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DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF UNESCO

The Director-General hails the importance of education in the eradication of poverty at ECOSOC

On 4 and 5 July 2007, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, participated in the high-level segment of the substantive session of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) in Geneva.

In his speech at the Annual Ministerial-level Substantive Review of ECOSOC, which this year focused on “Strengthening efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger, including global partnership for development”, the Director-General hailed the importance of providing quality education for all. Elaborating on UNESCO’s contribution to efforts to eradicate poverty and hunger through education, in particular under the Dakar Framework for Action, Mr Matsuura also highlighted the role of culture and science.

Concluding, the Director-General emphasized the importance UNESCO places on building partnerships for development. “UNESCO has a very specific vocation within the United Nations system, to act as a “networker”, that is to say to bring together a variety of partners: governmental and nongovernmental, national and multilateral, public and private. […] This multi-stakeholder approach is essential to eradicating world poverty and hunger, a task so complex and immense that it can only be met by concerted action across the international community. Partnership is the very key to success,” he stated.

Mr Matsuura also opened a side event organized by UNESCO on the theme “Education under attack”, which is the title of a recently published study commissioned by UNESCO. The aim of the study is to raise public awareness about, and identify practical measures that can be taken to address, the growing problem of targeted attacks against education personnel, students, institutions and premises in various locations.

On the morning of 5 July, the Director-General and Professor George Saitoti, Minister of Education of Kenya, chaired a Ministerial Roundtable Breakfast on Strengthening education’s role in poverty eradication: challenges of quality, access and equity.

During his stay in Geneva, the Director-General attended the opening ceremony of the Global Compact Leaders Summit and the Development Cooperation Forum of ECOSOC. On the margins of these meetings, Mr Matsuura had bilateral talks with Mr Kemal Derviş, UNDP Administrator and UNDG Chair, and Mr Juan Somavia, Director-General of ILO.

The Director-General also paid a visit to the International Bureau of Education (IBE) and UNESCO’s booth at the Innovation Fair of ECOSOC.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash Info N° 093-2007
  • 06-07-2007
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