PNG owes Unesco K640,000

National, Normal

The National – Friday, December 3, 2010

By TROY TAULE UPNG journalism student
THE PNG National Commission for United Nations Education and Scientific Cultural Organisation (Unesco) is in a dilemma after biennium funding for one of its programmes has been put on hold until about K640,000 is reimbursed to its headquarters in Paris.
This was one of the matters high on the agenda and raised at the third national commission meeting yesterday at the Airways Hotel. 
Present at the meeting was the Minister for Education James Marape, secretary general for the National Commission for Unesco Yori Yei as well as other representatives.
Adviser on programmes for the national commission Terry Pato said Unesco’s headquarters in Paris had put on hold its biennium funding of K500,000 for its participation programme because acquittal reports from previous years were not submitted on time.
He said this had resulted in the outstanding amount of K640,000, which had to be reimbursed to Unesco before its funding could be released, being owed.
Pato clarified that the participation programme was done to support development programmes in key areas in the country.
Therefore, he wanted stakeholders as well as the government to assist in paying back the money owed.
Other matters also discussed included the protection and management programme of the Kuk agricultural site in Western Highlands which had been successfully nominated as a world heritage site.
Another important agenda was the nomination of the education minister to represent the Asia/Pacific region on Unesco’s national executive board.
The submission is currently before the National Executive Council to decide on.
“It is important to ensure the voice of the region is heard at the highest level in the Unesco global family which will see continuous support to the region,” Marape said.
The national commission is a government entity but is funded by Unesco to carry out programmes which are integrated into government activities.