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DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF UNESCO

The Director-General opens the Universal Forum of Cultures in Monterrey, Mexico

The Director-General opens the Universal Forum of Cultures in Monterrey, Mexico
  • © UNESCO/J. Baker

On 20 September 2007, Koïchiro Matsuura, the Director-General of UNESCO, opened the Universal Forum of Cultures in Monterrey, Mexico, along with Mr Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, President of Mexico.

Also present at the opening were Mr José Natividad Gonzales Parás, the Governor of the State of Nuevo Leon, Ms Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, Ms Josefina Vázquez Mota, Secretary of Public Education of Mexico, Mr Sergio Vela Martinez, President of the National Council for Culture and Arts of Mexico, and Mr Adalberto Madero, Mayor of Monterrey.

Scheduled to last until 8 December 2007, the Forum follows up on the Barcelona Forum of 2004 and focuses on three core concepts already present in Barcelona: sustainable development, cultural diversity and peace. Knowledge has been added as a fourth theme to the Monterrey Forum.
The Forum celebrates cultural diversity and promotes international dialogue through debates about some of the most important challenges facing humanity. It will feature more than a thousand events - conferences, workshops, concerts and exhibitions - over close to three months.

Mr Matsuura began his intervention by paying tribute to President Calderon and Mexico’s strong support for educational and cultural activities, and underlined Mexico’s strong collaboration with UNESCO in those fields. He remarked that the Forum was an excellent opportunity for Mexico to showcase its rich cultural heritage including its twenty seven sites inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage List.

Mr Matsuura went on to state that the focus of the Forum on knowledge societies was very appropriate since, “in a world marked by an unprecedented economic expansion, it is essential that knowledge be accessible to all. Knowledge is the key to personal growth, to building critical thought and to the exercise of liberty.”

He concluded his remarks by expressing the hope that the Forum, as a platform for all actors in society, would help society better understand our multifaceted modern world.

In his intervention, Mr Calderon, the President of Mexico, reiterated the Director-General’s call to preserve cultural identities in a globalizing world. He went on to congratulate UNESCO for its work in favour of intercultural dialogue and the preservation of cultural diversity.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash Info N° 120-2007
  • 27-09-2007
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