Ambassador Hind Khoury, General Delegate of Palestine in France, was also present at the meeting, which took place in the context of the conference on "Water for Peace – Peace for Water: Lessons from the Past and Current Challenges", jointly organized by UNESCO and the Fondation Chirac, with the support of the Agence Française de Développement.
During the meeting, Mr Matsuura expressed his deep appreciation of the continuous and rich cooperation between the Palestinian Authority and UNESCO in the Organization’s areas of competence. Referring to his official visit to the Palestinian Territories from 14 to 15 June 2008 (Flash Info N° 074-2008*), and to his fruitful discussions with President Mahmoud Abbas on that occasion, Mr Matsuura reaffirmed the key role of education and cultural heritage in promoting sustainable development, alleviating poverty and building social cohesion and peace.
The Director-General mentioned the important safeguarding activities carried out with the support of UNESCO in the cities of Nablus and Bethlehem, in particular the restoration of the Khan al-Wakala Caravanserai and the establishment of the future Riwaya Museum (Museum of Narratives).
“I was most impressed during my visit by the willingness of national and local authorities to place education and culture at the very heart of development, and we will not fail to continue to support these efforts”, emphasized the Director-General.
The Prime Minister thanked the Director-General for UNESCO’s active involvement in the development efforts of the Palestinian Authority, highlighting the assistance provided in the areas of culture and education. Mr Salam Fayyad also warmly welcomed the message sent by Mr Matsuura on the occasion of the commemoration of the death of the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish. Considered as one of the Arab world's most renowned contemporary poets, Mahmoud Darwish passed away on 9 August last.
Author(s): Office of the Spokesperson - Source: Flash Info N° 162-2008 - Publication Date: 14-11-2008