Director-General and Special Advisor to UN Secretary-General discuss status of negotiations for post-2015 development agenda

The Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova met today in a bilateral meeting on 2 July 2014 at UNESCO with Amina Mohammed, UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, prior to the Informal Meeting of the Executive Board on “UNESCO’s Role and the post-2015 Sustainable Development Agenda”, organized in the framework of the Executive Board’s decision on “UNESCO at 70 and Future Prospects” by the Chairperson of the Executive Board. H. E. Ambassador Mohammed Amr.

In the exchange with Ms. Mohammed, Ms. Bokova expressed her desire to see due reflection of the contributions of education, culture, the sciences and freedom of expression in the future post-2015 development agenda, currently negotiated in New York by the Open Working Group of the UN General Assembly.

She referred in particular to the resolution on the subject by the UNESCO General Conference last November, which she shared with Ms. Mohammed. The Director-General underlined also that the recent Global Education for All Meeting in Muscat (May 2014) had reached agreement on a stand-alone education goal, with 7 components, which should be integrated into the Open Working Group negotiating text.

For her part, Amina Mohammed stated that "human rights, peace and security, and development ‎are the pillar of relevance of the UN, with the first two having a direct bearing on the effectiveness of the third."

Amina ‎Mohammed further referred to the need for the process to rethink development beyond donors for an "integrated, universal and transformative agenda. … Inclusive sustainable development is about economic prosperity and focusing on eradicating poverty tackling challenges of global governance based on the rule of law and sound institutions, climate change, universal education, sustainable science and technologies."

She underlined that the current negotiations were entirely owned by Member States and that care must be taken that the post-2015 agenda process‎ enables UN organisations to be fit for purpose – defined in the future post-2015 resolution -- including adequate funding.

The Director-General also referred to the crucial role and importance of culture which has been widely recognized as driver and enabler of sustainable development, yet not integrated as such in the recent documents released in New York. She expressed confidence that the upcoming series of National Consultations on Culture and Development would highlight this role of culture and "the need to build on achievements, while learning from experience".

Ms. Mohammed also informed the Director-General that in addition to the report of the Open Working Group, the Secretary-General would publish a parallel synthesis report, which would focus on gaps and priorities of UN system organisations, which may not have been adequately reflected and recognized in the results of the intergovernmental deliberations.

The two reports would then be taken up by the UN General Assembly as of September and would be the basis for the continuing negotiations on the future shape of the new agenda, which will determine the multilateral work for more than the next decade. Accountability at the country will be, in the view of Ms Mohammed, also a key element for the attainment of an ambitious agenda.