Artists for Peace
|On the occasion of the 7th Annual Meeting of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors, Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan visits the Organization’s Headquarters|
04-04-2007 6:00 pm On 3 April 2007, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, the Director-General of UNESCO, opened the 7th Annual Meeting of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors at the Organization’s Headquarters. A unique highlight of this year’s meeting was the visit of Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan to UNESCO. UNESCO’s important education initiatives, such as new regional programmes for literacy, as well as sustainable development, in particular the Organization’s activities in the management of water resources and its efforts in the fight against climate change were the themes on the agenda of the 2007 Annual Meeting of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors.
In his opening address, the Director-General described these two key issues as “two of the major challenges of today’s world, and also areas where many Goodwill Ambassadors have been deeply engaged”. “Literacy is vital to individual empowerment, effective social and political participation, poverty reduction and, indeed, sustainable development,” he added. The Director-General emphasized how UNESCO, with its interdisciplinary mandate, is in a strong position to respond to these challenges.
Regarding literacy, Mr Matsuura highlighted “UNESCO’s unique role within the United Nations system for promoting global literacy. “We do this both through our leadership of the UN Literacy Decade (the UNLD), and through UNESCO’s own Literacy Initiative for Empowerment (LIFE), which targets the 35 countries with the greatest literacy needs.” The Director-General also recalled the special role that UNESCO Celebrity Advocates and Goodwill Ambassadors have been playing in this regard. For instance, the first of five regional conferences in support of global literacy that UNESCO organizes over the next two years was hosted last month in Doha, Qatar by Her Highness Sheikha Mozah Bint Nasser Al-Missned, UNESCO Special Envoy for Basic and Higher Education.
Furthermore, Mr Matsuura expressed his gratitude to Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva, First Lady of Azerbaijan and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador, who will host the Regional Conference for the European and Caucasus Region in Baku, Azerbaijan, in July 2008.
With regard to sustainable development, particularly in relation to climate change and freshwater issues, the Director-General underscored UNESCO’s internationally recognized leadership in the management of oceans and freshwater resources. He praised the valuable contributions made by Goodwill Ambassadors in this field.
The Goodwill Ambassadors then presented their work of the past year and discussed their experiences and the many ways in which they supported the Organization’s priorities, such as through fund raising and international galas and concerts, as well as through local projects, like using music to reach out to underprivileged children. The Director-General welcomed the wide spectrum of areas covered by the Goodwill Ambassadors’ work, which ranged from HIV and AIDS, literacy and child care to the protection of tangible and intangible cultural heritage and the promotion of intercultural dialogue through art and multilingualism.
The following Goodwill Amabssadors attended the 7th Annual Meeting: HE Mr Valdas Adamkus, President of the Republic of Lithuania, Mrs Mehriban Aliyeva, First Lady of Azerbaijan, Mr Patrick Baudry, HE Mr Miguel Angel Estrella, HE Mrs Vigdís Finnbogadóttir, HRH Princess Firyal of Jordan, Mr Ivry Gitlis, Mrs Bahia Hariri, Mr Jean Michel Jarre, Mr Omer Zülfü Livaneli, HRH Princess Lalla Meryem of Morocco, Mr Kitin Muñoz, Mrs Ute-Henriette Ohoven, Lady Owen-Jones, Mrs Kim Phuc Phan Thi, HE Sheikh Ghassan I. Shaker, Mr Madanjeet Singh, Mr Zurab Tsereteli, and Mrs Marianna Vardinoyannis.
Photo gallery of the 2007 Annual Meeting of UNESCO Goodwill Ambassadors
Read more about UNESCO's Goodwill Ambassadors
Read more about the visit of Her Majesty Queen Rania of Jordan to UNESCO
Photo (top) © N.Burke: Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, surrounded by the Goodwill Ambassadors, during the Annual Meeting on 3 April 2007
Photo (bottom) © M.Ravassard: Her Majesty Queen Rania Al-Abdullah of Jordan and Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, surrounded by the Goodwill Ambassadors, on 3 April 2007