Address by Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO,
on the occasion of the Information Meeting
with the Permanent Delegations
on the UN Reform
UNESCO, 9 March 2007
Ladies and Gentlemen,
As I announced during the Executive Board Information Meeting in January, I have
decided to hold this special information meeting in order to provide the opportunity
for a full discussion of the Report of the Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on
UN System-wide Coherence and its implications for UNESCO.
The last time we addressed this subject in any depth was at the October meeting of
the Board. While we had then been able to anticipate some of the Panel’s
recommendations, many issues remained unclear. With the official launch of the
Report, “Delivering as One”, and the intense debate that has followed, we are now
in a much better position to assess its outcomes.
Let me underline at the outset that I welcome and endorse the main thrust of the
Report. It provides a positive, modern vision of multilateralism and the vital role of
the UN system therein. It establishes as its guiding principle coherence of action
among the different UN members, both globally and at the country level, and rightly
places national ownership and leadership at the centre of all UN system activities.
Reform is critical, not for reform’s sake, but for reinforcing the relevance, coherence
and effectiveness of the UN’s work. This is especially important with regard to the
UN’s support to country efforts to achieve internationally agreed development
goals. The overall aim is to improve UN action in promoting peace and
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development, eradicating poverty, preventing and responding to humanitarian
crises, and protecting the global environment.
Following its publication in early November 2006, the Report has attracted
widespread attention, exciting discussions within the UN and beyond. This intense
scrutiny of the UN system has created valuable impetus for reform. It provides