The Director-General celebrates Staff Day 2009

The Director-General celebrates Staff Day 2009
  • © UNESCO/M. Ravassard

On Friday 12 June 2009, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, Director-General of UNESCO, hosted the annual UNESCO Staff Day. This event was instituted by Mr Matsuura in the year 2000 as a day of celebration dedicated to all UNESCO staff no matter where they are based, at Headquarters or in one of the Organization’s field offices.

At Headquarters, Staff Day usually takes place at the beginning of the summer and many activities are organized throughout the Fontenoy building to bring colleagues from different Sectors and Bureaux together.

This year’s programme began with the Director-General’s opening remarks in the presence of the Presidents of UNESCO’s two Staff Associations, Mrs Marie-Thérèse Conilh de Beyssac, President of STU, and Mr Sidiki Coulibaly, President of ISAU. Mr Matsuura welcomed the colleagues gathered for the breakfast and expressed his satisfaction at this year’s theme: “Environment and Well-being”. He explained how many activities planned during the whole day would follow this theme and commended the organizing committee for this “important ecological step”. The Director-General congratulated both Staff Associations and other staff groups such as “UNES’GO” and “Greening UNESCO”, who had worked with the administration to organize the event and expressed his happiness upon seeing so many colleagues “eager to take part in this day of joy.”

Mr Matsuura then visited the various stands and activities set up throughout the Fontenoy building, including the building’s workshops where he greeted the technicians and toured a ‘Staff Photo Exhibition’ displayed in the basement. The Director-General also paid a visit to the security post at Fontenoy, the library, and the temporary offices that will soon be removed from the UNESCO grounds. Later in the morning a ceremony was held in honour of the Staff members having served the Organisation for 20, 25, and 30 years, during which they each received a medal from the Director-General (see Flash Info N°114-2009).

During the international lunch offered by the Director-General, all members of staff were able to freely interact with Mr Matsuura as well as the Organisation’s senior management. In the afternoon, after the Organization’s own theatre group, “The UNESCO Pantomime” performed their latest show, the Director-General presented the first edition of the UNESCO Team Awards (see Flash Info N°114-2009), which rewarded 9 UNESCO teams for their achievements and merit in carrying out their projects and programmes.

The Director-General concluded his participation in this year’s Staff Day by drawing the winning tickets in a raffle offering more than 30 prizes within the theme of “Environment and Well-being”. The funds collected through the sales of the raffle tickets will be donated to an environmentally active NGO. A Jazz concert and barbecue followed until nightfall, after which a live band and DJ allowed everyone to dance until midnight.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokesperson
  • Source:Flash Info N° 113-2009
  • 16-06-2009
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