On 27 March 2015, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova signed a Programme Cooperation Agreement with Norway amounting to NOK 85,500,000 (equivalent to around USD 10.5 million), strengthening support to the Organization’s activities across its key fields of competence and putting focus on new areas, including education in crisis and transition and health education.
The Director-General affirmed that the Programme Cooperation Agreement reflects Norway’s strong and steady commitment to the Organization and highlights the relevance of its mandate, referring also to Government’s timely contribution to the UNESCO Action Plan for Iraq in the face of the devastating destruction of cultural heritage.
She drew attention also to the Joint Programme for Empowering Adolescent Girls and Young Women through Education, recently launched with UN Women, UNFPA and the World Bank, noting the priority placed by the Government of Norway in this area.
H.E. Ms Elin Ostebo Johansen, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Norway to UNESCO, praised the Organization’s work in education and affirmed also her Government’s commitment to work closely on the safeguarding of cultural heritage and the promotion of freedom of speech.
The Programme Cooperation Agreement foresees a strong focus on education (including the Capacity Development for Education for All Programme, teachers, conflict and post-conflict situations, girls’ education and school-related gender based violence); support to UNESCO’s Category 1 Education Institutes (IIEP, UIL and IBE) and the UNESCO Institute for Statistics; and contributions to the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission, the Intangible Cultural Heritage Fund, and the International Programme for the Development of Communication and the implementation of the UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the issue of Impunity.