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In spite of the COVID-19 pandemic, the High Level Reflection Group remains mobilized

26/03/2020
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Photo : First meeting of the High Level Reflection Group

The COVID-19 global health crisis shows us how indispensable UNESCO's mandate is and how central the role of international cooperation is to effectively acting together against this pandemic and all other challenges of the contemporary world.

Faced with this crisis, UNESCO must remain mobilized for international scientific cooperation, for the continuity of education when so many children can no longer go to school, for maintaining the quality of information when there is increased circulation of false news and rumors, for the accessibility of culture, and for all the fields of action, entrusted to the Organization by the international community, that are essential to the maintenance of peace.

That is why the Strategic Transformation Support Unit remains mobilized and is pursuing its efforts to achieve the objectives set to modernize the Organization's management culture (Pillar 1), strengthen its means of action (Pillar 2) and contribute to strategic reflection in the framework of the 2030 Programme (Pillar 3).

Despite the exceptional situation we are going through, the Support Unit is endeavoring to pursue this reflection while complying with the security instructions deployed within UNESCO. By way of example, the second meeting of the High Level Reflection Group scheduled from March 18-20 at Headquarters was converted into a working session by videoconference with the members of the Group. The international commitment of our members, connected throughout the world, bears witness to this collective mobilization to enable the Organization to respond effectively to present and future challenges.

We thank the members of the Reflection Group and commend the valuable exchanges with a view to facilitating access to education, strengthening international scientific cooperation, seizing emerging technologies to meet contemporary challenges, and combatting discrimination and misinformation, particularly in times of crisis. These exchanges thus enrich the preparations of the Medium-Term Strategy.

The members of the Group also welcomed the organization of a remote exchange forum to pursue this reflection. They congratulated UNESCO on its global videoconference, which brought together senior officials from 73 countries, including 24 Ministers of Education, in response to the increasing number of school and university closures to contain the spread of COVID-19.

The process of strategic transformation must enable UNESCO, now more than ever before, to be a responsive, effective, and relevant Organization for the benefit of all.

The Support Unit will continue to work alongside you to achieve this goal.