411.With the departure of the Chairperson, the Vice-Chair, Mr Philippe Potjes from Belgium, introduced the next agenda item, inviting Mr Proschan to present item 13.e.
412.Mr Proschan explained that the Committee would begin now to deal with all the topics that the Secretariat had been assigned at previous meetings but could not fit within its workload, for the reasons previously evoked by the Assistant Director-General and the Secretary. The present item arose from the 2013 evaluation of the Convention conducted by the Internal Oversight Service, and the Committee’s response in Decision 8.COM 5.c.1. Mr Proschan recalled that the IOS was generally impressed with the Convention’s impact among Member States, but noted that it was difficult to draw strong conclusions about its real effectiveness in the absence of objectives, indicators and benchmarks. The IOS therefore called for ‘development of an overall results framework for the 2003 Convention (with objectives, time-frames, quantitative and qualitative indicators, and benchmarks)’. The Committee took up this suggestion with great enthusiasm, and asked the Secretariat to propose a draft text of Operational Directives for the Committee’s examination at the present session. However, he noted, document 13.e did not include those draft Directives. This was because the Committee’s debates in 2013 pointed to the importance of a broad and inclusive consultative process, led by States Parties, in which they should be fully involved. The draft decision therefore proposes that the Committee put such a consultative process in place, if possible. It proposes that the Committee convene an open-ended intergovernmental working group in 2016, subject to the availability of extrabudgetary resources to permit the participation of representatives of developing countries that are parties to the Convention. The aim would be to develop draft Operational Directives that could be examined during the eleventh session of the Committee in 2016, and adopted by the seventh session of the General Assembly in 2018. Mr Proschan remarked that this was indeed a long process but that if Member States wished to see broad consultation and not entrust the Secretariat or a small expert group to make a proposition, then this was one possible option. The draft decision therefore laid out how the Committee could move forward with that process.
413.Noting that there were no forthcoming comments, the Vice-Chair proceeded to the adoption of the draft decision on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis. With no comments or objections to paragraphs 1–6, they were duly adopted. With no objections to the adoption of the decision as a whole, the Vice-Chair declared Decision 9.COM 13.e adopted.
414.ITEM 13.f OF THE AGENDA:
COORDINATED CULTURE SECTOR FUNDRAISING STRATEGY
Decision 9.COM 13.f
415.The Vice-Chair introduced item 13.f, noting that the Committee would continue with the chapter concerning the follow-up of decisions and resolutions adopted by the Committee and the General Assembly at its previous sessions, which covered the coordinated fundraising strategy of the Culture Sector.
416.The Secretary explained, as with the previous points, that this item stemmed from the evaluation conducted by the IOS in 2013, which highlighted the added value that would come about with a coordinated fundraising strategy for all of the cultural conventions. Resource mobilization was indeed a major challenge in the support of UNESCO’s Regular Programme, and the audit concluded that the creation of a team dedicated to mobilizing resources that was common to all the conventions would be a first step towards a coordinated strategy. One of the functions of the Conventions Common Services Team, established in July 2104, was to develop this strategy in close consultation with the division responsible for cooperation with extrabudgetary funding sources: the Bureau of Strategic Planning. She noted that consultations had already begun to identify which donors, including those in the private sector, had affinities with a particular Convention, and CCS was working on a brochure entitled ‘Three steps to becoming our partner’ to present something simpler and more convincing than currently exists. The Secretary explained that programmes were trying to find their own extrabudgetary funds, adding that the work was still only in its infancy so the Committee was only asked at this stage to note that more discussion was needed, and that a proposal for a coordinated strategy should be presented to it at its next session. In other words, a strategy could not be developed since the Committee’s last session as the team was only formed half a year ago. It was therefore hoped that the Committee would have access to this coordinated strategy next year, which would obviously involve the committees of all the conventions since it would be a shared strategy.
417.The Vice-Chair thanked the Secretary for the clarification of the Secretariat’s preparations for the development of this strategy, which was obviously of great importance for reasons that were well known. The Vice-Chair then moved to the adoption of the draft decision. Noting that there were no forthcoming comments or objections to paragraphs 1–5, he declared them adopted. With no objections to the adoption of the decision as a whole, the Vice-Chair declared Decision 9.COM 13.f adopted.
418.ITEM 13.g OF THE AGENDA:
ADVANTAGES AND DISADVANTAGES TO MEMBER STATES IN SYNCHRONIZING THE MEETINGS OF CULTURE CONVENTIONS
Decision 9.COM 13.g
419.The Vice-Chair turned to item 13.g, inviting the Secretary to present the item.
420.The Secretary explained that in the same logic of the decisions taken in response to the audit of the working methods of cultural conventions last year, the Committee considered that one of the conclusions of the audit had been to study the advantages and disadvantages for the Member States of synchronizing the statutory meetings. Indeed, this was recommended as a potential source of savings. After studying the different parameters of such a measure, which are reflected in the document, it was concluded that there were unfortunately too many statutory meetings of cultural conventions that it would be rather counterproductive, affecting the quality of the work of the members of the respective committees, and hence did not necessarily bring about substantial improvements. In fact the contrary was found in that States Parties had repeatedly requested the Secretariat – not only to the 2003 Convention but also to the other conventions – to better distribute the meetings during the biennium in order to have more time to prepare for the various meetings and have some latent time between them. Thus, convening all meetings over the same period would not allow for the proper distribution of the workload of the Common Services Team, which was helped support the participants and so on. It was thus clear that distributing the meetings over the year would be more manageable for them rather than managing all the participants at the same time for three months during the year. These considerations were reflected in the draft decision submitted to the Committee, and therefore did not in principle support the idea of synchronizing meetings during a short period, but emphasized the importance of early confirmation of meeting dates and locations with proper planning in terms of spreading these meetings throughout the year. The draft decision concluded by encouraging the Secretariat to continue its efforts to effectively coordinate the dates of meetings at appropriate intervals, as requested by States Parties.
421.The Vice-Chair opened the floor for comments, noting that this proposal was based a priori on common sense.
422.The delegation of Brazil agreed with the comments made by the Secretary in that the Committee should be careful with these proposed modifications of planning statutory meeting one after the other, and not necessarily bringing everything together, as it might create more problems than cost-effective benefits. The advantages of reducing costs in the use of the rooms, interpreters, and so on, might not offset the probable excess paperwork that this would generate in the same period, or by bringing people from their capitals for 3 weeks in Paris for example. The delegation therefore supported the suggestions.
423.Thanking Brazil and noting that there were no further comments, the Vice-Chair proceeded to the adoption of the draft decision. With no comments or objections to paragraphs 1–10, they were duly adopted. With no objections to the adoption of the decision as a whole, the Vice-Chair declared Decision 9.COM 13.g adopted.