Inauguration of Argentinean exhibition “Educar en la Memoria Para Construir el Futuro”

Inauguration of Argentinean exhibition “Educar en la Memoria Para Construir el Futuro”
  • © UNESCO

On Tuesday, 17 July 2007 the Director-General of UNESCO, Mr Koïchiro Matsuura, inaugurated an exhibition organized by the Argentine Delegation to UNESCO entitled ‘Educar en la Memoria para Construir el Futuro’ (Educate on memory to build the future) at UNESCO Headquarters.

Also present at the inaugural ceremony were: Mr Daniel Filmus, Minister of Education, Science and Technology of Argentina; Mrs Estela de Carlotto, President of the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo; Mr Juan Cabandié, one of the Grandmothers’ 88 found grandchildren; Mr Eric Calcagno, Ambassador of Argentina to France; Dr Carlos Laforgue, Secretary of the Argentine Human Rights Department; and Mr Ignacio Hernaiz, Director of special programmes in the Argentine Ministry of Education.

“This exhibition presents graphic testimony to Argentinean history, particularly to the role of the education system as one of the pillars in shaping the national state since the 19th century (…),” said the Director-General in his opening address. The exhibition is composed of panels illustrating, from an education and human rights perspective, different phases of Argentine history, including the repressive period of the military dictatorship. It portrays education as the main means through which the values of civil liberties and human rights can prevail around the world.

Mr Matsuura recalled his latest visit to Argentina in March this year, on the occasion of the Second Ministerial Meeting of the Regional Education Project of Latin America and the Caribbean (PRELAC), where he also had the opportunity to visit the building of the ‘Escuela de Mecánica de la Armada’ (ESMA), the location of the military dictatorship’s clandestine centre for detention and torture between 1976 and 1983. The Director-General also noted that in December 1999, he had had the honour to award the UNESCO Education Prize for Peace to the Association of Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo for their work in peace and humanitarian education.

“After difficult years, where governments imposed the yoke of intolerance and broke from democracy and social justice, Argentina entered a stage of democratic recovery and reconstruction of its institutions, among them those that form the national education system (…). Argentine society knows that ‘not to forget history’ is a condition for preventing such tragedies from taking place again,” stated Mr Matsuura.

The Director-General congratulated Minister Filmus for his government’s programme to preserve the memory of this period in Argentinean history and encouraged him to continue in this initiative. For his part, Mr Filmus reiterated Argentina’s commitment to continue fighting for the ideals of democracy and human rights and reemphasized the importance of education as the fundamental guardian of these principles. “If the principles of UNESCO were spread throughout the world, I am sure that terrorist acts, such as those that took place in Argentina under military rule, would never be repeated,” concluded Mr Filmus.

  • Auteur(s):La Porte-parole
  • Source:Flash Info N° 100-2007
  • 19-07-2007
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