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Archive - Press Releases (2002-2006)

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  • Director-general calls on international community to help save European heritage damaged by floods
    15-08-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-50)
    Paris - UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura today called on the international community to mobilize in the rehabilitation of cultural heritage damaged by floods in several European countries. More

  • Deploring the upsurge of violence in the Middle East, UNESCO director-general calls upon youth to dialogue
    06-08-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-49)
    Paris - In a statement issued on Wednesday, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, deplored the recent surge of violence in the Middle East which continues to cause the death of so many civilians, both Palestinian and Israeli. More

  • Where have all the beaches gone?
    28-07-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-48)
    Paris - When some of the 27 million international tourists visiting Africa go to relax by the ocean this summer, they could find the beach is no longer there. More

  • Third meeting of the working group on Education for All
    24-07-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-47)
    Paris - More than 100 million children around the world, most of them girls, do not go to school. If nothing is done, they will join the 875 million adults who are illiterate. More

  • UNESCO rallies Japanese public to preserve Afghanistan's cultural heritage
    24-07-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-46)
    Tokyo / Paris - As Afghans start rebuilding their country with the help of the international community, it is more urgent than ever to make the public in donor countries aware of what is needed. More

  • Rebuilding Afghanistan's education system
    08-07-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-45)
    Paris - UNESCO is seeking some US$27 million dollars to help Afghanistan rebuild a sustainable education system and to meet the country's most urgent education needs, in particular the rehabilitation of Kabul University to jump-start higher education, training for education managers and teachers, and the development of non-formal and distance education to tackle one of the world's highest rates of illiteracy. More

  • Director-general commits UNESCO’s cooperation with the G-8 in drive for universal education
    08-07-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-44)
    Paris - UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura has written to Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien in the aftermath of the G-8 Summit in Kananaskis assuring UNESCO’s co-operation with the group of the most industrialized countries in their support of universal education. More

  • Laureates of UNESCO Literacy Prizes 2002
    07-07-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-43)
    Paris - UNESCO’s international literacy prizes this year go to projects and programmes in Egypt, Eritrea, Uganda and Pakistan. More

  • World Heritage Committee gives new impetus to protection of endangered sites
    27-06-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-42)
    Budapest – UNESCO's World Heritage Committee today adopted the Budapest Declaration, marking the 30th anniversary of the World Heritage Convention (1972) and recognizing the need "to ensure that (the Convention) applies to heritage in all its diversity"and the necessity for "effective conservation" of World Heritage properties. More

  • Endangered minaret puts Afghanistan on World Heritage List
    26-06-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-41)
    Budapest - The Minaret of Jam, which rises 65 metres above the floor of a narrow valley in west-central Afghanistan, has today been added to UNESCO's World Heritage List. More

  • Nine new sites on the World Heritage List
    26-06-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-40)
    Budapest - UNESCO's World Heritage Committee, meeting here for its 26th session, chaired by the Hungarian Tamas Fejerdy, today added 9 new sites to the World Heritage List, bringing the total to 730 cultural, natural and mixed sites of "outstanding universal value," including for the first time a site in Afghanistan. More

  • Guinean storyteller named UNESCO Artist for Peace
    24-06-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release N° 2002-39)
    Guinean singer and griot (traditional storyteller) Sayon Camara was named a UNESCO Artist for Peace by the Organization's Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura on Friday, June 21. More

  • UNESCO urges the Americas to join the underwater heritage convention
    12-06-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-38)
    photo1_sm.jpgParis - The remains of more than three million ships and their cargoes are thought to lie beneath the world's oceans. More

  • The City Montessori School (India) awarded the 2002 UNESCO Prize for Peace Education
    05-06-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-37)
    Paris - UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura awarded the UNESCO Prize for Peace Education to the City Montessori School (India) on June 5 following its recommendation by the prize's international jury. More

  • Alicia Alonso named UNESCO goodwill ambassador
    04-06-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-36)
    Paris - Cuban ballerina and choreographer Alicia Alonso will be appointed a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for her "outstanding contribution to the development, preservation and popularization of classical dance" and for her "devotion to the art-form, through which she has promoted the ideals of UNESCO and the fellowship of the world's peoples and cultures." More

  • Africa’s hidden groundwater resources
    03-06-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-35)
    Paris - Solutions to resolve the world’s water crisis may lay hidden underground. More than half the world’s population already depends on groundwater that is pumped from the pore spaces of rock formations, known as aquifers, which lie hidden below the Earth’s surface. These formations can span thousands of kilometres and contain enough water to satisfy all of humanity’s demands for many decades. More

  • A new global strategy for earth observation
    02-06-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-34)
    Paris - Global initiatives to monitor climate change and the health of the planet took a major step forward with the establishment of a unique alliance between space agencies and scientific communities, which met at UNESCO Headquarters from May 30-31. More

