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DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF UNESCO

The President of the Republic of Argentina at UNESCO

The President of the Republic of Argentina at UNESCO
  • © UNESCO/P. Lagès

The President of the Republic of Argentina, Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner, was received at UNESCO Headquarters on 7 April 2008 by Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura as well as Georges Anastassopoulos, President of the General Conference, and Olabiyi Babalola Joseph Yaï, Chairman of the Executive Board.

With her were Jorge Taiana, Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Trade and Worship; Julio De Vido, Minister of Federal Planning, Public Investment and Services; and Daniel Filmus, Argentina’s representative on the Executive Board and Chairman of the Programme and External Relations Commission.

“I am particularly happy to welcome you for the third time, and today as the President of the Republic of Argentina,” said Mr Matsuura during their bilateral discussion. “Following your first visit to UNESCO in February 2007, it was in Buenos Aires that I had the privilege of receiving you on 28 March, as the guest of honour at a reception given in the gardens of the Villa Ocampo during the second Ministerial Meeting of the Regional Education Project for Latin America and the Caribbean.”

During their talk, the Argentine President reaffirmed her own and her country’s commitment to the promotion of human rights, because “beyond ideological differences, the brotherhood of mankind is based on a common attachment to human dignity.” This conviction has led the Argentine government to propose the creation of a UNESCO International Institute for Human Rights Education in Buenos Aires, in what was a clandestine detention centre under the military dictatorship.

Mr Matsuura announced to President Fernandez de Kirchner that he intends to travel to Buenos Aires personally to sign the agreement to create the institute, as soon as it has been approved by the Executive Board. She assured him that the institute would be ready for inauguration and that she would be at his side to celebrate this occasion, a highly symbolic one for the Argentine people.

Because education is one of the Argentine government’s top public priorities, the President told Mr Matsuura about an ambitious educational programme established by Juan Carlos Tedesco, Minister of Education and a former UNESCO director, to alleviate the consequences of dropping out and to allow young people without diplomas to validate their secondary school studies. In this respect, the Director-General underlined the importance of Argentina’s role in the Education for All movement in the region, since the country’s election in March 2007 as Chair of the Regional Education Project for Latin America and the Caribbean (PRELAC).

Ms Fernandez de Kirchner had earlier addressed UNESCO’s Executive Board, which opened its 179th session that morning (See UNESCO Press Release No. 2008-23).

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash Info N° 047-2008
  • 08-04-2008
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