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  • Laura Bush named Honorary Ambassador

    13-02-2003 12:00 pm Laura Bush was named UNESCO Honorary Ambassador for the United Nations Decade of Literacy at the New York Public Librery on February 13th, 2003.

    UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura presented Mrs. Bush with a UNESCO certificate commemorating her designation at a launch ceremony for the United Nations Literacy Decade (2003-2012).

    "I am privileged to serve with you as the Honorary Ambassador for the Decade of Literacy," Mrs. Bush said. "Education is the most important long-term investment we can make in our future. Education reflects our love and our belief in freedom. It is freedom itself. And with UNESCO's leadership, freedom can be realized throughout the world with the promise of education for all. In this Decade of Literacy, let every nation work towards education for all - so that every person will know freedom, power and opportunity."

    Mr. Matsuura thanked Mrs. Bush for her unwavering commitment to education for all children. "Mrs. Bush is doing wonderful things in this country for the education of its children. Her national initiative, "Ready to Read, Ready to Learn," is both inspirational and practical. She draws upon her own experience as a child who loved education and reading. As a public school teacher and librarian, she sought to promote a love for reading and learning in others. Mrs. Bush believes strongly that all human beings should be treated with dignity and that in neither school nor life should any child be left behind."

    Additional speakers at the launch included: President of Mongolia H. E. Mr Natsag Bagabandi, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, US Secretary of Education Rod Paige, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador H.R.H. Princess Firyal of Jordan, President of UNA-USA William Luers, and President of the New York Public Library Paul LeClerc.

    Unanimously adopted by the UN General Assembly in December 2001, the Literacy Decade addresses the learning needs of 860 million adults and 113 million children currently non-literate. UNESCO will serve as the UN's coordinating agency for the Decade.

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