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Subsidiary bodies: commissions and committees

The Executive Board has five permanent subsidiary bodies:

  1. Programme and External Relations Commission (PX)
  2. Finance and Administrative Commission (FA)
  3. Special Committee (SP)
  4. Committee on Conventions and Recommendations (CR)
  5. Committee on Non-Governmental Partners (NGP)

While all members of the Board are automatically members of both the PX and FA commissions, committees have restricted membership.


Elections: commissions and committees

• All Members of the Board are automatically members of both commissions (The Ex. Board of UNESCO, III, 23)

• For each committee, the Board establishes from among its Members the representatives from each electoral group. The Board lays down the specific terms of reference and number of members of its committees for each biennium (The Ex. Board of UNESCO, III, 28)

• The Chairpersons of the commissions and committees are elected, in their personal capacity, by the Board by secret ballot from among the representatives appointed by the Members elected to the Board (Ex. Board, Rules of Proc., rule 16, 2)

• At the opening of each session and for the duration of that session, each commission and committee elects, from among the representatives of its Members, a temporary Chairperson, preferably belonging to the same electoral group as its Chairperson in order to replace the latter in the exercise of all his/her functions during his/her temporary absence (Ex. Board, Rules of Proc., rule 16, 2)

PX and FA Commissions

The Board divides items between its commissions in accordance with the responsibilities implicit in their respective titles.

  • The PX Commission (Programme and External Relations Commission) generally considers questions relating to the programme and external relations.
    Chairperson -  Mr Komlavi Francisco Seddoh (Togo)
  • The FA Commission (Finance and Administrative Commission) generally deals with financial and administrative questions.
    Chairperson – Ms Lorena Sol de Pool (El Salvador)

The Commissions meet simultaneously during the sessions of the Board and in a joint meeting.

At its first Plenary Meeting the Executive Board decides on the items to be referred to the commissions, and when adopting the timetable for the session it determines the time to be allotted to them.
(The Ex. Board of UNESCO, III, 23, 25 and 26)
In response to 33 C/Resolution 92, paragraph 5, concerning relations between the three organs of UNESCO, the Executive Board recommended at its 179th session “that, while maintaining the present structure and division of functions between the Programme and External Relations Commission (PX) and the Finance and Administrative Commission (FA), the Executive Board should pursue greater harmonization between the PX and FA Commissions and a more rational, efficient and less costly division of functions, leading to a more orderly, rule-based and transparent form of decision-making” (recommendation R.18 of the 179 EX/18)

What rights do observers have in commissions and committees?

With the permission of the Chairperson of the commission or committee:

  • observers may address the commission on matters under discussion ;
  • any Member of the Board who is not a member of a committee may take part in the work of subsidiary bodies to which it does not belong ;
  • Observers have no right to vote.

(Ex. Board, Rules of Proc., rule 30.5)

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