Out of 195 member states 58 states representing 6 groups based on geographical region are elected to the Executive Board for a period of 4 years. Sri Lanka served in the Executive Board four times previously before being elected for the fifth term in 2015.
Executive Board examines draft resolutions regarding programmes, budget and policies and passes them to the General Conference for approval. There are two Executive Board meeting per year where a member country is represented by the Executive Board member, Ambassador/ Permanent Delegate of the country for UNESCO, the Secretary General of the National Commission and any other nominated official.
Hon. Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Minister of Education led the Delegation to the 200th Session of the Executive Board of UNESCO.
Plenary Session of the 200th Executive Board.
HE Irina Bokova reminded all the member states of the UNESCO’s responsibility to strengthen the foundations for lasting peace and sustainable development. She highlighted her experience in Sri Lanka and pledged the support of UNESCO for our path towards a peaceful country. She also emphasized the importance of education to transform societies and prevent violent extremism and gender based violence. The Director General pointed out that through collective efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goals, the member states can contribute to creating a better world for everybody to live in. HE Bokova made reference to her visit to Sri Lanka and commended the government for its commitment to reconciliation and peace.
Hon. Akila Viraj Kariyawasam, Minister of Education explained the actions taken by the government of Sri Lanka to fulfill the commitments under Sustainable Development Goals and Paris Agreement that deals with greenhouse gases emission mitigation, adaptation and finance. He explained in length the policy reforms intended to improve the quality of education service delivery and expected outcomes. He invited UNESCO and international partners to support the government initiatives for the sector development. He also briefed the Executive Board Members of the current developments in the science and technology sector as well as the culture and heritage sector.
In her reply to the plenary debates, the Director General congratulated Sri Lanka on its efforts to achieve Sustainable Development Goals and pledged UNESCO’s support in pursue of these noble targets.
Hon. Minister had meetings with the Chief of the Participation and Fellowships Section of UNESCO, and representatives of the Asia Pacific Region.
The Delegation led by Hon. Minister left for Sri Lanka at the end of the Plenary of the 200th Session of the UNESCO Executive Board.