H. Exc. Mrs Zohour Alaoui, President of the 39th Session of the General Conference
What are your expectations for this Strategic Transformation?
UNESCO's Strategic Transformation is necessary, to ensure that the Organization maintains its position in the international arena, in a more visible way.
UNESCO has to adjust to today's realities, and at the same time be able to anticipate and respond to the world's challenges. UNESCO's role as a laboratory of ideas is therefore more relevant than ever.
I would say that the Organization has an overriding obligation to respond to the needs and expectations of countries and peoples. We must strengthen the links between these expectations and needs, and the work that we do at UNESCO.
I expect UNESCO to be more effective, more responsive to the realities on the field, and more proactive, not only in its operational activities but also in terms of foresight and anticipations. An organization that works with its Member States to solve the major educational, cultural and scientific issues of the 21st century is an organization that has an obligation to be relevant and efficient. This is precisely what I expect from the outcome of the Strategic Transformation.
What advice and suggestions do you have to ensure the success of this process?
Transformation is a common challenge. I am fully confident in the sense of responsibility shared by the Member States and the Secretariat.
This being said, I believe it is important to underline that Transformation is a collective effort that must be coordinated with a clear methodology of work, with a view to ensuring that such a process is conducted in a spirit of transparent and constructive dialogue between the Member States and the Secretariat. Synergy is key because the scope of the challenges is huge. As you know, the four thematic Working Groups are expected to share the progress of their work with Member States during an information meeting on 22 November 2018. This is a first step towards stronger synergy and coordination.
My message lies in three words: Trust, Dialogue and Commitment. Let us therefore maintain a constructive dialogue, strengthen UNESCO's position in the international landscape and have the audacity for change.
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.