WOSM’s partnership elevated to Associate Status by UNESCO
At its recent Executive Board’s meeting held on 8th of March in Paris, UNESCO has decided to elevate the status of their partnership with the World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) to that of an ‘Associate Status’ for a renewable term of eight years starting March 2012. From over 360 Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) that are engaged in official relationships with the UNESCO, they have selected 64 NGOs to be granted the Associate Status. Formerly, WOSM was holding a consultative status with UNESCO.
This elevation for WOSM comes as a follow up of the ‘New Directives on UNESCO’s Official NGO Partners’, which was adopted by the 36th session of the UNESCO General Conference. These New Directives establish the enabling framework for the optimum conduct of partnerships that UNESCO wishes to maintain with NGOs. The Director General of UNESCO, Ms. Irina Bokova recommended to the Executive Board to admit WOSM’s official relations with UNESCO to an Associate Status based on heightened mutual cooperation in recent years.
WOSM has been in official relations with UNESCO since 1961 and was reclassified to consultative status in the year 1996. The current elevation to Associate Status is the highest official connection that WOSM has had with UNESCO. While proposing to the Executive Board, UNESCO Director General’s office has lauded the “sustained cooperation through the participation of a standing team of WOSM representatives”, who contributed to the work of the NGO-UNESCO Liaison Committee. In particular, UNESCO has recognised the role of WOSM’s external representatives in, the Youth ‘Joint Programme Commission-JPC’ (Mr. Pierre Arlaud - youth representative of WOSM to UNESCO) and holding the chairmanship of the Human Rights JPC (Mr. Patrick Gallaud - external representative of WOSM to UNESCO). UNESCO too has always been present at, and offering support to, WOSM’s key initiatives and activities. In 2007, UNESCO took part in the Centennial World Scout Jamboree in UK (with over 38,000 participants) through workshops, exhibits and activities for 14-18 year old Scouts at the Global Development Village of the Jamboree. Later in the same year, UNESCO gave financial support to the World Scientific Congress organised by WOSM in Geneva. Such support was continued in 2008 with the publication of the proceedings of the Congress. Through the new Associate Status, WOSM and UNESCO are expected to have stronger collaboration and mutual support to help progress on areas of common interest.
At this proud moment, WOSM thanks all the efforts of its past and present external representatives to UNESCO.