The Chairman of the Executive Board of UNESCO, Mr Mohamed Sameh Amr, Ambassador of Egypt to UNESCO, invited Dr Amina J. Mohammmed, UN Secretary-General's Special Adviser on Post-2015 Development Planning, to kick start the series of events organized in within the context of teh Executive Board’s decision on “UNESCO at 70 and Future Prospects”.
The Chairman of the Executive Board, recalled the purpose of these meetings, as decided by the Executive Board in 194 EX/Decision 31, namely “to make full use of UNESCO’s wealth of expertise and of its role as an intellectual and cultural hub” to address global contemporary challenges in the Organizations’s specific competencies in the fields of education, the sciences, culture, and communication and information.
In his opening remarks, Ambassador Amr recalled that the “post-2015 development process is of utmost importance for the future of UNESCO – not only because the 70th anniversary of the Organization will be celebrated in 2015, but more importantly because 2015 marks the beginning of the post-Millennium Development Goals sustainable development agenda that will shape our/the multilateral policy for the years to come. He urged all participants “to make recourse to all means possible in advancing UNESCO’s interests in order to secure the inclusion of specific UNESCO-related goals, targets and indicators into the final outcome document” currently being negotiated.
Dr Amina J. Mohammed stressed to the Representatives present that today represents "a momentous time in our common fight to eradicate poverty and achieve sustainable development." She said the "post-2015 debate provided a historic opportunity to redefine the course of our future, by balancing the aspirations of all peoples to achieve their full potential within the finite resources of our planet." Finally, she recalled that "2015 represented a key milestone for humanity" because the current generation represents the first "with the resources and know-how to end extreme poverty and put our planet on a sustainable development course before it is too late." She urged all UNESCO Representatives "to work together to accomplish this once-in-a generation challenge".
During the all-encompassing discussion, the on-going efforts undertaken not only by the Director-General, but also those of the Member States, it became clear that education, the sciences, culture, and communication and information all play important roles as shapers and drivers of sustainable development.
Representatives had an opportunity to convey their concerns pertaining to the current status of international negotiations relating to the elaboration of a final outcome document, expressing their desire for adequate inclusion of these important vectors for development within the finalised goals, targets and indicators to be adopted in 2015.
In concluding this meeting, the Chairman of the Executive Board of UNESCO, Ambassador Mohamed Sameh Amr, called on Representatives of the Member States to convey to their capitals the urgent need for even greater inclusion of education, the sciences, culture, and communication and information into the final outcome document to be adopted in 2015.