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DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF UNESCO

Visit of the Director-General to Mexico (20 – 22 March 2006)

The Director-General, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, visited Mexico from 20 to 22 March 2006. The main purpose of his visit was to launch the 2nd World Water Report on behalf of the 24 United Nations agencies that constitute the World Water Assessment Programme (WWAP) (see Flash no. 042-2006 of 24 March 2006).

The Director-General also launched the celebration of World Water Day, the theme of which was ‘Water and Culture, for which was lead agency, and opened two of the thematic sessions organised by the Organisation – on “Ground Water and Risk Management” and on “International Cooperation in Flood Management”. On the evening of 20 March, Ms. Cristina Narbona, the Minister of Environment of Spain, hosted a dinner in honour of the Director-General, to which were invited all the Ministers of Environment of the European and Mediterranean countries participating in the Forum.

Beyond his involvement in the Forum, the Director-General participated in a series of important activities with the Mexican authorities. Notably, on 22 March, he visited the José Vasconcelos National Library, which is in the process of construction, in the company of Mr Vincente Fox Quesada, President of the Mexico, Ms. Sari Bermúdez, Minister of Culture, and Mr Reyes Taméz, Minister of Public Education and President of the Mexican National Commission for UNESCO. The Present then took the Director-General to visit a local school where the Government’s new Enciclomedia programme, intended to accelerate information and technology systems in schools, is being implemented.

On the occasion of the 200th anniversary of the birth of Benito Juárez, the first indigenous President of Mexico (21 March), the Director-General, together with the Minister of Education, lay a crown of flowers at the foot of Juárez’s in the grounds of the Ministry of Education. He then held meetings with the members of the Mexican National Commission for UNESCO, as well as with the UNESCO Chair holders, before being given a guided visit of the Diego Rivera murals on the walls of the Ministry of Education.

At the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM), which Mr Matsuura visited on 22 March, and following the lunch which the Rector of the University, Mr Juan Ramón de la Fuente, hosted on his behalf, the Director-General gave a conference on “Education and Cultural Diversity”. In the speech he delivered, the Director-General (citations).

At the end of the conference, the Rector presented the Director-General with the Medal of Honour created to celebrate the 450th anniversary of the creation of UNAM. The medal was given in recognition of the Director-General’s work towards the promotion of international dialogue.

It should be noted that during the course of his visit in Mexico, the Director-General also engaged in a series of bilateral meetings, including with Mr. Ryutaro Hashimoto, Former Prime Minister of Japan and Chairman of the Advisory Panel on Water and Sanitation that was established by the Secretary-General of the United Nations; Mr. Kim Hak-Su, Executive Secretary of ESCAP; Mr. Ole Moesby, Undersecretary for Multilateral Development of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark; and Mrs. Jacqueline Schafer, Assistant Administrator; Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade, USAID.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokesperson
  • Source:Flash Info n°49-2006
  • 31-03-2006
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