoting continuous information exchange by the non-governmental network making use of social networks and new technologies.
  •  Strengthening the credibility and the visibility of NGO collective action, particularly in relation to Member States.
  • Encouraging a stronger participation of young people and youth organizations in the events it organizes and further cooperate with the UNESCO Youth program.
  • Making the UN Agenda 2030 (its 17 objectives and 169 targets) the framework for the policy pursued by the Committee.


    To reach these objectives, the NGO-Liaison Committees considers its mission to:  

  •  Encourage the identification of new organizations representative of civil society located in parts of the world where they are isolated or fragile for historical, cultural or geographical reasons, and to integrate them into the NGO-UNESCO partnership, utilizing new technologies of communication.
  • Lead and coordinate 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.
  •  Develop and strengthen the interaction and the work of UNESCO at all levels (Headquarters, field offices, institutes, UNESCO centers and National Commissions).
  • Foster the visibility of the actions and good practices of the network of NGO’s in official partnership with UNESCO.


An Action Plan for 2019- 2020 :


  • Organizing 4 International forums (3 of which will be held outside Headquarters, if possible), covering themes selected in cooperation with UNESCO, in the framework of Agenda 2030, and taking into account priority themes retained during the Conference: 1) Challenging  inequalities 2)Role of volunteers in cultural heritage, 3)Science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship to fight poverty and sustain SDGs, 4)Global citizenship.
  •  Organizing events (at Headquarters and in field offices) on certain international days celebrated by UNESCO (Peace, Human Rights,The Girl Child).
  •  Contributing to the preparation of the Committee’s discussions on Non-governmental Partners of the Executive Board, in particular by ensuring, as far as possible, the participation of a large number of NGOs.
  •  Establishing working groups aligned with UNESCO’s priorities, on specific themes in order to prepare forums and international days. The Liaison Committee will ensure that groups represent cultural diversity, by associating NGOs outside UNESCO Headquarters and using news technologies.
  •  Setting up collective reflection groups as defined by the ICNGO’s recommendations on the following themes: Education 2030-SDG4; Strengthening NGO-UNESCO partnership, Climate.
  • Contributing to the creation of new opportunities of interaction and dialogue in order to strengthen cooperation with Member States
  • Strengthening the Committee’s communication through various media: website, Facebook, Twitter, and quarterly newsletters, etc.

Hydrology training in Africa in partnership with UNESCO

Nine official NGO partners of UNESCO (FMTS, AIF, OMEP, AMGE, CCIC-Uniapac, FMOI, Soroptimist, MMM and AIC) renewed the challenge of the Forum “access to water for all in Africa” in Yamoussoukro in 2014, a Forum that will then be used to move on to achievements. Because we are NGOs, we have a special contact with the realities on the ground. Above all, this makes it possible to learn more about needs and to carry out community projects in conjunction with local populations and NGOs.

pdficonsm More information

NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee communication for reference to Education in HLPF 2019 Declaration

The NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee, member of the Collective Consultation of NGOs (CCNGOEducation2030) and on behalf of the official NGO partners of UNESCO expresses its concern about the lack of reference to education in the Zero Draft of the Political Declaration for the High Level Political Forum (HLPF 2019) ; the Liaison Committee calls for the recognition of the key role of quality education in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, in line with the SDG-Education 2030 Steering Committee submission to the HLPF 2019.

Noting that education is a major vector of human, social and economic development processes, we reaffirm point 5 of the declaration regarding the indivisibility of the SDGs and propose to include education as a sustainable development goal in point 6.

We call for the commitment of Member States to education as as a catalytic force across the 2030 Agenda, in point 23 of the déclaration.

The NGO partners of UNESCO, key actors of civil society, recall the permanence of their actions on the ground and their advocacy in favor of inclusive and equitable quality education for all, for the sake of sustainable development and peace.

Minutes of the meeting – March 15

Liaison Committee Meeting (15 March 2019)


  1. Marie-Claude Machon Honoré – President
  2. Philippe Beaussant – Vice President
  3. Richard Francis APEH  – Executive Secretary
  4. Marie-Christine GRIES – Treasurer
  5. Cyril Noirtin -Responsible for Communication
  6. Diego Gradis – NGO collective Action
  7. Fathima Lahnait – Forums and International days

Participating virtually

  1. Andrey Cheschev -
  2. Daves Guzna – Regional Focal Point Africa
  3. Ratna  Wagh- Regional Focal Point Asia
  4. Abdel-Basset Ben Hassan – Regional Focal Point MENA region

In attendance

Sabina Colombo – UNESCO Secretariat

A point of Order on the question of inviting UNESCO to the Liaison Committee meeting;

Since the Liaison committee works in close collaboration with the UNESCO Secretariat, it is agreed that the secretariat is always welcome to Liaison committee meetings.


