07.05.2010 - ODG

Irina Bokova pays official visit to the Solomon Islands and holds meeting with Prime Minister

© UNESCO/Manh Ha TranUNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova meeting the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Mr David Derek Sikua, on 6 May 2010, during her official visit to the country

On 6 May 2010, UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova met the Prime Minister of the Solomon Islands, Mr David Derek Sikua, during her official visit to the country and last stop of her first official tour of the Asia-Pacific region, which also included Singapore and Australia.

They discussed strategies to deal with climate change, a topic of particular relevance to the region, and the challenges of achieving the Millennium Development Goals by 2015. The Director-General informed the Prime Minister that the Pacific nations will be included in UNESCO’s pilot project on education for climate change and expressed UNESCO’s commitment to work very closely with the Solomon Islands to help it achieve the MDG targets.

The Prime Minister noted the establishment of a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) in his country and expressed his hopes to collaborate with UNESCO on this.  He explained the Government’s intention to translate the findings of the TRC into the national education curriculum and establish a national museum as a living place of harmony. The Director-General readily accepted this proposal saying that UNESCO would certainly assist with this project through the Organization’s regional office in Apia.
Irina Bokova went on to underscore the importance of culture as a tool for development referring to the Solomon Islands’ rich cultural heritage.  She expressed her satisfaction and congratulated the Prime Minister upon the announcement that his Government had approved the ratification of UNESCO’s most recent cultural Conventions: Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage (2001), Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage (2003), and Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions (2005).

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