UNESCO strengthens cooperation with the Astrakhan region of the Russian Federation

UNESCO strengthens cooperation with the Astrakhan region of the Russian Federation
  • © UNESCO/M. Ravassard

On 4 February 2009, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, had a meeting with Mr Alexandre Zhilkin, Governor of the Astrakhan region of the Russian Federation, and signed with him a joint communiqué outlining concrete areas for strengthened cooperation between UNESCO and the region.

Welcoming the Governor of Astrakhan to UNESCO, the Director-General referred to his numerous visits to the Russian Federation. He recalled that both President Medvedev and the former President Putin had encouraged UNESCO to develop cooperation with the Russian regions. The signing of the joint Communiqué with the Astrakhan Region was a follow-up to these discussions.

The Director-General highlighted a variety of activities the authorities of the Astrakhan region were already carrying out in cooperation with UNESCO, mentioning in particular the UNESCO Chair on ‘Learning Society and Socio-Sustainable Development’, the preparation of a nomination file of the Astrakhan Kremlin for submission to the World Heritage List, the Astrakhanskiy Biosphere reserve, and, more generally, all the efforts aiming at preserving the cultural heritage and at promoting inter-religious and inter-ethnic dialogue.

Mr Matsuura mentioned that the different aspects of cooperation between UNESCO and the Astrakhan region were reflected in the impressive exhibition entitled “At the crossroads of great civilizations” that UNESCO’s Deputy Director-General Marcio Barbosa opened with Governor Zhilkin the same evening.

Expressing his appreciation about the prospect of further strengthening the region’s cooperation with UNESCO, the Governor invited the Director-General to pay a visit to Astrakhan, which he described as a region at the crossroads of cultures as illustrated by its rich cultural heritage.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokesperson
  • Source:Flash Info N° 018-2009
  • 05-02-2009
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