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Tuesday, July 04, 2006 



Jamaica hosts historic UNESCO meeting
published: Tuesday July 4, 2006

Claudine Housen, Staff Reporter

WESTERN BUREAU:

JAMAICA BECAME the first English-speaking Caribbean country to host a UNESCO national commission consultative meeting yesterday.

The four-day conference, which ends on Thursday, pulls together national commissions of 38 Latin American and Caribbean countries. The meeting is soliciting comments and proposals on issues related to the preparation of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation's (UNESCO) draft medium-term strategy for 2008-2013 and a draft programme and budget for 2008-2009.

Noting that the meeting is a "key element in the governance of the organisation," director of UNESCO's Division of Relations with Member-States and National Commissions, James Michael Kulikowski, said the conference would provide valuable information as the agency continues along its path of reform.

NEEDS AND PERSPECTIVES

"This meeting brings together - countries with diverse needs and perspectives, all in the name of building the future of an international organisation which gains its legitimacy from setting priorities in accord with those of its member-states and responding to the needs of its member-states," he said.

Addressing the importance of the two draft papers, Mr. Kulikowski suggested there was more to the consultative meeting than the discussion of the two documents and invited the delegates to consider the overall future of UNESCO.

Delegates will also debate on the future direction of the sciences - natural, social and human sciences - better known as Major Programmes Two and Three.

Minister of State in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Delano Franklyn, also asked the delegates not to take a one-sided approach to the conference.

"Think outside of the box as it relates to policy formation," he charged. "... We must be able to be creative, we must be able to think of things not yet undertaken. That is what is required if we are to utilise limited resources to the best of our ability."



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