In his address, Mr Matsuura paid tribute to Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa’s outstanding efforts and achievements to promote education and culture in Bahrain, in the Arab world and beyond, and his longstanding support for UNESCO in all its domains of competence.
Referring to the establishment in 2005 of the King Hamad Bin Isa Al Khalifa Prize for the use of information and communication technologies in education around the world, as well as of a Regional Centre for Information and Communication Technology in Manama, Mr Matsuura outlined Bahrain’s exceptional contribution to the development of the Gulf region in the key area of knowledge creation and sharing.
Mr Matsuura went on to underline Bahrain’s important contribution, nationally and across the region, to the safeguarding of cultural heritage. He recalled that as a result of Bahrain’s constant support to UNESCO on this field, the Government of Bahrain is proposing the creation of a UNESCO Category 2 Centre – an Arab Regional Centre for World Heritage – which is expected to be formally approved by the General Conference in a few days’ time. “This will no doubt appear for the region as a symbol of Bahrain’s innovative and forward looking cultural policies,” stated Mr Matsuura.
“This new proposal”, added the Director-General, “is fully in keeping with the Kingdom’s leading role in the region in promoting the preservation of cultural heritage, notably through the implementation of the 1972 World Heritage Convention. As a member of the World Heritage Committee since 2007, Bahrain has established very good cooperation with UNESCO in the field of World Heritage and has also generously offered to host the 35th session of the Committee in 2011”.
In closing, the Director-General awarded Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa the UNESCO Avicenna medal, “in recognition of His Highness’s efforts and achievements in promoting education, particularly ICTs in education, and culture in Bahrain, in the Arab world, and beyond”.
In his address, the Prime Minister of Bahrain praised the Director-General for his longstanding support to Bahrain and the Arab world, and reiterated the Kingdom of Bahrain’s commitment to the promotion of cultural diversity in all its forms and the safeguarding of cultural heritage, both tangible and intangible. “In and outside the Kingdom of Bahrain, we will continue to advocate the protection and promotion of cultural diversity both as a fundamental source of social renewal, and as a resource for national development strategies”, he underlined.
The Director-General then hosted a lunch in honour of Sheikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa. Later, in the presence of the Prime Minister, to whom he paid a warm tribute, the Director-General signed with Dr Al-Noaimi, Minister of Education of Bahrain, a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen cooperation in technical and vocational education and training (TVET).
“This new agreement will reinforce the role of the Centre of Excellence for TVET, established in Bahrain in 2004, in sharing good practices, advancing knowledge and developing capacities in the field of TVET. Under the new Memorandum, the Bahrain Centre will become a central part of a wider platform for cooperation and information sharing at the sub-regional, regional and international levels within the framework of the UNESCO/UNEVOC network”, emphasized Mr Matsuura.
Author(s): Office of the Spokesperson - Source: Flash Info N° 199-2009 - Publication Date: 14-10-2009