Efforts to Strengthen Cooperation among Korean UNESCO Category 2 Centers

Director Huh of ICHCAP(left) with UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay(right)

The 2018 Korean UNESCO Category 2 Centres (C2Cs) Network Meeting was held at the Jeju International Peace Center on 27 June 2018. The meeting was organized by the Korean National Commission for UNESCO (KNCU), and officials from five Korean C2Cs attended. This was the second meeting, following last year’s that was held in Jeonju and organized by ICHCAP and KNCU. In Korea, there are four C2Cs operating and one C2C under preparation for establishment, which was approved at the thirty-ninth UNESCO General Conference in 2017.

At the meeting, the participants discussed the Secretariat’s expectations of the roles and functions that the C2Cs will play by sharing the results of the 204th UNESCO Executive Board Meeting. The C2Cs also discussed measures to strengthen cooperation by sharing their current operation status and 2018 work plans.

The meeting was intended to help improve the efficiency and effectiveness of each C2C and drive mutual growth by discussing and sharing information. According to the participants, the meeting was a starting point for finding solutions for common issues. At the 2017 meeting, the participants agreed to hold one formal working-level meeting (including government departments), one informal working-level meeting, and one meeting among heads of C2C-related organizations per year. The next meeting is tentatively scheduled to be held in November 2018, reflecting related sessions of UNESCO Strategy Forum.

On 28 June, a meeting was arranged at the request of the UNESCO Director-General, Audrey Azoulay, who visited Jeju to deliver a keynote speech at the thirteenth Jeju Forum for Peace and Prosperity. The heads of four Korean C2Cs and the Secretary-General of the KNCU attended and shared the vision embedded in their projects and activities. Ms. Azoulay emphasized the importance of C2C in UNESCO’s strategic plans and asked for cooperation to realize UNESCO philosophy and values through the C2C’s programs.

The meeting aimed to compliment the Korean government and C2Cs for their UNESCO-related activities and promote continued cooperation. The Korean government is pursuing the establishment of two more C2Cs, which will help expand the roles of C2Cs in Korea’s UNESCO-related activities.

Despite different expertise and conditions, Korean C2Cs can enhance dialogue and cooperation based on their common ground in terms of identity and roles. Each C2C is expected to reflect such cooperation results in its own projects and business direction.

UNESCO Category 2 Centers in the Republic of Korea

  • Education Sector: APCEIU (the Asia-Pacific Centre of Education for International Understanding)
  • Culture Sector: ICHCAP (the International Information and Networking Centre for Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Asia-Pacific Region)
  • Natural Sciences Sector: i-WSSM (the International Centre for Water Security and Sustainable Management)
  • Sector for Social and Human Sciences: ICM (the International Centre of Martial Arts for Youth Development and Engagement)
  • Communication and Information Sector: ICDH (the International Center for Documentary Heritage) (under preparation for establishment)