  • UN Oceans Atlas Provides First Comprehensive Real-Time Tool To Observe State Of World's Oceans
    31-05-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-33)
    Washington/Rome/Paris - UN, Global Scientific Partners Join Forces In Effort to Reverse Oceans Deterioration, Promote Sustainable Development, Inform Policy Makers and Educate Public. More

  • UNESCO appeals for release of Laotian policial prisoner Latsami Khamphoui
    28-05-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-32)
    Paris - UNESCO today appealed for the immediate release of Laotian political prisoner Latsami Khamphoui, a former Deputy Minister for Economics and Planning, in jail since 1990 for writing letters to various government officials criticizing the government of Laos. More

  • The international community pledges to safeguard Afghanistan's cultural heritage
    28-05-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-31)
    Kabul - Several Governments and NGO's announced today in Kabul that they would finance the safeguarding of Afghanistan's cultural heritage, in large part destroyed or damaged by 23 years of war and violence. More

  • UNESCO launches drive to save cultural heritage in Afghanistan
    26-05-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No. 2002-30)
    Kabul/Paris - The debate about whether to rebuild the giant Bamiyan Buddhas continues to rage, sometimes obscuring other aspects of the cultural disaster that Afghanistan has suffered over the past two decades. More

  • Director-general calls for release of journalist U Win Tin from jail
    20-05-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-29)
    Paris - In a letter to the Prime Minister of Myanmar (Burma), Senior General Than Shwe, UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura on Friday called for the release of 72-year-old journalist U Win Tin, laureate of the 2001 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize, who has been in jail since July 1989. More

  • An independent East Timor rediscovers its cultural heritage
    15-05-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-28)
    Paris - As East Timor prepares to become an independent nation, on May 20, UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura has launched an appeal to the international community to help the young state preserve and enhance its cultural heritage. More

  • 56 UNESCO chairs for the defenceof human rights
    02-05-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-27)
    Paris - High-ranking Greek military officers invited to conferences on the culture of peace in Athens organized, by the School of National Defence in Athens or the School of Advanced War Studies in Salonika; More

  • Media professionals seek to protect press freedom in the face of terrorism
    01-05-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-26)
    Manila (Philippines) - Media professionals and non-governmental civil rights organizations meeting in Manila today adopted a resolution declaring that journalists have a right and a duty to investigate and report on terrorism, and that their right to work in safety must be respected. More

  • Joint message for World Press Freedom Day - 3 May 2002
    29-04-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-25)
    Paris - On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Kofi A. Annan, UNESCO's Director-General, Koïchiro Matsuura, and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mary Robinson, released the following message: More

  • Terrorism and the media - World Press Freedom Day, celebrated on May 3 in Manila
    28-04-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-24)
    Paris - Media professionals and the media in general have paid a heavy toll to terrorism in recent years. More

  • Joint Statement for the second Dakar anniversary by the Heads of UNESCO, UNDP, UNFPA, UNICEF, and World Bank - 26 April 2002 - Closing the gaps to achieve education for all
    25-04-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-23)
    Paris - In a world where global economic prosperity is increasing, about 113 million primary age children are not in school, nearly 60 percent of them girls. More

  • More than 100 countries mark World Book Day
    21-04-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-22)
    Paris - Between 1995 and 1999, the number of book titles published increased by 50 percent. Books are alive and doing well. More

  • Governmental representatives from 26 countries tackle digital divide
    14-04-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-21)
    Paris - In 2000, only 0.4 percent of people living in Sub-Saharan Africa were internet users, compared to 54.3 percent of US residents (*). More

  • Education inaccessible for millions of African children
    09-04-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-20)
    Paris - Four out of every ten primary-age children in sub-Saharan Africa do not go to school according to a new report from UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics. More

  • Director-general voices utmost concern over press freedom in the Autonomous Palestinian territories
    04-04-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-19)
    Paris - Recalling that is at the helm of an organization mandated to defend “the free flow of information without any obstacle to freedom of expression”, UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura today stressed his grave concern over restrictions imposedon journalists in the exercise of their profession in several Palestinian towns. More

  • United Nations year for cultural heritage : priority on reconciliation and development
    02-04-2002 10:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-18)
    Paris - From Bamyan to Jerusalem or Sarajevo, in the past few years cultural heritage has often been a military target or the flashpoint of political, ethnic and religious conflicts. But when peace returns, the rehabilitation and enhancement of these highly symbolic sites, as well as that of cultural spaces or forms of cultural expression belonging to the intangible heritage, can sometimes help to strengthen the process of national reconciliation and revive economic activity. More

  • New biosphere reserves in Poland and Ukraine
    24-03-2002 11:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-17)
    Paris - Two new natural areas on the borders of Poland and Ukraine - poised to be merged into a trans-frontier biosphere reserve - were added by UNESCO's Man and Biosphere (MAB) Programme to its World Network of Biosphere Reserves on Friday 22 March, at the close of its two-yearly Council meeting in Paris. More

