United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization

The Director-General discusses UNESCO Cooperation with TURKSOY

On 16 June 2009, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura met Mr Düssen Kasseinov, Director-General of TURKSOY at UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris to discuss cooperation between the two Organizations.

Mr Kasseinov was accompanied by Ms Esra Cankorur, First Counsellor, Charge d'Affairs a.i of the Permanent Delegation of Turkey and Mr Valery Tolmachev, Counsellor, Charge d'Affairs a.i of the Permanent Delegation of Kazakhstan.

Mr Kasseinov explained that his positive experiences with UNESCO in his previous roles as Minister of Culture of Kazakhstan and as Secretary-General of its National Commission, had led him to seek closer cooperation following his appointment as Director-General of TURKSOY in May 2008. Established in 1993 in Almaty, Kazakhstan, but headquartered in Ankara, Turkey, TURKSOY (Joint Administration of Turkic Culture and Art) is an international organization which establishes cooperation among the Turkic Speaking Countries in the fields of culture and arts. Its 6 founder members are Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan. Eight other countries participate as observers. The Russian Federation would soon become the 9th observer and a Memorandum of Understanding with the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) would extend the geographical scope of TURKSOY’s actions.

Continuing, Mr Kassseinov explained that many of its member states were actively engaged with the UNESCO Culture Sector, and he hoped that this meeting would open up avenues for further discussions and the Organisation’s participation in UNESCO’s work.

Mr Matsuura congratulated Mr Kasseinov on his new responsibilities and recalled that one of his own first official functions as Director-General had been to attend a high level summit of TURKSOY leaders in Azerbaijan in April 2000. He welcomed Mr Kassseinov’s intention to strengthen cooperation with UNESCO, particularly in activities aimed at safeguarding the intangible cultural heritage and he encouraged TURKSOY to follow the work of the Intergovernmental Committee closely and to attend as an observer its fourth session in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates from 28 September to 2 October next.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Mr Kasseinov presented the Director-General with the TURKSOY Medal of Honour in recognition of Mr Matsuura’s work with TURKSOY Member countries.

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Author(s): Office of the Spokesperson - Source: Flash Info N° 118-2009 -  Publication Date: 18-06-2009

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