Opening of the 170th session of the Executive BoardThe plenary meetings of the 170th session of UNESCO’s Executive Board began today with opening addresses from Board Chairman, Ambassador Hans-Heinrich Wrede, and UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura.
Ambassador Wrede, outlining the key issues to be addressed by the Board, said that one of the main objectives would be to determine the Organization’s priorities for the 2006-2007 biennium. “We live in a time of scarce resources. Our ambitions have to be sobered by the limits of our means. Therefore, it is absolutely essential that we get the priorities right,” he said. “For UNESCO, this can only mean education.”
The Chairman stressed that UNESCO could not tackle the challenges at hand alone. “The cooperation with the other international organizations is indispensable, and we need the full participation of Member States, of the Civil Society in our countries, and of the people themselves.” Speaking about the tragedy in Beslan, Ambassador Wrede stated “UNESCO has a duty to make its very own contribution to the crucial international cooperation to prevent and eradicate terrorism.”
UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura, also stressed the importance of achieving the Education for All goals established at the World Education Forum in Dakar (Senegal, 2000). He called for “additional support” from UNESCO Member States, to galvanize mobilization and policy dialogue for EFA at national level.
Also on the Board’s agenda for the 170th session: the elaboration of a “Declaration on Universal Norms on Bioethics” and a debate on “New approaches and concrete actions in the dialogue among civilizations”.
Journalists wishing to cover the 170th session of the Executive Board must be accredited by UNESCO’s Press Relations Service. Tel: +33 (0)1 45 68 17 48 – Fax: +33 (0)1 45 68 56 52
Photo © Michel Ravassard/UNESCO: Board Chairman, Ambassador Hans-Heinrich Wrede right), and UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura (left).