The next Plenary meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement/UNESCO – Paris Chapter, chaired by Azerbaijan, was held on September 10, 2021
The next plenary meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement/UNESCO – Paris Chapter, chaired by Azerbaijan, was held on September 10, 2021 at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris.
Chairperson of the UNESCO Executive Board Agapito Mba Mokuy, Assistant Director-General of UNESCO for Communication and Information Tawfik Jelassy, as well as the heads and diplomats of the Permanent Delegations accredited to UNESCO, Members of the NAM and Observers attended the meeting.
First, the Agenda of the plenary session was put to a vote and adopted. The newly accredited ambassadors to UNESCO were congratulated.
Opening the meeting, Ambassador Elman Abdullayev said that Azerbaijan has started its chairmanship of the Non-Aligned Movement at a very critical time for humanity. With the aim to contributing to the global efforts in addressing the unprecedented universal impact of the pandemic and to find out possible ways to provide a prompt, adequate and inclusive assistance to the Member States of the Non-Aligned Movement, the Azerbaijani presidency has made voluntary contributions to the World Health Organization and has presented several initiatives, including the online summit meeting of the Non-Aligned Movement contact group, the UN General Assembly Special Session in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The online Summit-level Meeting of the NAM Contact Group in response to COVID-19 under the theme “United against COVID-19” was conducted on 4 May 2020. As a practical outcome of this meeting, the Member States of the Movement decided to establish the Task Force in response to COVID-19 and to work out a database on the basic humanitarian and medical needs and requirements of NAM Member States in their fight against COVID-19. Today WHO uses the NAM database as one of its reference points for identifying the existing needs of NAM Member states in addressing the pandemic.
It was noted that under the Chairmanship of the Movement, Azerbaijan has put forward a resolution to ensure equal access to vaccines for all countries, and the resolution was adopted unanimously. The Non-Aligned Movement is closely monitoring pandemic issues. It was underlined that it is important to think about the post-pandemic period.
Chairperson of the Executive Board Agapito Mba Mokuy made a report entitled “NAM at UNESCO in the post-COVID era”. He stressed the importance of the Movement's member states to unite in a fist to defend their interests at the international institutions and conferences. Touching upon the importance of multilateralism, he emphasized that it is the most effective tool to respond to today's international challenges.
Assistant Director-General of UNESCO for Communication and Information Tawfik Jelassy, in his presentation entitled "Harnessing communication and information for sustainable development", spoke about the problems of increasing misinformation and hate speech during the pandemic. He stressed the essence of ensuring media and information literacy to overcome these problems. He welcomed the steps taken at the national level in some member states of the Non-Aligned Movement on media and information literacy. Speaking about the UNESCO curriculum on media and information literacy, he called for its adaptation and testing in the curriculum of the member states. He informed that South Africa will host Global Media and Information Literacy Week in October.
After the speeches, a question/answer session was organized.
Then the comprehensive information on the global activities of the Azerbaijani presidency as well as the activities of the UNESCO – Paris Chapter of the Non-Aligned Movement was given. The candidacies of the NAM Member States were discussed. The meeting continued with discussions on various issues.