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November 13, 2019

UN Secretary-General highlights UNESCO’s Global Leadership in Education at the Organization’s 40th General Conference.

UNESCO, Universities

Photo: Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, and UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay at the Opening of the 40th General Conference of UNESCO. Image provided by & copyright © UNESCO/Christelle ALIX.

UNESCO, Universities

Photo: UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay addresses the Opening of the 40th General Conference of UNESCO. Image provided by & copyright © UNESCO/Christelle ALIX.

Paris, 12 November—The Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, Tuesday morning stressed UNESCO’s essential mandate in education and pleaded in favor of multilateralism as he opened UNESCO’s 40th General Conference addressing representatives of the Organization’s 193 Member States and 11 Associate Members.

“Education is an essential pillar to achieve our objectives for 2030. And we are late,” said the Secretary-General. “UNESCO has a fundamental role to play to coordinate and monitor global efforts in this regard. I commend the initiative launched by the Director-General at the UN General Assembly last September on the futures of education.”

Warning against the splintering of the international community along economic, social, and environmental divides, growing hate and discrimination, the Secretary-General declared: “We must do everything to maintain a universal system based on international law and preserve a multipolar world with strong multilateral institutions.”

“A world of cracks and fault-lines is not sustainable,” said the Secretary-General. “In this context, UNESCO’s work is central to bringing the world together.”

After the Secretary-General’s opening, the Member States named Ambassador Ahmet Altay Cengizer, Permanent Delegate of Turkey to UNESCO, as President of the 40th session of the General Conference.

Organization’s Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, denounced the multiple divides that are eroding national and international governance as well as the planet itself. She highlighted UNESCO’s vocation to serve as a laboratory of ideas.

“Contemporary challenges call on us to draw on our shared humanity,” said Ms. Azoulay. “Territorial borders can not contain them. Only cooperation, solidarity, and multilateralism can result in lasting solutions.”

The Director-General denounced the crippling effect of divisiveness on international governance. She said that it is our responsibility “to be effective by making multilateralism an everyday reality and by providing evidence that it can lead to better lives.”

Ms. Azoulay also stressed the importance of education, “the keystone of peace. We must correct not only the insufficiencies and inequalities that education is suffering from but also improve our guidance to the world’s educational systems so that we may lay the best foundations of practical, real, sustainable development.”

The General Conference is the governing body of UNESCO. It meets every other year to determine the Organization’s program and budget.

During its 40th session, which ends on 27 November, Member States are also set to adopt an international convention destined to facilitate the international recognition of higher education diplomas and the free movement of students and faculty.

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Edited & Posted by the Editor | 6:20 AM | Link to this Post

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