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Strengthening Cooperation between National Commissions for UNESCO and International/Intergovernmental Scientific Programmes

Framework Action Plan

It is recommended that National Commissions for UNESCO:

At National Level

  • foster the establishment of ISP National Committees;
  • in the case of ISP Focal Points, nominate institutions - rather than individuals - to ensure continuity;
  • be ensured adequate access to ISP National Committees and in turn establish reli-able access mechanisms for the ISP National Committees to the National Commis-sion;
  • provide annotated information on the structure of the National Commission and the ISP National Committees and their relationships, for the establishment of a public database by UNESCO;
  • seek expertise as needed to enrich the contribution of National Commissions to the ISPs;
  • encourage the involvement of actors such as research agencies and foundations, academies of sciences, higher education institutions and the private sector, in programme implementation;
  • establish reliable mechanisms and foster good practices in sharing information (especially using ICT) between UNESCO Secretariat, Permanent Delegations to UNESCO and ISP National Committees, and provide information on these issues for the aforementioned public database;
  • facilitate communication between national science stakeholders and the UNESCO Secretariat making use of the special access afforded to National Commissions;
  • promote collaboration among ISP National Committees through joint seminars or collaborative projects;
  • promote initiatives in science education - such as mass media programmes or sum-mer schools
  • and the exchange of best practices therein, in collaboration with ISPs;
  • promote science in all projects and programmes addressing youth (e.g. Youth Forum preparation);
  • develop active cooperation with science journalists and their associations;
  • participate actively in the establishment and follow-up of UNESCO Chairs and in the assessment of their activities; - increase exchanges with their national representatives on ISP governing bodies, particularly before and after the meetings of such bodies;
  • include more science projects with high priority in national Participation Pro-gramme requests.

At Regional Level

  • mutually increase cooperation and the sharing of know-how and information be-tween National Commissions on a regional and sub-regional basis, especially among Secretaries-General and Science Programme Officers;
  • develop a practice of regular communication with UNESCO Officers at the re-gional and sub-regional levels;
  • facilitate regional project cooperation using existing structures and mechanisms within the global scientific governance of the ISPs;
  • include more science projects with high priority in regional Participation Pro-gramme requests.

At Global/Inter-regional Level

  • increase their capacity actively to support ISPs through the development of tempo-rary exchanges of Scientific Officers between National Commissions in North-South and South-South collaborations, with special emphasis on the provision of training;
  • ensure that ISPs produce regular (three monthly or more frequently) and brief (one-two pages) electronic newsletters containing an overview of upcoming events and short summary reports of past work;
  • promote, where appropriate, the launch of electronic fora for the ISP National Committees with a view to facilitate exchange of experience and information among them at regional and interregional levels, to facilitate debate on topical is-sues and to agree on concerted action;
  • promote the streamlining of Statutes/Rules of Procedures of the ISPs and promote good practice in sharing information (timely, concise and comprehensive documents) with a view to ensuring efficient participation of all member states and of civil society experts in ISP governing bodies;
  • facilitate wider utilization of SISTER to demonstrate progress and accountability.

These recommendations address National Commissions alone. Yet ISP National Committees and ISP Secretariats will also have a critical role to play in the delivery of these actions and in allowing National Commissions to carry out these actions.

Next Steps

With specific regard to the current Review of UNESCO's Major Programmes II &III, it is recommended that representatives of the Electoral Groups invite all National Com-missions for regional consultations.

With regard to the upcoming sessions of the Executive Board, it is recommended that member states of the Board thoroughly discuss the issues and opportunities accounting from the roles of Regional Offices and National Commissions.

With regard to the consultations of the next Medium Term Strategy with National Commissions, it is recommended that the ISPs and specifically the issues addressed in this action plan are included into the agenda of the consultative sessions (both at the level of Presidents/Chairs/Secretaries-General and of Programme Officers/Chairs).

With regard to the concrete follow-up to this workshop, it is recommended that UNESCO establish the aforementioned public database and upon request from Na-tional States organise proper Training Seminars on the basis of the results of this Work-shop and on the database.

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