President Dalia Grybauskaitė

UNESCO’s reforms are necessary

2018-05-30

Wednesday, May 30, Paris – President Dalia Grybauskaitė met with Director-General Audrey Azoulay of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) to discuss the Organization’s reforms.

According to the President, UNESCO‘s mission to build peace and promote intercultural dialogue through science, education and culture is highly necessary and important these days. However, UNESCO is going through political, financial and identity crises as its work has become very politicized and overlapping with the work of other UN organizations. The changes are necessary and Lithuania consistently supports UNESCO’s strategic reforms.

Disagreements among the Member States in addressing political issues that are outside the mandate of UNESCO paralyze its activity. The U.S. and Israel have announced about their intentions to withdraw from UNESCO, the Organization experiences budget shortages while politicized work and widespread red tape worsen the quality of its programmes.

Therefore, according to Dalia Grybauskaitė, the reforms can not be postponed. The UNESCO has to refocus on its main mission and target its activities on specific matters of education, science, culture and heritage to regain the efficiency.

The Director-General, elected in autumn last year, is implementing an ambitious programme of reforms aimed at concentrating UNESCO’s activities, avoiding the overlap and improving UNESCO’s integration into the system of the United Nations. Lithuania is among the states that support these aims.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2018.05.30 14:42

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