22.05.2012 - ODG

Irina Bokova reaffirms UNESCO’s commitment to SESAME

© UNESCO/Paola Leoncini-Bartoli - UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova and Dr. Khaled Toukan; Current chairman of the Jordan Atomic Energy Commission and Director of SESAME, May 2012

During her visit to SESAME - the Synchrotron Light for Experimental Science and Applications in the Middle East Centre - UNESCO Director-General Irina Bokova reaffirmed the Organization’s commitment to this groundbreaking project, a unique scientific cooperation platform in the Middle East and neighbouring countries, saying that "UNESCO's commitment to SESAME will remain unwavering as it paves the way for excellence in sciences".

The Director-General signed a Joint Communique with the President of the Council of SESAME, Professor Sir Chris Llewellyn-Smith. The Joint Communique is addressed to Governments, institutions, and the wider public and highlights the role of the sciences to foster peace, solidarity and mutual understanding. It seeks to increase the membership of SESAME and to strengthen the role of science for peace in the Middle East and neighbouring countries.

"SESAME is the embodiment of UNESCO's commitment," said the Director-General. "It is about weaving a fabric of intellectual and moral solidarity across the world".

The Centre for research and advanced technology is placed under UNESCO auspices and benefits from the membership of Israel, Jordan, Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Pakistan, Turkey and the Palestinian Authority, and from a number of observer countries. It works to build scientific and technical capacities and to facilitate collaboration between scientists and engineers from the Middle East and neighbouring countries.

During her visit, the Director-General met with the scientists working on the site and witnessed the considerable progress achieved by the Centre since its establishment in 2004.

Irina Bokova paid tribute to the enlightened vision and support of His Majesty the King of Jordan and the Royal Court of Jordan to SESAME. They have provided the land and SESAME building, and together with Iran, Israel and Turkey they are contributing considerable financial support towards the Centre’s capital investment. Other Members are expected to join this initiative.

"No other project in the Middle East provides such a platform for cooperation in the region," said Professor Sir Chris Llewellyn Smith, President of the Council of SESAME.

During her visit, the Director-General observed the high-quality technological equipment and facilities of the Centre. She highlighted that SESAME is about "scientific diplomacy to make this world more prosperous for the whole of humanity".

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