  • Director-general deplores death of Italian journalist in Ramallah
    14-03-2002 11:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-16)
    Paris - UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura today deplored the death of Italian news photographer Raffaele Ciriello from Israeli gunfire in the Palestinian West Bank city of Ramallah. More

  • UNESCO cities for Peace Prizes 2000-2001 to be presented in Marrakesh on March 18
    14-03-2002 11:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-15)
    Paris - Half of the world's population lives in cities and the numbers will continue to rise, further increasing the problems of the cities, from infrastructure to social cohesion. There is therefore a great interest in studying original solutions and the best practices developed by municipal authorities. More

  • Towards the resumption of dialogue in the Middle East
    13-03-2002 11:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-14)
    Paris - Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, today had successive meetings on matters related to the Middle East situation. More

  • 8 March - International Women's Day
    06-03-2002 11:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-13)
    Paris - Violence against women and children is not just a ‘women's issue,’ but something that "concerns us all, as an issue of equality and equity," UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura points out in a message to mark International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8. More

  • At UNESCO, Hamid Karzai maps progress achieved and work ahead
    28-02-2002 11:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-12)
    Paris - During his official visit to France, the Chairman of Afghanistan’s Interim Authority, Hamid Karzai, will address an information session of UNESCO’s 58-member Executive Board and meet Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura on Friday. More

  • Signature between UNESCO and the Afghan administration of a memorandum of understanding for the rehabilitation of the National Museum of Kabul
    28-02-2002 11:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-11)
    Paris - A memorandum of understanding for the rehabilitation of the National Museum of Kabul was signed this morning between the Director-General of UNESCO, More

  • Hamid Karzai To Visit UNESCO On Friday
    25-02-2002 11:00 pm - (Press Release No. 2002-10)
    Paris - During his official visit to France, the Chairman of Afghanistan’s Interim Authority, Hamid Karzai, will address an information session of UNESCO’s 58-member Executive Board and meet Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura on Friday, March 1. More

  • Geoffrey Nyarota of Zimbabwe awarded World Press Freedom Prize 2002
    24-02-2002 11:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-09)
    Paris - Zimbabwean journalist Geoffrey Nyarota, editor-in-chief of Zimbabwe’s only independent daily newspaper, the Daily News, was today awarded the UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize for 2002 by UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura. More

  • Director-General Condemns Murder of Daniel Pearl
    21-02-2002 11:00 pm - (Press Release No. 2002-08)
    Paris - UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Mastuura today condemned the murder of American journalist Daniel Pearl in Pakistan as "a shocking act of barbarism". More

  • Linguistic diversity : 3,000 languages in danger
    19-02-2002 11:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-07)
    Paris - About half of the 6,000 or so languages spoken in the world are under threat. More

  • Le Directeur Général Exprime sa Préoccupation et Lance un Appel pour la Libération du Journaliste Daniel Pearl (Only in French)
    14-02-2002 11:00 pm - (Communiqué de Presse N°2002-06)
    Paris - Le Directeur général de l´UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura, a exprimé aujourd’hui son inquiétude à propos du sort de Daniel Pearl, journaliste américain au Wall Street Journal, disparu le 23 janvier à Karachi, (Pakistan), et lancé un appel pour sa libération immédiate. More

  • UNESCO director-general deplores killing of journalist in Colombia
    05-02-2002 11:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-05)
    Paris - UNESCO Director-General Koichiro Matsuura on a visit to Washington, today expressed his dismay at the death of Colombian journalist Orlando Sierra Hernández, deputy managing editor of the daily newspaper La Patria, in Manizales, who died last Saturday after being shot in an attack on January 30. More

  • High drop out and repetition rates show quality to be a concern in Latin American education systems
    05-02-2002 11:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-04)
    Paris - An estimated two million primary-age children and 20 million secondary-age children in Latin America don't attend primary or secondary school according to a new report by UNESCO's Institute for Statistics. More

  • Afghanistan's Main Independent Weekly Reappears
    23-01-2002 11:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-03)
    Kabul/Paris - The independent newspaper Kabul Weekly returned to the streets of the Afghan capital today, five years after it disappeared when the Taliban seized power. More

  • Director-General Voices Grave Concern About Press Freedom In The Autonomous Palestinian Territories
    23-01-2002 11:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-02)
    Paris - UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura, on a visit to Brazil, today expressed grave concern over the recent measures taken against the Voice of Palestine, radio station of the Palestinian National Authority, and its television broadcaster in the West Bank city of Ramallah. More

  • Director-general visits Afghanistan
    09-01-2002 11:00 pm - (Press Release No.2002-01)
    Paris/Islamabad - UNESCO Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura will visit Kabul on January 11 to offer UNESCO’s support to the Afghan administration in its work to rebuild the country. Mr Matsuura is undertaking the journey to take stock personally of the Afghanistan’s immediate and longer-term needs in education, culture, science and communication. More


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