Director-General Audrey Azoulay welcomes restoration of constructive dialogue concerning Middle East at UNESCO Executive Board

12 April 2018

Statement of the Director-General of UNESCO

“I welcome the spirit of dialogue and responsibility that has allowed a consensual decision to be reached in the framework of the Executive Board during its discussions concerning the Middle East.

“This spirit of consensus opens up a new positive dynamic within UNESCO. I thank all the delegations that have worked towards this, notably the representatives of the Palestinian, Israeli, Jordanian, American, and European Union delegations. The Secretariat of UNESCO will continue to be involved as a dialogue facilitator for Member States.

“This outcome bears witness to the Parties’ strong commitment to work together, including on the most sensitive issues. The will to achieve consensus is part of UNESCO’s DNA and must guide our work in the future, particularly during the upcoming discussions at the World Heritage Committee and within the governing bodies of the Organization.

“The restoration of a constructive atmosphere is a necessary first step for UNESCO to be able to work steadily in its fields of competence: education, the sciences and culture. Our Organization was established specifically to create spaces for dialogue and cooperation in areas of shared interest: the heritage of humanity, scientific cooperation, and the sharing of ideas and knowledge. The Secretariat will spare no effort in supporting States along this path."

*The decision adopted in Commission will be submitted for final approval by the Executive Board in the Plenary session on 17 April.

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Contact: George Papagiannis, Media relations; g.papagiannis@unesco.org