Director-General meets with the Speaker of the National Assembly, former Prime Minister of Namibia, President of the 54th session of UN General Assembly

On 8 November 2006, the Director-General, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, held talks with Dr Theo-Ben Gurirab, Speaker of the Namibian National Assembly who presided the UN General Assembly when it adopted the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).

The meeting was held on the sidelines of the 16th Meeting of the Senior Fellowship Officers of the United Nations system hosted at UNESCO Headquarters. Dr Gurirab particularly stressed that the relationship between Namibia and UNESCO dates back to the independence movement when the Organization championed the struggle against apartheid and colonialism in Africa and provided scholarships and other training programmes to Namibians in exile. He noted that he personally benefited from UNESCO’s fellowships, as did most Members of the current Namibian Government.

Mr Matsuura and Dr Gurirab stressed the important role played by UNESCO in assisting developing countries to achieve internationally agreed development goals, including the MDGs. To this end, they called for concerted efforts by Member States to mobilize additional resources to fill the funding gaps in the implementation of the MDGs and EFA goals. Dr Gurirab also paid tribute to the Organization for its country-level action in Namibia, especially in crucial areas of education, capacity building and HIV/AIDS prevention education. For his part, the Director-General stated that UNESCO started implementing a new strategy on HIV/AIDS preventive education (EDUCAIDS), following its launch in March 2004 by the UNAIDS committee of Cosponsoring Organizations, at the initiative of UNESCO. EDUCAIDS aims at reducing significantly the number of new infections.

Mr Matsuura concluded his remarks by welcoming the positive cooperation between the UNESCO Office in Windhoek and the Namibian Government. He welcomed the priority that the Namibian Government was giving to education and pledged the Organization’s technical assistance in UNESCO’s fields of competence.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash info n°176-2006
  • 08-11-2006
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