H. Exc. Mr Pekka Puustinen, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Finland to UNESCO
How UNESCO could best reposition itself in the United Nations Development System?
In my view, the Strategic Transformation process, at its best, enables UNESCO to regain its key position in the United Nations Development System.
It is very useful to look at UNESCO’s past and analyze why and how it was positioned the way it was, and also have a serious look into changing trends. UNESCO is not a ‘pure’ aid agency in the same way as some UN Development Programmes and Funds are, but it plays a key role in its mandated areas.
The Transformation process aims, among other things, at restoring trust and confidence of donor Governments and thus, in the longer run, at strengthening also the resource base of this beautiful Organization.
I take it as a good sign that UNESCO has taken very seriously its contribution and commitment to the newly established UN Resident Coordinator System. We simply need to be onboard, visible and delivering. Reposition also necessitates focusing the scarce human and financial resources, opening up the Organization, and actively seeking for more partnerships, preferably through out of box thinking.
We can also learn a lot by having a critical look at other UN organizations and analyzing the changes they have made.
H. Exc. Mr Ali Suleyman Mohammed, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Ethiopia to UNESCO
What can UNESCO do to improve communications on achievements?
Communication’s main role should be raising awareness of the goals and ideas not only within UNESCO but also among all stake holders:
- A digital strategy to leverage the potential of social media is important: all publications and multimedia content must be produced to fit online environments first, making print the by-product. Influencers should be engaged to communicate on UNESCO's activities, by traditional means as ‘celebrity’ Ambassadors but also through bloggers, alternative media, etc.
- Technical information should be proactively translated into digestible formats with emphasis on multilingual multimedia content.
- UNESCO should strategically use its vast network to circulate timely information and visibility materials on the sidelines of meetings. While investing on innovative communication, traditional Media like TV and Print media, still matters: Pitching stories and major events should still be circulated through this network.
- Last but not least, UNESCO's website should be revamped to be a user-friendly experience that amplifies the Organization's messages.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of UNESCO.