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DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF UNESCO

Director-General of UNESCO meets with Dr Al Karni, Director of the Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States

On 14 June 2007, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, met at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris, with Dr Al Karni, Director of the Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States (ABEGS), to discuss the strengthening of cooperation between the two organizations.

Also present on this occasion was His Excellency Mr Ziad Bin Abdullah Aldrees, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to UNESCO.

Mr Matsuura and Dr Al Karni discussed the signature of a future agreement between the two organizations in the fields of education, science and culture. The Director-General expressed UNESCO’s readiness to collaborate closely with the Gulf States in order to promote across the Arab region and beyond the fundamental role played by quality higher education, academic excellence and the development of inclusive knowledge societies. “UNESCO believes that education represents the key to sustainable human development, and a major force for innovation and progress. It is certainly one of the surest investments a country can make in its future”, emphasized M. Matsuura.

Mr Matsuura and Dr Al Karni also agreed on the need to foster, in close cooperation with the UNESCO Institute for Statistics and the UNESCO Regional Bureau for Education in Beirut, Lebanon, the collection and production of quality statistics and reliable indicators for monitoring progress towards development goals in the region. “During my previous visits in the region, I was able to note the outstanding progress made in enhancing the quality and relevance of education as well as in expanding access through innovation and investment. It is therefore crucial to strengthen statistical analysis in ways which reflect the changing policy contexts, particularly in the field of literacy”, said the Director-General.

Dr Al Karni welcomed such prospects for closer cooperation, noting that many Arab governments were giving much greater priority to education and that future ministerial conferences placed under the aegis of UNESCO could be organized to highlight and monitor the progress made towards achieving EFA goals in the region. He added that his organization would actively participate in the first Forum of Arab Parliamentarians for Education (FARPED), organized by UNESCO in cooperation with ISESCO, ALECSO and ABEGS in Rabat, Morocco, on 25 and 26 June 2007.

The Arab Bureau of Education for the Gulf States (ABEGS) is a regional organization for education, culture and science based in Ryad, Saudi Arabia, established in 1975 to assist in the development of education and educational plans in the region, including through the Arabian Gulf University.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash Info N° 082-2007
  • 16-06-2007
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