On Tuesday, Princess Marie attended a UNESCO seminar in Copenhagen as Patron of the Danish National Commission of UNESCO.
In 2014, Princess Marie attended the launch of the new work strategy of the Commission and this seminar was the occasion for everyone involved with the National Commission to talk about what the future approach should be. Martin Steen-Hansen, a member of the Commission, had a strong opinion about it on his blog, saying that the government wasn’t as involved in the cause as the Commission and the Royal House, through the patronage of Princess Marie, are:” A rather central issue because in Denmark it has been decided to spend considerably fewer funds than the rest of the Nordic countries working for cooperation between nations in education, science, culture, communication, and information. […]But it requires that it be prioritised by people other than the National Commission and the Royal House because UNESCO is a global political cooperation with the purpose of contributing to peace and security by promoting cooperation between nations.”
Stakeholders from science and education institutions, from the civil society, from relevant ministries, from local authorities and the world heritage sites, Man and Biosphere Reserves and UNESCO Global Geoparks spend the afternoon together to provide an input to and to discuss the direction of the Danish UNESCO.
The seminar was arranged by the Secretariat of the Danish UNESCO National Commission, which is based in the Danish Ministry of Education. The workshop took place in the newly erected building BLOX in Copenhagen. BLOX was inaugurated by Queen Margrethe a few weeks ago, and Billed-Bladet reported Princess Marie was as impressed by the building as the Queen was during the inauguration.
Princess Marie reflected upon the UN’s new global goals, primarily focusing on sustainable development, and how Denmark is trying to commit to these goals:” The UN’s World Sustainable Development Goal sets a new framework and direction for UNESCOs, and our all efforts for equal opportunities and greater justice for all, girls and women, as well as boys and men. It is about quality education for all, about equality, about science for the common good, on cultural heritage and cultural diversity and on free media and freedom of expression, for a better future for all and for our common planet. In Denmark, in recent years, we have seen a development in our commitment to UNESCO’s work. There is growing interest in UNESCO programmes and academic networks from ministries, Danish municipalities, universities, schools and civil society.”
Princess Marie also talked in her speech about the way children should be included in projects related to nature and landscapes: “In Geokids,[ a children art project Princess Marie visited a few weeks ago] all children in the municipality have had the opportunity to participate in creative teaching about nature and landscape, about local produce and cultural history. And all the students have made a mask, a total of about 3,500 masks that are set on roads in the landscape. Each mask is distinctive and different from the others, and together they make up an impressive common piece of art. This is a great example of how to engage children and their families in a concrete and fun way in a project that deals with learning about nature and landscape and how we live and use nature so that it is also preserved for the future.”
She also noted the importance of involving local organisations in the creation of UNESCO projects in Denmark: “This is a good example of how, through active UNESCO work, we can connect local action with global goals and challenges, and contribute to relevant follow-up to the UN’s world goals.”