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DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF UNESCO

UNESCO and MBI-AL Jaber Foundation (France) sign agreement

UNESCO and MBI-AL Jaber Foundation (France) sign agreement

On Thursday 13 July 2006, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, signed with Sheikh Bin Isa Al Jaber, President of MBI International Foundation, an agreement establishing a “UNESCO/MBI-Al JABER Foundation Fund”, with a view to facilitating coordination between UNESCO and the MBI Foundation in the areas of education, culture and communication.

The signing ceremony was held at UNESCO Headquarters in the presence of several ambassadors and permanent delegates of Arab countries to UNESCO.

A Steering Committee for the Fund will be established in order to manage the pre-selection of projects and programmes for submission to the Foundation. The MBI Foundation, which in 2006 will make its first contribution of US$ 1 million to the Fund, has expressed interest in the development of several important projects, such as the Arabia Plan, the Universal Academy of Cultures, the Education reform in the Arab Region, and also, in cooperation with UNESCO and the League of Arab States, the development of a Framework for the Arabization of Internet Domain Names.

The Director-General thanked Sheikh Jaber for his constant and firm support to UNESCO’s activities. Referring to the recent signature, on 3 March 2006, of an agreement with the MBI Foundation for the funding of an International Iraqi Centre for Educational Resources and Training (Flash Info n° 030-2006), Mr Matsuura welcomed the continued focus of the Foundation on the educational reform process in the Arab world. “I am very pleased with our continuous engagement in support of the transformation of the education systems in the Arab region; this will hasten the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals in this crucial part of the world”, he declared. “I also welcome the widening range of cooperation between UNESCO and the MBI Foundation, which will enable us to provide substantial direct support to more specific projects. It is through such partnerships that we will succeed in giving life to UNESCO’s ideals and values at the local, national and international levels”, he added.

Sheikh Jaber welcomed the signature of this agreement, as a timely follow-up to the Memorandum of Understanding established in September 2003. “The MBI Foundation is more determined than ever, particularly in these critical times, to help countries achieve sustainable reforms in the fields of education and to build their human and institutional capacities. It is therefore critical that we enhance, together with agencies like UNESCO, the dissemination of information and knowledge, the promotion of cultural diversity and help to create the conditions for genuine dialogue”, he declared.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash info n°117-2006
  • 18-07-2006
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