The Director-General establishes a UNESCO Chair in International Relations at the University of Dresden, Germany

The Director-General establishes a UNESCO Chair in International Relations at the University of Dresden, Germany
  • © UNESCO/M. Ravassard

On 25 March 2009, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, and Mr Jörg Weber, Vice-President of the Technical University of Dresden, signed an agreement establishing a UNESCO Chair in International Relations at the Technical University of Dresden, Germany.

Also present at the Signature Ceremony were Mr Günter Overfeld, Ambassador and Permanent Delegate of Germany to UNESCO and Professor Sabine von Schorlemer, Chairholder of the newly established UNESCO Chair in International Relations.

The UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs programme* was launched in 1992 with the aim of advancing research, strengthening human and institutional capacity, and fostering inter-university cooperation in key areas of UNESCO’s mandate. In his address, the Director-General noted that “with the signing of today’s agreement, [the programme] now comprises 631 UNESCO Chairs and 60 UNITWIN networks which bring together over 750 institutions of higher education in 125 countries.”

The Director-General expressed his satisfaction with the establishment of the 9th UNESCO Chair in Germany. He highlighted that “establishing cooperation amongst the large network of UNESCO Chairs worldwide is of vital importance. … I am confident that this new Chair in International Relations will make a unique contribution as an addition to the distinguished network of eight Chairs already operating in Germany,” he added.

Mr Matsuura complimented Germany for its commitment to the area of higher education and expressed his appreciation for the country’s “active engagement in the growing network of UNESCO Chairs”, underscoring that “this UNESCO Chair will fill an important gap in the knowledge of relationships between Cultural Heritage and peace and sustainable development”. The Director-General concluded stating that he was “pleased to see that this UNESCO Chair shall enhance South-South and North-South-South cooperation as it plans to collaborate closely not only with other UNESCO Chairs in Germany, but also with other Universities in Chile, Mexico, and Tanzania, as well as with several UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN Networks worldwide.”

For their part, Vice-President Weber, Professor von Schorlemer, and Ambassador Overfeld, expressed their gratitude and enthusiasm for the creation of this UNESCO Chair with such a comprehensive and challenging mandate. They further noted how this shall help the University of Dresden collaborate with other institutions worldwide, and give it more international exposure. “We look forward to working closely with UNESCO to ensure the success of this Chair,” said Mr Overfeld.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokesperson
  • Source:Flash Info N° 047-2009
  • 26-03-2009
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