The General Conference of UNESCO, at its 34th session, in 34C/ Resolution 31, had approved the establishment of the Centre and authorized the Director-General to sign the corresponding agreement.
Also present at the ceremony were Mr Kalamanov, Ambassador and Permanent delegate of the Russian Federation to UNESCO, Mr Sergey Koblov, the Executive Director of the Centre, and Mr Barbosa, the Deputy-Director General of UNESCO.
Mr Matsuura began his intervention following the signing ceremony by expressing his hope that the Centre would play an important role in facing the critical issue of achieving sustainable energy. The Director-General noted that “addressing renewable energy needs is fundamental” and that the UN system as a whole was paying close attention to the issue.
He also highlighted the close linkages between sustainable energy and climate change, and noted that the establishment of the centre was very timely, as climate change has become one of the key issues of our era.
The Director-General went on to note the importance of building capacity in the area of renewable energy and welcomed the Centre’s offer of twenty scholarships for the 2008-2009 biennium. Mr Matsuura was pleased to note that the fellowship winners for 2008 all came from developing countries. The Director-General concluded his remarks by looking forward to a very fruitful collaboration between UNESCO and the Centre.
Minister Shmatko then took the floor to express his thanks to UNESCO for its support for the Centre. He noted that UNESCO and the Russian Federation had complementary knowledge in the fields of science education and energy that could be brought to bear in the Centre’s work. He noted that the Russian Federation had committed to fully support the Centre, technically and financially. He expressed confidence that the establishment of the centre would promote energy security and economic and social development.
Previous to the signing, the Director-General and Minister Shmatko held bilateral talks in which they discussed the collaboration between UNESCO and the Russian Federation with regard to renewable energy and the new Centre’s key role in this area.
Author(s): Office of the Spokesperson - Source: Flash Info N° 109-2008 - Publication Date: 08-09-2008