A range of programs from education to freedom of expression to the protection of African World Heritage Natural sites, among others, will benefit from a new annual funding agreement between UNESCO and Norway for approximately USD 14 million, representing a nearly 30% increase in the government’s voluntary contribution compared to last year.
While signing the first funding agreement of her mandate, UNESCO Director-General Audrey Azoulay expressed her deep appreciation for Norway’s outstanding support to the Organization. “I am grateful for your generous commitment to the Organization over and above your assessed contributions. You set an example for other Member States against the backdrop of the current financial challenges faced by the Organization. Your decision to increase your annual contribution, and provide funding with such flexibility is also a mark of confidence in UNESCO that is highly valuable.”
H.E. Ms. Elin Østebø Johansen, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Norway to UNESCO, reinforced her government’s confidence in UNESCO’s capacity to deliver.
“Norway’s support is based on the Organization’s performance and results, also reflecting Norway’s priorities. We are confident that UNESCO will use it strategically, especially to lead the Sustainable Development Goals agenda.”
In addition, Ambassador Østebø Johansen emphasized education as the number one priority of the Norwegian Government. “We are a strong supporter of UNESCO’s normative work and will continue supporting the convention on recognition of higher education qualifications. The monitoring function is critical and this is the reason why Norway has decided to increase its contribution to the Global Monitoring Report and to the UNESCO Institute for Statistics. Norway is happy to also contribute to other important areas such as freedom of expression and safety of journalists, ocean-related work through the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission and the protection of natural heritage in Africa.”
In education, the funding agreement will focus on supporting Member States in their efforts to develop sector-wide policy and planning including literacy, Technical and Vocational Education and Training, higher education, teachers, health education, and monitoring progress towards Education 2030.