UNESCO: United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization

Conférence générale de l'UNESCO - 33° Session

 UNESCO Director-General presents his condolences to Pakistan, India and Afghanistan and proposes assistance
The Director-General of UNESCO, Koïchiro Matsuura voiced his distress over the death of tens of thousands of people in the earthquake that hit Pakistan, India and Afghanistan on Saturday.

“I am particularly grieved over the deaths of so many children who perished at school,” the Director-General declared, “and I deplore the cruel loss of countless lives that has plunged Pakistan, India and Afghanistan into mourning.”

“This earthquake, which comes in the wake of other serious natural disasters, shows that such tragedies are becoming increasingly frequent, complex and serious, and that their power of destruction is increasing.

“Thousands of people have lost their lives and many more will remain deeply traumatized,” the Director-General added. “National authorities and the international community, of course, should continue to provide the practical support needed by the affected communities. But at the same time, it is important to quickly learn the lessons that have become indispensable to promote a culture of disaster reduction.”

In letters addressed to presidents Pervez Musharraf, A.P.J.Abdul Kalam, and Hamid Karzaï, Mr Matsuura expressed his deep sorrow over the terrible loss of life and offered UNESCO’s assistance in its various fields of competence.


UNESCO’s activities in natural disaster reduction
ReliefWeb: South Asia earthquake update

Source Press Release No. 2005-117