Koïchiro Matsuura meets with His Royal Highness Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud

On 21 July, Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, met with His Royal Highness Crown Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Defence and Aviation, and Inspector General of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The Crown Prince was in Paris for a three day official visit.

Mr Matsuura and the Crown Prince discussed the overall cooperation between UNESCO and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in follow-up to the visit that the Director-General paid to Saudi Arabia from 28 to 30 April 2006.

Mr Matsuura expressed his deep appreciation for Saudi Arabia’s support to the Organization, notably in the fields of education, culture, water and emergency assistance, referring in particular to the importance of Saudi Arabia’s financial contributions to UNESCO’s extrabudgetary activities.

The Director-General underlined that the sustainable management of freshwater resources was one of UNESCO’s principal priorities and praised the excellent cooperation with Saudi Arabia in this field. “The Prince Sultan Bin Abdual Aziz International Prize for Water is a major milestone in the promotion of creative initiatives for the sustainable management of freshwater resources, and I am proud that UNESCO is associated with the award”, he said. Mr Matsuura also praised the personal efforts of the Crown Prince in financing the International Arabic Encyclopaedia, the second edition of which was published in 1999. “This 30 volume encyclopaedia, which includes an Arabic-English/English-Arabic dictionary, will play an important role in giving Arabic speaking audiences greater accessibility to information”, Mr Matsuura emphasized.

HRH Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud welcomed the growing cooperation between his country and UNESCO, and expressed his wish to see this relationship reinforced. “UNESCO is a key partner for the development of international and scientific cooperation. I am therefore pleased to announce the donation by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia of US$1 million to UNESCO, in order to help the Organization enhance the quality of its action”, the Prince declared.

The Director-General assured HRH Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud that he was confident that this important donation would render the Organization’s work more effective and efficient, and that he would report in a timely manner on the good use of this generous financial contribution. He then awarded HRH Prince Sultan Bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud with the UNESCO Avicenna gold medal.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash info n°121-2006
  • 24-07-2006
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