Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission: biennial report, 2012-2013
We celebrated the 50th anniversary of IOC three years ago. Nevertheless we had faced various challenges arising from the change of internal and/or external circumstances during the past two years. Among them has been the financial situation of UNESCO and IOC that drew our keen attention. The United States of America and Israel have both withheld their assessed contribution after UNESCO admitted Palestine as a Member State through voting in October 2011. This led to a 76% cut in resources for activities and an 8% cut in staff in the IOC budget for the 2012-2013 biennium. The allocation of the Emergency Fund from UNESCO, however, increased the total available funding for programme activities from 24% to 58% of the approved 36 C/5 UNESCO work programme level. The current budget reduction has never been experienced before, yet IOC and Secretariat staff endeavoured to respond to it by minimizing its impact on activities. In light of the serious financial situation of IOC, I very much hope IOC Member States will explore ways to contribute extrabudgetary funds to IOC’s programmes.