PRESS-RELEASE / COMMUNIQUE POUR LES MEDIAS

 

N 11 – 02.11.2011

 

Statement by the Head of the Russian Delegation, Minister of Culture of the Russian Federation Mr. Alexandre Avdeev at the Plenary Meeting of the 36th Session of the UNESCO General Conference, October 27, 2011

 

Madam Chairperson of the Executive Board,

Madam Director-General,

Mr. President of the General Conference,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The Delegation of the Russian Federation greets all those present and wishes productive and successful work. First of all I would like to adhere to the speeches of the previous delegates and thank the Director General for the report on the current issues of UNESCO activity. We also take note of the efforts of Member states and its national committees of your Organization on many humanitarian projects which are part of the mandate of this Organization.

Much has been said about the reform of the UNESCO, structural changes significance of programs and projects. All this is appropriate but we should not forget the main point that all our efforts must contribute to promoting the adjustment of the Organization to the challenges and threats of modern times.

The international community faces very difficult tasks that cannot be dealt with by one state alone nor by groups or regional associations. In this unfolding situation we naturally see the emerging of the global significance of current problems and we need to establish principles and mechanisms for effective global management of these problems. And it’s logical that the main role should be played by the international organizations as the most representative and democratic bodies.

This is highly relevant for UNESCO which is due to consolidate the efforts for the settlement of the humanitarian tasks. In other words our Organization has to base itself on the modalities of the global governments in accordance with its mandate in the spheres of education, science, culture, information and communication and to become an effective platform for the discussion of these issues and its importance to adopt the required decisions.

Unfortunately the current financial and economic crisis is continuing and we cannot rule out a further downturn in the global economy. In this difficult situation many countries and international structures of the UN system are reviewing their current plans, seeking possibilities to optimize and to cut their expenses. In this connection we would like to point out the efforts of the Director General of UNESCO in the review of the initial draft budget. We feel that the current draft is a good basement for the Program and the budget for the next biannual period.

In the context of UNESCO we have to set out the priority of the issue of education which is for key significance for sustainable development. In this connection we support the efforts of the Director General and many member states including this issue of the Rio+20 Conference. We feel that in order to have a global approach we will soon need local solutions in order to produce the specific works for the coordination of the Education for all program.

It’s extremely important to set up partnerships including the international network at UNESCO chairs which will celebrate next year its 20th anniversary and also the associative schools. In our country we set great store on this projects, we have a successful national council of associated UNESCO schools and through the coordinating committee which was set up with UNESCO chairs we have a productive cooperation between Russia and these chairs, the CIS countries and many other countries. We are prepared to share our experience with other member states.

Science is also one of the areas which sets out along with the education the achievements of UNESCO and we are counting on a serious contribution on the part of a recently established high leveled group. Greater support is required for the program on basic sciences under which Russia has put forth serious international initiatives amongst which we would like to point out the launch of the UNESCO scientific satellite on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the first manned space flight by Yuri Gagarin and in this space project we got the preservation of biodiversity, hydrology, oceanography, the world heritage conservation. We feel that there are many possibilities for realization of space projects for this purpose.

Clearly we should also point out many other interesting programs and projects of the Organization as well as the climate change, integrated management, water resources which are on the intercivilizational scale. And therefore the inclusion of these issues on the international agenda within the UN system and other international platforms should become one of the priorities in the activity of UNESCO for providing sustainable development.

All this is important for improving the quality of life of the world, wellbeing of the citizens of our countries especially as at the international level there are growing calls for strengthening the social collision in the world in order to achieve mutual understanding of cultures and religions. Global political forum in our country in Yaroslavl was dedicated to the issues and this was with the participation of the President of the Russian Federation Mr. Medvedev and the Director General of the UNESCO Madame I. Bokova. The dialogue between civilizations, cultures and religions is the spiritual dimension of the sustainable development of the international community and it’s important to lend it stability and to include it in the concept of the culture of the world.

We should take into consideration that global culture is a major strategic resource for the future generations. World’s cultural diversity is a driving force to achieving an economic growth, to spiritually enrich humanity. International congress “Culture as a resource of modernization” in the framework of the Year of historical and cultural heritage of CIS member states and Interstate program “Commonwealth’s cultural capitals” is being conducted these days in Ulyanovsk. We are sure that this Forum will become an important stage of preparing the Intergovernmental conference “Culture and development”. Very many representatives of Europe’s cultural capitals are participating. It’s a well-timed UNESCO’s initiative.

As for information and communication we consider a very important initiative to implement UNESCO’s “Information for All” Program which is becoming a unique platform for international debates on politics and building guiding lines for granting access to information and knowledge, to overcome digital gap. We would like to point out that on the 3-5 October 2011 in Moscow will be held an international conference on the theme of preserving digital information in the information society. This event will be held in the cooperation of the international conference of UNESCO on preserving digital data planned for the autumn of 2012.

We feel that everybody will agree that international authority of our organization has increased of late. This is clear to the credits of the Secretariat of UNESCO, the Executive Board and many member states and its national committees. The criteria standards are being raised constantly and preserving on positions requires constantly increasing effort and in this respect consolidation has to be higher and the partnerships have to be enforced more stringently. In other words the quality and the quantity have to be increased if we are to go hand in hand with the challenges of our time.

Thank you.