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DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF UNESCO

Director-General meets with Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan

Director-General meets with Her Majesty Queen Rania Al Abdullah of Jordan
  • © UNESCO/M. Ravassard

On 3 April, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, met with Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan, who was visiting the Organization on the occasion of the 7th annual gathering of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors.

During that visit, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed with the Jordan River Foundation, a non-governmental organization founded in 1995 and chaired by Queen Rania, to support projects in the fields of Early Childhood Care and Education (ECCE), adult literacy and life skills, teacher training, formal and non-formal education and children’s rights. Several Goodwill Ambassadors have already pledged financial donations for the development of “Safe Schools” projects promoted by the Foundation, an initiative that aims to turn schools into safer environments in education.

Further to the signature ceremony, the Director-General held a bilateral meeting with the Queen of Jordan, in the presence of Mrs Dina Kawar, Permanent Delegate of the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan to UNESCO, to discuss ways of strengthening cooperation between Jordan and UNESCO.

Mr Matsuura paid special tribute to the Foundation’s work in improving the lives of women and children and its commitment to sustainable human development. “I salute here Your Majesty's remarkable work and devotion to the cause of literacy, from which UNESCO will now benefit even further through the signing of a cooperation agreement with the Jordan River Foundation”, declared the Director-General. Mr Matsuura also expressed UNESCO’s full support to the Foundation in mobilizing partners towards the achievement of the Education for All goals, as well as in promoting the right to education and improving the quality of education. “It is crucial that we continue to initiate and support important initiatives to promote human development and intercultural dialogue. I hope in particular that we can build on the Foundation’s excellent work in early childhood care and development”, he stated.

The signing ceremony was followed by a performance of traditional Jordanian dance and music placed under the patronage of the Queen of Jordan, and attended by Mr Valdas Adamkus, President of Lithuania, Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Meryem of Morocco, Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva, First Lady of Azerbaijan, many UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors and other distinguished guests. In his welcoming speech, Mr Matsuura praised the Queen of Jordan for her shared commitment to the preservation and promotion of local traditions and cultures. “The latter represent rich resources in terms of creativity, knowledge and economic opportunity (…). They are, above all, testimony to the importance of intercultural dialogue for fostering mutual understanding and peace”, he underscored.

Her Majesty Queen Rania thanked all the UNESCO Ambassadors and representatives for their efforts “to build peace in the minds of men and to foster dialogue, mutual respect, and understanding among the peoples of the earth”. “We [in Jordan] have carved out a special role as a link between regions and cultures. We know tradition and modernity can both find purchase in our soil, and we are eager to bring the world to Jordan, and bring Jordan to the world (…).Today, at a time when, too often, humanity is clashing instead of communicating, we need to promote [a] universal language and indivisible heritage," she concluded.

An exhibition of artefacts and photographs of Jordan’s culture heritage will also be on display throughout the week at UNESCO Headquarters.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash Info N°050-2007
  • 05-04-2007
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