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DIRECTOR-GENERAL OF UNESCO

Visit of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kenya to UNESCO

On 20 October 2009, the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, welcomed Mr Raila Odinga, Prime Minister of Kenya, to UNESCO Headquarters.

In their bilateral talks, the Director-General and the Prime Minister took stock of the ever growing cooperation between UNESCO and Kenya as regards the Organization’s fields of competence. They expressed their satisfaction at the many concrete results achieved over the years. Mr Odinga noted that the introduction of free primary education in Kenya, with the assistance of UNESCO and other international partners, had borne great fruits, including massive expansions in enrolment rates. He called for UNESCO’s continued technical assistance to expand access at the secondary and tertiary levels so as to consolidate the gains achieved so far. In the filed of culture, the Prime Minister commended UNESCO’s efforts in assisting Kenya to preserve its rich cultural heritage.

The Director-General pledged UNESCO’s cooperation to respond to the new challenges in the education sector and welcomed Kenya’s determination to develop its human resources through massive investments in education, scientific research and innovation. He also noted the Organization’s existing cooperation with Kenyan universities and emphasized the need to further broaden access to higher education in the country, especially given the high demand arising from the excellent results achieved through the introduction of free primary education.

Furthermore, Mr Matsuura encouraged the continuation of conservation efforts being made at Lamu Old Town, a World Heritage Site which he visited during his official visit to Kenya in May 2007, when that country hosted the Fourteenth (Ordinary session) of the International Bioethics Committee. The Director-General concluded his remarks by underscoring that due attention should also be paid to the preservation of intangible cultural heritage.

  • Author(s):Office of the Spokesperson
  • Source:Flash Info N° 212-2009
  • 23-10-2009
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