Paris, 6 November – UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, held a meeting with Ministers, Heads of Delegation and Secretaries General of National Commissions of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) present at the 38th session of the General Conference. She was accompanied by the UNESCO Senior Management Team.
Simon Stiell, Minister of Education and Human Resources of Grenada, made a statement on behalf of the Group, welcoming the UNESCO priority emphasis on the Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and underlining the need to ensure adequate financial resources to implement the Action Plan for SIDS.
Irina Bokova reiterated UNESCO’s firm commitment to accompany Caribbean Member States, acting across the mandate and competences of UNESCO to respond to the concerns of Caribbean SIDS.
She appealed for ever deeper efforts to better implement the Memorandum of Understanding, signed in November 2013, which provides a framework for cooperation in such areas as the promotion of education, assessment of natural hazards; heritage preservation, heritage education and promotion of freedom of expression as a basic human right.
The Director-General noted that UNESCO devotes 1.3 million dollars of its 12 million dollar devoted to the Participation Programme to the Caribbean countries (10%).
She underlined also that, during this General-Conference, Monserrat, a British overseas territory in the Caribbean, was admitted as the 10th Associate Member State of UNESCO, a new contribution to the universality of UNESCO's membership and action.
CARICOM works to promote economic integration and cooperation among its 15 Member States (Antigua and Barbuda, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Haiti, Jamaica, Montserrat, Saint Lucia, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago) and 5 Associate Members.