The signature ceremony took place in the presence of numerous ambassadors from Arab Member States to UNESCO, particularly from those countries that make up the intergovernmental regional organization: Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
In his intervention, Director-General Matsuura expressed his satisfaction at revising the Agreement, which lay behind almost 40 years of fruitful cooperation between UNESCO and ABEGS. He recalled that the first Agreement was signed in 1970 and subsequently revised ten years later. The Director-General underscored that “this new revision will further strengthen cooperation between the two Organizations in UNESCO’s fields of competence, particularly in education, for the benefit of the Gulf States and Yemen”. Mr Matsuura went on to note the importance for UNESCO of working closely with sub-regional organizations such as ABEGS and highlighted that a number of positive results have come out of this close collaboration.
For his part, Director-General Al-Kourni expressed his deepest gratitude for the revision of the Agreement and reaffirmed his wish to continue enhancing collaboration between the two Organisations. “Our relationship is deeply rooted since our first Agreement”. […] “This revised Agreement opens a new chapter in our cooperation in which education is a priority,” he said. Mr Al-Kourmi also emphasized that the Gulf States have nearly achieved the internationally agreed goals of Education for All (EFA), and expressed his confidence that by 2015 all countries will have reached them.
Kuwait’s representative to UNESCO’s Executive Board, former Minister of Education and President of the Council of Kuwaiti Society for the advancement of Arab children, Mr Hassan Al Ibraheem, also made a statement on behalf of the Arab Member States present at the ceremony. He reiterated the region’s commitment to the goals and ideals of UNESCO, particularly with regards to achieving EFA.
Author(s): Office of the Spokesperson - Source: Flash Info N° 076-2009 - Publication Date: 28-04-2009