UNESCO successfully holds its first Conventions Ceremony

08/01/2020
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Photo: UNESCO Conventions Ceremony, UNESCO Headquarters

 

Twelve States participated in the first UNESCO Conventions Ceremony, bringing the normative mandate of the Organization to the forefront of the 40th session of the General Conference.

On the margins of the debates of the 40th session of the General Conference, UNESCO took a moment, on 15 November 2019, to celebrate its normative mandate with the convening of its first Conventions Ceremony. The conference room of the Executive Board was brimming with Ministers and Ambassadors, who honoured the event emphasizing their States’ commitment to UNESCO’s normative mandate. The diversity of conventions on which States took action at the Ceremony reflects the broadness of UNESCO’s interdisciplinary mandate, in areas as diverse as the recognition of diplomas of higher education, the prevention of doping in sports and the protection of cultural heritage.

“To exist, a treaty must be signed, ratified and then implemented; and ideally by all States. We aim at this universality,” recalled Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of UNESCO, at the opening of the Ceremony. “For this international legal language to be spoken by everyone – not just legal professionals – our standards need to be shared as widely as possible.”

© UNESCO/Cyril BAILLEUL - Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO and Santiago Villalpando, Director of the Office of International Standards and Legal Affairs.
 
The Ceremony was organized by the Office of International Standards and Legal Affairs, on behalf of the Director-General as Depositary of the UNESCO Conventions. In this role, which is less known to the general public, the Director-General is the custodian of the original of the UNESCO Conventions and receives the signatures and the instruments by which States formally accept treaty commitments. The Ceremony gave prominence to a legal process that, while often taking place behind the scenes of international relations, still plays a central role in the life of an international treaty and the pursuit of the goals of our Organization.

The Ceremony was a solemn event, during which representatives of twelve States apposed their signatures to UNESCO Conventions or handed to the Director-General the instruments expressing their consent to be bound by these Conventions. It is noteworthy that, following the deposit of four new instruments of ratification during the Ceremony, the Revised Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and Other Academic Qualifications in Higher Education in African States (Addis-Ababa, 2014) entered into force on 15 December 2019.

The success of the Ceremony reaffirms that conventions are at the core of UNESCO’s mandate. It is in this spirit that a new tradition of celebrating the Member States’ commitment to the Organization’s normative mandate is born.

Uzbekistan

His Excellency, Mr. Aziz Abdukhakimov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan depositing the instrument of ratification of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, adopted in Paris on 20 October 2005.

 

 

 

© UNESCO/Cyril BAILLEUL

 

Guinea

His Excellency, Mr. Abdoulaye Yero Balde, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of the Republic of Guinea depositing the instrument of ratification to the Revised Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and Other Academic Qualifications in Higher Education in African States, adopted in Addis-Ababa on 12 December 2014.

 

© UNESCO/Cyril BAILLEUL

 

Liberia

His Excellency, Dr Ansu D. Sonii, Minister of Education of the Republic of Liberia, depositing the instrument of accession to the Regional Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and other Academic Qualifications in Higher Education in the African States, adopted in Arusha on 5 December 1981.

 

 

© UNESCO/Cyril BAILLEUL

 

His Excellency, Dr Ansu D. Sonii, Minister of Education of the Republic of Liberia depositing the instrument of accession to the Convention on Technical and Vocational Education, adopted in Paris on 10 November 1989.

 

 

 

© UNESCO/Cyril BAILLEUL

 

Morocco

Signature of the Revised Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and Other Academic Qualifications in Higher Education in African States, adopted in Addis-Ababa on 14 December 2014, by His Excellency, M. Saaïd Amzazi, Minister of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education and Scientific Research.

 

 

© UNESCO/Cyril BAILLEUL

 

Niue

His Excellency, Mr. Billy Graham Talagi, Minister of Social Services of Niue depositing the instrument of acceptance to the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, adopted in Paris on 2 November 2001, as well as the instrument of acceptance to the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, adopted in Paris on 20 October 2005.

