The Director-General Honours the Queen Grandmother of Thailand and Meets with Prime Minister
On 10 September, the Director-General received the honour of participating in the celebrations to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Her Majesty Queen Sri Savarindira, the Queen Grandmother of Thailand.
In the Citation she presented on behalf of UNESCO in the Amarindra Vinichaya Throne Hall before Her Royal Highness Maha Chakri Sirindhorn, Irina Bokova laid emphasis on the lifelong commitment by the Queen Grandmother to improve the well-being of all members of Thai society and to advance the sustainable development of the country through education for all, and access to health care. She recognized especially the engagement of the Queen Grandmother to support the rights and dignity of the marginalized and disadvantaged, and underlined the importance of the Queen Grandmother's dedication to advancing goals and priorities shared by UNESCO. The ceremony began with a Citation presented by Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, and proceeded with offerings from the Princess and Buddhist well-wishing prayers.
On the same day, the Director-General met with Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra and discussed the depth of UNESCO's cooperation with Thailand.
“Thailand is the country where the education for all movement was born, and I know how much Government cares about bringing quality education to every member of society,” said the Director-General.
Irina Bokova underlined the willingness of UNESCO and its Asia and Pacific Regional Bureau for Education, based in Bangkok, to support the Government in meeting its objectives.
The Prime Minister stated her full support to UNESCO in taking forward its mandate and expressed an interest in deepening cooperation, including in promoting access to education through ICTs.
“Technology can play an important role in increasing access to education, building knowledge and giving students the competencies they need,” she said referring to the Government’s efforts in this area, including the launch of the “One Tablet per Child” initiative across the country’s Grade 1 schools.
Irina Bokova highlighted the interest that other countries have in Thailand’s experience towards promoting education, including literacy, especially neighbouring ASEAN countries. The Prime Minister agreed and drew attention to cooperation already underway, including most recently with Myanmar in the fields of education and healthcare.
In a separate meeting, the Minister of Culture Mrs Sukumol Kunplome thanked the Director-General for UNESCO’s support following the 2011 floods in the Historic City of Ayutthaya. The Director-General congratulated the Minister for Bangkok’s nomination as Capital of the Book in 2013, and suggested that the Ministry could cooperate with UNESCO in building capacity to protect cultural heritage in Myanmar.
On behalf of UNESCO, Irina Bokova was honoured to present her best wishes to Their Majesties King and Queen of Thailand. The Director-General expressed deep thanks to Their Majesties for their long-standing engagement to promote the healthy and sustainable development of all members of Thai society, underling the work of UNESCO with the Government of Thailand to take forward these goals. She pledged an ever deeper commitment by UNESCO to support these objectives.