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DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF UNESCO

Visit of the First Lady of Argentina to UNESCO

Visit of the First Lady of Argentina to UNESCO
  • © UNESCO/N. Burke

On 8 February, UNESCO’s Director-General, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, received the First Lady of Argentina and Senator of Buenos Aires province, Mrs Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, at the Organization’s headquarters in Paris.

The First Lady was accompanied by the Argentinean Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Commerce and Religions, Mr Jorge Taiana, the Argentinean Ambassador to France, Mr Eric Calcagno y Mailmann, as well as Ambassador Miguel Ángel Estrella, Permanent Delegate of Argentina to UNESCO.

During the meeting, the First Lady informed the Director-General about the legislative reform taking place in Argentina, which intends to modernize the country’s education system and increase the amount of government’s expenditure in education to 6% of GDP by 2010. Minister Taiana explained that in order to achieve this goal and to face the country’s new economic scenario, three new laws have been passed. He particularly described one of them, which doubles to 0,70% the amount of allocated GDP expenditure for science and technology education, further amplified by the recent surge in the country’s GDP figures.

Mr Matsuura welcomed the Argentine government’s strong commitments to education, science and technology. He congratulated these measures which place Argentina “in line with UNESCO’s guidelines.”

The Director-General expressed his hopes that these policies may inspire the participants of the second meeting of the Intergovernmental Regional Committee for the Regional Education Project for Latin America and the Caribbean (PRELAC II), which will take place in Buenos Aires on 29 and 30 March 2007. On this occasion, Mr Matsuura will inaugurate Villa Ocampo, a property donated to UNESCO by the Argentinean intellectual Victoria Ocampo. Mr Matsuura thus, expressed his high appreciation for the generous contribution from the Argentine government, who allowed the renovation of this National Monument of Argentina.

In conclusion, the First Lady joined the Director-General in paying tribute to Ambassador Estrella for his remarkable efforts on “La voz de los sin voz,” a program he conceived to protect and promote the dance and musical traditions of some of the most remote rural areas of ten Latin American countries.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash Info N°019-2007
  • 09-02-2007
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