Turkey presents bid to join UNESCO's executive board

Thu 02 November 2017 16:29 GMT | 20:29 Local Time

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Turkish Education Minister Ismet Yilmaz on Thursday presented Turkey’s bid to become a member of the executive board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Anadolu reports.

Speaking at the 39th session of the general conference of UNESCO in Paris, Yilmaz said Turkey “strongly believes in the mission of this organization to build peace in the minds of men and women.
 
"To further support UNESCO’s efforts, we have decided to put our candidacy to its executive board for the period of 2017-2021.
 
"Although we had not been a member of the executive board since 2005, we remained a very active member through our work in the relevant intergovernmental programs and important committees of UNESCO.
 
"We have also financially supported the organization during a critical period and seconded experts.”
 
The minister also said Turkey has been realizing "a set of domestic reforms…in order to cope better with modern challenges in the field of education".
 
Yilmaz also shared Turkey's experience in hosting 3 million displaced Syrians. He said around 976,200 Syrians and Iraqis living in Turkey are of school age.
 
"We are proud to say that we have taken 619,000 children into the school system. We have done our fair share and we will continue to fulfil this humanitarian responsibility," he said.
 
"Turkey is ready to take the responsibility as an executive board member.
 
“For the challenges ahead, we are committed and we are willing to work with all of you under the guidance of our new director general."
 
Turkey is competing within a four-states group -- containing Finland, Germany, Portugal and Turkey -- for three seats.
 
The election of members of the executive board is scheduled for Nov. 8.
 
The UNESCO's executive board consists of 58 member countries, who are elected for a four-year mandate, during which they discuss and negotiate key decisions.

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