The working modalities for the forums need to be formalised with a charter or guiding principles for reference and good governance.

The steering Committee for each forum will be composed of 4 NGO Focal point ( 2 of which are preferably from the regions) in addition to the Co-leaders.

Forum on Inequalities

Forum Liaison Committee Focal points are Abdel Basset and Richard

Richard and Abdel-Basset are to come up with an initial draft of the concept note by Monday 18th March 2019 to be circulated for further inputs from NGOs

The tentative dates will be in July 2019

Forum on Cultural heritage

Forum Liaison Committee focal points are Philippe and Ratna

Ratna is organizing a forum in May/June in corporation with UNESCO NatCOM in India


Forum on Education and Global Citizenship

Liaison Committee Focal points are Marie-Christine and Fatima

The work that has been done by the group of NGOs on education can be acknowledged as initial draft upon which Forum working group can build upon

A larger working group will be constituted to incorporate the current NGO groups as well as the bigger NGO communities within and outside Paris

Forum on GCE and Peace Festival

The Committee took note of the letter received from  Gorain Gipuzkoa Province in Spain inviting the Liaison Committee to host a forum on peace including a music choirFestival sponsored by the regional government in the Basque Country in Spain. A consultation is planned with relevant stakeholders to make a final decision.

May/June 2020

Forum on Science, technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Liaison Committee Focal Points are Daves, Diego and Cyril

Proposed title:  Science, technology, innovation and entrepreneurship supporting SDGs

Proposed date is November 2020

Collective work/working groups

Focal point: Diego

At first meeting on 14.03.2109 it was decided to organize one meeting per topic

  • Link between forums and the general work of the NGO conference, and discussing the points on Forums raised at the CIONG  – meeting on this take place on  May 21 2019
  • How NGOs can accommodate and facilitate support for New NGOs that are accredited to UNESCO – meeting on June 7th 2019
  • How to collect and use the intellectual production that has been developed in the past years by the NGO communities – date to be announced

One meeting per topic to brainstorm and come up with concrete proposals. Possibly, other topics to be defined and addressed at a later stage.

Working Group on Climate

Liaison Committee Focal point Andrew and Richard

Communication Strategy

Digital strategy

3 communication objectives/targets will be on

-          Institutional communication

-          Internal communication

-          Communication with NGO partners

The committee will work on

-          Blog

-          Revamping the site

Communication from Secretariat

  1. UNESCO will re-launch and put online the questionnaire regarding NGOs relation.
  2. UNESCO is in a process of general restructuring which might have some implication for the desk for Intergovernmental and non-governmental partners which might be moved to the office for Strategic planning.
  3. The letter written by the NGO group for the organisation of forums is on the desk for NGO relation and now awaiting confirmation of date from the DG’s cabinet office to fix the appointment


Youth will remain a cross cutting issue within the entire processes and action of the Liaison Committee leveraging on the UN SG Strategy on Youth.

A youth advisory team will be created with an initial meeting held virtually to brainstorm to optimize youth engagement and participation in the Liaison Committee action as well as UNESCO’s.

A bilateral meeting will be arranged with the Youth Desk to discuss preparatory process for the UNESCO Youth Forum which might  be held in November 8 and 9, 2019.


The committee is to study the different expression of interests for internship

Next Liaison Committee meeting to be planned in MAY


Meeting with UNESCO Director General

Rencontre DG UNESCO-30-04-2019

rencontre DG-UNESCO-CDL_30_04_19

Pictures taken before the appointment granted by UNESCO Director General, Ms Audrey Azoulay, Monday 30th April at 11am to the President of the ICNGO and NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee, Ms Marie-Claude Machon-Honoré, and with the Vice-President of the Liaison Committee, Mr Philippe Beaussant and Ms Sabina Colombo, Desk officer ERI, for a very fruitful and positive one hour’s exchange on the strategy of the current NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee and the key role of NGOs in official partnership with UNESCO.