06.05.2010 - ODG

Irina Bokova meets Australian Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts during official visit to the country

© Courtesy of the Government of AustraliaUNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova meeting with Mr Peter Garrett, Australia’s Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts, on 5 May 2010 in Canberra, Australia, during her official visit to the country

On 5 May 2010, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova held a fruitful meeting with Mr Peter Garrett, Minister for Environment Protection, Heritage and the Arts, at the Nation’s capital during her first official visit to Australia (from 1 to 6 May 2010).

The meeting focused essentially on identifying specific areas of mutual interest in which UNESCO and Australia could develop new synergies and partnerships.

The Director-General noted the close relationship between UNESCO and Australia, particularly in the fields of sciences and culture, recalling the establishment of the Australian Funds-in-Trust, which aims to support world heritage related activities in the Asia-Pacific region.

Irina Bokova emphasized that there was tremendous potential to develop new forms of synergies and partnerships between Australia and UNESCO. She spoke of the establishment of a UNESCO chair in communication at the University of Queensland, which is under way, and suggested that partnerships could be established in areas such as: education for sustainable development, culture as a tool for development, arts and education, science, and combating climate change.

During her stay in Australia, the Director-General visited a few of Australia’s World Heritage Sites like the Noosa Biosphere Reserve, the Wet Tropics of Queensland, the Great Barrier Reef, and the Sydney Opera House. Irina Bokova also visited the cities of Cairns and Brisbane, where she met with the Governor of Queensland, Ms Penelope Wensley.  She met Professor Penny Sackette, Chief Scientist for Australia at the Parliament House in Canberra, as well as Mr Bob McMullan, Parliamentary Secretary for International Development Assistance in Sydney.

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