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Overview on National Commissions for UNESCO

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Title: Overview on National Commissions for UNESCO


1
Overview on National Commissions for UNESCO
  • Interregional Information Seminar for New
    Secretaries-General of National Commissions
  • Paris, 26 February-2 March 2007
  • By Xiaolin Cheng
  • Chief, Section for National Commissions
  • (ERC/RSC/NAC)

2
Table of Contents
  1. Origin and creation
  2. Status and structure
  3. Basic functions
  4. Key roles in reform process
  5. Capacity-building

3
Origin and Creation of National Commissions
  • 1) Why were they needed?
  • Debate on the nature of UNESCO leads to the
    creation of such a special structure representing
    both the government departments and
    non-governmental institutions
  • Achievement of the ideals and purposes of UNESCO
    demands cooperation on the widest possible scale
    within member states

4
Origin and Creation of National Commissions
  • 2) What has been decided?
  • The Constitution of UNESCO adopted in
  • London on 16 Nov. 1945
  • The charter of national commissions
  • Adopted in Paris on 17 Nov. 1978

5
Origin and Creation of National Commissions
  • 3) Number increased throughout years
  • By end of 2006 Out of 191 Member States and 6
    Associate Members, 189 MS and 3 AM established a
    NatCom, but there were only
  • 34 in 1949
  • 72 in 1959
  • 129 in 1979
  • 152 in 1990

6
2. Status and Structure of National
Commissions
  • They are national entities set up by MS and
    working at inter-ministerial and inter-sectorial
    level
  • 70 attached to Education Ministries
  • 20 affiliated with Foreign Ministries
  • -10 located in Culture or S T Ministries
  • Even a few of them autonomous

7
2. Status and Structure of National
Commissions
  • Three fold relations and double life
  • Within the country
  • - vis à vis the government (inc. Perm.
    Delegation)
  • - vis à vis the scientific communities and
    national
  • partners
  • Between the country and UNESCO
  • - vis à vis UNESCO (HQ and FOs Institutes)

8
2. Status and Structure of National
Commissions
  • Broad membership within national context
  • - Government representatives
  • - Educational, scientific and cultural
    institutions
  • - Parliamentarians municipalities
  • - Media representatives
  • - Women and youth organizations
  • - NGOs
  • - Individual experts, eminent personalities,
    etc.

9
2. Status and Structure of National
Commissions
  • Subsidiary organs
  • - General Assembly
  • - Executive Council
  • - Programme Committees or Sub-Committees
  • - Ad-hoc working groups
  • - Secretariat

10
3. Basic Functions of National Commissions
  • Expected duties
  • - Advisory
  • - Liaison
  • - Information
  • - Programme elaboration and execution

11
3. Basic Functions of National Commissions
  • Advise the government on
  • countrys overall relation with UNESCO, e.g.
    participation in the Executive Broad General
    Conference, political issues (elections, DRs,
    legal instruments, etc)
  • Advise the partners on
  • ways of dealing with UNESCO, channels of
    contact, procedures, principles, regulations, etc.

12
3. Basic Functions of National Commissions
  • Liaison between government, permanent delegation,
    partners and individuals
  • Liaison between the national authorities and
    UNESCO, related UN agencies regional
    organizations

13
3. Basic Functions of National Commissions
  • Promote UNESCOs ideals programmes and
    disseminate information data on NatCom actions
    activities via
  • UNESCOs World Reports, Books, Periodicals
    translated into national language
  • Documentation Centre Library
  • Newsletters, Brochures Annual Reports of the
    NatCom
  • Website, CD-ROM
  • Media coverage

14
3. Basic Functions of National Commissions
  • Programme elaboration execution
  • National, cluster and regional consultations on
    the preparation of UNESCO Medium Term Strategy
    (C/4) and Biennial Programme and Budget (C/5)
  • Implementation of activities at national and
    sub-regional levels (meetings, celebrations,
    exhibitions, studies/surveys, publications, prize
    awarding, etc.), financed by different resources
    (RP, PP, EB)

15
4. Enhanced roles of National Commissions
in the reform process
  • Key actors in the decentralization
  • Contributing to the attainment of
    decentralization goals
  • Interface and cooperation with UNESCO field
    offices and institutes
  • Involvement in decentralized programming and
    projects
  • Participation in CCA (Common Country Assessment)
    /UNDAF (UN Development Assistance Framework)
    process and One UN planning

16
4. Enhanced roles of National Commissions
in the reform process
  • Linkage to civil society partners
  • Programme networks to be sustained
  • UNESCO Clubs, Centres and Associations
    Associated Schools (ASPnet) UNITWIN/UNESCO
    Chairs NGOs
  • New partners to be forged
  • Parliamentarians Cities and local authorities
    Private sector
  • Monitoring supervising the use of UNESCOs
    name, logo and Internet domain names by national
    partners

17
4. Enhanced roles of National Commissions
in the reform process
  • Contributing to improved visibility and awareness
    at national level
  • Privileged status within the government structure
  • Close link with the partners
  • Improved capacities in communication
  • Direct access to Media

18
5. Capacity-building for National
Commissions
  • Why for stronger NatCom?
  • Old entities have to be reviewed and adjusted
  • New changes and challenges need to be addressed
  • Great disparities must be filled
  • New functions should be fulfilled

19
5. Capacity-building for National
Commissions
  • How to strengthen them?
  • Shared responsibility and joint effort by both
    sides
  • MSs duties to provide adequate structure and
    resources, qualified staff
  • UNESCOs task to assist, facilitate and encourage
    them to fulfill their responsibilities

20
5. Capacity-building for National
Commissions
  • What have been done?
  • Advocacy and awareness towards authorities and
    partners (DGs CL, publications, database,
    website/portal)
  • Training at all levels on key issues
  • Updating office equipment
  • Involving NatCom in the decentralization
    interface with FO

21
5. Capacity-building for National
Commissions
  • Future challenges
  • Reviewing training modalities and contents
  • Increasing local impact
  • Ensuring proper resources
  • Keeping NatCom leaders and staff stable
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