The NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee Newsletter

It is now three months since the first issue of the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee Newsletter. This second Newsletter will give you access to all the documents related to the seventh international NGO-UNESCO Forum in partnership with the MiSK Foundation, which took place in Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, from 3rd to 4th May (ADG ERI Eric Falt’s Monthly Letter ; The UNESCO-NGO Forum Communiqué; The report of the Forum by UNESCO ERI Desk ; The report of the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee; The reports of Breakout Sessions on Entrepreneurship & Volunteering,Cultural Heritage,Climate ChangeandEqual opportunities between young women and men in education ; The NGOs’ presentations at the Speakers’ Corners (RAMAKRISHNA MISSION, ZONTA International, CID, WFTU, ISOCARP); Interviews of NGOs’ young representatives).

This forum was the first of its kind, for different reasons: the choice of the Arab region but also the working partnership with the MiSK Foundation which hired a renowned communication agency thus benefiting the forum with a whole range of new technologies of information to make of this event a unique and interactive experience most adapted to the digitally savvy youth. The exceptional presence of UNESCO Director General, Ms Irina Bokova for the closing speech will most likely have contributed to guarantee the success of this unique forum, if needs be, as a testimony to the importance of the soft power of UNESCO.
The Liaison Committee held a meeting on 5th May after the forum in Riyadh and several questions were tackled and decisions made:

  1. Youth Network for Peace: A discussion regarding the creation of an International Youth Network for Peace as fruit of this and the previous forum organized by UNESCO and the Liaison Committee. A written proposal concerning this has been submitted to MISK foundation and is currently being studied. We anticipate response by summer of 2017.
  2. Forum on Climate Change – though it was mentioned in the strategy document submitted to the Executive board, the Committee agreed to find out more information from the sector as well as take into account the number NGOs still interested in this topic before taking a final decision regarding the hosting in 2017.The committee also appointed Marie-Claude Machon-Honoré assisted by Richard Francis Apeh to be the focal point for the forum on climate change.
  3. Forum on Migration– The choice of theme will be decided taking into account all other issues that UNESCO is involved in and will not be restricted to just education. Marie-Christine Griès de la Barbelais assisted by Leonardo Martins will be the focal point on the forum on Migration.
  4. Forum on Science– consultation is still ongoing and a draft project has been sent to the Liaison Committee whose members will look further into this proposal.
  5. International Days:three proposals
    a. Photography award for the celebration of International Day of Peace
    b. International Day of Peace : Using Drone at the service of Peace
    c. International Day of The Girl ChildA: The Photo award will be held on the 21st September 2017 which is the International Day of Peace.
    Final decision on the venue will be communicated by end of June 2017. The host organization anticipates larger participation this year at award ceremony and they welcome suggestions from Liaison Committee members on how to make it better than previous editions. They also hope to use the event to increase public awareness about UNESCO and the NGO-UNESCO in the host country.
    B: The celebration of the international Day of Peace “Using Drones and Robots at the service of Peace” will be held on the 21st of September 2018
    C: International Day of the Girl Child will be held on the 17th of October 2018.
  6. General Conference of UNESCO & NGO Space – 30 October – 15 November 2017

A Tweeter account of the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee (@NgoUnesco) was initiated ahead of the forum in Riyadh to promote the event and communicate and we already have 755 followers ; we thank you for following us and tweeting during our next events. We would also like to improve our communication on social media and are calling for volunteers to make our events still more visible, take pictures and post them on Facebook and twitter; please let us know if you are interested.

The second major event to take place in May was the 8th global meeting of the Collective Consultation of Non-Governmental Organisations on Education For All (CCNGO/EFA), « The Implementation of SDG4 », now referred to as the Collective Consultation of NGOs for Education 2030 (CCNGO/ED 2030) ; the meeting (8-9 May) held in Siem Reap, Cambodia, was organised by UNESCO and hosted by NEP (NGO Education Partnership). It gathered national, regional and international non-governmental and civil society organisations and members of the Collective Consultation of NGOs for Education 2030, from all over the world. On behalf of the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee, as representative to the CCNGO, member of the coordination group and drafting committee, I participated in this other major event which was collectively prepared by NGOs and civil society organisations and CCNGO members with the support of UNESCO. A declaration was drafted, submitted to and adopted by the whole assembly, at the end of the meeting as fruit of an open dialogue ; in the context of the holistic and ambitious Agenda 2030 for sustainable development and the implementation of SDG4 as key to the achievement of the other 16 interlinked SDGs, the CCNGO/ED 2030 representatives recommended to « Foster exchange and learning, share knowledge, and engage in wider debates and cross-sectoral engagement, including through increased dialogue with the UNESCO-NGO Liaison Committee and Education and Academia Stakeholder Group ». The CCNGO working procedures were revised and a new coordination group was elected for 2017-2019.
In light of recommendation 35 of the CCNGO/Education 2030, 2017 Global Meeting Declaration and strengthening of the NGO UNESCO Liaison Committee’s role in the CCNGO coordination group, we need to reflect on our future collaboration to actively engage in an intersectoral dialogue with the CCNGO/ED 2030 and impact the implementation of SDG 4.

On behalf of the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee,
Philippe Beaussant, President
Marie-Claude Machon-Honoré, Chair of Communication and Relations with CCNGO
June 2017

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