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DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF UNESCO

The Director-General receives the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation

The Director-General receives the Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation
  • © UNESCO/M. Ravassard

On 9 February 2007, Mr. Alexandre Zhukov, Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation, was received by UNESCO’s Director-General, Mr. Koïchiro Matsuura, at the Organization’s Headquarters. Mr. Vladimir Kalamanov, Ambassador, permanent Delegate of the Russian Federation to UNESCO also accompanied Mr. Zhukov.

The Director-General and the Deputy Prime Minister welcomed the election of Mr. Vyacheslav Fetisov, UNESCO Champion for Sport and chair of the Russian Federal Agency for Physical Culture and Sports, as chair of the First Session of the Conference of Parties to the International Convention against Doping in Sport that was held on 5 February at UNESCO (see Flash Info n°014-2007). “This nomination is the recognition by the States parties to the Convention of the importance that the Russian Federation bears to the fight against doping in sport. We are particularly happy to be thus associated closely with the implementation of this convention whose interest is growing strong”, declared Mr. Zhukov. The Director-General expressed his satisfaction with regards to “the speed with which this convention came into effect” and thanked the Russian Federation for its constant support in the development phase of this text.

During the meeting, the candidature of the town of Sochi to accommodate the Winter Olympics of 2014 was evoked. The Director-General noted the will expressed by the Russian Federation to place this candidature under the double aspect of respect for the environment and development. Sochi is located at the edge of the Black Sea, near a World Heritage site inscribed on the list since 1999. Therefore, if the town is retained, the Director-General underscored the importance that should be accorded to the respect of this Heritage site during the construction of the infrastructure necessary to accommodate this event. In this respect, Mr. Matsuura welcomed the will, very clearly expressed by the Russian authorities, to take meticulous care of the safeguarding of this site and the biodiversity of the area, as well as to conform rigorously to the opinions of the experts and the recommendations of the World Heritage Committee.

Mr. Matsuura also expressed his satisfaction after the authorities of the Russian Federation agreed to modify the layout of a pipeline, which would have been likely to bring serious harmful effects to the brinks of Lake Baïkal, another Russian World Heritage site.

The question of energy, and more specifically the development of sustainable energy, was the subject of a thorough exchange of views. Mr. Matsuura recalled that following the signature of a memorandum of intention between UNESCO and the Russian Federation in July 2006, which supported the establishment of an international Center for information and analyses of sustainable energy development in Moscow, a presentation had been made in November, in Moscow, which had led to the installation of a working group. In addition, the Director-General welcomed the organization of an international ministerial conference on energy by UNESCO and the Russian Federation on 31 May and 1 June 2007, to which he will take part personally.

In conclusion, the Deputy Prime Minister reaffirmed the support his country gives to UNESCO, a support which he wishes to be “reinforced and widened to all fields of competence of the Organization.”

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash Info N°021-2007
  • 09-02-2007
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