Nordic Ministers and UNESCO DG open annual dialogue on partnership

From 25 to 28 May 2021, UNESCO and the Nordic Member States – Denmark, Finland, Iceland Norway and Sweden – held their fifth Joint Annual Consultations, to discuss their Strategic Partnership with UNESCO and take stock of major developments in 2020.


Ms Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, opened week of consultations  with a High-Level Meeting attended by Ministers and senior officials from the Nordic Member States. The meeting provided a valuable opportunity to exchange views on UNESCO’s mandate and vital role in promoting Gender Equality and Human Rights, to accelerate progress towards SDG 4, to support sustainable recovery from COVID-19 crisis and to strengthen its action and contribution within the UN system through the upcoming Medium-Term Strategy (C/4) and Programme and Budget (C/5).

Ms Azoulay recalled the crucial importance of the current period for UNESCO and for the global community, facing and recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic. Nordic representatives unanimously commended UNESCO’s response to the crisis and welcomed UNESCO’s transition to a more integrated and intersectoral approach, emphasizing the importance of outcome and impact-oriented monitoring and reporting. Ms Azoulay also emphasized UNESCO’s appreciation for the flexible and predictable funding provided by the Nordic Member States to the core priorities of the Organization.

The Nordic Member States, strongly committed to global action and multilateralism, highlighted during the consultations the value of UNESCO’s role and mandate, committing to pursue their active partnership with the Organization. This 5th edition of the UNESCO/Nordics consultations was enriched with several joint technical and bilateral meetings, and confirmed the importance of strategic and sustainable partnerships for UNESCO – proving once again the relevance of this strategic dialogue as an unparalleled occasion to explore new opportunities for engagement and to strengthen UNESCO’s collaboration with its Member States.

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