Vietnam was elected as member of the UNESCO Executive Board for the 2015-2019 tenure on November 12, marking the fourth time the country has won a seat at one of UNESCO’s two most powerful bodies.
The country obtained 156 out of 186 votes at the on-going 38th session of the UNESCO General Conference that opened in Paris on November 3.
Earlier, Vietnam served in the Executive Board for 1978-1983, 2001-2005 and 2009-2013.
Consisting of 58 member states with a four-year term of office, the Executive Board is entrusted with overseeing the implementation of UNESCO’s working agenda, preparing the agenda of the General Conference, examining work programs for UNESCO and corresponding budget estimates, recommending the admission of new states that are not the United Nations members as well as the appointment of the Director General.
In an interview granted to Vietnam News Agency on the sidelines of the session, Pham Sanh Chau, head of the Foreign Ministry’s External Culture and UNESCO Department and General Secretary of UNESCO Vietnam, hailed the election win as of significance to Vietnam’s global integration.
Vietnam’s position in the UNESCO has never been so high, he stated, adding that the country is currently also a member of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Committee for 2013-2017.
Ambassador Le Hong Phan, head of the Vietnamese Permanent Delegation to UNESCO, believed that Vietnam’s presence in the Executive Board will further strengthen ties between Vietnam and UNESCO, and between Vietnam and member states.
Vietnam has also been elected to the UN Socio-Economic Council for 2016-2018, while serving the 2014-2016 term in the UN Human Rights Council.