30th Anniversary of the UNITWIN Network: Contribution to the Development of Education, Science and Culture

June 22, 2022

On 17 June, the International Conference “30th Anniversary of the UNITWIN Network: Contribution to the Development of Education, Science and Culture” was held at the Peter the Great St. Petersburg Polytechnic University. The UNITWIN University Twinning Programme guides and coordinates the work of almost 900 UNESCO Chairs worldwide. V.K. Egorov, Head of the Chair, took part in the conference.

On behalf of the Coordination Committee of UNESCO Chairs in the Russian Federation as its Chairman, V.K. Egorov welcomed the participants of the Conference.

Greeting of Mr. V.K. Egorov, the Chairman of the Coordination Committee of UNESCO Chairs of the Russian Federation at the Conference “30th Anniversary of the UNITWIN Network: Contribution to Development of Education, Science and Culture.

Distinguished organizers and participants of the Conference

Today I have the opportunity to congratulate all those present on behalf of the Russian Coordinating Committee of UNESCO Chairs on the occasion of the thirtieth anniversary of the UNITWIN Network. Thirty years seems to be a milestone in the history of this strong unesco network of universities. Over the course of its existence, approaches to what UNESCO Chairs should be, criteria for selecting candidates and ways of developing cooperation between network members and the UNESCO Secretariat have evolved.

We welcome the new wave of interest in the UNITWIN network, prompted by the consultations that representatives of UNESCO’s Education Sector have initiated with member countries. I am confident that the decision of the April session of the Executive Board, presented by the Russian Federation, will give a new impetus to the Programme, initiate lively and productive discussions on the future of the programme, and become a stimulus for the improvement of the work of UNESCO Chairs.

As for our Russian network, it continues to develop actively. The Coordination Committee of UNESCO Chairs met in April to discuss the candidature files of universities to open relevant Chairs. We approved two applications. One on biodiversity and one on indigenous peoples.

The overall situation in our country is as follows: 68 chairs are currently in operation. We have 24 in education, 15 in social and human sciences, 20 in natural sciences, 5 in culture and 4 in communication and information. In the coming year, we will continue to acquaint the network participants with the medium- and short-term priorities of UNESCO as adopted by the 41st session of the General Conference of the Organization, with the innovations outlined in the updated UNITWIN Programme Guidelines, and with the UNESCO Secretariat’s requirements for new applications. The Coordinating Committee will also assist institutions in the finalisation of previously submitted applications and the preparation of new dossiers. We are open to cooperation and ready to support initiatives of Russian chairs to develop cooperation with foreign partners, particularly from African countries, and to develop joint educational and research projects within the framework of this cooperation.

Once again I congratulate all on the anniversary of the UNESCO Chairs network and wish all to achieve their goals.

V.K. Egorov also informed the participants of the Conference on the beginning of the work of the RANEPA UNESCO Chair and the UNESCO Chair “Oriental Studies and African Studies: Modern Methods of Study and Teaching” of the Institute of Asian and African Languages, Moscow State University on interaction in scientific and educational work with UNESCO Chairs in Asia and Africa.

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