Working meeting of the Director-General with the members of the Latin America and Caribbean Group (GRULAC)

15 December 2017

Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, and Mr Roberto Alejandro Ramírez Aldana, Chairperson of GRULAC and Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Honduras to UNESCO, welcomed the opportunity to discuss the different activities of GRULAC in 2017 and its lines of action for 2018.

GRULAC, organized in work teams concerning UNESCO’s different fields of competence, wishes to strengthen the Organization’s cooperation with the region. The strengthening of field offices and of the UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (IESALC) was discussed. GRULAC expressed concern about the region’s middle-income countries that encounter difficulties accessing certain funding programmes.

GRULAC stated that it was actively working on the issue of governance and the implementation of the Convention on the Means of Prohibiting and Preventing the Illicit Import, Export and Transfer of Ownership of Cultural Property (Paris, 14 November 1970). Other topics of interest to the region were also mentioned, such as water, climate change, the Programme on Man and the Biosphere (MAB) the International Hydrological Programme (IHP) and the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC). In addition, the extreme vulnerability of small island developing States (SIDS) and of the Central America Isthmus in the face of climate change and natural disasters was mentioned.

GRULAC wishes to reaffirm and convey UNESCO’s message of peace through the organization of events in 2018. GRULAC requested the Organization’s support for the celebration of the third Latin America and the Caribbean Week, which will be held from 28 May to 1 June 2018, at UNESCO headquarters and which could, for the first time, share cultural activities with the Africa Week event that precedes it.

Mr Roberto Alejandro Ramírez Aldana presented to the Director-General a recent GRULAC publication on women in Latin America and the Caribbean in honour of women from 17 countries in the region who, through their sacrifice, had contributed to the greatness of their respective countries.

The working meeting was held with the participation of the members of the GRULAC Bureau, namely Ms Silvia Miranda, Deputy Permanent Delegate of Nicaragua to UNESCO and Vice-Chairperson of GRULAC, and Ms Leticia Casati, Permanent Delegate of Paraguay to UNESCO and Secretary of GRULAC.