 

© UNESCO/Cyril BAILLEUL

 

Netherlands

Signature of the Regional Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean, adopted in Buenos Aires on 13 July 2019, by Her Excellency, Ms. Marilyn M. Alcalá, Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Curaçao, on behalf of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

 

 

© UNESCO/Cyril BAILLEUL

 

Benin

Signature of the Revised Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and Other Academic Qualifications in Higher Education in African States, adopted in Addis-Ababa on 12 December 2014, by Mr. Irénée Bienvenu Zevounou, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate for the Republic of Benin to UNESCO.

 

 

© UNESCO/Cyril BAILLEUL

 

Burkina Faso

His Excellency, Mr. Alain Françis Gustave Ilboudo, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary for Burkina Faso to UNESCO, depositing the instrument of ratification to the Revised Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and Other Academic Qualifications in Higher Education in African States, adopted in Addis-Ababa on 12 December 2014.

 

© UNESCO/Cyril BAILLEUL

 

Mauritania

Her Excellency, Ms. BOÏDE Cissé, Ambassador, Permanent delegate of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania to UNESCO depositing the instrument of ratification to the International Convention against Doping in Sport, adopted in Paris on 19 October 2005.

 

 

 

© UNESCO/Cyril BAILLEUL

 

Marshall Islands

Signature of the Asia-Pacific Regional Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education, adopted in Tokyo on 26 November 2011, by Her Excellency, Ms. Doreen deBrum, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Marshall Islands to the United Nations in Geneva.

 

 

© UNESCO/Cyril BAILLEUL

 

Holy See

His Excellency, Msgr Francesco Follo, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to UNESCO, depositing the instrument of ratification to the Revised Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and Other Academic Qualifications in Higher Education in African States, adopted in Addis-Ababa on 12 December 2014.

 

 

© UNESCO/Cyril BAILLEUL

 

Seychelles

Her Excellency, Ms. Jeanne Simeon, Minister of Education and Human Resource Development of the Republic of Seychelles, depositing the instrument of ratification to the Revised Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and Other Academic Qualifications in Higher Education in African States, adopted in Addis-Ababa on 12 December 2014.

 

© UNESCO/Cyril BAILLEUL

UNESCO Conventions Ceremony, UNESCO Headquarters.

Twelve States participated in the first UNESCO Conventions Ceremony, bringing the normative mandate of the Organization to the forefront of the 40th session of the General Conference.

On the margins of the debates of the 40th session of the General Conference, UNESCO took a moment, on 15 November 2019, to celebrate its normative mandate with the convening of its first Conventions Ceremony. The conference room of the Executive Board was brimming with Ministers and Ambassadors, who honoured the event emphasizing their States’ commitment to UNESCO’s normative mandate. The diversity of conventions on which States took action at the Ceremony reflects the broadness of UNESCO’s interdisciplinary mandate, in areas as diverse as the recognition of diplomas of higher education, the prevention of doping in sports and the protection of cultural heritage.

“To exist, a treaty must be signed, ratified and then implemented; and ideally by all States. We aim at this universality,” recalled Audrey Azoulay, the Director-General of UNESCO, at the opening of the Ceremony. “For this international legal language to be spoken by everyone – not just legal professionals – our standards need to be shared as widely as possible.”

© UNESCO/Cyril BAILLEUL - Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO and Santiago Villalpando, Director of the Office of International Standards and Legal Affairs.

The Ceremony was organized by the Office of International Standards and Legal Affairs, on behalf of the Director-General as Depositary of the UNESCO Conventions. In this role, which is less known to the general public, the Director-General is the custodian of the original of the UNESCO Conventions and receives the signatures and the instruments by which States formally accept treaty commitments. The Ceremony gave prominence to a legal process that, while often taking place behind the scenes of international relations, still plays a central role in the life of an international treaty and the pursuit of the goals of our Organization.

