The Director-General of UNESCO pays his first official visit to the Principality of Liechtenstein

The Director-General of UNESCO pays his first official visit to the Principality of Liechtenstein

On 22 and 23 April 2008, Director-General Koïchiro Matsuura paid his first official visit to the Principality of Liechtenstein.

During his visit, he was received by H.S.H. Hereditary Prince Alois of Liechtenstein at Vaduz Castle. He had a working dinner with Ms Rita Kieber-Beck, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Culture, Family and Equal Opportunity, which was also attended by the Directors of the Principality’s Offices for Foreign Affairs, Cultural Affairs, Education as well as the Historic Monuments Office. Before his departure, Mr Matsuura was also received by Ambassador Roland Marxer, Director of Liechtenstein’s Office for Foreign Affairs.

In his discussions, the Director-General invited Liechtenstein to participate in more of UNESCO’s activities. The Hereditary Prince and the Minister expressed their support for UNESCO and the Director-General and their appreciation for UNESCO’s initiative to commence a dialogue with the Principality. They underlined that Liechtenstein had already acceded to and ratified several key UNESCO conventions and protocols, especially in the areas of culture and education (including in particular the 1954 Hague Convention). They also underlined the political readiness to proceed further in this field. Mr Matsuura expressed his satisfaction at this involvement in UNESCO’s normative areas and his hope that this would continue with accession to further conventions.

The Director-General also provided his interlocutors with an overview of the priorities of UNESCO’s programmatic activities and the UNESCO reform process. He invited Liechtenstein to consider contributing to development projects in UNESCO’s areas of competence, especially education and culture. Both sides also noted that a few Liechtenstein nationals were already involved in UNESCO’s activities under secondment or internship arrangements.

In the exchanges, the Director-General expressed his hope that Liechtenstein would, in due course, consider favourably a more formal involvement with UNESCO, including the possibility of membership. In this regard, Minister Kieber-Beck outlined the Government’s current policy that it would, for the moment, not seek membership in international organizations beyond those which it had joined earlier. Both sides agreed to maintain a dialogue at the senior level.

Prior to his departure, the Director-General visited the Museum of Fine Arts (Kunstmuseum) in Vaduz and the Walser Museum in Triesenberg.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash Info N° 051-2008
  • 24-04-2008
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