Sri Lanka was elected to the Executive Board of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for the term 2023-2027, during the 42nd General Conference of the inter-governmental organization, on 15 November 2023 in Paris.
Sri Lanka obtained 144 votes out of 188 member states voting at the said election, co-securing the 3rd highest vote count from the region, with Bangladesh. The member states of the UNESCO elected 6 members, out of 9 candidates from the Asia-Pacific Region, to the UNESCO Executive Board. The other countries who were elected from the region are Pakistan, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Republic of Korea and Australia. Sri Lanka last served on the Executive Board from 2015 to 2019.
The UNESCO contributes to peace and security by promoting international cooperation in education, sciences, culture, communication and information. It also contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals. Sri Lanka’s membership in UNESCO in 1949, soon after its independence, is demonstrative of the country’s firm commitment to the values and principles upheld by UNESCO to promote collaboration among nations through education, science and culture, in order to further universal respect for justice, the rule of law and fundamental freedoms of the peoples of the world.
Since the inception, Sri Lanka has played a significant role and made proactive contribution towards the furtherance of the mandate of the UNESCO. Sri Lanka National Commission for UNESCO is the government arm for implementing the UNESCO Agenda in Sri Lanka, under the guidance of the Ministry of Education.
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the Sri Lanka Embassy in Paris and the Ministry of Education (National focal point) is pleased to have spearheaded the successful effort to ensure Sri Lanka’s election to UNESCO Executive Board.
It is notable that in the past months, Sri Lanka has been successful in consecutively being elected to 3 UN bodies/committees: Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (CMW), and the UNESCO Executive Board.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs
16 November 2023