UNESCO holds the first partners’ forum at its headquarters in Paris, France yesterday morning with attendance of international delegations, including Doha center for media freedom as it has been a partner since 2012. The opening speech by the Director-General of UNESCO Ms Audrey Azoulay highlights the importance of partnerships with public and private sector in implementing UNESCO’s sustainable development goals (SDGs) such as education, freedom of expression, and freedom of media and press.
The forum takes place over two days, 11th and 12th of September, and it includes sessions conducted by beneficiaries and partners of UNESCO’s SDGs initiatives. The organization invited current and potential partners and donors to discuss through structured sessions topics such as the ‘Future of Education, Learning and Skill Development’ ‘Youth Empowerment for Peace’ and ‘UNESCO’s Response to Crisis and Transition’ in which the ambassador and permanent delegate of the state of Qatar to UNESCO, H.E. Mr. Ali Zainal, participated as a panelist.
Testimonials of Key partners and dialogue on shared priorities and future commitments:
The plenary session of the forum included two panels in which the attendees get an overview of the benefits of UNESCO partnerships and its participants’ commitments to the SDGs. The panelists included delegations from Madagascar, Brazil, Sweden, UAE, and Pakistan, participating as both donors and beneficiaries.
Panelists spoke of how partnering with UNESCO offers a network of organizations that cooperate on achieving shared SDGs, as well as guidance and expertise on a global scale. Due to UNESCO’s credibility and reputation, its partners testify to how their involvement helped private sector partners create positive change in education of girls and the presence of women in the scientific research field. As Mr Jean-Paul Agon, chairperson and Chief Executive Officer of L’Oréal Group, notes in his contribution to the penal, business aiding human development should be more common. Throughout the two day forum, partners, donors, and beneficiaries showcase how the relationships between UNESCO and its cross-sectoral partners are based on universal humanitarian values.
Qatar’s commitment to UNESCO’s goals
H. E. Mr Ali Zainal spoke in ‘UNESCO’s Response to Crisis and Transition’ session of Qatar’s development fund and how it offers financial support to the UNESCO’s Heritage Emergency Fund, which contributes in rebuilding culture and infrastructure in areas torn by war or natural disasters, such as Syria, Mali, India, Myanmar, and Iraq. H.E. is also a member of the board of the Revive the Spirit of Mosul project in Iraq, which focuses on rebuilding the city’s war torn landmarks and neighborhoods
DCMF in Context
DCMF’s delegation was invited to attend the forum and meet with several attendees, speakers, and organizers to discuss the center’s mission and its alignment with UNESCO’s SDGs, most importantly those pertaining to freedom of media and press. Some of the center’s collaborations with UNESCO include sponsoring a photo exhibition dedicated to World Press Freedom Day held in Costa Rica in 2012, and then again in Ghana in 2018.