In his address at the closing plenary session, which was attended by H.R.H. Prince El Hassan Bin Talal of Jordan, President of the Club of Rome; Mr E. Sylvester Vizi, President of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences; Mr Stavros Dimas, EU Commissioner for Environment; Ms Kinga Göncz, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Hungary, and Mr Tibor Draskovics, Minister in charge of public administration, the Director-General paid tribute to the Forum, which he said had “become a unique platform for exchange and reflection on science and its role in meeting the urgent challenges facing humankind”.
“It is critical that all segments of society be involved in these discussions and that effective multi-stakeholder partnerships be built to address the complex science-related issues that face the world today”, Mr Matsuura continued, highlighting the success of the 3rd Forum in bringing together four Heads of State as well as many high-level government officials, together with representatives of intergovernmental organizations, non-governmental organizations, scientific institutions and the private sector.
Underscoring the importance of international cooperation and the sharing of best practices for developing scientific knowledge, the Director-General expressed his pleasure to award on the occasion of the Forum two UNESCO Prizes in Science, which aimed “to encourage exchange and dissemination of experiences”.
The Minister of Education of Oman and the Ambassador of Libya to UNESCO joined the Director-General for the ensuing award ceremony. The Sultan Qaboos Prize for Environmental Preservation, created thanks to a generous donation by H.M. Sultan Quaboos Bin Said Al-Said of Oman to recognize outstanding contribution to the management or preservation of the environment, was awarded to the Institute of Biodiversity Conservation in Ethiopia and Dr Julius Oszlanyi from Slovakia. The Great Man-Made River International Water Prize for “Water Resources in Arid and Semi-Arid Areas”, which is sponsored by the Libyan Arab Jamahiriya to reward achievements in the management of water resources, was awarded to Professor J. Shuttleworth from the Centre for the Sustainability of Semi-Arid Hydrology and Riparian Areas at the University of Arizona, USA, and Professor S. Sorooshian from the Centre for Hydrometeorology and Remote Sensing at the University of California, Irvine, USA.
During his visit to Hungary, the Director-General also held bilateral talks with the Hungarian authorities to discuss UNESCO’s cooperation with the country. Mr Matsuura met Mrs Katalin Szili, Speaker of Parliament; Mr Istvan Hiller, Minister of Education and Culture; Mrs Kinga Göncz, Minister for Foreign Affairs; Mr Laszlo Szöke, State Secretary for Multilateral Diplomacy at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs, and addressed the meeting of the Hungarian National Commission for UNESCO.
On 9 November, during his short trip to Pecs, which is one of the cities selected as European Capital of Culture for 2010, the Director-General met with Mayor Peter Tasnadi. He also visited the Early Christian Necropolis (Sopianae), which was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 2000, the Zsolnay Porcelain Museum and the Museum of the Hungarian painter Csontvary-Kosztka Tivader.
Before his departure from Budapest, the Director-General visited the Museum of Fine Arts. Throughout his stay, the Director-General was accompanied by Ms Katalin Bogyay, State Secretary for International Affairs of the Ministry of Education and Culture; Mr Jozseph Hamori, President of the Hungarian National Commission for UNESCO, and Ambassador Lakatos, Permanent Delegate of Hungary to UNESCO.
Author(s): Office of the Spokeswoman - Source: Flash Info N° 171-2007 - Publication Date: 12-11-2007