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DIRECTRICE GENERALE DE L'UNESCO

The Director-General pays his fourth official visit to Mexico

The Director-General pays his fourth official visit to Mexico
  • © UNESCO/J. Baker

From 19-21 September 2007, Koïchiro Matsuura, the Director-General of UNESCO, paid his fourth official visit to Mexico, on the occasion of the opening of the Universal Forum of Cultures in Monterrey, on 20 September 2007.

Mr Matsuura opened the Universal Forum along with Mr Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, President of Mexico (see flash info N° 120-2007). The Forum, which celebrates cultural diversity and promotes international dialogue, will feature more than a thousand events - conferences, workshops, concerts and exhibitions - over close to three months.

On 19 September 2007, the Director-General opened the exhibit dedicated to the Mexican writer Alfonso Reyes, in the federal Palace of Monterrey, along with Mr Gonzales Parás, Governor of the State of Nuevo Leon, Ms Espinosa Cantellano, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico and Mr Sergio Vela Martinez, President of the National Council for Culture and Arts of Mexico. In his remarks, the Director-General underlined the excellence of Alfonso Reyes’ work in multiple forms of writing, including fiction, poetry, literary criticism, translation and journalism and noted that the promotion of all forms of cultural expressions was a priority for UNESCO.

During his visit, the Director-General held bilateral talks with Mr Felipe Calderón Hinojosa, President of Mexico, as well as Mr José Natividad Gonzales Parás, the Governor of the State of Nuevo Leon, Ms Patricia Espinosa Cantellano, Secretary of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, Ms Josefina Vázquez Mota, Secretary of Public Education of Mexico, Mr Sergio Vela Martinez, President of the National Council for Culture and Arts of Mexico, and Mr Marcelo Luis Ebrard Casaubon, head of the Government of Mexico City.

During his bilateral talks, the Director-General congratulated Mexico on its fruitful collaboration with UNESCO in all of UNESCO’s fields of competence and for having ratified a large number of UNESCO’s conventions, in particular in the field of culture. The Mexican authorities expressed their pleasure on being able to count on UNESCO’s support, particularly in the field of education and culture. With regard to the Convention on Underwater Cultural Heritage, Mr Matsuura proposed that Mexico and UNESCO could collaborate, with other countries in the region such as Belize and Honduras, to ensure the safeguarding of underwater cultural heritage off the Caribbean coast.

The Director-General and President Calderón discussed future collaboration in the context of Mexico’s bicentennial independence celebrations to be held in 2010, which could include the further restoration of certain of Mexico’s World Heritage sites, as well as projects related to commemorating Mayan civilization.

On 21 September 2007, in Mexico City, the Director-General visited the house of Luis Barragán, a UNESCO World Heritage site, after which he attended a ceremony where he was named honorary guest of Mexico City by Mr Ebrard Casaubon, head of the Government of Mexico City. In his acceptance speech, Mr Matsuura expressed his honour in receiving this award from a city with such a rich cultural heritage. He noted that Mexico City was one of the few cities in the world that could boast having three cultural world heritage sites.

Later the same day, the Director-General attended the ceremony for the unveiling of the commemorative plaque declaring the central campus of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico (UNAM) as a UNESCO World Heritage site. The ceremony was also attended by Ms Josefina Vázquez Mota, Secretary of Public Education of Mexico, Mr Ebrard Casaubon, head of the Government of Mexico City, and Mr Juan Ramón de la Fuente, rector of UNAM. In his intervention, Mr Matsuura underscored the originality and richness of UNAM’s campus, notably of the Olympic stadium and the murals of the central library, also highlighting UNAM’s important role in Latin America and the world in tertiary education, notably in the field of science.

  • Auteur(s):Office of the Spokeswoman
  • Source:Flash Info N° 121-2007
  • 27-09-2007
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