Norway affirmed its strong support to UNESCO by expanding its extrabudgetary cooperation with the Organization and providing additional support to safeguard Mali’s historic manuscripts on 20 November 2013.
UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and Norwegian Ambassador Tore Eriksen signed an Amendment to the Programme Cooperation Agreement for 2012-2013 by which Norway provided an additional amount of around USD2.6 million for education activities and related evaluations, as well as a new funding agreement in favour of the preservation of cultural heritage in Mali for around USD 170,000.
Mrs Bokova underlined the impact of Norway’s support across all areas, especially education. “You have accompanied us strongly in literacy, teacher training, curriculum, education planning, training statisticians and working in 31 priority countries that are struggling to achieve Education for All,” drawing attention also to the involvement of UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics and the International Institute for Educational Planning in these areas. She also expressed thanks for Norway’s contribution to the annual EFA Global Monitoring Report.
“Your cooperation is based on shared objectives, a shared understanding and a shared value system on the way forward,” said Mrs Bokova. “It is helping UNESCO to have a sharper focus, especially in these difficult times of financial constraint.”** Ambassador Eriksen affirmed Norway’s strong and continued support to UNESCO, highlighted that the Government is placing priority on education and has “the expectation that Norway should take a lead role in Education for All.”
The Director-General also noted the welcome timing of support for the preservation, restoration and conservation work of Mali’s cultural heritage. Ambassador Eriksen underlined that “the historic manuscripts of Mali constitute an enormous treasure that is not only important for the people of Mali but for the whole of humanity.”