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United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization's Office in Nairobi, Kenya

UNESCO/Kenya National Commission for UNESCO Consultation


The Director stressed the importance of this meeting, since 2005 is a UNESCO General Conference year and taking into account that the Kenya National Commission has a new Secretary-General. He felt it was important to brief her and her senior programme officers on the programmes being carried out by the Nairobi Office. This would help them in ensuring that their Participation Programme requests would be aligned to UNESCO activities. UNESCO itself attaches great importance to National Commissions and a whole division has been set up to deal with Relations and cooperation (ERC) with Member States through National Commissions.

The Director explained the structure of UNESCO divided into the five major programme areas:

Education; Natural Sciences; Social and Human Sciences; Communication and Information; and Culture. The UNESCO Nairobi Office covers all these major programmes although there is no regular Programme Officer in Culture. The Office covers multiple roles: it is the Regional Office for Science and Technology in Africa (covering 47 African countries South of the Sahara). It covers Social and Human Sciences at regional level. It is Cluster Office covering, Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Rwanda and Eritrea in areas of Education, Culture and Communications. It covers Sub-Regional activities in Social and Human Sciences as well as Communications. Under a special arrangement, it also covers the International Oceanographic Commission through its Consultant.

Due to budgetary constraints, the Programme Officers are expected to source funds from donors and bilateral agencies for extra-budgetary activities. The Director-General has put at the disposal of the Office some funds to cover cross-cutting themes such as Poverty Eradication and Micro-Finance Industries.

In response the Secretary-General said that the UNESCO Nairobi Office is complete in the areas it covers. She herself is familiar with the workings of UNESCO having worked there before . She pointed out that there are reforms at the National Commission. The Strategic Plan is to add value to UNESCO work through a legal framework being worked out at the National Commission. She felt the current consultations are very useful as both her and her senior officers interact directly and familiarise themselves with the workings of the Regional Office. This will help them in the presentation of their Participation Programme requests.

The Programme Officers and NATCOM staff made their presentations on activities. This was followed by questions, comments and discussion. The discussion of the PP confirmed the need to hold regular consultations with KNATCOM. There were many activities that were undertaken under the PP which could have benefited from an alignment with the regular programme. Other issues which were raised during the consultation include:

Creation of a post of a Culture Programme Specialist

Strengthening the position of Gender Focal Point

The Director promised to bring the major issues to the attention of the appropriate office in Paris.


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Last Updated on 22 July 2006
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