The Queen Mother of Swaziland pays official visit to UNESCO

The Queen Mother of Swaziland pays official visit to UNESCO
  • © UNESCO/M. Ravassard

On 16 September 2009, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura received Her Majesty the Indlovukazi (the Queen Mother) of Swaziland on her first official visit to the Organisation’s Headquarters.

The Queen Mother was accompanied by a royal delegation including HRH Princess Fikile, HRH Prince David, Inkhosikati Busisiwe Dlamini, member of the Royal family, Chief Kusa Dlamini, Member of Parliament, Ms Senanile Nkosi, Lady in waiting, Ms Lindiwe Gwebu, Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Thuli Dladla, Member of Parliament, Ms Thembayaena Dlamini, Ambassador, Permanent Delegate of Swaziland to UNESCO and Mr Solomon Dlamini, Ambassador of Swaziland to France.

In welcoming Her Majesty the Queen Mother, Mr Matsuura paid tribute to her role as a custodian of Swazi culture and expressed his pleasure on hosting the very first visit of the Indlovukazi to UNESCO.

In their bilateral meeting, the Director-General described with satisfaction the growing cooperation between UNESCO and the Kingdom of Swaziland. Recalling his official visit to Swaziland in March 2004, when he was received by His Majesty King Swati III in the presence of the Queen Mother, Mr Matsuura noted the progress the Organization has made in enhancing its programmes in Swaziland. He particularly welcomed Swaziland’s ratification, in 2005, of the World Heritage Convention and pledged UNESCO’s assistance to the finalization of the candidature of the Ngwenya Mine to the World Heritage List. Acknowledging the crucial importance that the Indlovukazi attaches to the preservation of intangible cultural heritage of her country, the Director-General emphasized the need for Swaziland to ratify the 2003 Convention and to submit candidatures to the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

For her part, the Indlovukazi expressed her gratitude to Mr Matsuura for having invited her and her delegation to pay an official visit to UNESCO. She conveyed the warm greetings from His Majesty King Swati III and called for UNESCO’s enhanced technical assistance in the promotion of Swaziland’s rich cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible, including traditional dances and festivals. She paid tribute to the presence of UNESCO’s programmes in her country particularly in the areas of education and culture.

During the official lunch organized in honour of Her Majesty the Queen Mother, the Director-General assured the royal delegation of UNESCO’s intention to further strengthen the Organization’s cooperation with Swaziland through the Windhoek Cluster Office.

While at UNESCO Headquarters, Her Majesty the Queen Mother of Swaziland visited the premises of UNESCO Headquarters, beginning with the Japanese Garden, in the company of the Director-General. The Queen Mother also addressed the African Permanent Delegates to UNESCO at an information meeting.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokesperson
  • Source:Flash Info N° 167-2009
  • 17-09-2009
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