UNESCO Wales Colloquium

The first UK National Commission for UNESCO Wales Colloquium was held in Aberystwyth last month on the theme Supporting UNESCO Effectiveness and Reform: How Can Wales Contribute? The event brought together some 50 independent experts to identify how to achieve a fresh collaboration between Wales and UNESCO.

Read the Colloquium summary report here

Professor W John Morgan FLSW, Chairman of the UKNC commented,

“The Colloquium builds on Wales’ long-standing tradition of internationalism, and will help strengthen UNESCO’s effectiveness – we are pleased to renew this important relationship.”

Prof John Morgan with the First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones

Highlights from the event included a keynote speech from the First Minister of Wales Rt Hon Carwyn Jones AM and a presentation by UNESCO Assistant Director-General for Natural Sciences Gretchen Kalonji.

Gretchen Kalonji

In his keynote the First Minister referred to the already strong links between Wales and UNESCO and possible areas for future cooperation.

“The Colloquium provides an opportunity to explore wider engagement between Wales and UNESCO – in areas as diverse as international development, science strategy, sustainable development and education.”

The Colloquium was an opportunity to bring together collective expertise and experience in order to identify new, collective ways for Wales to re-engage with UNESCO aims and projects, and to identify specific activities in and of Wales. This gathering represented part of a much larger network of professionals from across Wales who are involved in UNESCO’s work. This network is diverse, with expertise ranging from biospheres to cultural property.

The UKNC has a specific role to play, including providing independent policy advice to government, supporting reform and effectiveness at UNESCO and providing advice, support and quality assurance for UNESCO accreditation and nominations from the UK. An active, cross-sectoral network of experts from Welsh civil society is essential to realising these goals within Wales.

L-R: Prof April McMahon, Vice-Chancellor of Aberystwth University; Prof Gretchen Kalonji; Prof John Morgan; First Minister of Wales Carwyn Jones, Sir John Cadogan, President of the Learmed Society of Wales

The event was organised by the UKNC in association with Aberystwyth University and the Learned Society of Wales.

A Flickr gallery of the event may be found here