5th Interregional Meeting of National Commissions for UNESCO in Kenya

The 5th inter-regional meeting on National Commission for UNESCO was held in Diana, Kenya from 19-21 June 2018. JNC-UNESCO was represented by Programme Manager Dr. Maria Smith.

At the meeting presentations and inputs were given by Field Directors, Secretaries General and Country Representatives from across the world. These mainly focused on the role and identity of National Commissions in a currently changing context as well as the way forward.

One of main topic for discussion was the way in which UNESCO National Commissions will have to be restructured along with current UN reform processes. There was clear consensus that UNESCO should focus on culture and take efforts to respond to artificial intelligence in order to promote inter-regional dialogue among National Commissions.

Another key message of the meeting was to encourage a multidisciplinary approach within UNESCO’s activities by strengthening partnerships. Inter-ministerial and cross sectorial cooperation should be promoted and a wide range of Ministries, Government Departments and Civil Societies should be engaged to work together. For example, working together with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs enables a greater outreach across the ministries and access to multilateral development programmes. Lastly, different issues that National Commissions have agreed to work on are: creating greater visibility by engaging the media through actors and artists as Good Will Ambassadors, strengthening capacity building by training UNESCO staff, being inclusive in order to ensure the participation of the most brilliant minds, and consulting and entering into dialogue more with high level personnel in order to lead discussions.

Other topics discussed were:

Integrated budget
Training, Capacity building & Inclusion