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July 5, 2020

The 209th Session of the UNESCO Executive Board opens in Paris.

UNESCO, Paris

Photo: UNESCO Headquarters Paris. The 209th Session of the UNESCO Executive Board. Image provided by & copyright © UNESCO/Christelle ALIX.

UNESCO, Paris

Photo: UNESCO Headquarters Paris. The 209th Session of the UNESCO Executive Board. Image provided by & copyright © UNESCO/C.Bailleul.

Paris, France | July 4, 2020 — “We must respond to the urgency of the pandemic and afterward. Firstly, by continuing our functional reorganization, not only to gain flexibility and reactivity, but also precision and specificity,” said Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General, at the opening of the 209th session of the UNESCO Executive Board.

She spoke extensively about UNESCO’s response to the COVID-19 crisis in the Member States. The answer to the health crisis has prioritized mobilization of cooperation and resources, advocacy and awareness-raising campaigns, provision of policy and technical support, and the generation of data and analyses, she said.

UNESCO is supporting states in establishing fair, inclusive, and equitable education systems, preserving biodiversity, making science a powerful lever of international cooperation, helping culture in the service of innovation and social cohesion, and combating discrimination and exclusion.

“In general, the initiatives to increase transversality in the crisis have allowed for better coordination of resources and actions, from which we should draw lessons. I believe that we can also be pleased with our new administration and management sector, which has enabled us to manage this crisis coherently and flexibly,” said Audrey Azoulay. The Strategic Transformation, as initiated two years ago, established this new sector as a first step to boost the Organization’s efficiency.

Azoulay also highlighted that it is essential to have the experience gained from the crisis guide the Organization’s future actions. UNESCO is currently reflecting on its programs and developing a new strategy to take the Organization to the eve of 2030.

Source: UNESCO

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