UNESCO welcomes return of the United States of AmericaParis - Director-General Ko´chiro Matsuura today warmly welcomed President Bush's announcement of the return of the United States to UNESCO, following an 18-year absence.
The full text follows: "In my capacity of Director-General, I warmly welcome President George W. Bush's decision to officially re-engage the United States of America in the work of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. I'm sure all 188 Member States of UNESCO will also welcome this good news.
"The United States was a founding member of UNESCO, helping to shape its 1945 Constitution upholding fundamental human rights, the free flow of ideas and information, scientific and cultural cooperation, and educational opportunity for all. I am proud to offer my full commitment to assist in reintegrating the United States into the life and work of the Organization.
"I look forward to the possibility of closer collaboration with the enormous intellectual and cultural resources of the American academic and scientific communities, and fuller contact with the extraordinary cultural diversity that characterizes American life. Their energy and ideas are vital in the effort to shape policies that can improve the lives of people everywhere.
"I believe the United States' return to UNESCO supports effective reform and renewal within the multilateral system, affirming UNESCO's steady forward progress over the past years. It has been my personal mission over the last three years to shape UNESCO into the most dynamic, efficient and relevant organization it can be, open and accountable to all stakeholders. We look forward to working with American representatives to continue the process of reform and the continuous improvement of our services to Member States."