Paris, November 11: India on Thursday re-elected as a member of the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the period of 2017-2021 at the election which took place during the 39th General Assembly at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris, France.
Notably, India was re-elected as the member of the UNESCO’s executive board, its top decision- making body with the total of 162 votes. The official of the UNESCO India office said, “The news is quite significant and indicates the position of India globally. The executive board is the top decision- making body, so it is an important achievement.”
Of the seven candidate countries in this Asia Pacific Group, India ranked second with 162 votes. While Japan stood first with 166 votes and Indonesia on third with 160 votes. Philippines, China and Bangladesh remained behind with 157, 155 and 144 votes respectively. Unfortunately, Cooks Islands have only 91 votes and so they were not successfully selected.
According to the Ministry of Education and Culture, the election of Indonesia in the Executive Board of UNESCO is very strategic for the national interest as the member countries of this body have an opportunity to better articulate their interests and take part in determining the decisions of UNESCO in the areas addressed, namely education, science, culture, and communication and information.
The executive board of 58 countries usually meets twice a year to formulate UNESCO's programs and budgets which are then submitted to a 195-nation general assembly for mutual approval. However, each country has one vote, irrespective of its size or the extent of its contribution to the budget. The General Conference determines the policies and the main lines of work of the organization.