Development of cooperation with Kazakhstan
Irina Bokova started her official visit to Kazakhstan with an in-depth review of current and future activities, during discussions in the office of the Mayor of Astana chaired by the Chairman of the National Commission Mr. Imangali Tasmagambetov, and including the Ministers of Education and Science, Culture and Information, Environment, Agriculture, Sport and Physical Culture, and the head of the Kazakhstan Federation of UNESCO Clubs. "Kazakhstan has always played an active role in UNESCO, especially in the area of intercultural cooperation and rapprochement.-- the Organization needs this most especially today," declared the Director-General.
The Director-General also participated in an official ceremony to establish the Central Asian Regional Glaciological Centre as a UNESCO Category 2 center. The Centre will be located in the Institute of Geography of Kazakhstan, with the aim to support the sustainable management of the region’s water resources. "The importance of this centre extends across the region on an issue of vital importance for all societies," underlined the Director-General.
Irina Bokova also met with the Chairman of the Senate and the Head of the Secretariat of the Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions, Kairat Mami. They discussed the importance of intercultural and inter-religious dialogue in a fast-changing world. The Director-General thanked Kazakhstan for its leading initiatives in this area, including its active role in making 2010 the International Year for the Rapprochement of Cultures and the forthcoming decade on the similar theme. The Head of the Senate looked forward to ever deeper cooperation with UNESCO in this area.
This was followed by a meeting between the Director-General and the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Yerzhan Kazykhanov, where Irina Bokova thanked Kazakhstan for its support to the Organization in the current context, to the Office in Almaty and through the Emergency Fund. She requested the continued engagement and leadership of Kazakhstan for the success of the Rio + 20 UN Conference on Sustainable Development. "Rio+20 must succeed and this requires political leadership," said Mrs Bokova. The Minister agreed and also underlined the importance of all initiatives for greater cooperation in a globalizing world. This matters not only for the environment but also for development more widely, said the Director-General. The Minister thanked Mrs Bokova for her leadership on all of these issues and saw great perspectives for stronger cooperation, notably in promoting intercultural dialogue within the UN level.