The Ceremony was a solemn event, during which representatives of twelve States apposed their signatures to UNESCO Conventions or handed to the Director-General the instruments expressing their consent to be bound by these Conventions. It is noteworthy that, following the deposit of four new instruments of ratification during the Ceremony, the Revised Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and Other Academic Qualifications in Higher Education in African States (Addis-Ababa, 2014) entered into force on 15 December 2019.

The success of the Ceremony reaffirms that conventions are at the core of UNESCO’s mandate. It is in this spirit that a new tradition of celebrating the Member States’ commitment to the Organization’s normative mandate is born.

 

Uzbekistan

His Excellency, Mr. Aziz Abdukhakimov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Republic of Uzbekistan depositing the instrument of ratification of the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, adopted in Paris on 20 October 2005.

Guinea

His Excellency, Mr. Abdoulaye Yero Balde, Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research of the Republic of Guinea depositing the instrument of ratification to the Revised Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and Other Academic Qualifications in Higher Education in African States, adopted in Addis-Ababa on 12 December 2014.

Liberia

His Excellency, Dr Ansu D. Sonii, Minister of Education of the Republic of Liberia, depositing the instrument of accession to the Regional Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and other Academic Qualifications in Higher Education in the African States, adopted in Arusha on 5 December 1981.

Liberia

His Excellency, Dr Ansu D. Sonii, Minister of Education of the Republic of Liberia depositing the instrument of accession to the Convention on Technical and Vocational Education, adopted in Paris on 10 November 1989.

Morocco

Signature of the Revised Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and Other Academic Qualifications in Higher Education in African States, adopted in Addis-Ababa on 14 December 2014, by His Excellency, M. Saaïd Amzazi, Minister of National Education, Vocational Training, Higher Education and Scientific Research.

Niue

His Excellency, Mr. Billy Graham Talagi, Minister of Social Services of Niue depositing the instrument of acceptance to the Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage, adopted in Paris on 2 November 2001, as well as the instrument of acceptance to the Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions, adopted in Paris on 20 October 2005.

Netherlands

Signature of the Regional Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Diplomas and Degrees in Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean, adopted in Buenos Aires on 13 July 2019, by Her Excellency, Ms. Marilyn M. Alcalá, Minister of Education, Science, Culture and Sports of Curaçao, on behalf of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Benin

Signature of the Revised Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and Other Academic Qualifications in Higher Education in African States, adopted in Addis-Ababa on 12 December 2014, by Mr. Irénée Bienvenu Zevounou, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate for the Republic of Benin to UNESCO.

Burkina Faso

His Excellency, Mr. Alain Françis Gustave Ilboudo, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary for Burkina Faso to UNESCO, depositing the instrument of ratification to the Revised Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and Other Academic Qualifications in Higher Education in African States, adopted in Addis-Ababa on 12 December 2014.

Mauritania

Her Excellency, Ms. BOÏDE Cissé, Ambassador, Permanent delegate of the Islamic Republic of Mauritania to UNESCO depositing the instrument of ratification to the International Convention against Doping in Sport, adopted in Paris on 19 October 2005.

Marshall Islands

Signature of the Asia-Pacific Regional Convention on the Recognition of Qualifications in Higher Education, adopted in Tokyo on 26 November 2011, by Her Excellency, Ms. Doreen deBrum, the Permanent Representative of the Republic of the Marshall Islands to the United Nations in Geneva.

Holly See

His Excellency, Msgr Francesco Follo, Permanent Observer of the Holy See to UNESCO, depositing the instrument of ratification to the Revised Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and Other Academic Qualifications in Higher Education in African States, adopted in Addis-Ababa on 12 December 2014.

Seychelles

Her Excellency, Ms. Jeanne Simeon, Minister of Education and Human Resource Development of the Republic of Seychelles, depositing the instrument of ratification to the Revised Convention on the Recognition of Studies, Certificates, Diplomas, Degrees and Other Academic Qualifications in Higher Education in African States, adopted in Addis-Ababa on 12 December 2014.